My working week was pretty much as usual riding wise, 56 miles for the week. Weather was a mix of threatening and 60-80% humidity, difficult to dress for but not unpleasant. I missed out on the usual Thirsty Thursday ride. Ian had his sister over from the States, Alison had to do an emergency mercy dash to her Mum’s and Karl was in Italy, doing things like the Stelvio, Ghisallo, Mortirollo, etc. Poor him!
I had arranged to camp overnight with Simon, up in the Lakes. We have had the driest 6 months ever recorded, so what is the forecast for the weekend? Yes rain and more rain.
Simon picked me up at 9 ish and we headed up to Bassenthwaite village, getting there for 11 ish, we got the tents set up, then headed out to do Skiddaw. We didn’t have a map that told us how to get to White Water Dash (the start of the ride from this side), so we asked a local for directions.
We climbed gently out of the valley up to the moors and turned left as instructed. We were looking for a right turn into a glacial valley and with a view of the waterfall. Wee didn’t see it. Simon recognised some of the houses, but wasn’t sure. After a couple of miles, we accepted that we’d gone wrong and turned around. When we were almost back to the T junction, we could see the waterfall and realised if we’d gone right for 100 yards we’d have been right on the route. 6-8 miles of wrong turn, then we were on it. The first climb is a slog up a series of steps. Simon steadily pulled away. After the final gate was a steady off road climb leading to the drop into White Water Dash. The stream was very low and easily crossed. Not like when one of us endo’ed and came up 20 yards down stream, sans bar end and with a deep gash in the knee. We climbed easily up to Skiddaw House and down towards Keswick. Puncture! I don’t know how, because we weren’t going hard, but I’d pinch punctured my rear. After mending it we whooped down into Keswick and onto the railway path into Threlkeld and the climb up past Blencatrha Youth Hostel. After that is was a fast ride back to to Skiddaw House. Back though the Dash and climb up to the brow before 6 or so miles of down hill to Bassenthwaite. The rain started as we approached Skiddaw House and didn’t stop til we’d got back down to the village. We were cold and wet.
That evening, we went to the SinnInn and has an excellent meal of mushroom soup followed by chicken stuffed with cheese and mushroom, wrapped in bacon for me and gammon steaks for Simon. A couple of pints of Cumberland Ale and we were in bed for 9:30.
Next day started damp and drizzly. We packed up and headed for Hartsop to meet Tony and Paul. It got warmer but wetter. When we parked up at Harstop it was 20 degrees and heavy rain. By the time Paul and Tony turned up, High Street had disappeared in the mist and cloud. We debated an alternative lower level route. We still got soaked, but it was a nice ride. The big descent was long and loose. I crashed several times. I’ve twisted my knee and got bruises on both thighs. We got to the bottom in one piece, just! Then it was along the Ulswater lake side, an up and down track of wet rocks, roots and drop off into the lake. We were rubbish. I can’t remember how many times I crashed, but it was lots. Eventually we made it back to Hartsop and dry-ish clothes. A great weekend
Sunday, I can hardly walk. Every move out of a chair is torture. I’ve spent the bay putting the P7 back together, more on that later.
All in all a fantastic, if fairly low mileage week,
Miles for the week – 107 (subject to change after we’ve measure the mtb routes)
Miles for the year – 2885
Only 115 miles and I’ve topped 3000!