This is the best mountain biking route in the Peak District I have ever done! Doctor’s Gate is crazily technical; Descent down the Roych is lighting quick; climb up to Rushup Edge is technical and physically demaning; and then to top it all off you get to ride down Mam Tor. AMAZING DAY OUT!
Lots of options along this route: park next to Ladybower Reservoir, in Edale, Hayfield or even Glossop. Best option is maybe Edale as you finish on a great descent and there are a few pubs to rehydrate at too.
Starting in Edale head east on the Edale Road and take the bridleway (signposted) on the left just past Nether Booth Farm to begin the first climb of the day. This take you north east over Jaggers Clough and eventually to a cross road. You can go straight on here and ride the Beast, it’s very rocky and hard so an easier(ish) option is to hang a left and head north west to Blackley Clough. Alright it’s still quite rocky down here but generally drier than the Beast with better views. Keep heading straight on, try the ford if you like and it will eventually bring you out at the bottom of Snake Pass. Turn left and head west up the A57. It’s not as bad as it first appears and before you know it you’ll be at the start of Doctor’s Gate.
This trail is National Trust signed posted on the other side of the road, you can miss it. Doctor’s Gate starts off with a “qualifier”traverse and then give way to a plateau before heading down again. Right, be warned the first bit of the descent is tricky with loose rocks and plenty of ruts. If you survive this you’ll be whipping down some fast single track and then be met by possibly a boggy section. This is the worse section on the route so just grin and bear it for now as later you will be smiling. After the bog, the path improves and you roll into Glossop.
Head south through Glossop and join the A624, keep going until you get to Hayfield. Ths is a good spot to re-fuel and the village shop does some great food if you need to stock up or re-fuel. That’s the road all done with it’s time to join the Pennine Bridleway and make for the Roych! As you are heading south through hayfield you peel off to the road on your left and this eventually turn off to a dirt track. There is a fair bit of gentle climbing to be done here but it’s not too bad and the reward is amazing. After a few gates and a bit of weaving the path begins to go down. It’s rocky in places with banked snake-like corners and just flows………… SPECTACULARLY!!
Brings you out by a ford which can be ridden in dry conditions and then it’s time to climb again! Bit steep to begin with and then get uber technical. Pick your line right and give it some grunt and you may well clear the lot. There are some big natural steps to tackle, if you stay in the river bed and clear the lots you are indeed a a gifted rider. This brings you out by on the Sheffield Road at which point you peel off to the left and stay on the bridleway. Eventually you will come to the vantage point called Lord’s Seat. Stop here and enjoy the view because soon you’ll be dropping back into Edale and the ride will be over. When you’re ready stick to the bridleway which brings you back onto the Sheffield Road.
Cross over taking the bridlway heading up Mam Tor to you right. After some testing ruts you join the pavement descending the ridge to Hollins Cross. The last descent of the day now; the path on the left has a few drops the path on the right has a few ruts; I prefer the one on the left. At the bottom re-join the road and head back to Edale. Awesome-ness! Spectacular finish to a spectacular day in a spectacular location!