Begging everyone's forgiveness who might have been interested in this Lakeland excursion as there are already 7 riders confirmed (all local ) with one more to confirm on Friday .. The reason I have not thrown it open to the whole forum is that although I have covered a lot of the ride in question on different rides led by other riders on separate occasions ...there are chunks of it which I personally have never been on and are therefore exploratory and for that reason alone would like to ensure it " works " before throwing it out there as a forum ride . Having been on holiday in Hawkshead last week and done a bit of walking ..I can promise that the last down of note will be an absolute belter steep & smooth in places with natural rock gardens in others ..smile guaranteed at the bottom . Fingers crossed that it all works out ..and if it does you can bet your bottom dollar it will be posted again soon ...
Only one way to describe today...eventful! Not all of it for the right reasons .. First of all many thanks to everyone for turning up ...given the severe weather warning in place it would have been very easy to give this ride a body swerve ! It didn't disappoint either...and having read Glynn's report prior to writing this ..I think we must have got their helping of rain too.. It was there from the off and didn't let up..getting heavier as the day progressed. So what went wrong first ..having started with a stiff climb up into Grizedale forest a nice diversion which I hadn't realised when planning the route ..onto a section of the North Face trail to take us to the Moor Top car park across the road and onto some fantastic rocky bridleway drops ..which claimed our first victim.. Graham .Rolling over what he thought was just a mossy earth mound ..he realised too late that it was actually a very slippy rock and his front wheel washed out . Having asked if he was OK and getting a positive answer it wasn't until we got to the bottom of the section and a closer inspection revealed the severity of the gash ( stitches methinks ..hope you had it checked out at A&E mate ? ) ...patching it up the best he could he continued on .. Twenty minutes later on another techy bridleway section Dave pulled up sharply claiming his eyes were stinging and he couldn't see properly ..( I now have a theory on this ..more later) having got going again and coming upon a very narrow techy drop we came upon Ant & Gaz searching the trail ..turns out that Ant had totally spacked his rear mech and they were looking for the bits ..irreparable though so a bodged single speed set up got him back into Hawkshead ..game over for Ant . We were all soaked to the skin by this point and the sensible amongst us decided to call it a day after a little bit of deliberation...Dave was still having trouble with his vision / Graham's knee had shed the bandage and the last thing that was needed there was any crap getting into the wound ...Paul & Colin were really feeling the cold and Jean was driving Dave. Gaz was still keen ..and I wasn't feeling the cold ( hardly ever do ..dont know what's wrong with me !) ..besides which I hadn't got to the bit that I had come to do ! To be continued ... Edit ..just heard from Graham ..7 stitches and antibiotics..and off the bike for 2 weeks . That lad doesn't do things the easy way !
Part 2 So having had all our mates desert us (lol) this intrepid twosome carried on their way .. A surprise for Gaz ...as I found him a bit of trail he hadn't previously been on ..and a double surprise as he was impressed with the rocky techy drop on the b/way out of Outgate. With the weather worsening though and the wind picking up it wasn't long before we had a conversation as to whether we should cut a chunk out of the planned route..and commonsense prevailing that's what we did ..continuing along the shore of Windemere to the Belle Grange b/way to take us up what was once a coffin road then down to Colthouse . This is the final descent described by Gaz in his earlier post ..totally manic / crazy good ..to the extent that we both burst out laughing at the end ..which may well have had something to do with the fact that we had survived unscathed ! And so back to Hawkshead for a not so quick change in the cars and a cuppa & cake to celebrate with the birthday boy . I hope we suitably marked the occasion..it's certainly one that will live long in the memory ...and definitely to be revisited as a forum ride when it's slightly less moist ! Hope the rest of the gang got back OK ...many thanks to Ant, Dave,Jean,Colin, Jaco & Graham ..as always ..a pleasure to be with .. The few pics I took to follow ( was worried about getting the phone soaked !)
So go on ...on your way now,but know you're not alone.Dark sails cruise through these waters ..in the pond of memories...
I wasn't feeling the cold ( hardly ever do ..dont know what's wrong with me !)
My mother had those symptoms a few years ago...!? LOL
Sounds like a tough one...i got up today and looked outside...it was clear and looked OK...got in the car and 10 minutes later while sat in the car watching the rain starting, waiting for the guys said to myself..."F@£$ this...im going back to bed!?"...luckily, Glynn put some sense in me.
As a little footnote ..I was extremely lucky to get out of the Lake District after the ride ...first of all after joining the main Ambleside to Coniston road after exiting Brathay..at Clappersgate where the river Brathay had burst it's banks and the road was severely flooded....with my sensible head on I should never have tackled this as my insurance would have been void if the engine had flooded ..but as everyone else was ..so did I . My cause wasn't helped by 3 numptys coming the other way at speed and forcing a mini tsunami which lapped over the bonnet of my car ! Wankers!! Lucky to get away with that but definitely the deepest water I have attempted to drive through ! Also having got through Ambleside ..the amount of surface water was unreal ..especially the section from Grasmere to the other end of Thirlmere ..with the water coming down off the mountains truly spectacular ..the waterfall coming off Grisedale tarn was ferocious as were all of the streams running off Helvellyn. Further along the road and exiting right for St.Johns in the Vale I was immediately stopped by blue lights and plod and told the road was closed due to flooding ..turn back and head into Keswick .. Yet by the time I'd joined the M6 at Penrith you would wonder what the fuss was about ...
For those who may wish to follow prior to a forum ride being sorted ..here is yesterday's planned route . A good chunk having been cut out of the ride because of the weather ..can't wait to get back again though !
Many thanks to Graham for plotting the route. Don't be fooled by the relative lack of height ..it is a low level ride( in Lakeland terms) but with very sharp ups and downs. The downs in particular will test the mettle of even the most experienced riders
I was saying to Glynn yesterday that we could do with a southern lakes ride before end of summer so we can potentially get s big group and unite the northern northerners with the southern northerners and maybe some mid landers as well. It's been a while since we had a large group ride.
Some good stuff around Ambleside, I think the full one I did with Gaz a few weeks back would be good but maybe a bit long for a large group. The borrowdale bash with cheekies is fantastic for a sunny day. Ants grizedale loop is a cracker for a wet day but also interested in working In Parkamoor.
I could lead a good pen y Ghent with extras but it needs a week or so of drying out before hand.
Well what a day, rain in biblical proportions about sums it up. Good to see everyone and meet Gaz again, sorry we bailed out but I thought being able to see where I was going would be useful! Thanks again Neil for getting us out once again.
It was certainly an experience not to forget! Sorry we didn't think to get a photo of the bloody knee but it was so pissing down no-one would risk getting a phone out. I have to change the dressing tomorrow so I'll see if I can get my neighbour to grab a pic, (my new Olympus Tough waterproof camera is still in the post!). Looking forward to finishing this one off next time. Happy birthday for yesterday Gaz, Neil had told me but it slipped my waterlogged memory. You can't say you didn't get a memorable one Big thanks to everyone for bringing their indomitable spirit and indefatigable humour ... lol