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Day 7 - Crich to Clitheroe                    Weather icon, click for today's weather in this location Today's weather in Crich

Friday 5 May 2006

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Map of sixth day of route, click to go to interactive map



Route Description

This will be a tough day...leaving home again and then twice up over 1,500ft. However, Rog's cousins Gary and Craig may be accompanying me for part of the way, so that will be welcome company.

The route takes me through some lovely scenery too. Through the High Peak, Hope Valley and over into Glossop before skirting the eastern edge of Greater Manchester and heading for Clitheroe through Rochdale and Accrington. I'll be staying at the Hodder House B&B.


Route map.

Mileage: 92

Cycling time: 6 hours 41 mins

Average speed: 13.5 mph

Top speed: 44.2 mph

Start to finish time: 9 hours 0 minutes

Worst hill: Chapel to Glossop

High point: 980ft

Mileage to date: 497

Two's company, three's a happy crowd

Well rested after a familiar bed and full of the usual bowl of porridge, I was in good form when Craig and Gary Bode (Rog's cousins), arrived to do today's leg with me. I had also done some minor adjustments to my seat and cleat position to try and ease the achilles niggle that started two days ago.

First part of our morning took us out along the tops above Matlock - familiar training territory for me. We were soon dropping down off Beeley Moor at a good speed but, as I had the added momentum of the panniers and was ahead, it was only on grouping together again at the bottom that Gary told me he thought he'd seen my maps fly past him halfway down! Sure enough, they were gone from my back pocket, but fortunately only as far as Glossop.

Needless to say none of us was keen to cycle back up the hill to look for them!

We passed Chatsworth soon after and once through Baslow, it was decision time - Snake Pass, Winats or the easier incline to Chapel-in-le-Frith. Given the state of my heals - still niggling - and a general desire to have a gentler day, we chose the later and so set off up the long incline above Stoney Middleton. As a keen Spelunker, Gary pointed out several of the numerous potholes in the area as we passed.

It was soon after cresting the last hill before Chapel that Craig announced brightly "Well, now we've done 26 miles, I'm in uncharted territory!". I have to confess to being slightly worried by this given that we still had over 60 to go!

A quick stop in Chapel charged the batteries sufficiently for the worst climb of the day over to Glossop. We all made it up without much trouble though this was the hottest we felt all day.

After a slight wrong turn in Glossop, resulting in an extra climb but not too much extra mileage, we were soon in heavy traffic on the road to Staly Bridge - our lunch destination. Passing one car, Gary and Craig got a puff of something that certainly wasn't cigarette smoke - it must be stressful driving in Greater Manchester.

Refueled at the Riverside Cafe in Staly Bridge we continued through Uppermill and Delph towards Rochdale, stopping only to have a chat with a friend of mine, James, who works in the area.

We were all psyching ourselves up for a tough climb from Rochdale over to Burnley via Todmorden. However, it turned out to be a very pleasant gentle climb all the way, through attractive mill villages and open moorland. The only difficulty was resisiting the temptation to stop and join the sunny Friday crowds for a pint of Timothy Taylors or Jennings at one of the many pubs we passed.

Once past Burnley, we were on the last strecth to Clitheroe and arrived at the B&B at 6.15pm. Though announcing that his fuel tank was definitely on red, Craig made the 92 miles - more than 3 times his previous maximum - without any complaint. Thanks so much to both the Bode's for making the effort and giving me some welcome company.

We finally got our Jennings in the local pub to accompany our steak and, once my bike was bedded down for the night in the cattleshed, Gary and Craig headed for home.

Sadly, no cake at all today! However, donations have now exceed 4,000 - thank you all!
Ready for the off...

Chatsworth House

Craig at 26 miles!

Gary, Craig and Andrew

Moor above Todmorden

Bedroom for my bike!

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