Updated: Apr 7
"Back in 1988 after breaking my back in a car accident it was time to stop putting things off and start doing stuff," says Dave.
"I bought my first mountain bike, a Muddy Fox Pathfinder, and from then on, I was hooked.
"The cover image was snapped on an early morning ride during lockdown as I took my daily exercise. It was from the section of boardwalk through the Avenue site."
By day Dave works at Chesterfield's longest established independent menswear shop, Zebra, but once the shop is closed he'll be found linking together bits of gravel track across the county and is an active member of Rother Valley Riders Mountainbike Club who can be found on Facebook.
The Avenue Route
We had some great feedback from the cycle route we featured in our Summer edition, so following Dave's cover shot we've covered the 18-mile route that will take you to the very spot from which he captured the fabulous sunrise. See our map over the page.
The route is about 18 miles, Strava says it's 30% paved, 69% dirt, 1% unclassified and it should take just over 2 hours to get around at a good pace, or simply slow down and enjoy it.
Give it a try and let me know what you think.
This ride starts from the junction with Bobbin Mill Lane and Walton Road, near Morrisons (1).
Head down Bobbin Mill Lane and at the end take a left and head over the road to take the cycle lane through the old Walton Works site. At the end proceed along Goytside Road until you reach Boythorpe Road.
Cross by using the pedestrian crossing (2) and either take the cycle track along the northside of Queens Park or go straight through the park to reach Park Road.
Cross and head along the shared path towards the skatepark, go slight right at the fork, around the edge of the car park to B&Q.
Use the Pelican crossing towards Perrys car dealership then follow the dual-use footpath along Derby Road and over the crossing (4).
Straight over the crossing, down the short road and pick up the Rother Valley Washlands trail that takes you through to Storforth Lane.
Turn left (5) staying on the pavement and immediately after the bridge, cross the lane (6) and take the short path to reach Ingleton Road, North Terrace, Traffic Terrace, Railway Terrace, Midland Terrace and back onto Ingleton Road where it becomes a gravel climb.
At the top turn right (7), over the lower gate and head straight up to the top of the gravel track, then follow the trail through the Avenue Reclamation site, keep left (8) at any choices and you should end up at another lowered gate as you reach Mill Lane (9).
Turn left and go under the bridge, it’s usually quite muddy and grim here so take care. Leave the bridge and follow the short tarmac climb up Mill Lane to reach North Wingfield Road (10).
Turn left, then immediately right down Chapmans Lane, take care on this small section of road.
At the end of the road continue on the shared trail and around the edge of Grassmoor Country Park, stay left at the first junction.
Follow this path around and past the car park, then continue around and at the fork, go left under the bridge (11), and climb up the Five Pits Trail. As you reach Wolfie Pond on your left, stay right (12) on the trail.
At the top cross Williamthorpe Road and press on along the trail, staying right at the next slight fork to drop downhill followed by a short climb where you make a sharp left turn back on yourself (13), there’s a sign pointing straight ahead to Tibshelf – you don’t want this so be sure to turn and head to Holmewood.
Stay on the trail crossing Tibshelf Road (14), then after a short distance Heath Road (15), you’re about halfway now, follow the signs until you reach Heath Road again, turn right over the bridge and back onto the trail on the left down the side of a fence, be watchful as it’s easy to lose the trail here.
After a while you reach an open grassed area, go left at the crossroad (there is a map on the left, look out for this), at the next sharp corner stay right and around the two ponds at Muster Brook.
Left at the wooden bridge, stay right and follow the climb uphill to turn right at the top.
Shortly along this section, on the left is the Williamthorpe Adventure Trail (16), a purpose-built mountain bike trail that brings you back onto the main track, where opposite, there is a second section on the right which brings you back to the bottom of the trail you’ve just climbed after the bridge.
Back onto the main trail stick straight on until you cross Chesterfield Road (17).
Continue on the trail back to Wolfie Pond where you joined the Five Pits Trail earlier (12).
From here you simply need to retrace your steps to return back through the Avenue site and eventually back to Walton Road.
Words: Paul Chapman