The Peak District was the destination for the May 2014 Chester RAT ride out this month. Eight bikes assembled at Bill Smiths including two new members, both on Triumphs, one of whom brought his better half as pillion.
At 9:30am the group left Chester and headed east onto the A556 before turning to pass through Lach Dennis and Goostrey. The huge radio telescope at Jodrell Bank pointing skyward was a magnificent sight as the route cut across country on B-roads towards the first stop at McDonalds Macclesfield just off the Silk Road.
After some light refreshment the group rode on through Rainow to Whalley Bridge before hanging a right to pass the Goyt Valley en route to Buxton. From Buxton the group rode through Sparrowpit, Castleton, Hathersage before arriving at Grindleford Station Cafe for lunch.
Good helpings of cheap food (the chilli served in a large Yorkshire accompanied by chips could easily have fed a family of four) are served at this welcoming cafe whose owner is something like a cross between Basil Fawlty and a clean speaking Gordon Ramsey, very entertaining to see if you're lucky. And what's with all those Notices!! Worth a visit...
After lunch, the group then headed south through the Chatsworth Estate to Rowsley before taking the A6 to Bakewell. At Bakewell the riders turned west on the B5055 through Monyash to Longnor then north on the B5053 to Brierlow Bar. Buxton was avoided by passing through Harpur Hill to join the easterly end of the Cat and Fiddle road. The final stop of the day was at the Cat and Fiddle Pub to rehydrate on what was probably the hottest day of the year so far.
Suitably refreshed, all that was left was to make the journey home. We passed the aftermath of serious motorcycle vs farm quad bike incident on the Cat and Fiddle as we headed down towards Macclesfield. A Police road closure on the A537 necessitated a diversion through Alderley Edge where we then came across an empty VW Beetle that was partially blocking the main road having rolled down the hill and hit a wall (presumably due to handbrake failure - the owner will have been pleased, not). Back on route at Chelford we traveled via Ollerton and Plumley to rejoin the A556 and make our respective ways home.
A great time was had by all despite all the Peak District speed restrictions. These merely provided an opportunity to take in some of the breath taking views that can be found so close to our door steps.
Till next time...ride safe.