Friday, 29 August 2014

Green Laning - North Lakes Circuit

Lucy & I just rode about 120 miles of small lanes & green lanes all around the North Cumbria region yesterday. It's took quite a bit of time to ride a fair few of these lanes to check them out, then put them together into a day long riding loop but it was worth it!

They take you some great villages, you see some lovely views & there are several cool cafe's en route too... happy days!

So we set off around 10am, the first lanes took us into Waverton to get fuel, then a bit of road to get across to Rosley where we began to slowly climb towards Alston Moor. There is a lovely little lonning that takes you to Welton, then we dropped around & down past Rose Castle & upto Roughton Head. There are two lanes that access fields, farms & villages here, which are great fun & at the moment really dry so quite easy to ride. These take you through to Gaitsgill, then its a bit more road to access the Aikengate lane to the east of the M6.

Aikengate lane is lovely, the views across to the Lakes are beautiful in all weathers, the lane is a bit overgrown at the far end & drops steeply to a fairly knackered old gateway opposite a lovely little cottage. It basically needs more traffic, but be respectful riders as the people who live in the cottage at the end would get very fed up of really loud, screaming bikes & then have cause to complain.

From here we headed up into Armathwaite & picked up a lovely lane that starts out on sand, then moves into woodland before dropping back to the road. This is another little gem of a run out & as always helping us to get closer to Hartside by following off road routes.

Red Lane is the next little playground, which in summer is pretty & easy, in winter it's a mud fest of the highest order! Coming out of the end of Red Lane & following little lanes on the way upto Haresceugh which we descended back to the tarmac. Our final bit before lunch at the cafe was a climb up the lane I call Hazelrigg, this has just been resurfaced with loads of chunky gravel, which makes the climb interesting to say the least, no doubt though this will protect it well for the winter, so thankyou to whoever shelled out for this!
Lucy struggled on the upper section of this, having 4 falls, all of which were very funny to watch & judging by the laughter coming from her helmet each time she found great fun too!! Picking up the poor little XR was getting harder though by the 4th one!

We dropped over the back of the fell into Alston via a couple of lanes that have some great views into Garrigill & Alston itself. We began to look at a couple of the lanes over that way, but they started to take us too far away from home for today's plans, so we retraced our steps to Hartside & returned back down Haresceugh before heading to ride up Gamblesby & back to the A686.

We decided to try to look at a couple of new lanes on our homeward leg, but they turned out to be bridleways & footpaths now plus they travel past a couple of farm houses, so a retreat back into Penrith saw us in Doug's Diner for a great bacon butty, then out to Greystoke to ride the couple of lanes around there.

We rode over to Longlands as Lucy had never ridden this, it was such a beautiful warm day that we decided to spend some time practicing downhill stuff over there, before heading off towards High Ireby & the lovely little lane that leads eventually to Torpenhow. From there it's a short hop on various roads back home.

A grand day out, with a fair initiation into the highs & lows of a full day of off road riding for Lucy, big grins all round, plus a fair bit of tea & cake consumed throughout the day... Fab stuff!!

Here are a few GoPro films of the lanes we rode that we've uploaded to YouTube, enjoy...

YouTube Links:
Hazelrigg Uphill
High Ireby Lane