Event: 24 June 2012
Location: Stapleford, Nottinghamshire
Preview: Beeston CC
Only a week prior to the planned Good Friday Ride (trialing the Medium Route of the Beeston CC Sportive 2012) the country was bathed in glorious sunshine and balmy temperatures not normally associated with the end of March. In the following four days we were treated to a dramatic reversal of fortune with plummeting temperatures, snow, hail and torrential rain. However, this did not dampen the enthusiasm of a record number of Beeston CC riders who turned up on this now annual club ride for what is a relatively young cycling club.
In Beeston the roads were dry, “summer” bikes were in attendance and the talk was focused on the task ahead – 75 miles of prime Peak District riding taking in such landmarks as Wirksworth, Parwich, Rowsley Bar (scene of the 1997 National Hill Climb Championships), Crich, and a little known climb called Bridle Lane – more on this later.
The ride starts with the rolling roads that take you into Derbyshire before the gradual climb up to Alport Heights situated on the hill above Wirksworth. As we climbed higher the previous week’s dramatic weather became more apparent. There was still a lot of snow and in places we were forced to walk the bikes due to the snow completely covering the road! This I think illustrates the nature of the quiet back lanes that have been used for this ride.
From then on in the roads became more and more treacherous with a combination of melting snow, gravel, and a harsh winter’s worth of grime.
Those of us on summer bikes began to regret our enthusiasm. A roadside meeting resulted in the group splitting with some riders taking a short cut to Crich and home with only the hardiest continuing on the full route.
While the Wimps were enjoying bacon butties and hot coffee in Cromford the Hardy Boys were taking in perhaps the best bits of the challenge with the brutish climbs and fast descents that lead you round from Winster via the formidable Rowsley Bar to the bottom of Bridle Lane. Interestingly the ride split again at this point with the Wimps taking in this wonderful little Roubaix-esque climb and the Hardy Boys diverting round it having let talk of its delights scare them into submission.
From here to home the ride is back on more familiar rolling roads that drop you back out of the Peak and through to ride HQ. If this was the proper sportive ride we would have been able to enjoy the wonderful Beeston CC homemade soup, as it was we were forced to return home safe in the knowledge that we had all completed a ride of stunning beauty, originality and fortitude.
Roll on 24th June; hopefully the snow will have melted by then. Enter now and enjoy the best the Peak can offer. For more info visit http://www.beestonccsportive.co.uk/