BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘Derby’

#365daysofbiking New ways out and pushing the Boundary

June 22nd – A hurried, fast three hour ride out to an event I’d not been to before – Ashby Steam Fair at Boundary, between Swadlincote and Ashby de la Zouch. A fine day.

The fair itself was excellent, and probably the best I’d ever been to – and after I carried on to Calke, Staunton Harold Reservoir, Melbourne and then into Derby via National Cycle Route 6.

I’m always charmed by a decent steam event, and this one was terrific; not least for the sheer diversity of collections, exhibits and pastimes on display.

You can see a full gallery of that on my main blog here.

I left Derby on Route 54 and returned via Rolleston, Anslow, Barton and Lichfield.

It was a great day, and Staunton Harold was just as peaceful and as beautiful as ever it was.

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#365daysofbiking Unique characters

May 25th – One thing I love about Derby is its characters. At the River Gardens, a dapper, older gent waited for his ladyfriend to go walking along the river, before dinner and a drink, a routine they’ve had for years in good weather. He was a lovely chap and his character as individual as his fantastic style.

I hope they had a lovely evening.

At Shelton Lock, a no-nonsense neighbourhood, a fluffy-tummied tabby with a very individual ear arrangement glared at me for disturbing his evening activities. He seemed like a lovely puss that someone must adore very much.

Cities are about the personalities that inhabit them as much as architecture and geography.

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#365daysofbiking Any reasonable route

May 25th – A 93 mile dayride that was very, very challenging.

It was a nice day – not too hot, but sunny enough to get a tan, and I set out mid morning, to follow cycle route 54 to Derby – from there on route 6 to Worthington and Cloud Quarry, then back via Packington, Measham, Harlaston and Whittington.

The day was lovely and the ride excellent, with plenty to see: NCN 54 has some very pointless twiddly bits, but I did them all for old times sake and enjoyed every inch. Sad to see the development at Tattenhill, but time must crawl I guess. Falling in love with Derby again was a bonus.

NCN 6 is still one of my favourites: The run out of Derby then past Melbourne is one of the best routes in the country and a genuine joy. My only criticism is it’s time to cut the vegetation back from the viewing area at the quarry again – that stunning view should be maintained if possible.

The challenge was I’ve only ever ridden this in the opposite direction, and all the hills came at the end, and on top of some grim stomach cramps. But I prevailed and it was fantastic.

A lovely day.

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July 14th – Another long ride in the afternoon up to the Cloud Trail past Cloud Quarry and into Derby City Centre. The route was pretty much the same as the week before, but more relaxed. It was a gorgeous day, and it was interesting to see the blasting progress in the quarry from the week before – and also, the bees pollinating teasels clinging the to the cliff edge near the viewpoint.

Derby remains a beautiful city with much history – but I also enjoyed the canal at Stretton, which in the still evening with darkness coming on was serene and beautiful.

Another great ride in a continuing, brilliant summer.

July 7th – Taking advantage of the quiet roads following England’s victory over Sweden in the World Cup, a lift was bagged to near Measham and an unintentional 87 mile fast paced ride up the Cloud Trail to Derby, then back out through Mackworth and the Needwood Valley, finishing long after dark, ensued.

I explored the trail over Sinfin Moor too where I’d never been before, which really was a nice ride.

Not really any time to take too many pictures, but Cloud Quarry’s view from the trail is still jaw dropping, and it’s fascinating to see one end of this immense quarry being filled while basting continues to remove limestone at the other. 

The river crossing is always a delight, and the tiny chapel/church at Church Town is a real gem.

I was intrigued by the crop growing near derby – is that oats? Seems like it but they seem a bit – fulsome for that. You don’t see oats about much is Staffordshire come to think of it. Suggestions gratefully received.

A great ride on a hot, quiet Saturday afternoon.

January 12th – I came from Derby to Leicester, made a call in Leicester, back to Birmingham and then Walsall. At 4:30pm I was in Derby; by 6:30 I was in Walsall. Not bad, really.

Through my increasing aches and congestion – the cold was really clouding things now – I got the Late Night Feelings vibe in several places, and a bit of a Peter Saville in Walsall.

I love travelling. I love riding a bike. I don’t love the cold virus.

I was glad to get home.

September 2nd – The oncoming darkness made me crave a century, and with improving fitness and a day off I went for it. The rain mean a late start, but the sun soon came out, and I headed from Whittington to Linton, then Donisthorpe, Packington, Newbold Verdon, Cloud Quarry, Breedon on the Hill, then into Derby on cycle trail 68. From there, I followed the trail out through Mackworth to Egginton, then through Burton, Drakelow, Croxall and home. 106 miles, and a nice night ride from Burton was exhilarating too.

I made a healthy pace, and wasn’t too tired when I got back. A satisfying ride.

December 24th – An unusual if not unique thing for 365daysofbiking – a photo taken when I wasn’t on my bike; but it’s about cycling, so I figure it’s OK just this once.

I was in Derby for the day, and for once, it was better I was without the bike. I didn’t know what cycle security would be like, and needed to visit lots of places where it would have been parked in the open for long periods. On Christmas Eve, that’s not a good idea as someone unscrupulous may be looking for that last minute cycling gift..

As it happened, I needn’t have worried; in Derby they’re taking cycling seriously; outside the rail station astounding, secure double-deck weatherproof bike park. Dotted about the city, good quality Sheffield stands and even free to use bike pumps.

We need some of this love in Birmingham – I’ll be back, and next time, with the bike!

October 2nd – As well as Leicester, there will always be a place in my heart for Derby, which similarly, is often dismissed as grimy, post industrial and dull – but such dismissals are wrong. Very wrong. Derby is full of lovely wide streets like Friarsgate, and around every corner there’s another interesting piece of architecture. And of course, the majesty of the River Gardens and Cathedral.

One of the best things is you can come all the way from Osgathorpe, near Melbourne, right to the River Gardens, on totally traffic free trails and only have to cross a handful of roads.

October 2nd – The run from Leicester to Derby is lovely, and contrasted sleepy waterways with stunning brutalist architecture, wide vistas, quiet trails and bustling shared-use tracks beside busy roads. 

I love the wind turbine, and the halls of residence at Loughborough University look like some spaceship ready to launch. But the sleepy views over the west Leicestershire countryside were gorgeous, as was the tranquility of the car-free trail into Derby over the Trent at Swarkestone.

A great ride.