Todays ride set off from Hayfield, the climbing started straight from the off up Snake path, much to everyone’s delight. Once at the top at the old shooting cabin it was a quick check of the map then we set off in the right direction skirting the edge of Kinder reservoir then a slog of a climb to Edale Cross; at the top we where unsure of the direction so Seamus set off to read a distant sign sadly short term memory loss meant he forgot what was on it when he came back, luckily Skippy was with us with his nostrils flared able to analyse 2000 smells in seconds, a skill honed in Peel Fish yards, we could hear the cogs turning computing all the info “there’s a farm that sells cakes 3 miles to the East”.

After a couple of climbs on rocky terrain and very sandy single track we arrived at Jacobs Ladder along with every feckin rambler in the county preventing those that wanted to fly down from doing so (I paid them all at the bottom). Bazaar was nearly off trying to come inside Seamus (……Matron!), Will-i-am gained a small cut, no big deal but being a ginger we were all concerned till an attractive looking rambler went past, Coops summed it up at the bottom “Jacobs Ladder – Its Bollocks” surely a winning strap line in the visit England brochure.

On the bridleway it was a case of not only avoiding the bolshie ramblers refusing to move (Seamus won this game of chicken) we also had to contend with Crazy Ivan (Sinbad aka Shinpad) stopping and turning for no apparent reason. At the bottom Skippy’s sense of smell came to fruition, a farmhouse selling cakes and refreshments, an argument began about the lemon drizzle, Skippy claiming it was better than Cats, I said “you’re talking out of your arse”, at which point Bazaar said “no this is talking out of your arse”, more apologies followed and we had to make a hasty exit.

The next climb was up the Chapel Gate track with its many drainage ditches, especially Pete who needed ropes to get out of the drainage ditches they were that deep, a break at the top to take in the stunning view over Edale before the realisation hit us that the van was further away than where we were actually staying.

A short play at the bottom of Rushup Edge, probably the favourite trail we found this weekend. A great descent followed which could only mean a great climb was coming, Sinbad was pedalling like a man possessed but gaining no speed for the ascent, due to his chain snapping further back (what a nugget) luckily unlike Q’s last year it was close by, not a mile back. We could have had a lift up the climb from two passing 4X4’s but Q declined because we feckin love climbing, at the top with Q now low on energy, delirious and hallucinating, Seamus offered him a finger of fudge in return for no points on his licence.

We skirted the edge of Mount Famine (aptly named) as Skippy was starving, at the peak Cam decided to take one for the team managing to fall off his steed whilst standing still, the rut slut was his for the night, Seamus would have to make do with the memories of his all to brief affair. A short road ride took us back to Hayfield not before Shinpad tried to take us out getting a puncture half way down the hill.

Foxdale