Adrian writes: Four members arrived at Tissington old railway station car park for our car-assisted ride in Derbyshire. Cheryl had come up yesterday and stayed at a campsite a few miles away and had cycled to the start, whilst Mick C (our leader today), Steve G, and me had came up by car this morning.
After getting bikes ready we set off north up the old track, passing Cheryl's campsite and carrying on to the old station and signal box at Hartington. We left the old track here and got onto the B5054 road down into Hartington where we stopped for an early coffee in a lovely small café.
After coffee we used a very narrow gated lane that run north up the Dove Valley by the river to a hamlet called Pilsbury and then a very steep climb out of the valley past Pilsbury Lodge, under the Tissington Trail which we had been on earlier and up to the main A515, where we were able to crossed straight over to Monyash.
In Monyash we turned north again passing a village called Flagg on our left, along a road called "The Jarnett" and on to the village of Taddington on the A6. We turned west on the A6 and within a half mile turned north to Blackwell from where we enjoyed a long downhill run into Miller's Dale on the river Wye.
At the village of Millers's Dale we went to the old railway station to get onto the "Monsal Trail", another former railway line converted to a cycleway. Here on the old station was a tea wagon so we stopped and had another drink. Whilst we were having our drink an ambulance with its blue lights flashing and a mountain rescue Land Rover, also with its lights flashing rushed in to the car park. They both needed to go down the track to an emergency but could not get past a locked gate between the car park and the trail, and quickly disappeared.
We finished our drinks and pushed our bikes through a small side gate and towards the trail just as the ambulance, which had found a way onto the trail, came down the track. We let it pass and we followed it at a slower pace.
There are a few tunnels on the Monsal Trail. We went through the first and before entering the second (the Cressbrook Tunnel) we caught up with the ambulance, which was now stationary. We saw that a cyclist had fallen off their bike in the wet tunnel, and was being helped towards the ambulance.
We carried on through Cressbrook and Monsal Head tunnels and past Thornbridge station and hall (where we stayed some years ago on a c.t.c. Birthday rides week). We continued on to the old station at Hassop which is now a café/restaurant/play area, and the place where we were stopping for lunch. The restaurant queue was quite long so we went to the small café nearby and had a drink and cakes and sat outside on the old platform in the sun overlooking the trail with families, cyclists, dog walkers (some with extremely long leads) and lots of horse riders (from a meeting at Bakewell) passing by.
After lunch we rode on to Bakewell old station where we left the trail and rode down the road into Bakewell, passing on our left a field where all the horse riders we had seen earlier were gathering.
We did not stop in the Bakewell but made out way out via the B5055 and then a minor lane to a very steep descent with hairpin bends which leads to a bridge over the river Lathkill at Conksbury. We continued up the other side, which was not such a steep climb, to a turning to the left to Youlgrave and Bradford. This took us onto another another lovely lane with some steep ups and downs to Dale End and Elton.
In Elton we turned right by the church and after a little climb there was a long downhill with more minor ups all the way to Carsington Water reservoir, our afternoon tea stop. Along the way we passed through Longcliffe, under the High Peak Trail (yet another former railway line) and through Brassington.
After tea we set off west down through Bradbourne then left and right on the B5056, past the deepish ford of Bradbourne Brook on a footbridge and then up a steep hill into Tissington village, where our ride ended at the old station car park, though Cheryl still had four plus miles to go to get back to her campsite
Thanks are due to Mike for leading and finding such a lovely route and to everyone for coming. Adrian Lee