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After thoroughly enjoying my last ride around this great trail last week, I decided to head back there for another blast. This time, I knew where to expect all the best bits and probably did my fastest ever lap. Sometime soon I would really like to take the whole thing slowly, making notes and taking photos so that I can do a full-on review. Anyway, here are some more photos for the timebeing.

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waiting for ferry
swan family
round and round
riding the boards
he 'rode the plank'
off he goes
riding the plank
back up the step?
sweet boardwalk
round and round
off the step
banking round
le parcours

North Face Trail… Again

June 16th, 2007

north face trail

Making the most of a slight gap in the bad spell of weather we have been having recently, I headed out with my french pal to Grizedale for a lap and a bit of the brilliant North Face Trail. This time I knew where some of the better features were hidden (boardwalks, jumps, berms etc) and so we rode it even faster. An excellent ride, recommended to anybody on the hunt for sweet sweet singletrack.

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sufficiently splattered
north face trail
north face trail
jumping the boardwalk
romain about to jump
romain riding the planks
boardwalk fun
ferry nab

After a pretty lethargic day of doing very little, I headed out to Sedbergh for 19:00 with a few other riders for a whizz around the Howgills on a bike.

bike in the grass

For a long time only having rode the local routes around Stavely and Kentmere, this new terrain was completely alien to me. The mountains were… huge! There were no trees, no bushes, nothing. Just grass, rocks, streams and cairns. The ride itself was brilliant. After a very long struggle up a massive hill (more like a mountain really) - of which some sections were definite ‘pushers’ - we made it to the top. From here, the ride consisted of a few ups and downs along the ridges, claiming a few more summits and trig points along the way. The final descent was brilliant, full of large natural ’steps’ up to three feet in height, some excellent grassy berms that can be taken at full speed if you dare and some lovely long ‘carving’ sections to mess around on. I think for the last few years I have forgotten what Mountain Biking is really about - having constantly rode the same old trails in the same old area - this ride has successfully rekindled the fires - the only shame is that I have little more than one month to enjoy it all!

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sunset over hills
bike in the grass
lying by my stallion
sunset over hills
start of the descent
on the beaten track
tarn at the top
looming sky
the hills!

Tour of the Passes

June 2nd, 2007


Today, me and Dad both fancied going for a longish bike ride around the lakes on the tandem.
After a sluggish start (didn’t get up until 10:00 am), we hit the roads and made our way out to Ambleside. From here, we went over Wrynose pass, Birker Fell, down to Eskdale, up over Hard Knott pass and back over Wrynose the other way before heading home. The trip took around 5 or 6 hours and is about 65 miles long. Who knows how many metres (or kilometres!) of climb were involved along the way? I thoroughly enjoyed the ride - its quite tiring but its not so long that it becomes a drag - and particularly enjoyed some of the steeper climbs, reaching a mind-blowing 1 in 3 (1:3 or 33%) climb at the upper sections of Hard Knott. Definitely worth a go if you are in the lakes - but not for the faint of heart. Heres some shots.

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Top of Hard Knott
Dad at Hard Knott Summit
Railway station
Mmm Sandwhich
Dad with the bike
The refreshing looking river
Bottom of Wrynose
Gazing down
Drinks bottle
Drinks bottle :)
The trusty steed
The river