Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Ambleside meander

Week before last weather was looking good so me and Johnnie planed a lakes trip. The weather men were lying again. Got there OK just cold to start, got geared up at Rothay bridge a robin turned up and living up to it's name tried to steal johnnies vegan flapjack, cheeky bleeder.

Climb up onto loughrigg fell was as harsh as ever, the downhill has been sanitised :-(

then we got a bit, ahem, "lost" and descended on FP into skelwith, probably won't bother again started out well but went a bit rubbish as did the weather, mist and light rain which continued for the rest of the day. Instead of climbing Arnside to Iron keld we went the back way, up the road to high cross/oxen fell and did the boat to iron keld and descended arnside with another cheeky option which again wasn't much cop, ah well.

Bit of trouble spotting the bridleway that loops down towards colwith then back up to hodges close (why does the OS map not resemble anything on the ground around hodges?) but got it and slipping and sliding on mud, wet leaves and greasy rocks we made our way passed the multitude of walkers obviously not put off by the weather (or they'd been taken in by the meteorologists same as us) Minced our way down through the slate quarry (johnnie very nearly crashing out, not sure how, styling it up of a little ramp I think) The we took a little detour. Inspired by the boggies pics we searched out cathedral cavern. Low ceiling cave to start led us to the large central bit, a scramble down very greasy rocks (my legs slid out from under me as I walked over to check out the "difficult bit". Once again I needed reminding of the oft stated fact that MTB shoes suck on wet rock.

Lunch in the cavern then over the ford to little langdale, johnnie pulled some shapes in sawreys wood

High close tarmac climb and loughrigg terrace to finish - which has also been sanitised but was mercifully fairly quiet on the walker front. Not far, not big, not dangerous (silly mistakes on both our parts not withstanding) and miserable weather but fun all the same.

Shallow grave

Met up with Si last night couple of weeks ago this post has been stuck in limbo for aaaaages, rode up barrow bridge and winter hill, 2lads approach is well boggy, will avoid for a while, the descent was slippy and some crosswind made the chute at the end intersting. Met Johnnie and did wildes rooty, slippy as hell nearly lost it in a big front wheel slide on the first corner, Si did the same, few more sketchy moments on the way down and Johnnie took a detour when it was obvious he couldn't make a corner so let the bike follow the alternate trail it already apparently preferred! Bit of exploring next try some new trails I figured, not great couple of short downs, a couple of scrambles up, the last of which I crested and my light lit up what looked ominously like a shallow grave, oh dear! Looked around, nope someone's building a downhill track, oh yeah! Pushed up past a berm and a jump and topped out, turned around and rode it, not a great berm, and ok jump, an even dodgier berm and oh that's it, ah well. Along a track that led to a road which Johnnie was convinced to be a dead end, we both thought it was the same road but we disagreed on where it ended up, turned out I was right it was commonwealth climb, not done it for ages, I wheezed up, Si and Johnnie took it a bit more leisurely. Over to do ICR, bit smoother than it has been for a while. Johnnie split there and me and Si took the fairly direct route back home descending the golf course to finish. Nice night.

Mmm nice!

Last Mondaycouple of mondays ago this post has been stuck in limbo for aaaaages commute was gorgeous, bit of frost, some low level mist, absolute calm, wide open blue skies, silence and not another soul around on the offroad sections.

Rode along the canal and just had to stop for snaps, frosted flora all around. There were shafts of sunlight shining between the trees, proper lovely, camera wouldn't pick them up tho :-( Stopped again near the remand centre to take pics, the tree opposite was bathed in the glorious golden morning light, as mr ferrantino said in one of his STW columns, it's different to evening light, just so. Anyway this tree, orange and yellow leaves, warm light, clear, silent day, I just looked on in awe. Then I noticed the leaves were constantly falling off with a gentle *flut* sound as they landed on the leaf strewn ground, one after the other,

I passed it last night and there's still loads of leaves on there, can't believe it's not completely denuded by now. Pretty cool moment all in all. Then I hit the crescent and had some knob in a corsa try to squeeze between me and the stationary traffic - whilst in a bus lane and then tailgating me when I took primary to dissuade him from trying again. Ho hum.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Making the most

Nipped out for a ride last sunday, right rigmarole actually getting out the door and when I finally did (in a foul mood) it started raining, not the overcast but clear/dry we'd had so far (and forecast) Grrr. Up barrow bridge singlespeed, ouch, got to scout road as the heavens opened so I dashed over to Bob Smithy's and hunkered down in the smoking shelter. Set off once it eased, over winter hill minced down hole in the wall, over to the pigeon tower, no sign of johnny, found some interesting mushrooms tho.

and mourned the state of my 3 ride old cranks

Still no Johnnie so I nipped up to the pike then back down georges where I finally found him with Nick. A quick catch up chat, Johnnie had gotten soaked in the monsoon, Nick was just finishing his ride. Down Wildes where we split me n Johnnie up to the mast, Nick broke his mech on the way home and had to be picked up by Jacqui (oops). By the mast the saturated Johnnie was freezing so he headed home, I without a dropper post and a carbon seatpost I didn't want to scratch went very veeeeerrrrry slowly down a fairly muddy san marino. WHere next, a bit short on time, hmmm try a quick loop around darwen tower. I sped off along witton weavers and up cartridge hill hyperventilating. Quick loop round the tower and down the access road which has a massive water bar now - beware. Pushed it hard around whitehall and up to ocean palace then along the road to Cadshaw, I manned up to doing the roller coaster (cleaned it too) along WWW again to turton tower and home, heavens opened about 2 miles from home. Not a great day, not great conditions but it'll do for me.