Our Club Weekend from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th April 2013 was based in Miller's Dale, Peak District, Derbyshire.
Members stayed either at Eyam Youth Hostel or in caravans at Beech Croft Farm, Blackwell, just a few miles away.
Although the area is called the Peak District and there are not many flat roads and some seriously steep roads, cycling in the area is made a whole lot easier by using some of the many off road cycling trails, many of which follow the route of old railway lines with nice steady gradients.
Having made our own way down to Derbyshire on the Friday to check into our accommodation, we met up to discuss the route for the ride the following day.
We left the hostel and headed for Monsal Head on the Monsal Trail, which is one of the best of these trails, with a good surface and with pleny of interest passing through tunnels and over bridges and viaducts. We headed down toward Blackwell to meet the rest of the group that had been caravaning and then transfered onto the Tissington Trail and rode to Parsley for a refreshment stop at the cycle hire centre. Although we were only a couple of days away from May there was a bitterly cold wind and we were all searching our saddles bags for extra layers to put on.
Setting off again we then branched onto the High Peak Trail and continued for several miles before leaving the trail just past Gotham to get onto country lanes via Elton, & Alport. We then had a short excursion on a bridleway across a field and onto Bakewell for another stop and a sample of the local 'Bakewell Pudding' not 'Tart'. From here it was a very short ride to the end of the Monsal Trail and back to complete the circuit of just over 36 miles.
In the evening we all met up for a very nice meal at The Miner's Arms, Eyam.
On the Sunday we split up into smaller groups with some looking around the historic village of Eyam and it's museum, while others went for another cycle ride before packing up and heading home.
The village is famous for its part in the plague of 1665. When the plague arrived in the village, thought to be transmitted by a delivery of cloth from London to the local tailor, the villages took the brave decision to quarantine themselves, to prevent the spread to other villages, and as a result many of the villagers died with some familes losing up to 25 of their relatives.
By John Ramsden with additional photo's from Jim Duerden.