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Stunning Scenery and Perfect Weather Conditions

Blog Posted on 15 Mar 2011

"It was a perfect early Spring day - not a cloud in the sky, nor a breath of wind, but the air was cool and fresh.  We set off from Sheffield's Botanical Gardens, heading uphill through leafy Ranmoor to the open spaces of the road past Hallamshire Golf Club.  The hills of the Dark Peak (Howden Moors across towards Bleaklow) were hazy, but distinct, a change from the fog and drizzle of the previous few days.
We cycled round Fulwood Head, looking back towards Sheffield laid out below us, then right at Ringinglow Road up past Burbage Brook, following the road below Stannage Edge.  Even at this early hour, some ambitious climbers were visible, taking advantage of the glorious weather to tackle some of the many ascents available.  Keeping as high as the road allowed, we climbed round Bole Hill, and across Bamford Moor, before speeding down the hill to the junction at Yorkshire Bridge.  Down in the valley bottom now, we meandered through the woods beside the river that flows out of Ladybower Reservoir, before tackling the short ascent up to Thornhill. Then it was right, past the "Road Unsuitable for Motors" sign on a very minor road (though perfectly passable for cyclists) along the north side of Hope Valley, through Aston, to emerge onto the main road just before Hope village.  The sun was climbing steadily in the sky now, but the temperature was still quite low.  Areas in shade were sparkling with the previous night's frost, ,and we had to be careful of small ice patches on parts on the road as we turned right in Hope to follow the road into Edale.  Past the Cheshire Cheese Inn - the car park empty at this time of day - we crossed the little bridge over the River Noe, past the summit of Lose Hill up to our left, and under the Sheffield-Manchester railway line.  Above and ahead of us we could the summit of Win Hill from the opposite side that we had seen from Bamford Moor, and a party of pony trekkers who were slowly making their way in the sunshine down the bridleway on Nether Moor to their base at the riding school at Nether Booth.   As the road swung round to head west, we could see the summits of Hollins Cross and Mam Tor, as well as the scar on the side of Edale Moor marking the start of the Pennine Way.  Beside the road the signs of Spring were everywhere - catkins on the trees, snowdrops and crocuses in the verges and the leaves and buds of daffodils visible in abundance.  But the trees were still bare and showing little sign of the new growth that was welling up within them.
The road climbs only very gradually to Edale village itself, and it was here that we decided to turn round, rather than tackling the substantial climb from Barber Booth up to Mam Nick.  At this early point in the season, the cafe at Edale Station is only open at week-ends, so we had to wait until we had ridden back to Hope to take our cafe stop.  This was Shrove Tuesday and the Courtyard cafe was serving pancakes with a tempting variety of accompaniments.  But we cyclists are innately conservative when it comes to refuelling, so we stuck with the trusty baked beans and poached eggs.
Back along Hope Valley, we turned at the Bamford junction and climbed through the village - our route from earlier was clearly visible above us in the sunlight, the road marking the boundary between the fields and the open moorland.  Then we were beside Ladybower, the water deep blue in the sunlight, and on to the junction with the A57. Traffic on this main road was only light as we slowly climbed up to Moscar and then sped down the slope past Hollow Meadows and Rivelin Dams, to return to Sheffield along the Rivelin Valley.  A pleasant 40 mile, four hour trip with stunning scenery and in perfect weather conditions."



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