trip to Kielder we were both keen to return so we used some YHA vouchers we had to take advantage of a weekend that I had nothing else planned for. We headed up straight after work on friday after the boys at Cooksons had got Ali's bike rideable again, turns out Hit the North had eaten some of the components. Getting there at nearly 10pm it was straight to bed as I had a big ride planned for us.
Saturday morning and we had a hostel breakfast, I was reminded of how generous the portion sizes were and we both ended up very full. After faffing by both of us and Ali chatting away (I was too busy getting the bikes ready) we set out at 10.30am. I had told anyone who asked that we were going to ride every trail, but since we had dinner booked for 7pm that was unlikely!
So off we set along the lakeside way to pick up the Lonesome Pine trail. As we were spinning along a red squirrel ran out in front of us, Ali was so excited I thought she would burst! (It was her first red squirrel sighting) So we had to stop while she calmed down. Then the trail started going up, at this point I was really struggling to stay with Ali and she seemed to have loads of energy, I was feeling slow! Up to the Bloody Bush trail and we headed over the old toll road. At the top we bumped into a group touring, cyclo-cross or road bikes, full panniers and still riding - I was impressed!
On the way down I thought I was flying, until Ali came past me, she is getting a little too brave on descents for my liking! She was even tucking like the pros on the Tour de France! We had our first sandwich stop and then headed round the red at Newcastleton. On the second lap Ali started to tire so I was feeding her lots of sugar to keep her going. Back up to the border stone and it was time to head back over to Kielder. This trail didn't feel as long as last time, the company really helped. Back over at Kielder and we picked up the Bloody Bush trail again. When we got to an option to cut back onto the Lonesome Pine trail Ali suprised me by wanting to do the whole trail, she was obviously struggling. So back up the switchbacks (which I cleared) along the boardwalk and then down, down, down. The descents are a lot nicer with suspension and I have to wonder how I managed them rigid? Back to the Castle and I suggested a loop to up our mileage, but once through the bike park was enough for Ali and we had to be happy with our 47miles.
Back to the hostel and there was enough time for showers and then we shared some wine over vegetable chilli at the hostel. One drink at the pub and exploring the maze and we were both ready for bed.
Sunday morning and after another huge breakfast we decided to have a relaxing morning before heading home. So we drove* to leaplish. Here after an explore round the paths we went in the hide. Just as I was getting bored a red squirrel came to get a drink of water, followed by another and shortly after two more came to find some nuts. Ali was so excited again I thought we were going to have to stay in the hide forever! But eventually even she was hungry so it was back to Kielder Castle for some food before heading home.
we both can't wait to return.
*I know in a car!