Saturday, 24 March 2012

A Howgills adventure

Ali is uber-keen for biking adventures at the moment and on the way back from Kielder had pointed at the Howgills and announced that she wanted to ride there. As neither of us had plans for today we spent Thursday night looking at maps and then Ali plotted a route during her lunch break on friday of 46miles with lots and lots of climbing. I pointed out that although we wanted an adventure I would rather not ride in the dark (I did take lights just in case) and the 'hill' she had plotted us over was huge!
Saturday morning and Ali was up early and we only left half an hour after we had planned, good going. I was stressed that I had forgot something as I seemed to have ended up in charge of packing. I had at least remembered to put suncream on as the forcast was hot hot hot. After stopping for petrol it was up the M6 to Sedbergh. Leaving here it was climbing straight away, the first half a mile being a gentle introduction on tarmac.
Then onto the fells themselves. Winder at 473m was ticked off, lots of riding and a bit of walking, I found it a little busy up there with another couple of people. A short descent and then up again, I am sure it looked vertical as I rode up to it.
Up Arant Haw we had a sandwich stop overlooking the M6. I felt very small up here.Eventually I ended up carrying up the last bit of The Calf, I'm sure stronger riders than me can ride the whole way.
Now it was time to descend to Bowerdale. I'm not even going to try and describe this amazing section of singletrack it just went on and on.
A tiny bit of road and more bridlewaytook us to Ravenstonedale (where me and Jenn had parked for our January adventure). Here we stopped for ice-creams.
We had plotted an extra loop from here but decided it would be better to finish the day happy than tired and in the dark we started heading back. A little bit of climbing and we were off-road again. A friendly farmer directed us round the back of his house so we had less gates to open (and so all his sheep didn't run away) and then once again we were on singletrack which went on and on again.
Only a few baby sheep, apparently it is a little later they tend to start lambing up here, due to the grass according to the friendly farmer.

A great day out, we rode 25miles and climbed 1290m

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