Route plan for the day’s ride:
I awoke to fine weather and was quickly setting off through lovely Staffordshire countryside. Having pitched on top of a moor the previous evening, I was glad of a long descent towards Hartington. I met a local cyclist on the way, and slowed down marginally to talk for a few miles until he reached the next village. Out of Hartington (and now in Derbyshire), I experienced my first hill of the day. There would be many more hills to come, because I had decided to cut directly north through the Pennines with the aim of reaching the Yorkshire Dales by evening.
The morning’s cycling was very pleasant despite (or perhaps because of) the hills, with plenty of beautiful green English countryside to enjoy. When I reached Ladybower Reservoir I stopped on the bridge for a snack (two apples) and admired the view. From there it was up to the top of the moor and onto a minor moorland road which bypassed Sheffield. This turned out to be very scenic, but again hilly. After the cruellest and steepest hill climb yet, I descended into Langsett, where I stopped at the pub for a hearty pie and chips.
Ten miles of rather more depressing urban cycling followed, through Huddersfield and Halifax. I diverted off the main road towards the village of Haworth, a rural village in West Yorkshire famous for its connections with the Brontë Sisters. I later learned that most of their novels (such as Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre) were written, at least partially, at Haworth Parsonage. Unfortunately, I was delayed by a puncture whilst going over the cobbled streets, and could not stop to explore the village because I needed to make up for lost time. I quickly got going again, butI had some difficulty finding my route over the moor to Sutton in Craven! I nevertheless managed to get back on track and passed into North Yorkshire shortly after. After Skipton I was soon into the Yorkshire Dales National Park, my aim for the day. At Grassington I stopped for food, made some phonecalls and retired to the campsite a couple of miles away in Threshfield. I had made good progress, but it was an absolutely exhausting day due to the relentless hills in warm and humid weather. The good weather didn’t last. It rained heavily overnight.