Thursday, May 24, 2007
all t'way round
At least once a year I haul myself up Winnats Pass just to say its been done and for the reward of the plunge down over Mam Nick to Barber Booth and the wonderful ride down the Vale of Edale. This year we did it as a Tuesday evening ride, it was a cracking late spring evening, sunny but with just enough breeze to keep cool on the climbs. 12 turned out for the ride and I think that’s the best turnout to an evening ride we have ever had outside of bike week.
Ill let the others blog the main ride in more details; I want to talk about someone I met up on the Moscar road.
I had a few errands to sort out so I agreed to meet the rest out at Bamford, and I rode my old commuting route to Carbolite on the A57 over Moscar. It’s a busy road, a pleasing number of motorists did pass at a suitable distance , but plenty came by too close and being a sunny evening the born again motor bikers and sports cars were all out for the mad thrash over to the Snake to Glossop and back .
Just heading up toward the old isolation hospital at Hollow Meadows I could see a mountain biker in the distance , then as Father Dougal McGuire never quite grasped, I realised it wasn’t a large cyclist in the distance at all, he or she was just a very small cyclist quite close . I caught up and found a young lad giving his all on a bike just a touch too large for him, not much older than our Patrick, Id say around 12 - 13 years sold.
I was a bit shocked and concerned at first seeing this little lad on his own surrounded by the speeding cars and motorbikes that seemed oblivious to him. I overtook him and asked if he had far to go. A broad Sheffield / North Derbyshire accent said proudly,
“Ive been all t'way round and me house is just o'er hill”
He pointed in the general direction of the few houses up at Moscar top. I said cheerio and carried on up the hill to Moscar Moors as I needed to make time up to meet the other’s (I didn’t I was 10 mins late ).
As I headed on up I realised how wrong it was to be shocked seeing this young lad on the road, he had just a much right as the rest of them and he was doing a sterling job. I wondered just how many miles “ all t’way round “ was for the lad from Moscar Top.
Drifting off in one of those flashback moments...
Down in the East Midlands in 1977 a 13 year old boy gets his first real road bike, a 10 speed Puch Freespirt with drops and a 23” frame that would be slightly too big for him even 30 years later. A wide ratio 34 tooth rear block was good for wheelies in the street but meant the bike could go up hills and haul camping gear. A summer spent working on a farm in Northamptonshire (75p an hour) resulted in a set of hand made alloy wheels from Renolds cycles in Northampton, pannier carriers and Karrimoor panniers. A few years later that same frame took me and my camping gear from Kettering to Barber Booth and on to Edale.
It took 3 days to get up to Edale via Drayton manor, Fenny Bentley, and Buxton mostly on minors roads. A couple of days in Edale included being chucked out of the Jolly Rambler for underage drinking and going straight on at the bottom of the hill into Barber Booth as neither of us knew there was a bend there and old Weinmann centre pulls couldn’t quite stop the bike . We went back via Whatstandwell and on to Kettering, a 95 mile day in the saddle on Chuck and Di’s royal wedding day.