Today was perhaps the best ride yet. Hazy cloud kept the temperatures a tad lower than the recent high 20s, but with long standing high pressure the visibility was not so good for my ride today with a haze killing the distant views.
I filled the tank in Wilmslow and set off via Prestbury to ride up through Bollington to 'The Highwayman' at Rainow. I crossed the Macclesfield to Whalley Bridge road and continued to Lamaload, noting the reservoir is down a bit (we've had no rain for weeks). Then up to the Macclesfield to Buxton road which I followed, through its well known twisty bends, past the Cat & Fiddle pub and then turning off that road for the minor road across Axe Edge Moor to join the Buxton to Leek road, which after a few miles I turned off towards Longnor. From Longnor there is a lovely road into the Dove valley through Crowdecote, which took me over the river and up the hairpins on the far side, then past the former Cromford & High Peak Railway (later the former Buxton to Ashbourne line) at Hurdlow, now a cycleway, to emerge at the Buxton to Ashbourne road.
Soon I was in Monyash where I'd intended to stop for a cup of tea at the cafe by the village green, but it was crowded with cars so I turned right and rode on to Hartington, and then Hulme End where there's a cafe in the old engine shed of the Waterhouses to Hulme End narrow gauge railway. The railway closed in the 1930s and the cafe was closed today, so I took to the delightful ridge-top minor road between the valleys of the Manifold to the left, and the Dove to the right, back to Longnor, and on to Earl Sterndale and 'The Quiet Woman' for lunch.
A pint of hoppy ale, the remains of a pork pie, my helmet, and the Griso at Earl Sterndale at lunchtime today
The 'Quiet Woman' (with its inn sign of a headless lady) was open, and I had the traditional pint and pork pie this pub is famous for.
After lunch, a blast up to the Ashbourne road enabled me to cross that and take to one of my favourite roads in the White Peak - the A5270 from here to the A6 at Blackwell, where I did a 180 degree turn - and rode it back again!
The ride home was via Harper Hill, the Cat & Fiddle, Macclesfield, and Prestbury.
What a great ride out!