Bank holiday weekend, half reasonable forecast lets do it. Me and Johnnie headed for glenridding, parked up and began our ascent of helvellyn. Clouds up ahead and neither of us feeling on top form (me possibly finally getting over lurgy, johnnie just starting with it) but we had high hope of the sun burning off the cloud. As we got to the keppel cove zig zags tho the rain started, ho hum. Shower proof shells on and we get pushing, and push and push disappearing into the fog. Got to the top of the zig zags and pedalled onto Whiteside bank to find 3 lads with bikes at the shelter, one with the gear and bike to suit the other 2 not so much, a soggy printout of their route (they had a full OS map aswell) they did have enough chocolate and choccy biscuits to last them several days tho. Planning on summiting the big H then back down keppel cove, we advised them to ignore the summit and head down sticks, dunno if they took it. We headed on, I wondered what that deep dark shadow above us was then realised it was Lower Man hiding in the mist, which is always a lot higher than I remember it being. Push up there, wondered what the 3 lads would make of riding down that(!) and rode on upto helvellyn, as visibility was down to <15feet we just kept on going and promptly missed our turning, realised our mistake when the path narrowed for striding edge, whoops. Quick cut across to the track and off we go speeding down to wythburn. Actually speed is rather optimistic, cold limbs, numb fingers and crap visibility meant it was slow going, I was pretty rusty too. STarted off gentle enough then got to some juicy stuff just as we met our first lot of ascending walkers, paused for a regroup, tried to get clipped in as I set off, failed hit a rock and endoed, very nearly went OTB on some evil rocks, yikes. Got back on and hit some even better stuff, whoop whoop. swish swoosh skid, clatter. rest, repeat. Some thrutchy stuff that I could maybe do on a good day then into some properly steep bits alongside comb crags, rode a fair section then started to get nervy and jibbed out of doing a corner, just ran straight off the side to stop and wait for johnnie. Oof, this was more technical than I thought it would be. Views were opening up now and the sun did seem to be putting in an effort. nice.
Some more steep stuff and onto stone pitch, looks like it was pitched ages ago and has been washed out a couple of times since. Tried a proper dodgy section and didn't quite crash but ended up clattering my thighs off rear wheel and frame and scaring myself. Long stone pitch section then with several very inconvenient water bars, not quite dollywaggon style but not far off. At one point I looked up and saw Johnnie ahead, he'd found a cheat route across the grass, the way I was getting battered but the cobbles it was looking like a reasonable option. Clattered down the last section to the woods and stopped for a snacks.
Part one done, I was on a time limit tho and we weren't making much progress so off we went. A quick stint up the road, bleurgh nasty, lots of cars, and then through a field to Raise beck and a short stint up to grisedale tarn, Well I say short, subjective term. Started pushing but soon turned to carrying and then scrambling up rocks with bikes on shoulders, nice. You gain height very quickly up here, wish I could say comfortably. Picturesque spot tho and it wasn't raining so shouldn't complain.
Bit of a grassy slog around the tarn, might take the anti clockwise route next time, then hooked up with the bottom of dollywaggon steps, it's all downhill from here!
Started out pretty good but halfway down hit trouble, couple of rear wheel slips and one front too had me nearly off a couple of times. Stalled at one point put my foot out onto a rock and my foot slipped straight over the top and down I went, lay there leaning against the rock still clipped in til Johnnie got there. "play it cool Trig play it cool" I managed to get unclipped let a bit of pressure out of both tyres and carried on. Fairly event free run into glenridding after that, sun was out now and everyone was in T shirts, bit annoying about our crappy start to the day but not a bad ride all in all. I've been running my bombers since the travel adjust on my 36s started acting up on the spain trip. 18months later I've finally got the 36s serviced and fitted, I need to do some adjustments to get them right, they're definitely stiffer/better steering but they aren't dialled in just yet, finger crossed I get it sorted soon, bruised thighs and aching wrists (or worse) are not something I want to get used to.
Tuesday I was wondering why I had a sore neck, jolted it? Bad driving position? Slept funny? Took me a while to remember that I had my bike slung across the back of it for 30mins or so, doh! I genuinely tend to remember the good bits and forget the bad ones - not that anyone believes me when I say "don't remember this climb being quite so bad" while out riding.