Sunday the 14th rolled around and the week previous, I almost completely forgot that we were supposed to be having a STW Ride. To be honest, with work being so busy and not having ridden properly for 3 weeks, biking was not at the forefront of my mind. Quick email to Gav on the Thursday confirmed that it was still on and that we would be meeting at Wheelbase.
Preparations were, as usual, rubbish. Donk txt me on the Saturday seeing if I could provide a lift which was no problem as I was going up on my own. In a rather regretful decision, I got pissed on the Saturday night and did not sleep particularly well.
So, picked Donk up and we headed up to Stavely. I was surprised that he packed his Rocky Mountain rather than the Heckler as there was a rumour that Nan Beild would be thrown in and at very least the Garburn would be visited. He seemed un-perturbed. Arrived late and found most of the lads and ladies already there and ready for the off. Had a look at Grahams new bike, a spunky Heckler with Fox 36's. VERY nice it was too. Tony also had a new bike, trading in the Yeti for a pimpedtofuck Blur LT. The new Kashima coating on the fox legs really does look very sexy.
Gav got us underway and we headed vaguely towards the bottom of Garburn. The trails we took were unfamiliar to me until we hit HIgh Borans and I could get my bearings again. It was nice to ride some new stuff. It started with a tarmac climb which quickly reduced me to tears and had a few gasping at the top. The paths over to Dubs were very wet and the lanes flooded, but the views were spectacular.
At the top, we were all braced for the DH into Kentmere and Gav told us that we were going to head up onto High Street. Cheek Indeed. I have ridden this ridge once many years ago but in the opposite direction and it was ace, the final descent of Yoke being a fast and loose affiar.
The climb up started and it was pretty brutal to be honest. Most of us were pushing from the word go, Deejay and Graham came past me riding though and I think Gav made a proper stab at it too.
We soon summited and headed off towards Mardale Ill Bell and a descent which Gav promised to be pretty technical. I fell off twice on the run down to it and therefore took one look at the rock staircase and promptly decided that is was beyond my level. Gav flew down it and the only other to make a good stab of it I saw was Flanny. It was very similar to the rock steps that they have put in on Dollywagon. I have decided that I'll come back in summer here and see if I can have a go at it. I'll also take Jase with me, the twat!
Top of Nan Bield was its usual windy self and I decided to get cracking on the descent. So first off and I was soon overtaken by Gav who blasted down and Jamie, who, hilariously got to the bottom of the switchbacks and got hit with cramp. For some reason I had an issue with turning right. I couldnt do it. I flew down the hill and round left handers, but when it came to right corners I had to dab. Need to sort that out I reckons.
Everyone got down ok with the exception of Graham, who, keen to continue the curse of Nan Bield made a pretty messy OTB resulting in a Claret encrusted beak.
Spin back to the road and Gav suggested the BW over to Stavely head. We only got halfway up it when we had to turn back, beaten by the fading light.
Back to the car and I was proper on empty. Legs were cramping (karma for laffing at Jamie earlier) and really really tired. So tired in fact I declined a beer and just fucked off home sharpish.
Slept like a log that night.
Great day out, but surprisingly only 25miles with 4.2k ascent.
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