Coed Brenin Enduro 2014

Coed Brenin Enduro 2014

Sunday, 30 March 2014

7 Stanes - Mabie Forest

Sometimes it bugs me when people say 'I nearly came to visit...' or ' I nearly bought you.....', well this weekend I nearly went to Scotland to hit the hills and ski. There's plenty of snow up North but the weekend forecast wasn't great, with warm temperatures and gale force winds. What to do......

I didn't go, thinking will I regret the decision, but looking at some Scottish ski webcams, I'm happy with my choice. Instead on Saturday I had 3 hours in the giant fridge at Manchester (Chill Factore) and tried out my ski's. They were great....

Perfectly packed car... 3 bike frames, 6 wheels and 3 people!
Judith hitting the board walks..
Sunday's plan was to mountain bike North of the border so I met with Shaw and Judith and we crammed 3 bikes into Judith's car and zoomed North...... unfortunately we had to nip back to my car (at Crooklands) as some fool (me) had left his rear axle in the car (sorry)!

Bike adjustment number 1!!!

Shaw on the berms

Wait for me....
On the way up Shaw texted Loz just to check and get permission to cross the border into Scotland (well it won't be long until the separation/border controls go in - whens the vote...?), but alas no reply, so unsure of our legal status we 'snook' across the border and headed to Mabie, one of the 7-Stanes bike trails I've not yet visited.

Speed demon

We did the great red route, and it was rather good. Great weather, great trail and Shaw was very patient with my camera stops - although I may have to see if he comes biking with me again!? He was super quick too on his new bike.

This man means business

Oh yeah.........
Judith's want for a post ride cup of tea was an excellent idea and we ended up at a open farm/cafe that did very good cakes. Shaw wanted a go on the bouncy castle but we managed to distract him and head off home.... Great day guys.
now will they all go back in?

The picture says it all (I think)

Nice cup of tea to finish the day

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Worth the wait....

What amazing weather, a sunny day in the Lakes, with 6" of fresh snow on the tops. We decided that a ride starting from Staveley and heading deep into Kentmere would be a good idea, and indeed it was!

Loads of bikers were assembling at Wilfs when we arrived (late!) to meet Steve, but strangely we only saw 2 all day. The tracks were great and views even better.

The Kentmere Savanna

Must watch out for big cats stalking us...
And now some downhill....
I'd sold the ride as being a 1.5-2hr blast, but we ended up riding for 3.5 hrs, and we didn't stop much either..... I'd also said it was an easy route..... Erm, actually it was quite rough and a very hilly route, or would you say 'undulating'?! Amazing how your brain only remembers the good points (and not all of the hills!).

Cruising at the end of Kentmere

The start of Bluebell Lane
A greater spotted Steve
We all enjoyed it, and I even managed to slow the group down a few times to get some pictures. A classic Lakes outing, so lucky to live near here.

Approaching the water jump

Sorry Steve if you got in trouble for being late for your walk this afternoon ;-).

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Vive la France

We had the biannual visit from the one of the French clan this weekend. We made the most of this brief visit with plenty of wine, food, Rugby (watching not playing), wandering and some cafe culture - great. 

Sue lounge skiing

The beautiful Tarn Howe

Spring has sprung in Dolphinholme

Crocuses anyone?!

Just one more bottle........

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Charity begins at home...

I really want to get my own ski kit so that I can ski in the UK (and abroad). If you don't have your own stuff you simply can't ski in the Lakes as no one hires equipment. Its a big expense to set your self up, but oh well. So I have bought some touring boots from Backcountry UK - great shop that took 2 hours to fit boots to my hobbit feet! I'm also keeping an eye on ebay and a German website that has some very good deals on skis at the moment.

I didn't really want orange, but no colour choice sadly
They say Charity begins at home, so I thought that I would test this out (in a broad sense) and put my 'piggy' bank outside to allow the generous people of Dolphinholme to support my selfish quest.

Dolphinholme was quiet today, but I did find 20p in the money pig at the end of the day. Hey it all helps.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Sunny side up.....

Steve went out on his bike yesterday and did a tough (hilly) 30 km loop in the Dales. I'd wanted to go.... but with the wet/claggy forecast and the dream of a lie in after working on Saturday, I wimped out (sorry Steve).

But it kind of worked out well because I'd booked today off work and the forecast was for lots of sun - yay.

I headed up to the Northern Lakes to do a route on the flanks of Skiddaw. I'd not been biking up this way for a few years so was excited on the drive up. It was a great morning with fine views of the snow topped peaks as I headed up the M6 and across to Keswick.

Snow on the tops was inviting
The route heads along the old railway line before going North into the back country at the village of Blencathra. I'd only planned to do a 20km loop, but when I got to the farthest point I carried on to the the remote Skiddaw House YHA/bunkhouse - I didn't want to head back even though I'd forgotten to take food with me!
Cute little nuthatch
Some of the Peaks looked like there was enough snow for a bit of skiing - if only I had my own ski's so I could head out in the Lakes..................hmm...........

nice old signs

its this way then.....
The return was amazing and I found myself grinning like a Cheshire cat as I sped along the winding singletrack that snakes along the steep valley, conscious that I really had too stay sharp as the drop to the left is out of bounds - last year a mountain biker fell off this track and sadly died.

Off into the wilds (well as wild as the Lakes can be!)

Spot the 2x walkers I'd cycled past. Love the colours of the hill side
The final descent back to Keswick is a real blast, unfortunately it always has walkers on it, but between dodging people you can really fly and get some air from the drainage channels (thank you Park Authority for building jumps!). What a great blast on a sunny day, I love living near the Lakes - no offence Derbyshire ;-).

Enjoying the stunning scenery before turning round and heading back