After taking the girls to Whinlatter last Monday, I checked the forecast and as it looked good I suggested to Deb and Kelsey that we could go to Gisburn and do the blue. They both agreed so that was Sunday sorted. That was until I got a text from Nick announcing that they were going to do High Street on Sunday and did I fancy it. What a fucking Dilemma, but still, Deb and Kelsey were far more important than riding in the lakes with a set of hairy smelly blokes, and Jacqui.
However, on Saturday afternoon, Deb announced that Kelsey was having a sleep over that night, so I suggested that of course she probably wouldn't want to come to Gisburn after a late night and further ventured that Deb perhaps wouldn't enjoy it as much without her. Bingo! Pass booked, lakes here I come.
Picked Johnnie up at 8am and flew up the M6 and over Kirkstone in glorious sunshine. We parked up at Hartsop Bridge but no sign of the others. Hmmm something deffo wrong here as I had seen Graham's van infront of us so knew I was in the wrong place. We headed into Hartsop and found the car park at the end of the road which I never even knew existed. Nick had come up the day before in the camper and was taking orders for tea or coffee, however my request for bacon with brown was turned down.
We were last to arrive, as usual. Deejay, Jacqui, Nick and Graham already there. A leisurely kit up as we discussed the fine weather and visibility and also the howling fucking wind that was rattling us even in the valley. Bloody chilly it was too, and knowing the route, it would be murder up on the plateau. Talking of knowing the route, the night before I had a think as to when I last did this depressed myself straight away by realising it was 18 years ago, fook that made me feel old.
Plenty of walkers and what looked like fell runners in the car park setting off at the same time as us. Straight from the car it was up, a brutally steep climb which I managed a whole 100 yards of before stopping and trying to regain conciousness. As usual Deejay serenely wafted his way up the rocky track seemingly without a care in the world, closely followed by Jacqui. Very impressive from the pair of them, the rest of us pushed. I knew it was a long old day and didnt want to burn myself out in the 1st mile (thats my excuse and I'm bloody well sticking to it). We soon reached the Dam at Hayeswater, where while soaking up the views, we noticed a group of walkers, about 4 blokes and a woman, wander off to the far shore. Next thing we know, they are all getting their kit off and jumping in! What levels of depravity have reached the Lake District! The solitary girl of the group also threw off her kit to reveal the biggest muff I have seen in a long time and promptly jumped in with the lads.
The climb up to the Knot could not be avoided any longer and we shouldered the bikes and started the gruelling climb up.
At the top I dropped my bike for a chat with a couple of friendly walkers and noticed that everyone had stopped in the Saddle, I suspected a puncture, but Deejay arrived to say that Johnnie's mech had exploded. We descended back down to find him and Nick trying to bodge it into a single speed. Something which I reckoned would be hard work with a single pivot bike.
Back up over Race Course hill and we stopped at the Straits of Riggindale for Lunch. Fortunately it was out of the wind and the views were ace.
We took the excellent track along Lock Bank, this really is a brilliant descent, nice and gradual with a stunning backdrop.
Down to St. Peters Church, where whilst me and Deejay discussed which route to take Graham and Jacqui took the piss out of an group of old folk who were setting up their full on outdoor banquet. Picnic table with table cloth, champagne, crystal glasses and enough food to feed them all 4 times over. The aerosol cream lead to suggestions of a bukkake like mess in the howling wind!
The choice here was take the techy wonderful singletrack around the lake or the Bastard Brutal climb up out of Boredale and then descend to Hartsop. As it was a nice day and there were lots of walkers around, we elected to go for Boredale and the Lakeside path would just have been a stop start affair with all the walkers.
There was no getting around it or dressing it up. The Climb was a complete bastard.
Again, Deejay sailed up, seeminly untroubled by such trivial problems as gravity and again Jacqui and Nick also did well. This just left Me and Graham weezing our way up. It was at this point that we hatched a plan. As we had both been on the piss the night before, we decided that next time we come out with Deejay, we will take him out the night before and fill him full of Bank Top and and bottle of red and see how he copes. Purely as a scientific experiment of course.
The upper section of Boredale House was once again a carry over very loose and big rocks and I speculated that it would make a killer descent for a descent rider (not me obviously).
Rest stop at the top and then the wonderfully steep and loose bridleway descent back to Hartsop for Coffee and Cake.
Brilliant day out!