Monday, 20 June 2011

A cycle around Derwent and Ladybower

This poor old blog of mine has been languishing in some dark, dusty corner of a digital cupboard for a few months now and if it were a mirror onto my life, it wouldn't be a very good one.  Hmm that sounded cleverer in my head than it looks in words.

Anyway, roll back to just before Easter when I was in full swing, preparing for the TGO Challenge.  First Christine messed up her knee and was out of the game and I emailed Roger to say I would be doing a solo crossing.  Then a couple of weeks later I developed shin splints in my right leg, ironically after the walk on Snake Pass gathering weekend.  Full of misplaced optimism but in the knowledge I had 10 or 12 weeks to recover, I carried on fine tuning the gear, buying food, booking trains and hotels, only having to unbook them all and make the dreaded call to Roger to say that I was going to have to drop out as well.  Teams of medics, physios and podiatrists (well one or two of each) have each offered advice, pills, orthotic footbeds and stretching regimes, which have resulted in shin splints in both legs and other weird and scary pains popping up everywhere else.

Nevertheless, I found recently that I could cycle without too much discomfort and whilst my distance limit for walking is a pathetic 2 miles at the moment, I can go for miles on the mountain bike, as long as there is a pack of frozen peas and/or a cold beer at the end of the ride.

I've also taken to cycling to the office from home once a week, on a route which passes by Stanage Pole and then down the edge by one of two routes, both of which require some portage of the bike.  It's been a good time of year for this ornithologically and I've seen more Curlew than ever before up on the moors and also a totally unexpected double sighting of a pair of Golden Oriole, who according to the RSBP web site never venture north of East Anglia - because they're too knackered after their flight from Africa.  Anyway, I know what I saw and a large bright yellow bird is pretty unmistakable.  The moors are also teeming (ish) with baby grouse (grouslings, grouslets?) moving furtively through the heather with their mums, not suspecting any of the carnage in store for them in just a few weeks time.

Yesterday's cycle  started at Fairholmes, on the side of Derwent reservoir (cue Dambusters theme tune) and struggled up an over enthusiastically steep track through the trees to come out on a fine ridge, which rolls pleasantly down to Crook Hill before plunging with aplomb back to the A57.  A mercifully brief section of road takes one to the track round the back of Ladybower reservoir, then a bit more road and a bit more track back to Fairholmes.

Rolling pastures above Fairholmes

Derbyshire seems to be overrun with highland cattle these days.  On a ride 2 weeks ago, I came across this chap and his/her mates.  I'm glad these things are docile.

So that's my news.  As soon as A levels are over (my son's, not mine), we plan to head up to Scotland for a few days, assuming I can walk by then or alternatively, we'll maybe go and investigate the condition of some rock in the Lakes.

I'm not feeling emotionally strong enough to read all the TGO reports yet but I'm sure I'll get round to them one day.  And it won't be long before next year's entry forms are out and we can start the planning all over again.  Then again I already have a pre-vetted route!

1 comment:

Mark said...

Commiserations - I've had knee problems in the past which put me out of action and I well know how frustrating it can be. Here's hoping you recover for your trip to Scotland.
That explains the 'radio silence' anyway!