The hills are alive with the sound of music.
But Maria is nowhere to be seen, and neither are the Austrian Alps.
Usually the “sound of music” is associated with the 1965 film of the same name. It’s only on rare occasions that it also applies to the Peak District in the UK.
However, throw together four komoot Pioneers, a photographer, two komoot community managers, and some mountain bikes, and apparently, the hills of the Peaks come alive with the sound of music too.
On this particular day, the music rattling through a tinny cell phone speaker at random intervals was various iterations of Happy Birthday.
Ned, Kelly, James, and Darren came together from various parts of the UK in a celebration of their Pioneer status, on a trip organized by komoot to say thank you for all the awesome Highlights they’ve contributed. As it turned out, they had also come together to celebrate Darren’s birthday.
On Friday the 17th of June, the group moseyed their way out of the hotel in Sheffield and headed straight to Cafe Adventure, a cycling hub in the encouragingly-named village of Hope. Circumstances had thrown off the original route plans so they decided to pause at this spot to make some route adjustments. Plus being a birthday, it was necessary to have a birthday-worthy meal to kick off the day’s riding. No matter that it was their second breakfast of the day!
Once they finally hit the trails, they headed out on a loop near the Ladybower Dam, riding first along a road, and then on a rocky uphill track. At the top they were met with rolling clouds (it was a wild, overcast day in the Peaks), as well as a view of Ladybower itself — the dam used by the RAF during WWII as a test site for skimming bombs off the water surface in order to explode German dams. Kelly blasted some cheesy birthday tunes from her phone for the umpteenth time that morning, to add to the ambiance of the wild Peaks.
After snacking at the top and taking in the view of the dam and the rolling scenery, the downhill riding began, with a bumpy descent back to the town of Hope, and their third meal of the day — birthday lunch in the “bothy” room at Cafe Adventure (yes, it is worth two visits in one day!).
The birthday celebrations were rounded off with (another) large meal, and a brewery tour, hosted by the Sheffield tourism board. Afterwards, everyone went to bed satisfied, ready to catch some beauty sleep ahead of the next day’s ride.
Day two dawned just as overcast as day one, but the backpacks were packed to the brim with snacks so morale was bound to remain high. It helped that the ride was rather lovely too. The 14-mile (23-kilometer) circuit climbed Jacob’s Ladder, rewarding the crew of komoot Pioneers with great views, as well as great downhill sections. All the snacks were gobbled up en-route, as this group was determined to stop and smell the roses (so to speak), every chance they got. It was a chilled and enjoyable ride, despite the climbs (or maybe because of them?), leaving the group spritely for the afternoon and raring to go in the evening when they headed to one of Sheffield’s up and coming night markets, Cutlery Works, for some tasty dinner.
As with anything enjoyable, the weekend sped by, and by Sunday morning tinny birthday soundtracks and steep climbs felt like a thing of the distant past. It was a relaxed day, as many agree it should be, with one final spurt of riding before everyone headed their separate ways.
What did our intrepid Pioneers do on their final morning in Sheffield? Headed to the Lady Cannings bike park to shred up some purpose-built trails.
Sheffield is touted as the Outdoor City, and the presence of bike parks, and more significantly, the Peak District on its doorstep, really bring this identity to life. Ned, Darren, James, and Kelly spent an hour or so exploring the tracks and trails in the park, before heading to their respective homes.
And as the Pioneers made their way home, the Peak District, unmoved by the sudden wave of Friday birthday music, went back to it’s quiet, wild self, ready to welcome the next group of explorers on the hunt for great views and a little physical exertion.
You can see the official komoot Collection of the weekend’s Tours around Sheffield and the Peak District here.
Want to become a komoot Pioneer? Read all about how you can get involved here.