Thursday, 6 August 2009

Something went wrong somewhere...

It was supposed to be a nice, easy, flat ride and ended up a hard, hilly and fast ride. Instead of heading south-west I headed south-east and ended up climbing Joby's Devils Hill and Chunal Hill - both buggers - this is before (and after) riding up Mottram Rd, Mottram Moor and Roe Cross to name but a few! So much for an easy ride a few days before a good friend's wedding!
I set off towards the Denton/Audenshaw border and climbed up Shepley Rd, turning left at the mini-roundabout to take me back down a little of the hill, so I could then climb up Kings Rd and back round to Shepley Rd again for the ascent up the other end of it (I must be mad). Following a left turn at the lights I headed into Denton centre where a left turn took me to Devil's Hill - a favourite of mine, Joby and Gaz; a 6% climb with traffic lights right at the top which invariably are on red when you get there.
I left all the heavy traffic behind and snuck off onto Mottram Rd for the long climb to the huge Broadbottom roundabout and continued climbing past it for a little while before descending to Mottram-in-Longdendale. Once through the lights a super swift descent took me flying past cars, lorries, buses....all going slower than my 49mph (49mph!!!!!!!!). I have to admit although I was loving it, I was a little scared too!

After descending to a right hand turn and still descending afterwards I turned off at a roundabout to head through Hadfield and then Padfield and it's vicious ascent to the Woodhead Rd just south of the Devil's Elbow. Once back at the centre of Glossop, after another awesome descent, I set off towards the Snake (with absolutely no intention to ride it, just so I could go to Hurst Reservoir for a nice little breather).

Along the Derbyshire Level (whose name belies it's hilly terrain) and I came out at Joby's favourite place: Chunal. I came out right at a nice 12% section so had another great descent to contend with before stopping at the Glossop Cafe for refreshments and odd looks from the pub next door.

After leaving the cafe I set off back home, but first had to contend with Woolley Lane, Mottram Moor and Roe Cross to climb back up, and boy are they evil when all piled together one after the other (6-10%, 8% and 8-14% climbs respectively) with absolutely no respite. The good thing about all that climbing is the excellent descent into Stalyvegas (Stalybridge to give it it's proper name). Well, it usually is a great descent. Only the surface layer has been scraped off leaving a rutted cruddy compound stuff to drive/ride on, the manholes are all raised up (and there's a lot of them on this road). Oh, and there's a traffic-lighted single laned section halfway down that wrecks your hands giving you cramp cos you need to have your brakes on all the while!! Bloody roadworks!

On a brighter note, the roadworks I've ridden through a couple of times at the Staly/Wakefield junction have gone and the lights are up and running properly now, so no more playing chicken. This allowed me to get out of Staly a lot easier than the past few times and soon I was on Stamford St heading towards Park Parade and the first of the two huge roundabouts I needed to play with - the first was an easy one as I could stay in the outside lane to go straight across, the second wasn't quite so easy as I needed to get in the middle lane to get straight across. Easier said than done when there's lots of traffic hurtling along here; but I managed to get there OK, and I managed to follow an HGV out and across so I didn't even need to pause for breath.

The first roundabout was the start of the fast-paced section for me as it's a place I use a lot for sprint training; being a dual carriageway (cycles are allowed) it's perfect for speed. I maintained a good pace through the next set of lights too as I wove my way into the middle lane again as the road split to head in two directions. I wanted to stay on the main Ashton-Manchester Rd and swooped my way around the first tight right hand bend with a car wing mirror getting a little too close for comfort to my ass, before swooping left and upping the pace to the next set of lights. For some odd reason all the lights were with me this time, so I manged to keep the speed up to the Lumb lane one-way system where, yet again, I had to smoosh my way into the middle lane and straight through these lights; again a swift right hand bend followed by a left hand bend and MASH down on the pedals before getting stuck in the tailbacks at the contraflow. Damn those roadworks. I'd set a good pace of 26mph before having to slow down to a crawl. Usually I won't undertake vehicles at all, however there was a metre between the traffic and the parked cars with no side roads, so I snuck along until I could go no further and a lovely chap let me in front of his car and held the rest of the traffic back a little for me so they weren't up my ass through the mangle mess that is the Manchester Rd/Market St junction.

Back into the aero position and I was flying along as far as Buxton Lane when the lights turned red and I stopped for a welcome breather before turning off just before the next set of lights.

That turned out to be quite a tough ride - the combination of the heat and the climbs wasn't good. Every rider I saw out today was suffering with it. For once I wasn't passed by a cyclist on Mottram Moor - so disheartening when that happens as it is a very hard climb for me to do. Still, I've managed it the last 2 times I've headed out that way.

Stats - view route
Gorgeously hot and sunny with a little breeze
Miles: 31.97
Average speed: 12.4mph (this is getting a little familiar!)
Climbed: 1398ft

One very knackered cyclist collapsed on the sofa when she got home!


  1. I love Chunal - honestly!!! The best place I've ever been.


    Sounds like a bloody good ride!

  2. I am going to have to make the effort to try riding over Mottram Moor and Devils hill.

    Can you plot me a route from Glossop to stockport that doesn't involve fast duel carrideways / motorway roundabouts?

  3. 2 words.

    First is OUCH

    Second is: RESPECT !!!!!!!

  4. Joby - twas an amazing ride, but bloody hard work! I'm with you on Vhunal - it's a nightmare ain't it??!!

    Gaz - I'm with you there on the ouch part of it! All this while undertaking a new job too. I must be mad!!

    Red - I sure can do, but it'll most likely be Monday time when I can get it to you, as I'm snowed under this weekend. At the velo later for my club track championships and at a wedding tomorrow. Any particular point in Stockport to start from? Also, I'll need an email addy (it won't get printed on here) to send it to you. You'll most likely find Devil's Hill a breeze, but Mottram moor is a bugger for a lot of people - most of my club find it hard at some point!

  5. Chunal was hell for me but it was my first big ride out past the outskirts of my town :O)

    Am sure next time I do it it will be a little easier!

    And Red, Devils Hill is a breeze compared to the stuff your doing mate - its not even worth plotting it on the map!

  6. I will get to find out when lostSheep sends me this map through.

    As i've no idea what the roads are like around that area I've no idea which ones to avoid. The last thing I want to do is ride down a busy duel caridgeway.

  7. I'm about to sort one out for you Red. I'll post the link in a comment in a bit. Trust me, Devil's Hill will be easy for you!

  8. Red - here's the route for you. It's rather lumpy, includes bits through Marple, New Mills, Chunal Hill, Mottram Moor, Roe Cross, Shepley and Devil's Hill before returning through Romiley.
    I've tried to avoid most of the worst roads, but there are some busy main roads to ride I'm afraid.

    It's got over 1700ft of climbing in it, so I hope you're prepared!