I was born in Leeds, hence my Liverpool – Leeds canal ride this year, but at the age of 7 our family moved to Stafford.
So this Autumn I thought a quick intercity 125 train ride to Stafford and ride back should be on the cards.
The problem was to find a traffic free route with off road sections, studying maps took me over into Derbyshire, so one Friday afternoon I jumped on the train and the adventure began.
My Travers Angus bike set up
Ride 1 – To the local train station – 1 mile
Hop on the train, until it’s engine died 2 stations away from Liverpool, everyone off.
Not wanting to miss my train while waiting for a recovery train to arrive I hopped on the bike
Ride 2 – to Liverpool’s Lime Street – 2.8 miles
Burger King while at the station
Train to Stafford
31 miles to bivi spot just north of Ashbourne on the Tissington Trail
1st mile didn’t show on the GPS
Using quiet lanes and off road sections like this
Rather than carrying food and cooking equipment (just a folding spoon) a Chinese Special Fried Rice was bought and put in my back pocket for the 20 minutes to find a bivi spot which acted as a mini heater as the light was fading.
Bivi pitched just as it started to drizzle
Nom noms in bed
Handy for the trail
Last nights left over for early breakfast
Just 107 miles to home
The Tissington Trail although it doesn’t look steep it rises 682ft over 15 miles
I then rode east in ever worsening drizzle/rain, my new waterproof worked perfectly and got to Bakewell before the cafe’s opened, so it was breakfast snack bars until Buxton, via the Monsal Trail which climbs 543ft over 13 miles.
Note to self if doing these 2 trails again head North to South
Random photos of the lovely Monsal Trail
Then it was into Buxton for a double breakfast over 2 full fat Cokes while map checking
Straight after this came the last big climb of the day with it’s 625ft over just 1.7 miles
Then I rode off road on the Midshire Way until the canals of South Manchester lead me north to the Trans Pennine Trail.
This trail is rubbish it has thousands (well it felt like thousands) of anti motorbike gates around every corner, this was so slow that I then changed directions and headed north via the Trafford Centre up toward the East Lancs Road at Worsley, then it was head down with a slight tail wind all the way home.
Full ride from Stafford stats
With the 2 rides to the train I clocked 150 miles, 2 train rides and a night out in just over 24 hours
And on a final note, yes they are aero bars but on long rides they help so much, not only getting down out of the wind with the help of my large framed bike and short body, but they also help by using different muscle groups in my legs, so any ride over 50 miles they are staying on