A few of us from work have been out a couple of times to http://www.peakdistrictinformation.com/visits/carsington.php
It’s a great trail for beginners and advanced bikers, although advanced bikers may think it’s a bit easy!
I am the least experienced cyclist in the group but they are all good and patient and wait for when I panting for breath and about to puke!!
One way round is pretty tame but the other way is a bit of a challenge. First time round we went the hilly way, well it was hilly to me! The second time round, after a stop for coffee and cake (coffee courtesy of Dave and his campervan and cake courtesy of me!) we went the easier way but it involved a very steep hill. Thankfully Dave, who is seasoned cyclist was on hand to give me tips on how to get up the hill without giving up straight away. He made me realise pace was important and to give it my all at the hardest bits rather than straight away. And to use objects such as trees, bushes etc as goals to get to then when you get to that marker find another etc etc and eventually you will manage to get up the hill. Although I did stop once and push my bike a smidgen half way up!
He also taught me how to start on a steep hill. It can be difficult to get purchase on wet, muddy and steep ground so he taught me to face my bike at an angle 45 degrees to the path with the back wheel on grass or as firm ground you can find and it’s so much easier to get going again!
Parking at the main car park (there is a cafe, toilets, shops and exhibition here) is £2.50 for 2 hours and £4 for the day. At the Millfields car park it is £2.50 a seasonal shop and toilets. Millfields is just down the road from the main car park. Sheep wash car park is free but has a 2.5 m height restriction.
Directions to get there can be found here:- http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/c/carsingtonwater/directions.aspx
The day after I thought I’d tackle http://www.derbyshire-peakdistrict.co.uk/tissingtontrail.htm The Tissington Trail. It’s set on a disused railway track so it’s lovely and flat with beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.
Well normally you can, only the day I decided to go it was very foggy and a little chilly! There is a slight incline in the direction from Ashbourne to Parsley Hey. The outgoing journey was pretty slow and I was really disappointed with myself thinking after all this training I should be going great guns. Maybe Team Hardcore (as I have christened the animals from work) had worn me out too much the day before!
The wind was also against me too and it was so foggy that I couldn’t see a thing so the view wasn’t distracting me either!
About 18 miles into the ride it finally got a little easier and I picked up speed a bit, which was good news for the return journey!
I managed to get 22 miles, one mile short of Parsley Hey but time was against me. The return journey was somewhat speedier and I knocked half an hour off my outward journey time. It was much nicer speeding along the train rather than the slow progress I’d made before and the sun even peaked out!
To park at the Ashbourne end is £2.50.
To get there you can find the directions here :- http://www.peakdistrictinformation.com/visits/tisstrail.php