Bolsover and Dis­trict Cy­cling Club

Si­mon War­ren takes to the hills with a flock of early birds

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On a bright fresh morn­ing in late Au­gust I met up with the Bolsover and Dis­trict CC to join them on one of their Satur­day ‘Spar­row­fart’ rides. Start­ing from the traf­fic lights in New­bold to the west of Ch­ester­field and leav­ing at 7.30am each Satur­day morn­ing. this is the club’s weekly hilly ride out into the Peak Dis­trict. To com­ple­ment this ride and start­ing from the ceno­taph at their base in Bolsover are the ‘Cock­adoo­dle’ rides, which also head out on Satur­days at 7.30 but ven­ture east over much less de­mand­ing ter­rain, and then on Sun­day there are the longer club rides which leave the ceno­taph at 9am with four groups of vary­ing abil­ity.

Back to to­day, and look­ing at the route file I was sent we were us­ing Spar­row­fart ride num­ber 14 (all their reg­u­lar routes are listed on their web­site, com­plete with maps and gpx files), a short but chal­leng­ing ride with a real sting in the tail in the shape of Cur­bar Edge. As we headed out of New­bold it was ev­i­dent right away that this was a well-drilled out­fit, the two lines were neat and tight and com­mu­ni­ca­tion up and down the rows was ex­em­plary.

I talked first to Michael Jervis, who had in­vited me on the ride and he out­lined the three main weekly rides that the club pro­motes and that each week the route is posted in ad­vance so riders can de­cide if they fancy it and also be pre­pared for what lies ahead. The start to­day rolled gently as we headed to our first climb of the day up Fox Lane head­ing to­wards Owler Bar. Our group was a mix of men, women, young and old and for the most part kept pretty much to­gether with no one in the mood for any hero­ics early on.

Reach­ing Owler Bar we dropped down the fast de­cent into Hather­sage then dou­ble

backed to tackle the first proper hill of the day, a climb I had not pre­vi­ously rid­den.

With two steep hair­pins and a sig­nif­i­cant amount of dou­ble digit gra­di­ent, Leam Lane split the group to pieces and there was a se­ri­ous amount of grunt­ing from those bring­ing up the rear. We all met at the top, only to then join Sir Wil­liam Hill Road for some more el­e­va­tion gain on the rough sur­face to the high point of the day on Edge Road.

I moved round the group, chat­ting to var­i­ous riders, the ma­jor­ity of whom it seemed joined the club about three or four years ago, in­clud­ing cur­rent chair­man Andy Eb­bage. As chair­man Eb­bage is es­pe­cially proud of the work the club does for un­der-16s with their Go-ride events and that they have brought through a num­ber of promis­ing ju­niors who have then gone on to big­ger spon­sored clubs.

We dropped down into Eyam, and then via the B6001 worked our way to Calver and the base of the mighty Cur­bar Edge. The mum­blings about rid­ing up this from a few mem­bers had now grown into full-scale moans as they knew what pain it can dish out to the legs. Here was a chance for all riders to flex their mus­cles and it was ob­vi­ous from the off that a few of them fancied beat­ing their PBS. Greg Barker set the early pace with me on his wheel, and promis­ing hill climber James Stir­ling on mine. As Barker tired I moved past and then Stir­ling at­tacked me. I got back on and sat on his wheel, but as soon as he re­alised I was there he jumped again and this time I had no an­swer. A bit of healthy com­pe­ti­tion is al­ways fun on a hill and of course we all waited at the top for the strag­glers and then set about drop­ping back down into Ch­ester­field.

As it was still early there was ev­ery rea­son to in­dulge in a sec­ond break­fast and I or­dered what promised to be the mouth-wa­ter­ing scram­bled eggs with pancetta. As the plate ar­rived, Dar­ren, who was sat next to me claimed them as he’d or­dered the same. No wor­ries, I can wait. I waited, no more scram­bled eggs ar­rived, then a huge sausage and egg sand­wich was pre­sented, at which point Dar­ren shouted, “Oh, ac­tu­ally, that’s what I or­dered, um, sorry Si­mon, I’ve eaten your break­fast.” At the time it was hi­lar­i­ous and sorry Dar­ren, your club-mates will not let you for­get that in a long while! Thanks to the B&DCC for hav­ing me on what was a brisk lit­tle ride with punchy climbs and great com­pany, even though they did steal my break­fast.

Club his­tory

Formed in 2006 the B&DCC is a new club but one that is al­ready thriv­ing with mem­bers ac­tive in all forms of cy­cling. Although cen­tred around Bolsover it draws mem­bers from many sur­round­ing towns in­clud­ing from

Work­sop in the east over to Ch­ester­field in the west and ev­ery­where in be­tween, drawn by the qual­ity of their weekly rides. Fill­ing a void in the area left by the strug­gling Bolsover Wheel­ers it has gone from strength to strength, which is due in no small part to the huge amount of work put in by its mem­bers. With a club that is cur­rently just 12 years old it is no sur­prise that it can’t boast about past vic­to­ries of mem­bers; how­ever, it is home to the cur­rent and three time women’s vet cy­clo-cross cham­pion, Mad­die Smith. While its pal­marès may be a bit thin, what it can shout about is how hands-on it is in or­gan­is­ing events and pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for riders to ac­cess cy­cling across a mul­ti­tude of dis­ci­plines.

bolsover grill War­ren on the sever­ity of the lo­cal climbs

re­fu­elled and ready to ride

The hal­lowed bean tastes sweeter af­ter a morn­ing awheel

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