Sunshine. Glorious, glorious sunshine. I awoke to generous amounts of it streaming through my bedroom window yesterday and thankfully had the day off from work. 😀 After a slow start to the day, which included sharing coffee and breakfast with my fella in bed, I swung my leg over the Yeti and was off!
I headed up to Whinlatter forest to get a good long pedal on some purpose built trails. It’s my usual winter stomping grounds, as the trails were built to take prolonged wet weather and high levels of traffic. My usual route is riding from Keswick to Braithwaite, up Whinlatter pass until I deke out to a logging road that meets up half-way round the Blue route. I then finish the Blue route, and head home via a singletrack walking path through the woods.
This time, instead of continuing on the Blue route, I headed up the North Red route to get more miles/trails/awesomeness in while the sun was still shining. It starts as a fun descent through the woods, with little rocky techy bits to keep you on your toes, and then opens up into a singletrack, side-hill-hugging, exposed climb. This first climb always test my mental ability more than my climbing ability. It’s pretty narrow and the technical bits on the uphill are slate – so ridiculously slippery when wet (like it was today!). Then it’s a logging road slog for a while, with views over Bassenthwaite. After the big logging road climb it’s undulating ups and downs through the dark pine forest.
Roots and rocks aplenty on this trail, but there is only one section that I can’t ride that kind of wigs me out. It’s two sharp, steep corners that funnel any water down them (ie sopping wet!) and have a few drops/techy bits of logs/rocks/roots to contend with. You have to line it up well, get your weight back, and go at it with confidence to make the two corners… and today none of that was happening! I did try it again though, and next time I’m up hopefully I’ll get a little further….
I rode down the rest of the trail back out in the sunshine, when it opens up into massive, swoopy berms that overlook Grizedale Pike. By this point, despite my magic waterproof socks, I couldn’t feel my feet as they were super cold. So back home I went, where my delightful fella was making me dinner, a butternut squash risotto with a green salad and some lentils. Mmmm.