Now the clocks have moved forward, the winter is over. Spring is here, and the light evenings and long day rides of summer begin. I like cycling in the winter, but the cold and dark become wearing; the chance to go out without 6 layers of clothes and lit up like a Christmas tree is most liberating. How fine it is to see spring flowers, leaves beginning to bud on the trees, lambs in the fields and nature coming to life.
With that in mind, yesterday I undertook my first 100+ mile ride of the year; I try to do as many of these as I can, and usually head up to the Peak District, as it’s a cracking destination for a day ride. As is customary, the first such trip of the season is slow and reasonably easy. Yesterday I travelled up the A515 through Yoxall to Sudbury, where I cut across country through Church Broughton, Shirley and Kniveton, over Hognaston Winn, past Carsington Reservoir, onto the High Peak Trail at Middleton top and up to the Tissington Trail at Parsley Hay. From there, I headed back south along the trail through Tissington, Ashbourne, Longford, Tutbury, Barton Under Needwood and Lichfield. 109 miles, painfully slow on the High Peak trail due to an appalling headwind, but a fantastic day of sunny villages, tea-stops and the sight of nature beginning to grow.
I record all my routes using a GPS attached to the bike, and you can follow my route at Bikely by clicking on the map below. I’ve cut it short at Muckley corner for obvious reasons.
I didn’t actually take any photographs yesterday – sometimes, you just don’t – but I did pass some interesting things on the way which I’ve recorded previously. I Twattered some phone pictures which are of awful quality – they can be found in my Twitpic stream. Some photos from previous rides are on Panoramio.