Today was phenomenal. The most beautifully sunny and calm day that the North Lakes has had for months. Literally, I think it was … back sometime in early Autumn that we had a day like this I reckon. I awoke to the sun streaming through the windows, filling the bedroom and the entirety of our little flat with warmth and light. It is such a pleasure waking up to this, simply wonderful.
I got out of bed and spent the morning listening to a fabulous BBC Radio 6 program from last Friday (28.02.14), one of my favourites, Lauren Laverne. She was kicking off the 6 Music Festival, with special guests (and my current love affair), Elbow. You’ve got until this Friday to listen in if you like, or you can just check out the BBC symphony orchestra rendition of Seldom Seen Kid (an Elbow album) instead. I finished up some work for my volunteering placement while listening to my beloved Elbow, and then geared myself up for a big, beautiful sunshine ride!
I have been meaning to ride to Penrith on the Surly this year, but every time I have had a free afternoon it hasn’t been the best weather. I am kind of a fair-weather road rider, I don’t know how folks can get excited about riding a road bike for a couple hours out in the wet or the wind. Unless I’m cycle touring/commuting though – then it’s fine… cause you don’t really have a choice, do you? 🙂
So I got me kit together and was off towards Penrith, shooting for the Booths Cafe for a half-way rest. I left Keswick via the Castlerigg Stone Circles, and then crossed over the A66 at Threlkeld to head out the little cycle path that runs out the back of the village. Then alongside the A66 on the Sustrans Route 71, then crossed back over the A66 to head towards Waithwaite, to take the teeny tiny back road towards Troutbeck.
Although it’s ever-so-slightly-uphill the entire way, I love ‘the Troutbeck’ road. Behind you lies the entirety of the North Lakes, silhouettes of little mountains in the distance. In front of you, the hills of the North Lakes give way to undulating grasslands, stretching out into the flat lands just East of Keswick. There are also two very friendly horses on this road, who are always munching away, at the same exact spot, every time I ride down there. They are always super friendly too – I like going to say hi.
Rode from Troutbeck to Penrith via Greystoke, and felt rather triumphant riding into Penrith. It’s my first ‘bigger’ road ride of the year, and i have started to think about next week already… three days off + possible sunshine = mini cycle tour? Exciting!
Hung out at the Booths Cafe and had a very ‘upper-middle-class’ afternoon, drinking a soy latte, reading The Guardian, munching on a herb and onion ciabatta with hummus, and some posh Willie’s Cocao chocolate. Mmmm. Got back on me bike and pedalled myself home as fast as I could, as it was getting mega chilly by this point despite the sunshine. Oh right, it’s still early March … I thought for second I was transported into early May. Soon enough.