Distance covered: 1831 miles
Eastbourne to Newcastle
Made it to Tynemouth this afternoon after a few fun but challenging days. Spent a very wet couple of days in the Lakes, and discovered that Rossett Pike, on my route was completely unrideable...
Turned round about half-way up after speaking to people on their way down who all said the downhill on the other side was going to be equally unrideable. Not worth the pain if you don't get the gain, I decided, and had a pint of beer called Single Track at the bottom, fittingly! It was really tasty as well.
The following day was rather damp, but the trails around Skiddaw were fantastic, beautiful riding, if a touch dangerous at times. At one point I was making my way across slippery rocks on a 'bridle way' a couple of feet wide with a hundred-metre vertical plunge to the river below. But as I'm writing this you'll already have worked out that I didn't fall off and kill myself or anything gruesome like that!
Kielder Forest was the next big draw on the route, and though it's neither natural forest nor the most beautiful area, it is wonderfully set up for bikers in most respects. I spent a day zipping around some wonderful single track dotted with forest trails, and went into the 7 Stanes network over the border as well. It was the perfect end to an amazing trip.
I got down to Tynemouth this afternoon, having miraculously avoided a puncture on the bike path made of broken glass - along the banks of the Tyne.
So back to work now, well next week, and, more importantly, to planning the next big fat bike adventure. Please e-mail me with suggestions, the less plausible the better!
The edge of the Lakes, down from Skiddaw
Might need a passport next time I cross here?
Red route around Kielder Water
Distance so far: 1583 miles
Newbiggin to Ambleside
Have made it across the Dales, via the highest pub in Britain (we also did the 2nd and 4th highest, incidentally!) who do a cracking pint called EWE, named after the woolly variety rather than the MTB variety. And now in the heart if the Lake District. Spent the afternoon at Ghyllside (http://www.ghyllside.co.uk/) getting a few things fixed up and then headed to Grizedale to do a loop on some of the single track there before a truly enormous meal...
Outside the fantastic Tan Hill Inn, not en route but worth the effort!
On top of Nab Bield Pass, a monstrously steep push (of 90 mins) up from Haweswater. Coming down was fun, if slightly suicidal in places...
As if I would opt for anything else...
Nothing like a clean pair of mits ;)
Tomorrow sees an attempt at Rossett Pike, which looks similarly difficult to Nam Bield... Happy days!
Part-time teacher, full-time lover of all things adventurous, some might say even a little crazy...