Members cycle ride reports, mostly from club rides but all cycling stories welcome.

Ilam Hall. 5th March

It was a very relaxing start at the World Peace Cafe at the Tara Centre, Etwall for last Sunday’s joint Derby and Burton ride. Eleven riders were out. Glen’s morning route took us through Longford and Alkmonton on the way to Ashbourne. The cycle route dropped us into town and through the tunnel to the end of the Tissington Trail. However, to avoid the muddy and busy bottom part of the trail, we climbed up to Thorpe with time to see the views over Thorpe Cloud. The descent took us to the entrance of Dovedale and into Ilam village and to the Manifold Tea Rooms at Ilam Hall. It was a joy to be able to sit outside after the winter rides, especially with the views over the village and hills beyond.
We knew what was coming, every way out of Ilam involves a lengthy climb. Glen took us the one up to Blore then down to Okeover for a ride through the park to Mayfield. We then deviated from the usual route to take in Snelston and Roston Common and the other usual route from Marston Montgomery to Boylestone and Church Broughton where the Derby and Burton riders went their separate ways home. A cracking day awheel.

Ian Hill

Sudbury. February 5th

There are few villages around in which the traffic is so light that nothing moves in a quarter of an hour. Snelston is one of those for most of the time and is off the beaten track, so to speak, nestling in a valley off from the River Dove to the south west of Ashbourne. The Burton group paid a visit yesterday.
Terry Williams had promised a cafe new to the group so with intrigue we headed out to Tutbury and onto Draycott in the Clay. A short stretch of the A515 brought us into Sudbury and the cafe was revealed. On the left just before Sudbury Hall and set back is Sweet Little Cafe. It has a modern feel in one of the converted barns set around a courtyard. Service and the food was good. Tea for two is excellent value. If you have cake and get sticky fingers you can always go to the adjacent Stcky Fingers shop.
We then took the old A50 to Doveridge to turn north into the quiet winding lane to Norbury with views of the Weaver Hills to our left. The next section following the River Dove was a delight, so serene and peaceful. We turned off up a short single track road into Snelston passing a multitude of Snowdrops. First stop was by the war memorial where Terry told us about Snelston Hall. It had features copied from Alton Towers and from the pictures it would have made a splendid National Trust property but sadly, due to dereliction, it was demolished in 1952. The paradox is that the loss of the house has meant that the village remains a quiet place. We then set off up the village street and passed some lovely Estate cottages and houses up to the Hall gatehouse. More chat. It was then a short hop by way of Clifton to Fairways Garden Centre cafe on the A515 for lunch.
The return followed the time honoured way of Dobbin Horse lane and once up there it was gradually downward to the Dove valley by way of Alkmonton and Hatton and then home.

Ian Hill

Millenium monument, Uttoxeter. January 22nd

Brrr…, that was Sunday but well worth getting out. The Burton ride passed Sudbury Hall and took the delightful lane past Bowling Alley to Marston Montgomery and Rocester. The lake at JCB was frozen at the edges with birds standing atop. The car park at Denstone Farm Shop cafe was as full as ever and when we reached the counter all the tables had been taken. This was a stroke of luck since we bagged the settees in front of the log burner. Gloves and hat were warmed up in front as well as us. We resisted the urge to put more logs in the burner.
We then climbed out from the Dove valley through the quiet backwater of Stubwood to join Long Lane. We turned at Hollington down the winding narrow lane to Stramshall and on to Uttoxeter. First call was the Market Place and the Millenium monument. The main features were the plaques to famous local firms and the representation of the solar system. There’s a lot of information on the Public Monuments and Sculptor Association website and I should have looked at it beforehand to grasp a bit more of what the monument represented.
” This circular monument records Uttoxeter’s history and achievements in a series of inscriptions around the edge of the stonework. There is a time capsule inside containing examples of products from the town’s chief industries and work by local schoolchildren. On top of the stonework, a circular brass panel divided into four quadrants shows a heliocentric view of the planets, frozen in the position which they were in as the country passed into the year 2000. This is 2m in diameter, with each millimetre representing one year since the birth of Christ. The four points of the compass are shown in aluminium around the edge.The sun is shown within an armillary sphere at the centre. This functions as a sundial, with the pin in the centre pointing to the Pole Star and casting a shadow on the ring, which depicts local time in Uttoxeter”.
I must go back when it is sunny.
Tesco’s cafe was full so we decided to head back home. This was by way of Marchington, Fauld and Tutbury. The temperature didn’t rise above 3 degrees all day. To cap it all – at Uttoxeter a solo cyclist appeared and was telling us about all the expensive thermal garb he was wearing and how warm he was. £15 for a pair of socks? He’s missing the joys of hot aches.

Ian Hill

Dave's Birthday Ride, 9th June

On a glorious summer’s day eleven riders met at Sawley Marina but were soon reduced to ten when Ian suffered a mechanical and returned home to fix it but hoped to join us for lunch later.
Our route took us to Kegworth, Sutton Bonnington then down the Soar Valley to Cotes where we turned up to Burton on the Wolds and then the long drag up to Six Hills and eventually to Great Dalby for lunch at The Alehouse attached to the brewery.
Excellent ale and food were consumed ( including Bison Burgers) as we sat outside in the warm sunshine. (see photo of John M)
Our return route took us up Longcliffe Hiil to Willoughby, Widmerpool,Wysall, East Leake, West Leake Dark Lane to New Kingston and picking up the cycle path past Radcliffe Power Station and Long Lane back to Sawley Marina for afternoon refreshments. The group split here with the majority going via Shardlow, Ambaston and Elvaston to the river path back to Derby.
58 miles recorded. One incident Kevin punctured near Ratcliffe so make his debut in the 2016 Puncture League.

Dave Walker

A tour of JCB Country, 28th April

Twelve riders met at Happy Hens on what felt like a January morning with temperatures just above zero and a keen south westerly blowing, but it was dry.
Strawberry Garden Centre at Bramshall was our agreed destination so we gritted our teeth and headed westward to Longford and Alkmonton where Maurice and Nick made the wise decision to make their’s a morning ride only. At the same time John Moss incurred what proved to be a terminal puncture with the valve pushing through the valve hole into the inner part of the rim. Several attempts to remove it without damaging the rim proved fruitless, it was a job for the workshop. John phoned home and a very understanding wife promised to rescue him. (we think!)
This incident caused a delay to our schedule but rather than curtail the ride we soldiered on through Cubley, Marston, Rocester, (JCB Accademy and JCB Digger Assembly Factory.)
Stramshall then bisecting the JCB Transmission Plant we crossed the A50 to Bramshall for lunch just as the rain forecast for evening arrived four hours early.
Oatcakes were the most popular choice for lunch being in Staffordshire and when we emerged at 2 o’clock the rain was settled well for the rest of the day.
A direct route home was unanimously agreed upon so straight to Uttoxeter where Martin disappeared in the direction of the railway station, then a parallel to route to the A50 via Doveridge, Sudbury, Foston, (JCB Warehouse) and Hatton, (Four of us called for warming refreshment s at the Salt Box) then back home our separate ways.
58 miles recorded. Perhaps we should have curtailed our route after John’s mechanical but being an optimistic bunch it was never contemplated.

Dave Walker

Burton Group to Shackerstone Station, 20th March

Burton Group made Shackerstone Station to see the 11.00 departure on last Sunday’s ride to the preserved Battlefield Line. It was the first running weekend of the season and just a single carriage diesel unit was operating. The Station cafe is always welcoming with its memorabilia decorating the rooms and a warming fire in the grate. As Darren said – it was like going back to his grandma’s living room.
We left for Congerstone and a zig-zaggy route to criss cross the railway line through Barton in the Beans and Carlton. We had a look at Market Bosworth Station, the mid station on the line, and the adjacent Marina on the Ashby Canal. At the next bridge the train was due to pass so we waited and waited… and gave up. Nothing can diminish the expectation and it was a peaceful spot.
There was just one climb up to the Bosworth Battlefield Centre and the Tithe Barn Restaurant. It was a pleasure to sit outside in the courtyard, the first time this year.
Dave Mcg Clarke took us along the track through the woods to Sutton Cheney Wharf and Dadlington and then we dropped back to Shenton Station at the end of the line and waited and waited. I always like to give my British Rail Station Announcement impressions at such railway venues and the Gents had some fantastic echo properties. Goodness knows what the people outside thought, maybe they would be rushing for the train to Burton on Trent.
The route back followed the lanes of the Moira Audax through Sibson, Sheepy Parva and Orton on the Hill. We deviated to pass the village pond and thatched cottage in Austrey, the soaring spire of Clifton Campville and the daffodil bedecked churchyard of Lullington.
Next Sunday’s ride leaves the Abbey Arcade, by the Market Place, High Street, Burton at 09.30 for a visit to the poignant ruins of Grace Dieu Priory in Leicestershire (this is a change since the Awheel magazine was printed). Elevenses will be at Beth’s Kitchen at Breedon on the Hill Garden Centre if any riders from Burton or Derby wish to meet there. Lunch will be at St Joseph’s Tea Room by Mount St Bernard’s Abbey.

Ian Hill

Burton ride to Blore Church Sunday 13th march

The Burton Groups’ ride yesterday was to Blore Church on probably the best day of the year so far. The little lane through Rodsley made a change to get to the elevenses stop at Fairways Garden Centre Clifton. We were quite pleased to arrive just behind Mercia Lloyd’s Cycling Club when they had set off 15 minutes ahead of us from Burton. Maybe I should mention that they had done 15 miles more than us! Too much chat and stops for us. Still we all enjoy the same cake.
Okeover Park is always a delight and then we climbed up to Blore, a hamlet of a few scattered farms and a hall nestling by the church,.Neil Platts gave us a guided tour of the church including the impressive Bassett memorial. It certainly is a quiet spot. We then climbed further with views over Ilam and to the hills in front of Dovedale. Further views were had from the Weaver Hills although it was a little hazy. Still, the receding hills in varied shades of grey and blue makes a fine vista. We met a couple walking who were in Derby Ivanhoe Cycling Club and joining the reunion on Friday. A late lunch was taken at Doveleys before returning through the lanes of Marston Montgomery and Boylestone.
Next Sunday’s ride heads into Leicestershire and to Shackerstone Railway.

Ian Hill

Saturday Hilly Rides

For a few weeks in the Spring of 2016. we ran a series of Hilly Saturday rides. These were intended as practice for those going on a Wales Tour in May, but were open to all and good fun in themselves – I think fun is the right word!

Five out on the first one. I enjoyed both the ride and the company. Nice to meet Naomi for the first time Darron impressed not only by riding over from Burton but treating us to a speedy display of puncture fixing, hardly left time for the advice. Wendy and Pete good company as always. Everyone did fine on the hills, but I’m feeling it now!

Eight riders out on the second short hilly ride, including four getting some practice in for LLC. We were rewarded with some lovely Spring sunshine, a few lanes some of us (including me) hadn’t ridden before and lots of excellent views. The breeze going North was a bit fresh at times, it rained just long enough for people to put waterproofs on, otherwise we were really lucky with the weather.

Another week – Just Darron and myself out today, what we lacked in participants we made up for in altitude! There’s good reason I usually avoid some of those roads. Still great weather and the route was very scenic.
Part of the attraction of a shorter ride is it leaves time to do other things with the rest of the day, but I haven’t done much this afternoon that involved getting out of a chair!

Five of us out on today’s hilly ride, a bit damp at times and blustery at others, but mostly fine, Maybe not quite as scenic as some previous rides, still plenty of hills (880m according to Garmin) and some lanes I don’t think any of us had ridden before. All good fun

Paul Hilditch

Three castles Thu 18th Feb

Eleven riders met at the Bikeworks on a cold but sunny morning and were later joined by Martin at lunch swelling our number of diners to twelve. Our first castle was at Duffield and we rode there via Little Eaton and as the photo shows there is not a lot left to see and the information board has also disappeared. Next to the remains of Mackworth Castle with our route taking us up Cumberhills to Quarndon Common then down Inn Lane toKedleston Road, Markeaton Lane and Mackworth village. The remains are in the form of a turreted gatehouse which was a rather ostentatious entrance to the rest of the castle which was originally of wooden construction, built in 14th/15th century.Our lunch destination was Cherry Tree Farm at the Burton Services near Willington adjacent to the A50 so we followed Brun lane to Langley Common, Radbourne, Etwall and through the four way TTL’s at Willington to lunch. The pub looked very busy so we opted for the L4 Lunch Bar in the main services area which was good value for money.From here a convoluted route was followed to our final ‘castle’ at Elvaston. Findern, Stenson, Arleston, Deepdale Lane and the narrow road from Barrow Hill parallel to the A50 and Swarkestone Garden Centre brought us to the A514 we turned right at Cuttle Bridge for Weston, Aston, Shardlow and Ambaston arriving at Elvaston before the cafe closed so Alan could top up his caffeinne levels before riding home to Ripley. The rest the group continued through Alavston to the river path where we split for home.
49 miles recorded with no incidents.

Dave Walker/Photo Paul Hilditch

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