Its 4:30pm and I’m rushing around like a blue arse fly trying to get my shit together.
After first hearing the term Midweek Micro Adventure coined from Alistair Humphreys I was instantly intrigued.
A simple premise of escaping the mundane 9 – 5 by heading out for a midweek adventure between 5 – 9, a fun evening ride followed by a bivvy somewhere high and mighty before waking up with the birds at dawn and rolling home in time to hit work with zero hours lost. Like most people with families, jobs and commitments, time is often the valuable commodity. I’m always wanting to get more time in the saddle but life often has a habit of getting in the way.
When I heard about the new Mike Dion film “Inspired to ride” a few weeks back it seemed the perfect opportunity for a venture out. The call went out, there was a few grumbles about getting up for work early and some such but a couple of brave heroes gave the nod and a date was set. A simple plan of heading from Stockport through the peak district, catching the premier at The Lantern Theatre in Sheffield then pedalling back home via a bivvy, before having a mad rush home to get into work on time.
Heading out we ticked off the miles fairly quickly before heading through Hayfield taking the long climb up to South Head and over Roych Clough. Meeting the bottom of Rushup Edge neither me nor Jon could bring ourselves to ride the once great track and opted for the road climb towards Mam Tor instead. Over the broken road and a quick descent into Castleton in time for a beer stop and quite possibly a lady with the biggest sense of self entitlement I’ve met in long long time.
Through Hathersage and the road turned upwards and stayed like for a fair while, past the fox house and up through the bridalway I’ve long driven past and wondered where the hell it went. Time to find out. Over Burbage Moor and a fast descent dropped us at another pub with a sunny beer garden that was just too good turn down. Suitably watered, a fast and cold road descent droppped us by the river and a few more bridalways and voilà were in Sheffield. Almost by magic!
The film was cracking and inspired to ride we were. If you get the chance to catch it I’d wholly recommend it. Deciding we’d dealt the cramped small theatre enough sweaty bikey odour we grabbed our bikes and headed back towards the peak in search of a bed. Besides, it was 11pm and they’d closed the bar.
Heading back over Burbage Moor we found a nice soft patch on Houndkirk Moor and beds were made in about 5 mins. A warm night, no breeze and nothing more than a full moon and a few stars to lie under to focus our attention. Sleep came quick and I had one of the cosiest nights sleep in a while despite opting to not use a camping mat.
I woke around 4am and managed about 30 seconds of motivation to see the sun rising over the still street light lit Sheffield. I blinked and it was suddenly 6am. Time to get up. A quick dash to pack up camp whilst some inquisitive young cows headed our way.
With a sudden sense of urgency knowing we’ve got a fair bit of ground to cover we headed off opting to get some quick road miles in. A chocolate milk did its best to upset Jon’s stomach leading to a sombre ride home whilst he concentrated on not throwing up and I gave him enough space in case he did. Miles ticked off and a ride through Chapel-en-le-frith to avoid the wacky races of the A6 and I was back home for 8:30, shit shower and out the door by 8:45. En route to work with a little tiredness but a whole heap of smiles.
I can see me doing a fair few of these now, what’s not to like. It’s like stealing hours from life itself. Camping, a heap of miles under my wheels and waking up with a glorious view. Roll on the next one!