Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Riding in the Peak District

Posted by MarkyMark | May 24, 2011 | 4 comments so far

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.

A typical Peak District climb

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.


About the author

Every riding group has a bike mechanic of some sort, even if they're just enthusiastic knowledgeable amateurs. Well Mark is a bit more than that, he is actually a qualified bike mechanic and has a certificate and everything to prove it. This comes in handy more often than you'd think (the bike mechanic bit, not the certificate bit you understand...)

There are 4 comments on ‘Riding in the Peak District’

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  1. Tony says:

    The routes round LadyBower used to be my favourites “back in the day” when the Mrs lived in Sheffield. I used to ride out to Ladybower and take in routes like the killer loop. Of course I was riding rigid then. I wonder now how I did it! It’s damn rocky.

  2. Markymark says:

    Riding rigid around the Peaks was madness Tony, but spare a thought for Swasie Turner… who did the full 100 miles of the South Downs Way in a standard NHS issue wheelchair. The first time ever its been done, 9 days between 3-11 July last year to raise awareness for a local charity. Ra’spect!

  3. Tony says:

    Hi Mark. I guess my issue was that I didn’t have a choice, since suspension wasn’t an option. I do remember a particularly specatular “dismount” coming down Kinder Scout. Kinda leapt the bars and ended up some distance from the bike.

    SDW in a wheelchair. Seriously crazy, although we may need some wheelchairs handy in Bournemouth on the evening of the 15th of July.

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