Glossop Monument Ride

23rd August 2021

144 Miles With Over 8000 Feet of Climbing

Three riders set off from the Mansfield at 06:30 hours on a damp Sunday morning to complete the Monument ride to Glossop and back. The route passed through the following towns:

  • Stone
  • Meir – Stoke on Trent
  • Leek
  • Macclesfield
  • Buxton
  • Glossop
  • Hathersage
  • Bakewell
  • Matlock
  • Ashbourne

It really was a tour of The Peak District. The riders were supported by Dave and his wife Anne who provided coffee at each planned stops as well as mechanical support if required.

Alan led the ride with Lloyd and les in tow. They set off maintaining an average speed of 23mph but this soon reduced on the other side of Stone when they started to climb towards Meir. As the riders rode into the Peak District the weather was a mixture of showers and misty rain which appeared to be set in for the day. This kept the riders cool but didn’t do much for the amazing views that they could not enjoy.

The road out of Macclesfield started climbing up to the Cat & Fiddle Pub which is the second highest public house in England. Just out of interest we were all surprised to see that the pub had re-opened as it had been shut since 2015. It is now still a pub and also a distillery, so it is set to be Britian’s highest distillery at 1,689 feet above sea level.

All riders made it up the 6.8 mile (11km) climb to the Cat & Fiddle and were still on track with the time schedule to complete the ride. After a brief stop they headed off to enjoy the downhill to Buxton. Now the half way point was in sight (well not quite), but the next stop would be Glossop and the turning point for the ride but most importantly, lunch and a well earned rest.

Les was starting to feel it in his legs but in true Les style he proved yet again that he is tenacious and committed to finishing the ride. Dave offered him a lift at each stop but Les had no intention of accepting.

Leaving Glossop feeling refreshed and satisfied from lunch at Glossop Garden Centre they set off to tackle another big climb up the infamous Snake Pass. This is not as far as the Cat & Fiddle climb to the top being only 4.2 miles (6.8km) outside of Glossop, but it does sit at 1679 feet above sea level which is only 10 feet less. So a steeper climb overall. Again all riders reached the top with a smile, or was Les grimacing it was hard to tell.

View at the top of Snake Pass

Any chance of a lift home please?

Reaching Ladybower Reservoir everyone had the biggest smiles on their faces and all commented that the descent from Snake Pass is one of the best descents ever and well worth the climb.

The route now took on a more southerly direction heading for Bakewell, and with the two big climbs well and truly behind them the riders settled into a steady pace through some stunning scenery. The weather had started to improve since Snake Pass, a few bits of sun to be had but there were also some torrential downpours to endure especially the one just south of Bakewell. Although sodden the riders spirits were high feeling they had broken the back of the ride. Now with just under 50 miles to go they could sense victory.

The final climb out of Cromford, which is not as big as the previous two was still a challenge especially after riding over 100 miles, over the top of this then Ashbourne was on the horizon. The Ashbourne stop was the final chance for coffee and a short rest before the final push home. There was one more planned stop at Doveridge before Rugeley. Just over 20 miles to go. The sun had come out for the final push.

Dave drove back to the Mansfield ahead of the riders ready to congratulate them on their return. The 1st rider back was Les which was a surprise for Dave. Les then said the other two were doing laps of the town to make up their distance to 150 miles. Lloyd and Alan finally rode into the Mansfield having completed an epic day out on the bike.

147 miles with a 3 mile cooldown for some, over 8,000 feet of elevation, with an average speed of 15.2mph, overall riding time including stops was 13 hours and 20 minutes with a riding time of 9 hours 10 minutes.

Congratulations to Alan, Les and Lloyd. Great effort from you all.

A few words from Alan…

Myself, Lloyd Fox, and Les Hughes departed the Mansfield Club last Sunday morning just after 6:30 on our 144 miles Monument Ride to Glossop. The ride was made so much easier by having Dave Pemberton-Smith in the support car carrying all our spares, and of course the much needed additional nutrition, mainly in the form of Jaffa Cakes. It started to rain when we arrived in Stone and the rain continued until we arrived at the ‘Cat and Fiddle’. At the top there were beautiful views of mist and fog. The weather improved as the ride progressed, just in time for a much needed lunch in Glossop.

The climb up the ‘Snake Pass’ was in warm summer sunshine and we took the opportunity to remove some layers before reaching the top. The descent down to Lady Bower Reservoir was long and fast, (one of the best descents I have ever could completed – selling point for next year 😉). There were a few heavy showers between Lady Bower, Bakewell and Matlock, but the sun returned once we got to Asbourne. We made it back to Rugeley after 9 hrs 36 mins of riding. I’m sure I can speak for us all and say we had a fantastic day. Only a couple of minor mechanicals, and one Garmin ‘blip’ en route. A massive thank you to Dave for his support, ( plenty of coffee, and who doesn’t like a ‘Haribo’ or two), great company and looking forward to the next Brereton Wheelers Monument ride.