Cyclists savour Peak District landscapes

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Cyclists from far and wide enjoyed some of the Peak District’s most stunning landscapes during the Eroica Britannia festival (June 16 to 18).

The festival culminated in The Ride – nicknamed The World’s Most Handsome Bike Ride because of the retro pre-1987 road bikes used to tackle routes of 25, 55 or 100 miles.

Among the cyclists was the Peak District National Park’s chief executive Sarah Fowler, who completed the 55-mile route.

Sarah – who had taken part in the event twice before – said: “It was a glorious day. Cyclists experienced some strikingly different landscapes and it was great to see so many people enjoying all that the Peak District has to offer – from gentle trails to challenging hills. The climbs were tough but rewarding, with some stunning views.

“We also enjoyed some amazing community support. Local people cheered us on in many places and, in Biggin, someone played 1940s music as we cycled past, which made it extra special.

“One of the most impressive things was how the event brought people together – there were people of all ages and all creeds, just enjoying their time together. There were even a couple of children on the 55-mile ride and I was really impressed with their grit and determination.”

Sarah rode a 1987 Raleigh Randonneur. She said: “It was one of the most modern bikes in the ride. I bought it second hand last year.”

The former railway station at Millers Dale was an official food stop for riders. Sarah added: “It was a very welcome and evocative stop. We rested for a few minutes on the platform and reflected on the new lease of life our trails have given to this once-busy railway line. It was nice to see bicycles lined up where the railway track would have been.”