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Ride Reports

Saturday 12th August 2017

The weather forecast was for light showers, brightening up later. Seven riders arrived at the starting point in the layby near Sizergh Castle. The route starts on the wonderfully named Nannypie Lane and goes through the villages of Sedgewick and Natland, followed by the long drag up by the Helm, and then winds northwards, up and down, and up and down, and up and down again towards Grayrigg.
We then turned westwards towards Patton Bridge, and the picturesque hamlet of Garnett Bridge with its spectacular gorge. Onwards via Potter Fell Road – the clue’s in the name – more climbing. There is very little flat on this ride!
Five of us made it down the steep windy descent on the other side and waited for the two stragglers at the junction. And waited. After a while with no sign of them, being the gentleman that I am, I sent Sarah-Jane back up the hill to look for them. She came back a little later to report the Phil D had had a puncture but that they were close to getting it sorted. So we waited some more. Finally, our patience ran out and being only a couple of miles from Staveley, we decided to press on to the café stop to wait for them there.
When we arrived at Wilf’s Café, we were treated to a wait in a very long queue, but we were entertained by the sight of numerous morris dancers taking part in the Lakes Folk Weekend. We were still in the queue when our two stragglers finally arrived. The problem was apparently with the fact that neither of them had a decent pump, and Phil had completed the last couple of miles with only 40 psi in his back tyre!
Fully refreshed and with Phil’s tyre pressure corrected thanks to the nice people at Wheelbase, who were happy to lend him a track pump, we set off for the second half of the ride. Through Crook, towards Crosthwaite, and onwards south beneath the impressive limestone cliffs of Whitbarrow Scar. The official route then goes up the fairly savage climb to Newton Fell with the equally savage descent on the other side with its numerous and steep hair pin bends, but the decision had already been taken earlier on to avoid this danger, so we took the more benign route through the woods to Witherslack and Mill Side.
We then had the blissful experience for a couple of miles of the only flat section of the ride to Levens, but then there was the sting in the tail of the steep bit out of Levens Village.
A great ride of 38.6 miles at an average speed of 12 mph, and although it was relatively short for a B2 ride, what it lacked in distance it more than made up for in lumpiness. My Garmin recorded 3343 feet of climbing. Thanks to Anne, Martin, Phil, Sarah-Jane, Ian and new member Tim for your excellent company.

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