The 6th Edition Your everyday, everything for Eroica Britannia Today 15th Sep. 2019

The Britannia Times

The Start Line Q&A 2019

Published on 16th. August 2019

We are delighted that Lord Burlington - The High Sheriff of Derbyshire will be officially launching our special edition Ride - The 500 from Water Street, Bakewell.

Not only is Lord Burlington launching The Ride on Sunday at 8am - he is also joining The 500 and taking to the lanes, trails and tracks of The Great British Adventure on his bike - so be sure to cycle alongside and have a chat! 

We couldn’t resist finding out a little more about The High Sheriff of Derbyshire and his cycling adventures. We also appear to have in writing that Lord Burlington is up for tackling the 100 miler next year - great news for all of you men and women of steel out there!

Tell us about your role as High Sheriff of Derbyshire?

It’s a role that dates back over a thousand years. Originally the High Sheriff was responsible for all matters to do with law and order within the county, but happily the key responsibilities have been passed to professionals - the police, judges and prison service - leaving the High Sheriff in a supporting role, highlighting all the good work that goes on throughout the county.

We know you're a keen cyclist, what's your favourite cycle route around the Peaks?

There are just so many! And I’m still finding roads I haven’t been along. As High Sheriff one of the causes I’m raising awareness for is the county’s community foundation, called Foundation Derbyshire. I’ll be attempting to ride round the entire county in a day, approx 210 miles, so that could be my favourite route - if I manage it. Foundation Derbyshire distribute funds to charitable causes right across the county, so a full circuit felt appropriate.

Do you have a favourite haunt to call in for a coffee pit stop?

- Well you can’t really call it a proper bike ride if you don’t stop for coffee and a bun, can you? The legendary Bridge Bakehouse in Whaley Bridge more than lives up to its reputation and its epic cakes and brownies will get you over Snake Pass no problem. But I also have a soft spot for Fuel cafe outside Holloway. Not only do they serve delicious food but they also rescued my wheel when I somehow managed to leave it by the curb and driving off after a ride.

Best valley view from 2 wheels?

Looking back towards Barcelonette from Col du Galibier. All you could hear was cow bells across the valley - and my panting - and in the UK - the view from Monsal Head always stops me in my tracks, especially if the ice cream van is in operation. 

Derbyshire hill climb that you’re most proud of?

Winnats Pass, fierce head wind, friends had to get off and push but I made it. I was going slow enough to watch the grass grow but I made it.

Cycling hero and why? Pre-1987 if possible!

Alan Gifford, who used to race with the Derby Mercury Road Club. He’s Mercian fan like me and, though he recently turned 90, keeps me up to speed with cycling news and events past and present. Last year Alan was given an honorary degree by the University of Derby.

We champion the re-use and up-cycling of pre-1987 bikes - that have sometimes been rescued from forgotten sheds or garages - do you have a bike rescue story?

I’m new to vintage cycling but I do own a Mercian bike, hand made in Derby, which I’m extremely proud of. It is not pre-1987 but the style is classic and timeless. It’s the best bike I’ve ever owned, and probably will ever own.

Eroica Britannia is often called the Great British Adventure - and usually we would journey over 30, 55 or 100 miles - would you be up for the 100 miler next year?

Absolutely!

We celebrate heritage, the best of local food & drink, outfitting & style, craftsmanship - but Eroica Britannia is also about the appreciation of territory and landscape and the feeling of freedom that riding on two wheels affords. We’ll often adventure along lost lanes, trails and paths to find real escapism - do you have a favourite place to escape to - on foot or wheels?

I used to ride a bike as a child and I vividly remember the incredible sense of freedom it gave me. Every time I get on a bike, whether it’s commuting or for pure pleasure, there is still an element of that same feeling somewhere deep inside. So it doesn’t matter where I am really, though the Peak District is hard to beat.

How do you feel about being included in our special edition ride for our 6th year - The 500?

I’m a lucky dog to be involved in such a special event and I’m looking forward to it enormously.

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