Yesterday I decided to have a plan for cycling. So I went to the information centre and got one of the Derby cycle route maps – 5 Parks Ride – a guide for easy family rides.
The 5 Parks Ride is a short and easy ride taking you through many of the city’s parks, open spaces, along the river and through the city centre. It uses a mixture of off-road paths and mainly quiet roads and features several National Cycle Network paths. The route is mainly flat, but there are short sections of steep hilliness in Darley Abbey Park.
The same as yesterday, I started my trip from Riverside Gardens in the city centre of Derby, but this time I followed the cycle path upstream (north) along the River Derwent and went over the Derby Evening Telegraph footbridge. I continued along the cycle path until I reached Exeter Bridge (a fine stone bridge was built in the mid 1800s, to replace an early wooden one) and crossed the River Derwent for the second time. I needed to access the riverside path down a few steps, so I used a wheeling ramp at the side of the steps. I passed Cathedral Green and Silk Mill Park, went under a low bridge and followed the cycle path until I reached the old railway bridge overhead. I passed under the bridge, turned left to circle up and went over the bridge to cross the River Derwent for the third time. I came along the cycle path towards Derby Rugby Club and passed through Darley Playing Fields. Finally I crossed the River Derwent for the fourth time. Here I got confused because there was no sign where to continue. But luckily I found a way to Darley Abbey Park. I steadily climbed the hill up New Road, turned left and followed the pass down. Then I continued along the path and steadily climbed to Darley Park Drive towards Markeaton Park. I reached Broadway and followed the road downhill. It was amazing – firstly, there finally was no climb, and secondly, I enjoyed a fantastic sunset. When I reached Queensway (A38) I got confused for the second time and took a different way (the longest) towards Markeaton Recreation Ground. Eventually I headed back towards Derby via Brook Street and took the last steady climb on Green Lane (passing by the Fish & Chips) until I reached Normanton Road.
In total I cycled for one hour and a half and managed a distance of 10 km. Now I even have a plan to reach Allestree Park which is situated 4,5 km north Derby. But maybe I should give a shot to one of the easy family rides first: Kedleston Hall (12 km), Elvaston Castle (19 km) or Ockbrook (24 km).