Monday, 1 December 2014

A Dales Visit - Sunday

The Dales... mmm I've been wanting to get over here for ages now, so finally it all came together... Gaz, Lucy & I all headed to Settle to have a look at the loop I'd put together for Geoff & I last week... This trip was more successful & although we never got it all done & the planned loop has a big bit of tarmac in it to link up a couple of the longer lane sections, (so it's still a work in progress), the riding was ace, wide open moorland, mud, steep ascents/descents, great views, it's got the lot... ace!!

We parked up near Settle, then took the first lane up onto the moorland, having to get used to the slippy limestone very quickly... the route traced its way alongside Pen Y Ghent, so it's a popular route for all, we passed several walkers on the trail, all very pleasant people it's nice to both see & say...

Once back to tarmac I'd seen a lane on the side of a hillside but hadn't found any info about it, so when we saw a farmer feeding his sheep next to it, we asked him about it, he assured us it was OK to ride, but there were loads of gates, so off we set... it turned out to be a good lane dropping into Litton on a limestone pavement & cobble base.

From here we had a fair bit of road, passing under Kilnsey Crag, (An iconic climbing crag for those of us who like to hang around a bit...), eventually getting to Pateley Bridge, by which time a quick fuel top up & some food saw us looking at the clock as we'd made a gentler start to the day compared to yesterday.

From lunch in a garage we headed up onto the moors to take in the Six Days Trail, which was ace, long, easy & some great views. We saw our first other 'laners' today too, a couple of WR250's, another DR & something I didn't recognise at all!

We dropped back to tarmac roads again upto Middlesmoor, before another moorland climb & steep descent saw us at Scar House Reservoir. Lucy rode the descent really well, all that training with Neil at Triple D paying off today, her whole riding for the weekend looking more confident & in control, it was great to see...

From here we climbed back up & over the moor, having some troubles in the deep mud on the ascent, this is a route that is heavily eroded on the steep bit, not sure what the best route forward is with this, but it's clear that there is ammunition for the anti off road groups here with this part of the trail unfortunately. Although all the other routes we did today & either end of this one is magic & on a rock bed, so maybe it just needs a little re-routing to take out the damaged section & remove the chances of it happening again?

I did the steep muddy bit, Lucy & Gaz took a more sensible line to the left. But not before Lucy & I had a face full of mud!!

We'd passed a long wheel base landy on this trail, they'd just come down it & we also had a lovely chat with a family who were really wanting to know everywhere we'd been that day... their enthusiasm was very infectious!!

Time was moving on so from here we headed up the valley road back to Kettlewell, what a great road with some stunning views & great sunset light... At Kettlewell we decided to cut short the rest of the loop as the light was dropping fast, so a return to Litton & up the lanes from this morning, mostly in the dark, which always makes things more interesting took us back to the vehicles & the drive back home.

Two great days of riding, some brilliant new trails to return back to & of course we've found more to look at now too!!

This green laning lark is fab!! I definitely want a better, lighter bike though now...

YouTube links: Dales Green Laning:
Moon Head Lane at night
Scar House Reservoir Ascent - lots of mud!!
Middlesmore Lane

Oh & for her birthday, Lucy got a shiny KTM jacket... it looked very nice on the wall at her house... all orange, white & black, very clean!!

Clean & shiny...
Much better now though!!