Lake District Mountain Biking
A damp weekend in early October and 9 mountain bikers (and 2 who joined to walk) had met up at Raven Crag to explore some of the fantastic trails that the Lakes has to offer.
After the usual beer fuelled discussions in the Old Dungeon Ghyll on the Friday night, a plan had been hatched and the group reconvened in Borrowdale on Saturday morning with the aim of riding a loop around the valley. The day started with a warm up road climb to Watendlath and a tremendous rocky plummet back down into Borrowdale before tea and cakes in Rosthwaite. This was to provide some well needed fuel for the second climb of the day, a wet and tough climb up most of Honister Pass (some of us went further up the Pass than the rest – Shaun!) and another descent back to the valley. The rocky ground proved too much for several tyres, with punctures galore, some proving terminal for the day.
After a bonus extra climb (did anyone see the turn we should have taken???), we gained a superb track around the back of Castle Crag and another steep rocky descent into Grange for more tea and cakes! Another couple of retirees here saw our group reduced to 5 and we rode the beautifully scenic track around the flanks of Catbells before descending to Keswick and returning into Borrowdale to collect the cars.
Next day, we rode a loop around Blawith Common near the southern end of Coniston Water and were blessed with some lovely sunny weather. Although shorter distances and climbs than yesterday, we still enjoyed some great biking. The views of the Coniston Fells were stunning and the grassy climbs challenging, but were made up by the 3 great descents.