For a weekend, a group of us decided to go bike riding in the Peak District. We stayed at the same Ibis hotel when we went to Alton Towers because we loved our time there. We also really missed the food at Cherry Tree Farm and couldn’t miss out on dessert this time!
The drive was around 3 hours from South London. So I fell asleep most of the journey. We firstly drove to the hotel to have a coffee and toilet break, then headed off to Peak District. The views of the countryside reminded me of home. The air was fresh and you could see farm animals all around.
We hired bikes for £16 for the whole day (with a £20 deposit) and started pedalling since 11am. Thing was, we got lost as we actually took the wrong turning and ended up on a different route and hadn’t realised until we asked for directions. It was funny when we asked a fellow cyclist where to go because his reply was, “you’re not on this page *flicks through our map booklet* you’re on this page!” So we had to call up the rental centre to say we were lost and the lady’s response was, “well you won’t make it back for 5pm!” Hahaha. So there goes our deposit.
I thought something wasn’t right when we started riding on quiet roads, which was scary for many of us since we don’t normally ride on roads anyway. There were also many steep hills which I wasn’t very fond of, simply because I can’t safely slow down and my bike was heavy. They weren’t that great and comfortable to ride with for long hours. The boys had much lighter and comfortable bikes with better suspensions. On my first hill down a road I couldn’t slow down fast enough and was about to hit my friend so i swerved out the way and just speeded all the way down to the bottom… Luckily I lacked momentum at the bottom of the hill so it automatically slowed down to a halt for me. Now that was scarier than a rollercoaster ride! So glad no cars came or it wouldn’t have ended well… I had also hurt myself earlier go round a bend, avoiding puddles, I didn’t slow down fast enough and my friend in front stopped for some reason which caused me to panic and suddenly jolted myself out of my bike and land doing a roly-poly (Apparently they said it was a slow motion somersault).
Upon realising we had taken the wrong route and was far away, we decided to back-track and find our initial route. However other cyclists said that it was better to go back the route we came so we heeded their suggestion. We managed to arrive back at the checkpoint before entering the quiet roads and from there our goal point was 13 and a half miles away! This is when we decided to cycle without stopping, else it will start to get dark.
We stopped for a little break at the picnic area where we had lunch. Here we had some more food and checked on everyone for injuries and pains – many of us had back pains and kept having cramps >_< [/caption]
Soon it was sunset, although beautiful to look it, it meant night time is dawning and it was a race against time to get back to the car. After taking photos of the pretty landscape I blasted music on my phone and decided to go ahead myself since I didn’t want to be riding in the dark. It also meant that if one person made it back, they could call for help etc. The more darkness fell, the scarier the ride back was. I was also very far ahead of the group from my adrenaline rush from the snacks and music motivating me. The journey back was long and exhausting, plus all our buttocks were sore so standing up to pedal down a hill wasn’t an option.
In the end I made it back 30 minutes before everyone else because I didn’t stop; I didn’t want to lose my momentum or waste time worrying. I was so glad when everyone pulled through, even the ones with leg injuries (arthritis, leg cramps)! Some of them had to ride in the dark and use their phone as a torch, now that I did not want to do seeing that I can’t ride one-handed…
Once everyone had replenished themselves with food and water we all headed back to the hotel for a good value meal. Omigerd it was so amazing. We really deserved it all.
We had hotpot buffet for dinner the next day to pat ourselves on the back for cycling 30 miles in a day. It was so good! If you haven’t tried it before you should!
Would you go cycling in the countryside? What would you have done if you were stranded in the dark?