What do you get it you put two of the Marple series of Grimpeurs together? Well you get nearly 14,000ft of climbing and some serious suffering! The combination of the Dark Peak and White Peak rides throws together Holme Moss, Strines and Mam Nick with the leg-busting Winnats Pass at 110 miles!
Chris and I set off early taking advantage of the clear roads. The climbs came quickly with Harrop Edge and Woodhead Road followed by the climb over Holme Moss northbound – a side I’d not been up before. The early morning drizzle got stronger and became rain. I stopped to put my rain jacket on before heading up into the low cloud that clung to the top of the hill and obscured the road further up. As we crested the weather on the other side of the hill was completely different. We could see blue sky and the sun! We dropped into the first control at Holmfirth and as soon as I put my sunglasses on the drizzle started again! Next came Strines, which is a lovely road and we headed into the Penny Pot cafe at Edale for a well-earned bacon butty.
The jacket was well off now and the sun was coming out to play. Straight out of Edale we hooked onto the back of a Glossop Kinder Velo club run and hit the 10% climb up Mam Nick. Continuing, the ride was now characterised by great climbs followed by fantastic descents. Being on my good bike made this all a pleasure, with it’s sharp handling and light weight. Stops at Carsington Water (massive scone with jam and cream) and the Woodbine cafe in Hope (Apple Pie and cream) helped fortify us for the relentless up-ness! The apple pie proved to be a mistake as we then hit the 12% slopes of Winnats Pass – and we both struggled our way up it pretty slowly!
We finished tired, but not overly so, and had managed a ride average of nearly 15mph. This helps build confidence for LEL because there will be nowhere near as much climbing on that and our target average ride speed is 15mph. Overall, a smashing day!
Ride stats : 131.4 miles in 8hrs 50m at 14.9mph average speed. 12,916ft of climbing. Energy used 6575kcals. Average HR 131bpm.