I would ride out to where they were meeting on wednesday and then ride part of the way with them on thursday before heading home via a train station. A bit of time was spent with maps and playing on bikehike and the route was planned - all 73miles of it. Redbike decided that he would ride over from leek and meet me there to save having to drive to cromford on the thursday morning. I told Ali not to worry I would be home before her on thurs to help her pack as I had to drop her off at the airport early friday morning.
So on wednesday I left at 9am and headed off, the first part towards manchester and round the outskirts was easy enough and the sun was shining. Soon I was on the killer climbs at the edge of the peaks. Around this point I realised how easy it was to get my maps on my sleeping bag so I could easily read it. Although I had my garmin I like to know where I am on a map!
I so enjoyed this setup that I will be making sure I always print out maps so they fit like this, I had the route on 5 double sided A5 maps so I was counting down as I switched maps.
The ride out was hard but fun. By the time I got to Hayfield I was wondering if I was going to make the pub in Cromford before they stopped serving food! About 7pm my phone rang with Jon asking where I was...he had said he was leaving home for the 25mile road ride from leek at 6:30pm - I know he is always early but..... My answer was miles away! As it turns out after being passed by fell runners on a hill it was downhill all the way and I got to Cromford at 8:10pm, in time for lots of food and a couple of drinks.
Jon kept getting dressed to leave but I insisted on finishing my drink, we then went the wrong way by miles and managed to eventually get to the visitors centre at Middleton Top after 8miles, most of which felt like they were uphill. Once I managed to get Jon to stop disappearing off up the pennine bridleway - he obviously wanted a head start! We pushed our bikes up the hill and found our spot for the night, it was just gone midnight!
That took ages, although it was lots of fun! We split company just on the outskirts of Glossop and I headed towards Ashton. Here I rang Ali to grovel, she kindly said I could ride home!