There’s no shortage of Classic routes in the Dark Peak. In fact; pretty much every trail that crosses the region would qualify in one way or another. But for a tough, but not too tough; rideable, but not too easy; kind of ride, you’d have to go a long way to beat this one – a rough and tumble, 25km dash from Hayfield.
It’s a mixed bag really. Chinley Churn provides typical Peak moorland singletrack, with a few ups and some sweet, sweet downs; whilst the plummet into Coldwell Clough has been given a dose of the Pennine Bridleway treatment and is a lot less emotional than it used to be. It’s a horrible climb from here onto the flanks of Kinder. If you’re going to fail anywhere, it’ll be here. But the singetrack that skips around Kinderlow End is wonderful; and the drop to the reservoir; definitely never a dull moment.
It’s up again from here; onto the heather-covered Middle Moor. Rough tracks – narrow in some places, broad in others – sweep across the hillside; with a couple of steep, techie sections to keep an eye out for. And then it’s a short tarmac climb before more excellent tracks carry you easily home.