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The higher & wilder side of the Peak District, the Dark Peak is the less visited northern part of the Peaks and home to some glorious gravel riding. This punchy 77km route starts & finishes on the outskirts of Outer Manchester and goes straight into a 2km, 8% climbs before heading into the wild through the Wessenden Valley, over the moors and through Holme Styes Wood before the one easier section along the reservoirs and the final climb, the part tarmac, part gravel Chew Road with stunning views from the top. Then all is left is to roll home for a celebratory pint and cake at the finish.
A tough & lumpy 77km loop from the outskirts of Outer Manchester to the wild and rugged Dark Peak. The route is on rolling terrain with three main climbs and just one flatter section - an quick 11km sector by the reservoirs. The terrain is mixed including some tarmac, fine packed gravel, singletrack bridleways and even a sprinkling of cobbles. As a reference, our average speed on the route is 16km/h so it typically takes us nearly 5hrs riding time. The main climb is the classic Chew Road - this is at the end and is an out before finishing with a very well earned pint.
The Glorious Gravel Series is open to all off-road bikes. While it is aimed primarily at Gravel & Adventure bikes, which are essentially fat tyred drop bar bikes, you are also most welcome on a mountain bike or cyclocross bike. We recommend a tyre width of 33+mm for most for our rides.
What to bring : You will be further from van support or facilities you would find in most towns than with our road trips so it is advisable to take a little more with you.
GPS device with route loaded, Spare tube or Tubeless plug, Pump and/or CO2, Mini tool, Jacket and/or additional layers.
We will email you the GPX route & a full breakdown of the route one week before the ride. Our route director will then be at the start to give you last minute advice and tips. You will be asked to select a start window which we will then confirm one week before the ride to ensure you roll out in group sizes based on current restrictions.