Posts Tagged ‘challenging level rides’

Yesterday I did the last of the guided cycle routes offered by Cycle Derby — Hermit’s Trail. It was one of challenging routes, but it seemed easier than Kedleston Lanes.

Hermit’s Trail takes you from Derby city centre along the River Derwent to Sandiacre returning via the historic Dale Abbey and Hermit’s cave. The route is circular and uses a mixture of National Cycle Network paths, roads and off-road tracks.

Well, I did this cycle route backwards. So I started from the Riverside Gardens, and followed the cycle path downstream along the River Derwent. When I reached Pride Park Stadium, I crossed the river, and cycled through Chaddesden Park. Soon I reached the traffic-free route.

On my way to Locko Park

If I may suggest, do not try the challenging routes after or during the rain. I passed by Locko Park and the Lake, and dropped in the Locko Park Estate. It’s a private property so I was asked to leave it very soon. 😀

The Locko Park Estate

The name Locko is derived partly from the old French ‘loques’, meaning rags and in the 13th Century there was a hospital for lepers built by the order of St. Lazarus, behind the house you see today.

I continued forward until I crossed Dale Road (A 6096). Now I cycled through the Hermit’s Wood, along the sandstone rock. I noticed a sign to Hermit’s Cave, so I decided to have a look. I locked my bike, and climbed up the hill.

Hermit's Cave

The cave was inhabited by a Derby baker who had a vision and was compelled to abandon his worldly goods and live as a recluse in his hermitage. His cave was enlarged in the 18th century by Sir Robert Burdett, who entertained in it.

Afterwards I continued to cycle forward. On my way I visited Dale Abbey, Stanton by Dale and Sandiacre. In Sandiacre there was a really nice cycle route along the city canal. I returned to Derby through Borrowash. I just let the National Cycle Network No. 6 to take me home. And once again I saw the wonderful Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station. Eventually I cycled upstream along the River Derwent.

Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station

In total I cycled for three hours and eleven minutes and managed a distance of 41,9 km. My average speed was 13,1 km per hour and maximum – 31,3 km per hour.

It seems I need to take a rest from cycling, my knee has started to protest against my way of life! 😀

Yesterday it was really windy and I did one of the challenging routes (red guides) – Kedleston Lanes — offered by Cycle Derby.

Red guides are challenging routes for more experienced cyclists. They are more complex, longer or hillier rides, featuring both on- and off-road paths including some favourite mountain bike tracks and road riding circuits.

Due to my great ability to read a map, instead of approximately 30 km I managed a distance of 43,9 km.  In total I cycled for two hours and fifty-four minutes. My average speed was 15,0 km per hour and maximum – 41,4 km per hour.

A glance to the hilly terrain

There were hills hard to manage, and it seemed they will never end. Sometimes my speed was near to 8 km per hour, sometimes I just needed to push my bike, but I managed to compensate my slowness due to straight on-road paths at the end of the stretch (I even managed to reach a speed of 21 km per hour). Actually it is hard to decide what exactly took my breath away – the hilly terrain or the wonderful view. It seems that both.

Kedleston Lanes

There are some positive revelations – firstly, I managed not to fall off the bike (instead I was covered by the mud; actually it was a miracle I didn’t fall after my imprudence), and, second, the local drivers seemed very careful and understanding.

There is one more challenging route left – Hermit’s Trail. And after it I could have a ride to Nottingham or Burton upon Trent.