On Boxing Day after spending the whole day doing basically nothing I realised that unless I planned something the 27th and 28th would probably be the same. So I spent a few hours playing with maps and looking at options on the computer. I had decided that 50miles was probably the maximum distance I could plan to cover in the current condtitions and that I wasn't going to bivvy out on my own (that can wait till I have a warmer sleeping bag). Edale turned out to be the ideal distance and the Youth Hostel had beds. So I plotted a route, booked a bed and breakfast for the tuesday morning and headed to bed.
I was out on monday morning just after 9am (my aim had been 9 but Ali rang so I could let her know my plans) and on my way making good time, well I was on road for the first bit. It was snaining a bit but I was hoping that the weather would improve a bit.
A mixture of on and off-road took me over towards Mossley where I had my first bit of navigation to deal with, I had been following my garmin and it took me to a farmyard that was a deadend. No sign of a path the other side and a farmer looking at me as if I shouldn't be there, a little bit of map reading later and it was back down the hill and round by road to the other side (I didn't climb up again to see if they did meet).
I then found my first real bit of ice.
Up till then it had been easy enough to ride round any ice, this had me off and walking/shuffling down the hill.
Round the outskirts of Glossop using the trans-pennine trail and I started climbing, next thing I know I'm on Monks Road. I have only climbed this once on my road bike and it turns out my legs were not strong enough on the singlespeed. Still I gave it a good go, some walking but lots of attempts at riding! Soon it was onto the Pennine Bridleway and down towards hayfield.
Over towards Jacob Ladder and there was no option for me but to push the bike, I met a lot of people coming the other way, probably wondering why I was heading up as it was going to get dark soon! It was still light when I got to Jacobs Ladder, although it was hard to pick out contrast. I rode some, pushed some and slide down some when I found the ice (into a wall which was nice and has left me with some bruises). Before getting to Edale. Here I headed to the pub for some well earned food before spinning up to the youth hostel and curling up with my book.
The next morning I was up at 7:30am for breakfast and on my way before 9am. It was a lovely drizzle and the beginning of a thaw from the monday had frozen overnight leaving lots of ice, so it was very slowly I made my way back to Edale. I then headed onto Chapel Gate for the push up to Rushop Edge.
At some point I realised it would be easier to carry the bike than push it, so rigger got a rest.
At the top and Rushop Edge was reasonably rideable, I walked a lot of the drops but more to be careful as I was on my own and had a long way to go. Onto Roych Clough and this was an ice slide from top to bottom, I fell over trying to walk my bike down and it felt a long way to hayfield, especially as the rain was getting heavier. I wasn't the only crazy person out, I saw plenty of walkers and fell runners.
Once at Hayfield it was over to New Mills and time to push a bit harder, I had to be home for 4:30pm as my sister was picking me up for dinner at my mum's. At stockport I stopped for a hot chocolate but otherwise it was a case of keeping going. Home at 4pm, hungry and tired with over 80miles on the garmin.