27/28 September 2006
Dave, Mike, Glen
A trip to the
Peak District was first suggested circa 1989 so it was about time we went,
especially as a proposed 2005 event was a last-minute cancellation.
In the same spirit this report is long-awaited and hence less is
remembered than normal (and that’s not much).
Things that Happened that we
Thought Might Happen
was hilly and tough.
accommodation was ‘basic’ in a town where the locals would be out in force
on the Saturday night; to be fair Ashbourne only scored 6 on the 10-point
Coleford scale used for rating the ‘Colefordness’ of Saturday nights.
down the M1 on Sunday evening would be long and tedious and would involve at
least one set of serious roadworks.
Things that Didn’t Happen
that we Thought Might Happen
and wind were anticipated while the South basked in sun and warmth; the opposite
The Journey Up
really except a strange phenomenon witnessed in Rob’s car; after a monster
breakfast we appeared to arrive in virtually no time. Glen decided that this resulted from an in-car conversation
that was so dull that it distorted the space-time continuum – well that seems
JR or Rob had the new A46 on their maps which meant everyone arrived 15 minutes
after K2 & I who had Sat Nav! - Dave)
Padding – A Short Note on the Mystery of Memory
Note to readers – this section, commonly known as
padding may be avoided as it is completely unrelated to the rest of the story.
I can actually remember more of a trip to the Peak District in June 1973
than the one a few weeks ago – please explain!
elite Oxbridge undergraduates demonstrate their intelligence and celebrate the
end of finals by jumping off 15 foot high bridges into 6 inches of water under
the sad impression that said water will ‘break the fall’.
Maybe they’re attempting joint honours – that’s a degree
certificate and a disabled badge. Less bright students from provincial Nottingham arrange
post-exam scree-running trips. We
actually hired a coach that took us on a tour of the best scree slopes in the
Peaks. Some characters, in a feeble
attempt to obtain a minor criminal record (joint honours again), had liberated
some crates of light ale, some crates of brown ale and quite ludicrously a few
crates of Babycham; these were dutifully loaded on the coach for lubrication.
Normal scree-running is like skiing without the skis and snow comprising
slaloming down the slopes trying to avoid serious injury.
However, I’m sure Glen would have enjoyed the suicidal scree-running
which involved running flat out down these steep slopes, relying entirely on a
crowd of extras, in bar-diving style, arresting the runner at the bottom of the
slope. An addendum to this story is that at Nottingham Races the
following day our coach driver recognised me and gave me a genuine racing tip;
Little Manny romped home at 13/1 and kept me in beer for a week – not
difficult as the Commercial Inn in Nottingham sold Home Ales Mild at 9p per pint
– now that’s inflation!
I warned you it was padding.
Day One Tour
Well, we went
up and down quite a bit and in spite of some dodgy navigation arrived at the
lunchtime pub; this welcoming hostelry allowed us on the premises as long as we
hid the bikes under a tarpaulin around the back of the pub where they wouldn’t
upset the motorists. With a grimace
they then served us three-quarter pints in pint glasses.
No matter, move on to the cyclist friendly pub with 20 real ales and free
food – unfortunately it had called last orders about 6 months ago.
Eventually the decent pub was located.
After lunch we went up and down (mainly up) some more and arrived at Axe
Edge, I believe, where a group photo was taken.
The highlight on the way
back was the cycle track on a disused railway, which was naturally flat-ish.
Frank’s attempt to divert us from the track to tackle some late hills
led to a mutiny. A late shower
dampened spirits but these were soon restored when we emerged from the final
tunnel and had to brake suddenly to avoid our parked cars.
much walking as our ‘hotel’ is in the town centre; in complete contrast to
mid-Wales there are about 20 pubs to choose from including one where you are
invited to ‘produce your own pub environment’.
Music too loud? – no problem, the fleece attenuator will see to that.
Pool light irritating? – pull the plug out.
Lacking air? - crowbar the
door open or break the window. After
all that, you would expect the darts to be excellent; just the opposite, they
were poor beyond belief! No matter,
Ashbourne’s Coleford-rating was reasonable – drunks but no trouble.
Unfortunately, Frank had anticipated plans to room him with Mike to
produce a snore-induced sleepless night. Some
single rooms were on offer but your reporter is not in the least bitter about a
night on the floor. The English
Tourist Board was running a trial ‘Welcome to Ashbourne’ for motorists.
As the hotel has no dedicated parking, you may park in the town square;
it costs 5p per hour but you can only pay for one hour at a time and the scheme
runs through the night. Failure to
pay will lead to the destruction of your motor and a six-month prison sentence.
Welcome to England!
Day Two Tour
rather bizarre, as the hostelry had no milk as the supermarket didn’t open
until 10 am. I guess the gallons of
milk in the newsagent 20 yards away was laced with Polonium-210.
Blimey! I remember some
seriously steep hills, an excellent lunchtime pub and another stretch on a
disused railway cycle path. Oh yes, and an excellent coffee stop at Carsington Reservoir
where somebody (Glen?) failed to notice that they’d just cycled over a very
large dam. K2 managed the sole
puncture. I guess a load of other
sleeping at the back of the pack obviously failed to participate or spot the winner
of the sprit finish. I made my move with a classic break a mile from home at the
brow of a small hill, Mike crossed the gap and pulled me along for a few hundred
yards until I burst past him to take revenge for his win in Albertville - Dave)
The Journey Down
as forecast. Rob enlivened the
journey by failing to purchase petrol, necessitating a route change and a visit
to London Gateway Services with zero miles of petrol remaining.
the wait especially as the weather was better than ‘Down South’ – steep
hills and excellent scenery. Is it
my imagination or did Glen really recommend a weekend trip to the Lake District?
That’s 14 hours in the car and a few hours on the bike in the rain!