Monday, 10 January 2011

Borrowdale Bash

As BETD have STILL not delivered my mach hanger, Toss very kindly lent me his bike for a head clearing ride. I decided to go to the lake because its just fucking ace, but plumped on the Borrowdale Bash to ride.

The day dawned cold and wet, and on the way up the M6 it didnt show any signs of getting better. I wasnt really in a rush so took the scenic route up the A591 straight through the lakes. As I went through Ambleside, I noticed that the side roads had a pretty slick coating of forzen fresh snow. Hmm this could cause a few problems.

Parked up in Keswick and set off. Toss's bike felt a lot different and the saddle was rubbing a lot, still it was good to be out in the forzen conditions.

I was considering taking the cheeky footpath from Castlerigg to Ashness, but with it being a Sunday, decided against it. Turned out I needent have worried. Hardly saw a soul all ride, and, wait for it, NO other bikers at all!! unheard off, but just the tonic for me.

The road up past Ashness was murder, black ice with a covering of frozen snow.

Stopped a little further up the road for Surprise view.

Up into the hanging Valley of Watendlath and then started the climb up Bracken Platt and it was practically impossible to get any traction, even walking was hard work. The views on the other hand were spectacular, making me wish that I had not bothered with the bike and got the Ice Axe and Crampons out and gone scrambing up Great End.

Still Birketts Leap was coming up and I dropped Toss's fancy new Joplin and headed down. Unfortunatly it was all covered with a shimmering ice crust which made everything but arse shuffling impossible.

Hit the road at Rosthwaite I took a quick diversion over the bridge to take a look at Longthwaite YHA. Use to stay here loads of times in younger days and it was good to see the place hasn't changed at all. Had some great times here.

Along the road towards Seatoller and was overtaken by a gritter which chucked loads of salt all over me :(

Lunch stop at the bottom of the pass and then tried to beat my previous effort getting up to the 1st layby on Honister. I failed, miserably, rear wheel spinning out on the ice half way up. Again, walking was harder as I kept slipping on the ice.

At the turn around point, I headed along the singletrack to Castle Cragg. Nice run this facing back to Keswick, again the rocks were very slippy but great fun. Still hadnt seen a soul and here I spotted a few walkers in the distance. Must be some kind of record for Borrowdale, the place is usually packed.

Castle Cragg descent was brilliant fun, scary as hell with the ice but I got down it and rode it all.

Spin along to Grange and then the superb BW along the side of Cat Bells, like a race track, but unlike in summer I didnt have to worry about hitting any ramblers.

Was tempted by a pint at Swinside, but decided to head home and a gentle spin through Keswick town centre. Last time I was here was with the family when we rode Whinlatter :(

Nice ride and brilliant to finally get out. Big thanks for Toss lending me the bike. Hopefully I get the hanger bloody soon, they said they posted it on the 5th :(


D0NK said...

Birketts leap covered in ice? Well done on not breaking yourself

Toss said...

Nice write up Nibbs. Fantastics pic of Surprize view..... This is one of my all time fav rides - if not THE all time..... ta. T

BadlyWiredDog said...

Ace ride - fair play trying it in those conditions, sounds 'interesting'. I did a year or so back in blistering heat distracted only by my head being completely trashed by my then girlfriend. Happy days... ;-)