It was 7am on a Saturday morning in the waning last week of summer. I decided to go on a challenging 100km cycle. I began in Didsbury and cycled to Bramall and went past the below phenomenal hall. See below the rest of my ride. I was pootling on at a good pace but simply had to stop for the below:

Next was the climb up Buxton. This was a gruelling two hill number which ended 552 metres above sea level. This was a stunning gentle but long climb. It snaked around and, as my fellow cyclist James said ‘it rises into the sky’. See below a humorous picture I snapped on the way up.

Once halfway up the second hill I was treated to a beautiful serene scene by one of the many reservoirs I saw on the trip. The reflection was quite moving. I listened to Live! by Fela Kuti and Ginger Baker and was so moved by this that I cried – I will admit it. I am often moved to tears listening to music but the combination of this and the scenery was just too much.

Below was the view going from this reservoir up the famous Cat and Fiddle Hill. This was one of the 5km climbs which rather knackered me on the other side. The downhill was magnificent. I topped out almost 60km/hour on the way down.

Once over the hump as it were I cycled through an idyllic little village in Cheshire. I spoke to a woman there who was raising chickens. We had a lovely conversation about the row of four houses in front of a stream, below a canopy of woodland where she lived. To me it was pure idyll. And they had the most wonderful plant pot (left bike).

See below a picture of the excellent photographer right before a 65km/hr descent. The last two hills were the toughest. 16% gradient steepest on the 1st one and 11% on the second. Both about 1km long and windy.

See below the map. I can’t recommend this enough. Even though I got lost in Macclesfield, the ride was stunning, quite challenging but ultimately immensely rewarding.