Tuesday, 26 January 2010
First big ride ride of the year on proper hills (local stuff doesn't count) only 21ish miles lousy weather and an average speed of about 4mph but it was a cracker. Lowey kindly chauffered me up there, loads of faff at carpark, about an hour before we eventually set off and just as the first riders headed off I turned back to see a bike upside down back wheel removed. Fortunatley it wasn't Johnnie :-) so 1 didn't even leave the car park. First climb was a toughy, up loughrigg fell and then off piste further up till we got to a hole in the wall where we were presented with lovely singletrack. The slippy covering of leaves had me on edge and I nearly died when on a long off camber straight followed by a left hander my front wheel slipped way over to the right and I had visions of straightlining over the edge into thin air. I panic braked and managed to slow right down and turn, need to stop doing that, I could probably have easily made the corner if I'd commited to it but once things start going wrong I tend to hit the anchors. Difficult one to practice tho.
Steve's shock jammed just after that so our numbers thinned even more. Woodland singletrack was nice if a little squishy and hard going then we started up to iron keld. A lunch stop before the killer climb, not huge but gets steeper and more rocky as it goes. Prizes were offered, one local cleared it, my chest had been feeling tight so there was no way I was going for it. I had managed to time it so I got a clear-ish run and was doing ok and whatever the red mist equivalent for climbers is descended and I pushed on. Did OK still a bit away from the top but I was awarded a pair of socks for my efforts :-)
Descent was fun till I pinch flatted and then more woodland singletrack at hodges close, this stuff will be brilliant in summer if we can avoid walkers. A steep down at the quarry got a few worried but most (if not all) came down it and only Ton crashed. SFB managed to make it look steep in a pic too.
A silly steep but smooth climb took us to yet more singletrack and then onto more familiar langdale, elterwater and the excellent loughrigg terrace this time devoid of walkers - excellent. It turns out I've been doing the wrong route here, so found the full BW route and its even better (altho you do miss the cool tech steep step) Back to the cars for tea and cakes with very tired legs. Same route waypoints as a ride me and johnnie did last year but a LOT of new alternate trails found. Hope this is the first of many.
All pics by SFB