Despite the numerous public safety messages about meeting up with strangers in unpopulated, quiet, unlit areas from the internet, that is precisely what I have been doing today. The plan was to meet up with Jumbly and Trio-I called them by their real names today! and have little singlespeed ride around Hope. Mainly because it would be fun but also we were all too frightened to try the 'just one gear' approach on our own or in the company of geared bikes on such big hills.
What we hadn't planned for was the combined faff of 3, a slight diversion at Fairholmes, oh and the small matter of a blanket covering of snow with the odd bit of treacherous ice thrown in too. All of which ended up with the most magical decent back towards Hope. Thick shimmering blue snow and fading sunlight made for the most intense riding I have done in a long time.
I soon forgot that the weirdos I was riding with were strangers. We chatted happily (some more than others!) as we rode and pushed our way around the Dark Peak. The riding is always great there but today it was made better with the fresh dump of snow and great company.