Road Cycling Staycation | Buxton tarmac to Bakewell tarts
Find your adventure... With Staycations on the cards for many of us this year, we have decided to find some of the best Road, Mountain, Gravel and Leisure cycling routes and Locations around the UK that provide you with stunning scenery and a sense of freedom! This week, #TeamRutland Ambassador, Lucy Sturgess will be taking us back to the Peak District but keeping us firmly on the tarmac. Lucy will be showcasing a 38 mile, ciruclar loop that has some challenging climbs, flowing descents and bewildering scenery... and don't forget a Bakewell Tart at the end!
Hi, I'm Lucy Sturgess, one of the ambassadors for Rutland Cycling. I'm a keen road cyclist, although I have been known to venture off road to explore a little bit! I have done lots of different things cycling wise in the last few years, from road racing and time trialing, to some touring and cyclocross as well as riding some European Gran Fondo events. However in the past few years most of my enjoyment in cycling is riding in new places with some nice views and a coffee stop as it makes for a very happy Lucy!
For this ride, we headed to Bakewell with fellow Staff rider, Mike Greenshields to ride a 38 mile circular route. It takes in some of my favourite roads in the area, some testing climbs, windy descents and isn't short of stunning views either. In my mind that's a pretty good mix!
The Route - Lucy's pedal around the Peaks
The route begins in Bakewell, most famous for its Bakewell Tarts (more about that later!) where we climb up away from the well known town and continue on a challenging yet enjoyable climb up to our first scenic spot of the day... Monsal Head. There is a lovely view point at the top here with a little pub if you feel like admiring the scenery for longer, but you're soon descending again which is a common theme on this ride... thankfully!
The descent is quite small in terms of distance but it drops at quite a decent gradient into the valley below Monsal Head. You can tuck yourself into a solid aero position and feel the wind rush past as you cut through the air. As the gradient levels out in the valley, you will find yourself riding parallel to the River Wye which is a lovely little breather after that fast paced start to the ride!
As we continue our ride towards Buxton, you will encounter some silky smooth tarmac that traverses its way back out the valley and through a luscious green forest! Crammed with hairpin turns, it feels like you're riding in a completely different country but make sure to save a gear or two as the bends do get tiresome towards the top!
The route then casually takes us along winding country roads towards the town of Buxton which is a lovely place to stop for a coffee should you so wish! We just stopped for a little breather and to watch the world go by for 10 minutes or so.
Otherwise we are then climbing back out of Buxton for the next few miles up to Goyts Lane which isn't as demanding of an ascent however I wouldn't advise draining the tank just yet. Luckily, you're then treated to a really nice descent which takes you down to Errwood Reservoir, again riding in an aero position to receive the full roadie experience. I love riding alongside water and so loved this part and it is one of those places to stop and take a photo of your bike before uploading it to Instagram!
The next climb meets the highest point of our ride at 1700ft, it climbs up from the Goyt Valley and is quite a slog, which most timely we had some quite heavy rain during the ascent and also descent. Rain jacket to the rescue and we were kept warm by the effort of the gradient! Usually there would be some really impressive views over the Axe Edge View point, but the weather prevented this for our ride, all the reason to come back and ride it again at some other time. Regardless it still is a beautiful area and with the right kit we were well prepared!
On our return journey to Bakewell, you can take it easy and just keep the legs ticking over for the last few miles as it is mainly flat cycling through the traditional, green Peak District landscape. Unfortunately, I got a puncture... typical! Within 10 minutes, by the side of the road, we had managed to replace the inner tube and effortlessly inflate my tyre to get us back to Bakewell thanks to the Muc-off Co2 Kit and Canister. As we cruised back into Bakewell, it was definitely time for a well deserved Bakewell tart before putting the bike onto the car ready for the journey home!
The bike - Bianchi Sprint Ultegra
On my adventure around the Peak District, I was riding on a 2021 Bianchi Sprint which was equipped with a Shimano Ultegra groupset and hydraulic disc brakes and it absolutely devoured the hills! It was comfortable up the hills whilst being able to destroy the downhills making it, quite honestly, the perfect bike for the job. Not only does the bike perform well but it looks a million dollars! Finished in traditional Bianchi green, the Sprint is a modern, sleek and aero dream machine.
The Kit -
As mentioned in the route, all of the equipment we took ended up being crucial for our ride as the weather was feeling very British and we did run into a minor problem... minor being a thorn! To keep us dry and comfortable from the brief yet heavy shower, I had my trusty, lightweight and packageable Endura rain jacket which kept my upper body warm and dry - exactly as you would expect. This allowed me to have the motivation to plough through the bad weather and stay on course for that well deserved Bakewell tart.
As mentioned before, the puncture I recieved was an effortless and minor inconvenience to our ride! Thanks to the Muc-Off Co2 Kit, I managed to reinflate my tyre within seconds and it allowed for me to not have to carry a pump around as the kit fits easily into my Saddle bag.