The area around Edale / Hope Valley / Derwent Valley is well renowned for having some of the best mountain-biking in the country. Edale is a good base with a substantial YHA hostel, situated about 15 miles west of Sheffield, in the heart of the Peak District National Park.
The rides are technically demanding with stiff climbs and there’s nothing quite like it’s natural technical tracks of gritstone, boulders and peat. It’s exposed in places so prepare for all conditions and a bit of hike’a’biking (minor up-haulage) over some tricky sections. But the rewards are large…
Two of the best known loops are Cut Gate and Killer Loop which a few of us rode the other week. Just looking at the elevation profile of both rides (see links below) you can clearly see its very challenging. You’re constantly changing your tack with sprint bursts to clear awkward sections followed by some meandering as you get your breath back.
In a nutshell, this place is a quick decision making, rock-picking test of gradient and boulder-step nerve.
Here’s what’s in store on these spicy routes. Purposely brief to get the juices flowing. Look out on the Forum for a proposed Peaks Summer Trip.
Cut Gate Special
Overview: A true Peak District epic. A classic trail on it’s own, making a fine out-and-back ride. This route turns it into the finale of a testing loop and takes you across some remote and exposed countryside.
Dark Peak Killer Loop
Overview: Sensational riding. A classic Dark Peak jaunt. Picturesque reservoirs, technical and fast to test your juggernaut rock-dodging ability.
Ignore the speed and timings in the Garmin Edge data. The weather was harsh at times (sudden hail + 30mph head winds!) and the group was a leisurely team. But with such beautiful landscape it’s not always about grinding it out.