You know how it is, just when you feel a little jaded about the whole cycling thing (the thick smog of Broomhill last night didn't help) along comes a ride that puts the joy back into it and you are grinning like that 13 year old with his first real bike again.
Day off and the original plan was to head out toward Edale, maybe catch up with cycling Bob on his way back from camping but a late night, nasty cough and sore throat put paid to that.
Instead I got out around 11 and headed down to Malin Bridge. Took the main Loxley Road up to high Bradfield. The Amey crew were out installing the new street lights so it cant be long till Loxley Road gets a long overdue resurface.
Past Stacey bank then I started to notice that the little side lanes had the shiny new black top on them already. Resisted the urge to go down Trouble Wood lane but ground my way up to High Bradfield. Stopped to enjoy the view that Le Tour will have next year, then took it easy down to the Post Office cafe, Woodfall Lane hasn't had its new surface yet and my days of 45 MPH down there have long gone.
Cup of tea at the cafe and a nice half hour chat with an old chap who was dog sitting for his son. So we get talking and it turns out he used to live 4 doors up from the Palm pub in Walkley before he moved out to Bradfield (after 30 years living here I realise this type of coincidence just happens in Sheffield)
Time to set off again so I just headed to the nearest piece of fresh tarmac I came across and kept following it. Blindsale Lane, single track, smooth as a pancake and not a car in sight. Glorious views over Dale Dyke Reservoir and across to the Strines. I must have been the first cyclist back up it, it was so freshly laid.
At the top of the lane had to swerve to avoid numerous toads basking on the fresh tarmac
I just carried on taking whichever freshly surfaced lane I saw, the speeds crept up to 25mph on the flat and even the hills just rushed by.
At this point all I could think about that Ewan Maccoll song "the the joy of living". Not in a morbid way (he was dying when he wrote it of course) but just the shear joy of pedalling along smooth empty lanes in stunning scenery.
Ended up back down at the Damflask and took the main road back down to Malin Bridge. Not even Hillsborough's traffic jams could spoil the ride and I easily made the big climb up to Walkley via Walkley Bank
That whole area between Strines / Moscar / The Bradfields and Stocksbridge gets overlooked compared to the tourist traps around Hope, Castleton and Edale. I know where my next ride will be...just don't tell everyone else just yet .
Not the longest ride in the world (16 miles), not the fastest ride either, but just a perfect start to along weekend.
Kalvebod Wave and a Lost Opportunity
8 hours ago