Sunday 09 November I had the privilige to be dragged around the Southern Lakes, on a bike, by the famous little people of the Lakes. Nothing to do with one of Beatrix Potters stories but I was in the company of our Kath and her friends Catherine and Jo. There is a fourth little person but H was off an a course down south. They may be small (if the three of them stood on each others shoulders they would not make fifteen feet high) but they are real whippets on a bike and I knew I was in for a kicking. Riding like a girlie with these three is a real compliment.
We met at the small trading estate in Staveley home to the famous Wilfs cafe and Wheelbase bike shop. The food in the cafe and goodies of the bike shop would have to wait for later. The weather was at best atrocious as we set off north up the bridleway on to Staveley Head Fell near the Sleddale Forest. Kath had a puncture and this was the cue for the heavans to open. The climb was long but not too steep and typically lakeland terrain of grass and peat bog mixed with some tricky rock sections which all conspire to sap the strength from your legs.
A nice sweeeping descent brought us down into Long Sleddale which is exactly what you would expect a Lakeland valley to look like. It was nice to get out under some big skies and away from the formality of a trail centre like Afan.
We rode up Long Sleddale to Sadgill over the picturesque Sadgill Bridge and commenced a 300M climb. This road was actually a permitted route for 4 x 4's and moto cross bikes but surprisingly it showed little evidence of traffic. This was a realy tough climb and I resorted to a push for the final section.
The descent down into Kentmere was on tarmac and the cold was starting to have an effect. I was stupidly wearing my short mits and and to stop to warm my hands up.
We crossed over to the other side of the valley through a farm and passed the church. We then had another short climb of a couple of hundred metres overtaking some walkers on the way. We parted company with Catherine at the top as she was riding back to Ambleside.
Kath and myself descended back down towards Staveley through two fords including Park Beck this was knee deep and gave us a real soaking. A short road section brought us back to Staveley where we warmed ourselves up in Wilfs.
A cracking ride and a good reminder that I need to get out more
Welcome To My World of Pedals and Paddles
An account of my Sea Kayaking and Mountain Biking exploits
- ► 2009 (14)