Great ride yesterday above Ladybower with a bunch of guys off the STW forum, really nice mix of people and attitudes and terrain and some stuff still a lot more rideable than you'd think, though the bottom of the Whinstone Lee Tor descent above the pub is a real mess at the moment. Massively impressed by Will who managed the whole loop, including the so-called Beast on a singlespeed cross bike. Can't imagine ever having the combination of finesse and fitness to manage that.
Then, on impulse took off again from the car park at Ladybower for an extra loop - packing lights always a good idea in the Peak, they're like a riding passport after the curfew. Headed up the cattle grid, down the concrete switchbacks in fading grey twilight, then struggled up Potato Alley - smoother than is has been for a while - and was wrapped in darkness on the Roman Road.
Funny how night changes everything. That odd, warm thing of existing in a small pool of bright white light, the way your brain morphs odd shapes into things it might recognise - posts into people, rocks into crouching dogs - and how a slithery but manageable trail in daylight, feels so much more tenuous when all you can feel is the grip of your tyres, or the lack of it.
Drove home in a different bubble of light, tired but happy.