Me and burk headed up the lakes on friday, weather was looking iffy and as we parked up above coniston it was cloudy, cold and windy so I layered up. Down spoon hall was fun but after seeing chris crash last time I chickened out and unclipped on a few bits. Heading round the top of coniston we were warming up so shed some layers, then even more going up lawson park, hmm not putting on sun tan lotion may have been an error. We schlepped up lawson park, a grind but not bad. Parkamoor was excellent, nice and dry, rocky, grippy, fast, ace. We blitzed passed a family pushing bikes up and Burk said they looked in awe, seemingly impressed with speed over the rocks. apart from them the trails were deserted. The bridge from arklid farm to water yeat was closed, the farmer informed us it had been out since the '09 rains, he said "we've had to manage for 18months, you can manage a day". OK mr grumpy, a 5miles diversion didn't appeal so we found a "dangerous bridge - anglers only" foot bridge a bit further down the road and pushed through Birk Row farm. Why anglers only? maybe the locals don't like them :-)
A spot of lunch near houlker hall and across woodland fell managing no navigational errors this time. Push up to Troughton and then another grumpy local at Hole Beck cottages eventually restrained her dog but then shouted at us for nearly taking the obvious track instead of the not at all obvious bridleway passed the cottages. Got a bit lost on this climb but eventually popped out at broughton woods. During some minor faff a rider on a cube appeared just having done the road climb, quick chat I offered to show him through the woods but he wanted a rest and burk had already setoff so I went. Ridden this a few times but noticed on the map there's a section of singletrack I'd never ridden so we gave it a go, overgroan and a bit boggy at the moment. Also got attacked, an overhanging fern frond was hiding a pretty beefy bramble branch it caught in the crook of my ebow, ow. Back on the fireroad I starte dto pick the dozen or so thorns embedded in my arm, cube man caught up and joined us for the rest of the ride. He was at the end of a 2 week riding holiday, been upto scotland done all 7 stanes and worked his way down to the lakes riding most days. Not on his own tho, his GF was down in coniston busying herself while he rode, me and burk just exchanged looks, we'd never have got away with that with our respective partners, even before kids.
After the singletrack in the woods we climbed up natty bridge and on to walna scar, painful. Nearly lost a shoe by white pike when I went knee deep into the bog. Got to the quarries and without a rest (cube man's mrs was waiting) set off on the climb, ashamed to say I didn't even make it to the hairpins this time, got knocked off line and stopped, terrible effort. Walna scar down was brilliant as ever but they are in the middle of resurfacing it, Boooo! They've only done a small section from bottom of goatfoot crags at the moment, fast but silky smooth and boring as hell, hope they don't do much more. Bombed down to the car pushing the tyres to break away point on the fast gravel near the bottom, brilliant. Directed cubeman (who had done the downhill with saddle at full height - !) to spoon hall and set off for home with a quick stop at thrang crag wood for ice creams. I was (mildly) bloodied and (sun) burnt but a very good day.