Another early (2:50am) start at the Winking Man Inn by the Roaches which is about halfway around the route of the Goyt Peak. I parked about 800 metres below the Winking Man Inn in a dusty layby with car size potholes. However, it is free parking and near my start point.
The section round to Algreave (A54) was mainly downhill, which I remember from a previous Peak Audax ride. It has a very steep section which leads to a narrow bridge and a T-junction which can catch you out if your breaks are slow at responding! After the A54 there is a climb which takes you over to Macclesfield Forest. I recommend taking a minute to look across the Cheshire plains, unfortunately, it was still dark when I was there.
I did take a few more photos but I am still learning how to judge the setting on the ActionCam. The descent down to the two reservoirs next to Macclesfield Forest was pleasant, but the quiet lane section had some loose gravel on sharp corners with potholes which were hard to negotiate at speed in the dark, so I had to slow down. This route took me up a new climb through Macclesfield Forest where I saw a couple of deer on the road and I had a short walk over the very steep part of the climb. My rubber step-in cleat protectors are definitely worth the £3.56 I paid. Once out of the forest I was back on familiar roads and heading for Kettleshulme. But a left turn partway down the descent presented new roads through Whaley Bridge and Chinley.
The climb up Chinley Head to the A624 is nice and gradual which was a welcome relief after some of the previous climbs. Joining the A624 provides vistas to both the left and right (see image below). The descent down the A624 to Hayfield is fast with wide open roads, however, some of the metal work needs to be avoided. This section continues to offer vistas of the Peak District as it skirts around to Mudd.
There is a sneaky little climb at Boardbottom when you turn onto Corsey Brow. It is continuous and gets steeper as you climb but hang on as the top is just out of sight. A couple of miles later is the climb from hell, well the walk up a steep and long concrete footpath/ road (Apple street) to the top of the ridge and the Werneth Low Golf Club. Here you are rewarded with amazing views across the plains to Manchester, see below. (The concrete road/path is the only downside of this route). If there is another road up to the top of the ridge, it would only enhance this route. However, I would keep this ridge in the ride.)
The descent off the ridge is fast and easy, however, I am not sure about the section through the park but I think this bypasses the dip in the road as you enter Marple. There is a sneaky climb when you leave the park which leads you to Costa and Greggs on Marple’s high street.
Arriving at Costa it was busy and there was only one person serving, so I went next door to Greggs which had an offer, £2 for a Coffee and a Bacon bap. For the past four 100km rides I have used Costa but now I know that Greggs has this deal I will be using Greggs from now on.
The climb out of Marple to the Goyt valley is very familiar, now that I have ridden it 4 five times so I just settled into a gentle steady pace which takes me to Pym Chair Car Park just before you descend into Goyt Valley. The descent into Goyt Valley is fast but the road does have lots of small potholes and loose gravel, also be aware of cars!
The climb from the dam at the head of Goyt Valley to the Cat and Fiddle Inn is possibly my favourite climb this year. It is not physically demanding and it does not offer open vistas across the Peaks, but it is quiet and colourful (see image below).
Crossing the A537 at the top by the Cat and Fiddle Inn the route takes the shortcut over the moors to the A53 (Leek to Buxton) road. Just before you join the A53 you are treated to a vista looking across to Longnor and beyond.
The section to Longnor is very nice and does not have any significant hills except for one small climb into Longnor. I opted to stop at Longnor for breakfast and a cup of tea, which was good timing as it bucketed it down with rain.
With my belly, a little too full I just had six miles back to the car, but the road from Longnor to the A53 is very much uphill with few very small downhills. Seeing the Winking Man Inn was a welcome sight as it was the end of my ride.
This is the last of my 5x100km rides for this Audax session, which started in March with the Monyash Peak. Over the five rides, I developed my riding strength and I forgot how much I enjoy the hilly climbs but the only way in which I can improve my performance is by losing my oversized belly!
Organisor: Chris Keeling-Roberts
Audax List: Audax Ride List