Ride no. 23 – mountain biking legs v.s. running legs

sun slowly saying goodnight

Ride no. 23 already, this time on the wee mountain bike. It has been a beautiful couple days here in the Lake District, today being particularly spectacular. Clear blue skies, snow-capped fells, calm wind, and abundant sunshine – what a novelty! I was at work all of the sunshiney hours (boo!), and didn’t plan on going for a ride at all, as my legs were knackered from running up Latrigg yesterday.

Yes, running.

It’s an activity that I seldom partake in, but it’s a good ‘quick’ bit of exercise for me, as I don’t fancy running much longer than 45 minutes/an hour, which is plenty enough for myself (as I find running much harder than riding!). Tired legs and all though, I got out of work and just had to take advantage of the clear skies in the fading light. I hurried on home, threw on some riding kit and a head lights, and off I went.

in the fading light

Just a small jaunt up Latrigg (are you sensing a Latrigg-based theme here?), and my legs were pretty shot. Every pedal stroke I could feel all those rarely-used running muscles barking in protest at me. Thankfully the sunset over Keswick and the surrounding amphitheatre of fells kept my attention away from my questionable fitness levels and on the stunning landscape in front of me.

About half-way up Latrigg I paused to take photos of the sky overlooking Keswick and I saw another head light bobbing towards me. I covered mine up as to not blind them, and I heard a familiar voice saying hello to me. It was another rad Keswick female who, in between working the 9 to 5 and meeting mates for a dinner get-together, decided she would just run up, and around, and over a small mountain.

the darkness moving in

I love it. I love how many women I see out in the fells, or on the trails, or on the roads in the Lakes – running, riding, walking. There is a gender-gap that often exists within outdoors activities (especially ‘extreme’ ones like mountain biking), where it is very male-dominated. The absence of said gender-gap is something that I love about Whistler and the Sea to Sky. In Whistler, there are just as many rad lady riders/runners/etc that will soon kick your ass up that climb no matter what gender you happen to be. And the Lakes, to some extent, is a similar sort of thing – rad ladies who are superheroes on their bikes. It’s nice to live in an area where you don’t feel like the ultimate novelty just because you happen to a) have lady bits, and b) be on a bicycle.

So after a brief chat with this particular rad-lady, we both went our separate ways in the now near-darkness, myself climbing and herself descending. I pedalled over and around Latrigg and down into the swoopy trails of Brundtholme woods, where I was riding particularly well I thought. My smugness grew as I cleaned all the sections that I sometimes dab on (yeah!) and completed my loop quicker than I usually do- even with my knackered ‘running legs’! All in all, a very good night indeed. 🙂

Home again to showers, stir-frys, and oreos. Mmmm. Nighty night, all.


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