Friday, 11 November 2016

Playing in the Autumn Light

So as the first snows have arrived in Cumbria, the temperatures have dropped into the minus areas and the tarmac roads have got ice on them, but the sunshine is still around, so we ushered in the end of the summer with a couple of days out on the lanes.

Thursday saw four of us out finishing  off some of the Hierachy of Trails updates with the Cumbria TRF Rights of Way Officer, Steve Pighills.

We had some specific lanes to ride and check out, so plenty of tarmac roads were used to get to them, but we still managed to tick off quite a few and I seemed to have clocked up 170 miles in my loop from home and back...

Steve is a mine of historical information, so everytime you get out on a ride with him, you always learn stuff. Friday was no exception,several new lanes were added to my little collection, so I have some new routes to put together to include them now plus we had plenty of chat about the ins & outs of the legal set up behind the lanes.

We were joined by two new CTRF members, Tim & Rob, both on KTM's, a Freeride 350 and 500 EXC, both good lads who are clearly pretty capable on their bikes... Rob lives in Appleby so we were on his home patch, which paid dividends with his local knowledge as he rode through all the back lanes that would have had us looking at the map all the time...

We had a bunch of fords to look at, some of them we rode, some we turned around, it was a really cold day and for once with me I didn't fancy being soaked as I headed back home for 1.5 hours as I had no van to get back into!

Lunch was a great little cafe in Appleby, really good bacon butties with a refilled pot of tea and a log fire burning, stories of lost brides were abound in the cafe as well as plenty of banter as Rob had forgotten his cash so couldn't pay!

We finished of the lanes and headed back to the vehicles, Steve handed over some more paperwork to me to fill out and the boys headed off back home. I decided to head back via the lanes in Shap and over the Coach Road, which had some really big puddles on it for once....

Once I arrived home, Geoff was waiting with his 350 Freeride, a box of beer and some bacon as we'd planned a day out around the Northern lanes. Lucy had cooked a chilli, so it was beer and chilli for tea, plus plenty of chat about the big ride we are all currently planning for... mmm happy days!

Friday morning dawned cold, crisp and with frost on the roads... Nigel turned up at my house with his bike on the back of his car, we finished off more tea, waiting for the sun to remove the worst of the ice before setting off out for the day, then eventually got kitted up and set off into the low sun and freaazing temperatures!

We all set off and promptly got seperated, so once we regrouped at a petrol sattion we were back on the trails where I promptly face planted straight into the mud! Once th bike was back upright, we were off again, me now freezing as I was covered in wet mud!

Lane after lane followed in an anti clockwise loop for a final play before blasting back to mine for more tea at my place...

Two great days out with fab folk in the sunshine... happy days !!