Sunday, 16 November 2014

The Lakes - A perfect green laning day...

Mark came up for the weekend, so as Lucy was busy both days, I was free on the Sunday, we made plans to get out & play early Sunday morning... 

Several choices were available to us for the day... One of the Cumbria TRF guys, Clive Barber, had set up a film night on Saturday in Kendal at the Warehouse Cafe, primarily to show a film made by Greg Villalobos which showcased his trip from Newcastle upon Tyne to London, via the Lakes, the Dales, Lancashire, Wales, Shropshire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Hants, Surrey, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire & finally back to his place in Newcastle... The whole trip was linked up with lots of TRF leaders showing Greg the trails in their areas to help him pass through. This film was his way of showing the goodwill involved as well as some beautiful trails that we have to play on in the UK... An amazing trip, a great film & I'm guessing a truly memorable 12 days of riding!! Can I have a go please???

Linked to the films was a ride out on the Sunday starting at Triple D in Kendal around 9.30am. Mark & I discussed our options & decided that time pressures for him overrode any wishes to meet new folk unfortunately & so we opted to ride out early from my place.

Thirlmere in the early sunshine & mist

It was like a mirror in most parts... fabulous start to the day!
We rode down past Keswick to Langdale, where we picked up the easy meandering trail through the valley, then headed over Hardknott Pass towards the Coniston slate mines for a play there, taking in a nice new link trail for us... Ace riding all the way through to the ferry over Windemere, also reversing the Grisedale route, which actually is more difficult this way round for me for some reason, must be all those big bloody cobbles bouncing my front wheel everywhere!! :-)

On the descent back to tarmac, we encountered the TRF guys & so pulled over to let them head past, all looking very capable on KTM's almost across the board! We'd already had nearly two hours of riding by this time though so we were happy enough...

A quick stop at Dan's Cafe for a bacon butty & a cuppa once off the ferry saw us fit to tackle another round of lanes, so we headed down several old favorites towards Kendal, the Midas tyres we both have fitted to our bikes at the moment showing their strengths in the mud yet becoming very twitchy on the wet & greasy limestone & cobbles that abound in the south & central Lakes.

Once down into Kendal, we bypassed it up & into Kentmere to tackle the Stile End trail, this turned out to be a bit hard for Mark on his old DR650, it's a big & heavy bike & he's not used to the really steep cobbled descents but with some stop/start techniques & a lot of sweat/eyes out on stalks moments he got down to Sadgill in one piece! Phew... hard place to pick up a bike there...

Cobbled hell for Mark!

Looking north towards Gatesgarth Pass
A quick fuel stop at Morrison's in Kendal saw us booting it north to catch the Coach Road before dark & to meet Lucy who had phoned to say she'd finished & was keen to get out... It was a pretty cold ride to the eastern start of the Coach Road, once there we saw a few 4x4's & a 3 bike trailer in the parking place so we were expecting to see people on the trail for once, that is a very rare sight indeed!!

The route heading west seems to be much easier than the when we head east for some reason, maybe because you can roll over a lot of the obstacles... as expected we saw a posh looking Landy & four bikes, two which were monkey bikes!! The other two bikes were two young lads around 16 ish with one on a trials bike... excellent!!

Evening glow on the Dodd's Ridge

Looking towards sunset on the Solway

En route back home now & we bumped into Lucy, but it was getting dark by now & neither her nor Mark are that keen on riding in the dark, so more tarmac took us back home for a jet spray session, plenty of hot tea & finally a beer to celebrate a beautiful day.. only thing missing really for me was Lucy's presence for the day!! ;-)

A truly stunning sunset as we arrived in our village was the icing on the cake... I do love the Lakes & it's a fabulous place to both live & ride... happy days!!

A few YouTube films for ya...
Coniston Slate Mines
Spigot Lane

The Coach Road, a busy day!!