Sunday, 17 October 2010

Big day in the Dales

After the washout of a couple of weeks ago, I still had my eye set on the Buckden / Horton loop. 36 miles of wonderful Dales lanes so I check the forecast for Sunday and all was well.

Woke to a nice cloudless sky and crisp frost. Out of the house for 8am and the drive over was ace, mist slowly clearing the valleys and white over fields basking in the new sun. Got to Horton and kitted up, was riding for 9.15!

Not a soul about as I took the road over to High Birkwith. It was however, bloody freezing and I stomped on the pedals to try and get some heat up. Off road climb to Old Ing where I picked up the pennine way. The track was typcial Dales terrain, smooth slippy limestone but the views as the road started to climb were sensational. Stopped at Ling Bridge to have a shufty around and noticed the stone plaque, 1762 the thing was built.
As I was climbing up to Cam Road, I bumped into 4 kids on a DoE course doing the 3 peaks. They had got lost so I put them back on the right track. As I climbed higher Ribblehead came into view.
Soon Got to Cam High Road and started the long slog up to Dodd Fell past Common Allotments. Over the road and skirted Wether Hill, the long straight Roman Road down to Bainbridge was deserted. I was beginning to wonder where everyone was.

Instead of following Julbag's advise and blasting straight down, I took the BW on the right to head to a small summit without a name, odd. There followed a cracking little descent to Countersett, combination of steep grass and limestone.
From Countersett, quick spin along the road to the lovely positioned Marsett. Very quiet little hamlett and real Dales postcard stuff. From Marsett I took the unmarked track to Stalling Busk which was just like a dry river bed, littered with rough round babies heads and crossed by 3 fords, the last of which I totally misjudged the depth and ended up with wet feet. The Climb up to Stalling Busk was a real tech fest and I couldnt help but think it would have made a cracking descent.

From here started the long long climb up to Stake Moss. This really did seem to go on forever, up up and more up. and into a headwind that had picked up. I was pretty glad to get to the top and was rewarded by a wonderfully rough rocky and fast descent to the road at Buckden Causeway. The fun wasnt over  either as I took the BW into Buckden, a classic little run, finishing right in the centre of Buckden.
Stopped for my lunch here and got chatting to a big group of teenage girls on a DoE course. Sadly they didnt need a navigator.

The run up the valley to Beckrmonds was all tarmac and gave my legs a bit of time to recover. I was keeping lookout for a spot up the valley where, 28 years ago, Me and the Old boy Camped by the river while we were walking the Dales Way. All I could remember was it was by the foot bridge and next to the river. Anyway I found it and just how I remembered.
On the final leg now and after Green Field Farm the tarmac turned into forest road and then Cart track over the moor towards Horton. Gathering clouds looked like bringing a bit of rain, so I got a bit of a wiggle on and hit the DH into Horton, wonderful track to finish a perfect day.


Julbags said...

Got my eye on a Dales ride on Sunday if I can get my lazy arse out of bed. Some food for thought on route choice so thanks.

You do need to blast all the way down the Roman Road one day though and I need to do it on my full suss.

lowey said...

Maybe so Julbags, but the BW to Countersett is ACE!

D0NK said...

Deserted trails, long grassy tracks, lots of miles, the complete opposite to my sunday ride then, sounds good tho.

Paul said...

Hi Dave
I see you've done another of the rides on 'my' list!!

Looks great. Do you think it'll hold up nicely through the wet weather?


lowey said...


The route is mainly on well drained limestone so yeah, will hold up fine in winter. Only thing is that the dales have the same problem everywhere and thats when limestone bedrock gets wet you may as well be riding on ice.

Cracking ride though. Got my eye on the Berwyns for next year!