Derby to Leek: 55km
We had a good ride today. It was chilly at first, but soon warmed up and the sun shone brightly. Getting out of Derby was straightforward, thanks to Marius and Helen’s helpful suggestions. We took Long Lane, an old Roman road, and after turning north, found good espresso at the Shire Horse in Elkaston. The owner is a 66 yr old road cyclist who still covers the miles.
Stopping next at Ashbourne, after taking a wrong turn on the cycle path, which took us through a long old train tunnel, we were excited to meet up with old friends, Moira and Bill, who had travelled from Burton-on-Trent for a visit and great lunch in the deli cafe in the Market Place.
The back road to Borth led to the A543. We had been warned about the climb on the main road and there was no way of avoiding it on the side road. However, the view at the top towards the Peak District made it worth it. The A road was OK, but there were still too many trucks. We were soon descending to Leek, an ancient market town that appears to have a vibrant centre. In Ashbourne, we had bought some local cheeses as well as some Staffordshire oatcakes. On our walk to the Roebuck for dinner (live accordion and mandolin music, and Titanic beer) we noticed an Oatcake shop that opens at 0545h and another serving oatcakes for breakfast. We are looking forward to trying these local delicacies.