I set off into the mist of a cold damp Spetember day. Water Lane was a hard climb, followed by a strange descent into the mist. Other people were not put off by the mist and I passed several offroad motorcyclists, horses and a few hardy walkers.
After crossing the A 623, I picked up an overgrown track which took me past The Cop farm, and then up a steep rocky section of narrow bridleway, followed by a long climb, on a narrow track that had a slot carved into the centre, which made riding almost impossible. After passing an old mine, the visibility improved, and I found myself heading down a breaod grassy track to the cross roads on the middle of the moors where several track met. After that, the grassy track gave way to an at first gentle slope, and then a steeper slope as the path headed towards Cave Dale. As I passed a group of walker, I managed to slide the rear wheel on some slippery grass (the mist coated the ground with dew), and fall off in front of an audience. The track became rocky and with large stones strewing the path, and I was thankfull for full suspension.
After the style at the top of Cave Dale, I got off the bike and carried it over the polished and wet rocks at the narrowing of Cave Dale. Some people coming up told me the biker ahead of me had managed to ride it all, although I doubt most could unless you were confident and knew the path well. After getting down into the Dale proper I could get back on the bike and soon arrived at the bottom. To save time I ignored Castleton and headed along the road towards the giant chimney of theHope Valley Cement works. A bridleway runs through the woods at the base of the quarries, offering occassional views of the giant industrial equipment above, and easy riding.
Once at the edge of Bradwell, I took a long but ridable hill up to Green Dale. The views were great even if I was too tired to pay much notice. After some easy flat riding towards Little Hucklow (the road is quite busy with fast traffic), I took Forest Lane, to climb over the top of a low hill, before coming back into Tideswell on Manchester Road.