Setting off from Leek made me think of Alan Paton’s famous opening to Cry the Beloved Country:
There is a lovely road which runs from Ixopo into the hills. These hills are grass covered and rolling, and they are lovely beyond any singing of it.
Ixopo is in Natal, South Africa, and it looks to me as though all the roads from Ixopo run into the hills:
Leek in the Staffordshire Moorlands is rather like this. Whichever way you go, it’s uphill. And if you head east into the peak district, it’s lots of uphill.
But it’s worth the climb to get the views. This is from the ridge called the Morridge looking towards the Roaches:
And here is a view from the road out of Ixopo:
I’d call both of these beautiful roads, and one day I hope to go and cycle round Ixopo.
This week, though, it was Leek, and I went riding with friends John and Alison who seem to enjoy riding up hills, saying things like Let’s drop down to the Manifold River and up the other side…
After fine weather to start with we were rained on and had to take refuge in the Greyhound at Warslow. To our previous cake stop we now added a pint and chips. Clearly we would need more uphill to work off the calories.
After a great ride we dropped back to Leek. Plotting the route on MapmyRide showed we had done no less than four ‘real’ climbs, so what if three of them were Cat 5, (the easiest). The interactive version of this map, with 3-d flyover, is here.