Bike riding is just great, right? But each rider will have a favourite route or a favourite area that they like more than others. So which type are you? Or maybe you like to mix it up a bit? Do you get satisfaction from meters and meters of elevation or satisfaction from looking at that 80-100 odd mile ride or more?
What drives you to do either the miles or climb the hills? Maybe it's that viewpoint that you know is on the route? Maybe it's that lovely quiet village cafe that draws you there? Or maybe it's that descent that you can't wait to descend?
What gets you eating up those miles? Is it that smooth open road? Maybe it's riding with your mates in the group and not even knowing that you are ticking away miles and miles without even knowing it. Is it that feeling of being mega hungry after a super long ride? Just think of all that cake you can eat now? Yeah, we know it, you've been thinking about it for a while!
The best mile Muncher Routes and the best Hilltop Hunter routes in the Peak District and surrounding area
For the hills route, we have chosen the peak district as one of the hilly hunter's routes. The peaks are full of mega climbs, interesting villages and cool quirky cafes. In the Peak District, you can easily average around 1000/1200 ft of climbing in every 10miles. So make sure you have your climbing cassette on! We recommend a compact chainset with at least a 11/25 on or more. any less you may find yourself grinding away in a very low cadence.
For our mile munchers route, we have chosen the Cheshire plains, The lanes that skirt the peak district are quite, interesting and flat. (ish) there are some fantastic roads and unexpected wildlife cafe stops along the way.
What I love about choosing a route is that like most cyclists, the ride is built around the cafe. Is a great way to plan a route, it breaks it up and gives you a 'ride to' point.
The hilly one we like to call the Thors hammer down!
Well, it doesn't take a genius to work this out but this ride comes close to Thors Cave in the Manifold in the Peak District Park.
Start the ride from Leek Town Centre and head out towards Onecote on the Ashbourne Road. Turn left off the main road and the first hill you come to develop the nickname 'Oblivion!' The name says it all! This is a tough one to conquer early on in the ride, so make sure you pace yourself. Once this is over its a nice descent and chance to catch your breath before heading out towards Butterton and over to Grindon moor to the Manifold Valley. As you begin to drop down you will be able to see the magnificent Thors Cave! This beauty spot attracts many visitors each year so make sure you have time for a nice photo.
Drop down the winding steep hill over the bridge and up the massive steep climb to the top of Alstonfield. This is a fairly long and steep climb and gets you breathing heavy. The route then passes through Parwich towards Longcliffe, which is a long climb that drags for around 15 mins or so, This is a really stunning area, which takes you through a number of really cute, old fashioned villages such as through Grangemill, Winster, Youlgreve and Monyash. This is a popular stop for cyclist to top up water bottles and have a quick coffee. But this particular route stops somewhere else. Once you have passed through the valley through the peaks you will come to the top of Crowdecote. This descent is probably one of the most spectacular around. It's steep, winding and technical with jaw-dropping views. Keep your eyes on the road though! Be sure to take a photo at the top because you will not want to climb back to the top to take one! You have one opportunity.
One last little bit of a stinger into Longnor and you can rest and recoup for a bit. This is where the cafe stop is and local pro cafe stop. You will often see some GB riders in there, maybe even share a table with Adam Blythe and other famous faces. Once you have refuelled, it's then a great big massive hill up to Warslow to the top of Morridge top and back to Leek. This is when you can take a breather and relax. The big hills are done! You have made it! It may only be 55 miles but you will certainly feel this ride in your legs, but it will have been all worth it for the views! Here is a map of the area if you want a closer look at the route.
For the Miles Munchers route
This is 65 mile ride. Pack your spares, make sure you have your nutrition topped up and have pressed 'GO' on your GPS. Head out from the lovely old town of Leek on the Bosley road towards Rushton Spencer. This is a fairly easy undulating road which has the 'Bosley cloud' to the left. After a few miles on this road, take a left off the main road and you are soon on the beautiful quiet country lanes. They weave round to Swettenham, skirt around Cranage through the small lanes and then up towards Tatton park. This is a stunning place for a cafe stop. The ride through the park is just the most perfect setting you could wish for. You are likely to see the magnificent deer that roam the park and if your feeling very English, order scones with jam and cream. It really is English countryside at its best. Over to Mobberly and then over to the posh town of Prestbury, this is where all the footballers of Manchester live, this is a great place to supercar spot. (If you are into that kind of thing) you will often see Lamborghini's, Ferrari's, Porsches and more. Head back through the small town of Macclesfield where you will find a lovely town cobbled square and a cafe to stop at if you want a little break before the last leg back to Leek.
Here is a map of the route if you would like to replicate it. put your own spin on it and add a bit more on for some extra miles.
If you have some epic routes that you want to share with us then email us your story and we will share it with our fans.