Friday, 6 January 2012

A day out in the lakes

Due to working at the weekend I had yesterday and today off. A quick email to Jenn and I was headed up to the Lakes/Yorkshire Dales yesterday. Jenn needed to get pictures and on the way up it looked like there would be no chance, wind and rain were the order of the day. Parking in Ravenstonedale the rain had stopped but it was still very wind so lot so layers were worn. We headed off along the road and I was already having fun, I was riding my superfly and remembering how amazing a bike it was, felt a little naughty to be riding it in such horrid weather but good that the bike was at last having an adventure since I had only ridden it once out of racing on the Winter Hill Loop. Spinning along the road it felt like we were in the middle of nowhere with the hills towering above us, I was already glad of the gears before we even turned off the road. Heading up it wasn't long before we were pushing, trying to ride involved peddaling and getting nowhere due to the sodden grass. By this point the sun was out and Jenn was grabbing pictures, I used the time to eat lots of food.

At the top we went through a gate and almost got blown off the hill, ahh it was still windy and it was a headwind which we would now be riding into for most of the day. Descending was fun and made me realise how far we had climbed, the views were also stunning. back past the car and off up another big hill (Great Asby Scar). Up here was amazing, mainly rideable to the top and lots of limestone. If it had been less windy I could have sat up there for hours, in the distance it looked like mini-villages, up close like a lunar landscape, one of the most unique places I had ever been. But we had more hills to climb so we headed back down towards Orton after a ribena stop looking out over the M6. Here we made our only navigation error of the day climbing up a road climb before having to backtrack. By this point it was pitch black and we were night riding in new terrain, the moon wasn't quite bright enough so we did need lights. The last climb of the day was Breasthigh Road, I had actually ridden this before back in 2008 but I couldn't really remember it. At the bottom there was a road closed sign but on closer inspection that was to motorised vehicles and horses so we set on up. It wasn't long before I was walking and then carrying. At the top we had another food top while hoping the descent was a little less technical as there was no way I would be riding down it! Waving bye bye to the M6 again and lights on bright we headed down. I stopped a couple of times, but after giving myself a talking to I got down to the bottom to find Jenn looking at a stream crossing which I had forgotten all about. getting the map out we realised we could avoid wading and getting very cold and wet by following the trail to the road, along the road a bit then back down to the other side of the stream. Only there was a sign saying the trail was shut due to erosion, we gave it a go and apart from one short section it was fine. At the other end the gate was locked so it was a case of lifting bikes over and climbing over. Heading along the Borrowdale valley with just hares and owls for company was amazing and I was sad our adventure was coming to an end. We finished with a road spin back to the car.

Then all that was left was for Jenn to drive me home oh and a dirty bike and mountain of kit to wash.

49.49miles in total with 1270m of climbing. Can we go again?