Day 7 – Tuesday 31st July

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This was due to be a rest day after what was planned to be the longest days cycling the day previously, however losing the day due to the theft of the bikes scuppered that.
Instead we knew we had to complete over 100 miles on little sleep for two days.

Dave was out of the door at 6am, heading towards Derby, the best part of 35 miles, and quite hard. To save time, as this was going to be a very long day, a rolling (or staggered) changeover was decided on (Carole parked up at a Co-op on the outskirts of Derby, texted Dave to say he was on the next leg, and departed before Dave arrived). Carole then took off to cycle the middle leg, which was Derby to Buxton. This was 41 miles, cycling into the Peak District National Park and from the midway point, with a gradual, uphill climb, starting at the Tissington Tunnel just out of Ashbourne, going onto the High Peaks Trail, an absolutely beautiful ride, but quite intense, as no freewheeling intervals.

Carole met Dave in Buxton. He was starting to worry as it had taken her quite a long time, and after another changeover, he was on his way to Manchester.  Dave had four miles mostly uphill out of Buxton, largely offroad and up to some of the highest peaks.

Final destination in Manchester was another Ibis in Salford Quays which was supposed to have been a two night stay. We hadn’t been able to obtain a refund for our unused room which was held for us from the night before, but they did let us have a night’s free parking (£7). Carole parked up easily enough on arrival, but on her return, there was a very tight reversal manoeuvre needed to fit in behind a builders’ van!

Off to XS Malarkey at The Bread Shed, via the Eighth Day cafe just around the corner. Two delicious vegan cottage pies with veggies were soon consumed, plus cake!

The guys there were very lovely indeed. And we had the bonus of the gig being MC’d by Katie Mulgrew who we have followed since we met her several years before. The gig was headlined by Phil Jerrod who we had seen on the previous Saturday in Oxford.

A nice collection for Mind and we were back on track and over half way there.

Total miles for the day 109.9
Total saddle time for the day 10h 25m

Running total 414.63 miles cycled with 34h 37m saddle time.