a proper ride! Sunday there was an STW ride planned, lakes if nice, or if not then join lowey and chums at penmachno. Once again crap weather in the run up meant I wasn't enthusiastic. No Si or Johnnie to chauffeur me around either so nearly didn't go but manned up, loaded up the roller skate and set off. Little car was struggling up kirkstone, passed a load of roadie turned out it was the Fred Whitton ride, not a nice day for it, blowing a gale. Met at hartsop some regulars, some familiar locals (Gavgas and friends) and a new guy who I found out later (next day on STW) was Postierich. Straight up the haweswater to start, jacqui was climbing well so I took my lead from her, bad move, rode more of the climb then I ever have before but goosed my legs in the first 10mins and never really recovered for the rest of the day. At the res the wind was silly so High St was definitely out so we climbed a little higher then rode across to angletarn and boredale hause, we climbed this last year and it was rubbish, well that's coz we did it in the wrong direction, downhill it is awesome. Minor off from me when nadgering up over a big step I stalled then a big gust of wind blew me over and away from the hill, landed and rolled on the grass. Tony had a similar experience, others weren't so lucky, on a rocky down Nick and Rich both binned it, nick caught his leg, rich seemed uninjured. New bike was handling well, will need some tuning of shock pressures and twiddling of knobs to get it just right I think but happy so far. Graham was extolling the virtues of his new spangly carbon nomad, lucky sod, looks good.
Had a puncture stop near the tarn one group stopped the rest of us went slightly ahead to a more sheltered spot when an obviously grumpy walker stomped passed us, he wasn't happy, saw him stop and get out his map, battling with it against the wind getting grumpier, we reckoned he was checking the status of the trail and were betting on whether he would come back and shout at us or carry on and have a go at the others. Sure enough he stomped on and moaned at the others. "you do know this is a footpath don't you" Nick's "we won't tell anyone if you don't" seemed to diffuse it a little and he just said "well don't knock anyone down" Well handled Nick :-)
Some nice rocky stuff followed and some scarily exposed traverses, extra puckering in the high gusty winds. Got pretty tasty at a few points but when Gav is leading it's to be expected dabbed a few times but managed not to crash. Cracking downhill to patterdale followed by the high route to the ullswater trail with a drop down silver crag, scary but just doable tho nearly crashed when a bush I hadn't noticed hooked my arm. Ullswater trail was ok, better in the other direction, then a long slog back up boredale rideable 90% then a push and the wind let loose howling down the little channel almost pushing you over, quick regroup and set off dropping down to hartsop bit easier and faster, nick, having finally been convinced after his crash that dropping your saddle is a good thing, was flying, he blitzed passed me and Gav, whoosh. Nice easy coast to the cars, nice day, some new tails, nicely technical not too much carrying, reasonable weather only the wind slightly marred it, will definitely be showing the lads round this route soon.
Rich got some pics