Saturday morning 13 of us headed out from Bakewell. Initially we had a steady ride along the Monsal Trail then we headed up behind Haddon Hall before crossing the A6 and heading towards Youlgreave via the short but sweet trail near the River Lathkill.

After we crossed the river we came across a Range Rover parked at the end of the lane. Debs and Trev were there with champagne for us all as a surprise celebration for Robbo organised by Amanda. Everyone got a glass of bubbly and then Amanda did two little speeches: the first was for Robbo's birthday and we all toasted him. The second was a surprise to everyone, not least Robbo. Amanda asked him to marry her! He accepted and then we carried on with the ride with plenty to discuss!

Things quickly got back to normal with some woman in Youlgreave getting road rage and yelling at us as we weaved our way through the gridlock of a small village on a Bank Holiday weekend! Robbo had planned the route and took us to some bridleways that I and lots of others had never ridden before forming a horseshoe around Gratton Moor. The last one, down Gratton Dale was really nice: technical, rocky fun!

We then stopped for a pub lunch at The Druid Inn in Birchover. The weather was stunning and sat in the beer garden several of us caught some sun. With food and a couple of pints on board we next headed to Darley Bridge. On the last part of the trail Robbo was up front with Phil and I close behind. We were going flat out but he led us into a bad rut and then tested our brakes when he crashed at speed. Luckily no serious damage was done - just a few minor cuts. We re-grouped at the bottom discussing the mayhem of the descent.

Next came the long climb out of Two Dales which was definitely not enjoyed by many. It was worth it though as we then headed on to the nice trail through Copy Wood followed by a cheeky trail to cut a corner that most of us hadn't ridden before which was very good. We then did the usual cheeky trail down to Beeley which was super fast in the dry conditions. Some of the back markers managed to go the wrong way on this despite the instructions given at the top so we had a bit of a wait at the bottom.

Next we headed through the grounds of Chatsworth (after Shakey tried a suicidal red light jump on the bridge!) and up the final climb of the day from Edensor. Everyone was feeling the length of the ride now and we had another long wait to re-group before the final blast down the golf course which like everything else was bone dry.

It was a pleasure to not have to worry about driving home and the post ride beers in The Castle were enjoyed before we freshened up and hit the town later.

After a far too late curry and many beers there were only five of us for Sunday's ride. As things had been organised in the pub the night before two of us were at the agreed meeting point at 10 am while the other three were at a different one! A phone call and some banter later and we were soon all fighting our breakfasts back down on the first climb of the day. We did the Eyam & Bakewell with a couple of small extensions: one at the start out of Bakewell and one out the back of Eyam to do the tough bridleway climb and steep off-piste drop back into the village.

Again the weather was perfect but we were all suffering a bit from the previous night. Some more than others with Baz bringing up the rear. It had been a while since I have ridden these trails and I'm sorry to say that on some of them there has been some poor trail maintenance. For example Black Harry Lane has had a load of hardcore chucked on it pretty much ruining it as both a climb and descent!

On the return Baz and Gaz decided to short cut back to the Monsal Trail while Robbo, Shakey and I did the usual trails through Hassop and Pilsley and back down the golf course descent for the second time in two days. We agreed to see them in the pub but they only just beat us there as they turned the wrong way onto the trail and didn't realise for miles!

The pub beer garden was in the sun and out of the wind so the beers went down well as did some food before we got cleaned up and headed round to the Swann digs for a BBQ and then on into town for more drinks.

A great weekend. Happy birthday Nick and Robbo. Congratulations Amanda and Robbo!

All the photos are all here