The Britannia Times
The 500 Route StoryPublished on 30th. July 2019
We'd like to extend a sincere and most handsome "Thank You" to everyone who has signed up to join us in Bakewell for our special edition Eroica Britannia for 2019.
The ‘500’ is a small, one-off event of 500 riders to celebrate and document the sixth year of Eroica Britannia.
We're really looking forward to welcoming The 500 to Bakewell. We'd like to take this chance to thank our strong team of supporters both locally and nationally who are helping us host this special edition and of course our Riders who have jumped in with gusto for this one off Ride for 2019. We're looking forward to sharing our newly planned adventures for 2020 with you all - and would also like to say thank you to everyone from the Eroica Britannia extended family who has offered us kind emails and notes of encouragement for the planning of our seventh year.
The 500 is a different style, one off event to previous years gone by - you’ll see the differences everywhere from Rider Registration through to the finish line. You’ll find - of course - the key foundations of Eroica Britannia are firmly in place - an excellent Ride taking in some of the most beautiful landscape in the UK and of course some of the best pre-1987 bikes in the world!
The 500 Route
The 500 is about landscape and territory. Of views and climbs and of the Peak District environment. It's also about camaraderie within a group of likeminded riders and it allows us to champion the effort that riders undertake to enter, prepare and train.
It is also the time honour your bikes and their heritage to create a film that can inspire, motivate and to set the standard for Eroica Britannia Rides in the years to come.
This edition is also about the local people and companies who give their time and excellent knowledge of the area, local food and drink and traditions to make Eroica Britannia the ride it is.
This is the only time we get this opportunity to film and document The Ride, in this level of detail. We’re excited about undertaking a new kind of adventure which shows the beauty of fatigue and the thrill of conquest of The Ride on film.
We're riding this year in the height of the Summer. Expect ripening bilberries, wild marjoram, wood sorrel and bog asphodel - the Great British hedgerow is radiantly plump and industrious. It is also a time of brights, of butterflies and bees and when our farming countryside has settled into a steady rhythm of natural abundance, harvests and fattening herds.
Gaze over pasture, peat bogs, shale, gritstone and moss and maybe even blooming heather and inhale warm Summer smells of earth, leaf, botanics and mown hay.
It's a special time when 'old ways' have their place and the land dictates through stars, sun and moon - the perfect time for Eroica Britannia - The 500.
By Route Master - Marco Mori
Leaving the narrow streets of Bakewell after a special announcement and a typically British send off, the first highlight of your ride is passing through the magical parkland of Chatsworth, the stately home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. Enjoy the views of the house in its riverside setting before crossing a stone bridge over the River Derwent and entering the pretty village of Beeley. Your first real challenge starts here - a steady 3 mile ascent up onto Beeley Moor.
After crossing the moorland on quiet roads you descend back down into the Derwent Valley, passing under the archway of John Smedley’s famous knitwear factory at Lea (a stop off in their factory shop is a must!) before arriving at a picturesque setting on the Cromford Canal at High Peak Junction for snacks and refreshment. A point to note is we won't be serving bottled water here - rather opting for a water bottle refill thanks to Derbyshire County Council.
"This is where the canal meets the railway line which used to cross the Peak District. There is a light refreshment stop here for refuelling"
You will need this too, as the next section is a challenging climb up the old railway track to Middleton Top - where you’ll have the chance to see the world’s oldest railway winding engine in action. *EPIC - SPECIAL TREAT*. This magnificent beam engine was built in 1829 and hauled wagons up the steep incline. This is an excellent spot for friends and family to meet to cheer you up the hill!
Your reward after is nearly 12 miles of easy cycling along the trail with far reaching views across the limestone plateau of the White Peak.
Leaving the trail at Parsley Hay you arrive in Monyash - the half-way - Food Stop complete with a traditional English pub - The Bull's Head and stone cottages overlooking the village green.
Fuel up on tasty food from the wonderful people from The Lambton Larder of Bakewell who are providing an exciting glimpse into our plans for 2020 - but also a wonderful taste of the local area. Blake and Alice are co-owners of The Lambton Larder with a giant passion for food, the Peak District and great customer service. Their goal is to bring fresh, local and (most of all) delicious food to Bakewell - and luckily for us - Monyash! You'll be able to meet Blake and Alice - chat local food, eat local food and enjoy a totally tasty bite of our amazing area.
A point to note - as ever we try our best to cater for everyone's dietary requirements. However if you have specific allergies or food intolerances we advise you to bring food and drink for the ride which you know will fuel and fill you for your Great British Adventure.
Lunch at Monyash will be given in exchange for a ‘food stamp’ in your roadbook.
You'll also be able to sip back on a local beer from our friends at Peak Ales and taste test some delicious Banfi Wines.
Our Food Stop is provided in partnership with the residents of Monyash and the surrounding villages and suppliers and we're delighted that the Youlgrave Silver Band will be back to entertain us!
Cycling gently back uphill to the main road (A515) you follow limestone dales down into the pretty village of Hartington, with its duck pond and famous local cheese shop - again - a must-stop - if only to view the cheese counter!
Crossing over into Staffordshire and looping northwards to Longnor, with its cobbled market place, our route crosses the valley of the River Dove near Earl Sterndale. Here you'll find a treat waiting for you outside The Quiet Woman public house thanks to Frederick's of Chesterfield - you won't be able to miss their vintage ice-cream van!
You'll also be treated to a free espresso to boost you along the final part of your adventure - courtesy of our friends at Gaard Coffee Hide - with their super cool H-Van. You'll also be able to upgrade your coffee hit if you fancy something a little more leisurely. (Interestingly Gaard have got an excellent free cyclists event 'Ride with the Downings" on September 22nd in Sheffield.)
The Quiet Woman will also be open for business if you fancy a swift half - just watch out for Mr Mellor's hens (Ask Thom - one of our Grupettos why) when you're riding into the carpark!
"The pub The Quiet Woman - is over 400 years old and has a rather unusual sign!"
It carries the immortal adage “Soft Words Turneth Away Wrath” which is below the picture of a headless woman. The story goes that a former pub landlord’s wife, known as “Chattering Charteris” nagged so much that she even started ranting in her sleep. At last her husband could stand it no more and cut off her head. The approving villagers even had a “whip round” to pay for the headstone!
Crossing back over the main road, look out for the ancient pattern of narrow fields enclosed by bright limestone walls as you drop down to Chelmorton village before cycling up the main street.
After a short stretch of road you turn left onto the busy A6 main road for a steep descent of 1.5 miles into the valley of the River Wye.
At the bottom of the descent there is a right hand crossing (take care – fast incoming traffic) where you join the trail alongside the River Wye brings you to the start of the Monsal Trail, another traffic-free former railway line.
"THIS ROUTE, CLOSED IN THE 1960'S, INCLUDES A SERIES OF SPECTACULAR TUNNELS"
The tunnels make for exciting riding and are very popular with walkers, cyclists and horse riders, especially at this time of year so please be very careful of others on the path. Please obey the highway code and be kind and courteous to others using this amazing trail.
You will cycle the full 9 mile length of the Monsal Trail, cycling through several tunnels and over the famous Monsal Viaduct (finished in 1863). You'll pass the old station buildings at Millers Dale and Hassop (now both converted into cafes) to the end of the trail where you need to walk down a short path and cycle into Thornbridge Brewery's Peakender Festival.
Please take extra care riding around the outskirts of Peakender - watch out for pedestrians and take heed of any instructions given by our marshals for your safety and others. You'll be greeted at the finish line and given a beer token to redeem for a pint of excellent Thornbridge Peakender Pale Ale. Be sure to be wearing your Peakender wrist band and gather with your friends and family to enjoy a fantastic afternoon.
GOOD TO KNOW
Public toilets at: Bakewell, High Peak Junction, Hartington, Longnor & Millers Dale station on the Monsal Trail
If for any reason you cannot complete the ride you must contact Ride Control on 01629 812801, stating your allocated Rider number.