Finally managed to get my work completed for Thursday night which set me up for our camping trip over the Bank Holiday Weekend.
We had all booked on Lanefoot Camp Site. Nice location and looked very promising. When Toss had initially mentioned it, I hatched a plan, knowing that Whinlatter was just behind the site, perhaps we could slip in some cheeky riding.
So Friday rolls round, me, Jaz and her friend jumped in the car and we headed up to Keswick following Pikey and Toss and arrived at the site for about 1pm. We were shown to a small field off the main two camping fields. I got the impression that this was not really part of the site and had only been opened up for the Bank Holiday as they were fully booked. Whilst it was dry during set up, the level of the field showed that it would soon become wet if it did rain.
All set up by late afternoon, I went into Keswick with Toss to get some chips and got raped at the main Square Chippy... fookin 9.90 for 3 bags of chips and chips and gravy twice, the robbing bastards. Got back and we set up the gazebo and had a very pleasant night chatting and drinking whilst the kids got the marshmellows going on the fire.
Overnight the heavens opened. It was pissing it down from about 3am and didnt really stop all Saturday. Lost my keys in the morning which eventually turned out to be locked in my Boot. Weester was a total fookin diamond, and went to pick the spare key up from my Boss in Manchester, as they weren't coming up till Saturday afternoon. Deb set off from Bolton to drop the dog off at Blackpool and Pick up Kelsey who had been staying in Fleetwood with a friend. They arrived about 3pm by which time the field was turning into a mud fest. The rain relented enough for us to get a BBQ going on Saturday night, but it was very grim really, huddling under the Gazebo trying to keep dry. On the plus side we all slept well, only woken by a load Cock crowing at dawn, well, it woke me but Deb and the kids slept right through.
Sunday was spent at the Grassmere and Lakeland show. Free parking which was a bonus, but it was stupidly expensive to get in. The main events were the Fell Race, Mons wrestling and a dog show. Pikey refused to join in the wrestling despite us thinking that he would have been a natural. All the kids attractions and stalls inside were a complete rip off too, which put a bit of a dampener on it. Walked into the Village and showed the kids Wordsworths Grave, to which Jaz asked "is he under there then?".
Riverside walk back to the car and just in time to see a demonstration by the MRT and RAF Sea
King rescue Helo. Very impressive stuff. They are big bastards when you see them up close. We took the scenic way back along Thirlmere and over the Dam. We parked up in Keswick and while I was trying to get a pay ticket, some dutch geezer came over with his old ticket. What a top bloke, but then he asked me for some money, the cheeky twat!
Nice meal in the Oddfellows together with a nice couple of pints of Jennings Cooker Hoop, which on an empty stomach went down exceptionally well.
Sunday night round the camp fire was great, took Deb and Kelsey out on Janet's Diva to get them use to the gears, and had a cheeky spin over to Braithwaite myself and back through the woods, spotted a big fuck off bird of prey, dunno if it was one of the Ospreys. sat on a fence post staring at me, it lazily took off when I got to within 15' of it. Proper handsome fella.
Next day, we decided to pack the tent away before going up to Whinlatter as the girls would probably be pretty tired after. We got up there around 11am and my fears about not getting a hire bike were unfounded as we looked likely to be the first people hiring one all day.
A bit fookin expensive I have to say. £17.50 for 3 hours was taking the piss I thought really. The bikes were Cube XC something or other which in fairness didn't look too bad, Hydraulic Avids which I got the girls to practice with as they were far more powerful that anything they had used before. My main gripe with them was that the forks were coil. I know it probably comes down to price, but if I'm paying that much for a hire bike I expect to be able to adjust the spring rate on the forks to suit the riders weight (ie use a fucking air fork!). As it was with Jasmine and her mate, they may as well have been fully rigid, and Kelsey wasn't much better off. So we headed up to the start of the Blue and posed for the obligatory pic.
I sent the girls out front and I stayed at the back keeping an eye out for Jade Lee who was shitting it. She did ok really, but Jaz had roared off. Kelsey and Deb were going great but Jaz was out of sight almost straight away. This leads me on to a bit of a dilemma I have with this girl. Kelsey is dead sensible and takes her time to learn stuff properly and is fairly cautious. A good thing when riding a blue trail for the 1st time. Jazjust scares the bejesus out of me.
The Blue is a great bit of trail and they have thrown in some pretty big bermed corners, a couple of stone drop offs, some table tops and small jumps. I should imagine that ridden at speed it would be fucking awesome. Jaz rode all of it at one speed... fucking balls out. I really only saw her about 5 times on the trail as by the time me and Jade Lee caught her up, she was chomping at the bit to get going again. Everything about her just looked right. Her body position on the bike when tackling stuff was perfect, she was looking well ahead, not over the front wheel, she was carving the bike into berms, off the brakes. She even threw herself over the rock drop off's. Deb and Kels traded places behind her and really enjoyed it, but Jaz was just a total natural.
Back at the visitor centre, we dropped off the rip off bikes and were on our way. Altogether a top weekend.