Mountain Biking in the Lake District

A couple of weeks back, on a Monday evening we headed up to the Lake District so Gee could attend a walk with a small group for a magazine article. We managed to avoid most of the evening traffic and arrived at my mum’s house at around 9.30pm. 

The walk didn’t start until 11am on Tuesday, which meant my mum and I had some time to plot a route out before dropping Gee off. I always find it harder plotting mountain bike routes – I guess i’m less experienced and there are more limitations on my ability, where as on road you can go anywhere pretty much. 

We set off at just gone 10am and dropped Gee off up at Blencathra Centre. From there, we headed south passing Thirlmere and Ambleside before reaching the west shore of Windermere at the National Trust Red Nab car park. The lakes were pretty choppy and the clouds were dark. I was skeptical about the weather holding out.

Kat was keen to explore so we let her out for a short walk while we got the bikes ready. Geared up and Kat back in the van, we set off down the lakeside trail. For a supposedly flat start to the trail it felt like a lot of climbing. Maybe that was just me being out of practice! We reached the headland and watched the Windermere ferry come in and go back out.

Bearing right, away from the lake, we ascended the road for what seemed a while! The roads became narrower, and on perhaps the steepest and narrowest part, we met a supermarket delivery van. There was no way passed so i reluctantly turned around and started the hill again. We continued until the single lane become a gravel track. It quickly turned into river crossings and loose rocky ascents.

We kept climbing until we hit reached a tarn at the top. The fabulous autumnal colours from the trees behind reflected in the water. The weather, in some directions, still looked very ominous, but in others you could almost see blue sky!

We headed over the top, following the trail down, across more rivers and back up the semi-technical ascents before reaching a fire track in the woods. We roughly followed this all the way back down, leaving to fly down some single track and rejoining again slightly further down. With all descents, they seem to be over before you know it. Unfortunately this was no exception – I would have very much liked some more descent

We made it back to the vans in good time. While packing the bikes away Kat explored the local woodlands and lakeside. We completed the reverse journey to pick up Gee from the centre. Kat was keen for another walk before the 3.5hr journey back so we started up the track.

Gee made it back to the van in good time and we thankfully avoided most of the traffic. This meant we made it back in time for our final Aerial Hoop course. (See Keeping Active Over Winter

And then reluctantly back to work on Wednesday!

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