Sunday, 26 February 2012

Circuit of the Howgill by road bike

River Lune at Rigmaden

Jobs done this morning, it was 12 noon by the time I set off from home on the road bike to ride round the Howgills. The ride took me via Hutton Roof, to Kirkby Lonsdale, then minor roads via Underley and Rigmaden as I cycled up the Lune valley. Crossing the Lune and after a short while changing my allegiance from Lune to Rawthey I arrived at Sedbergh. The "Duo Cafe" was my target, food and drink consumed, I decided to continue  even though the mist and drizzle were hanging about. The A683 was the way forward, this pretty much climbs, albeit gradually for about 7 miles. The limestone escarpment of Stennerskeugh Clouds was......Cloudy! so no real view of Baugh Fell or Wild Boar Fell, and to the west the Howgills were also swathed in cloud. Cutting off to the west to Ravenstonedale, I met the strong westerly wind, which had proper rain in it. Oh good I thought, not really, I only had a windproof jacket with me. It faired up after a few miles, but the wind still blew. Even slight gradients seemed hard work, then I had a look at the back tyre, it was almost flat, I remembered a pothole I'd hit a mile or so back. At this point I wasn't to bothered p########s are a fact of life if you ride a bike, so wheel out, tube out, found the puncture, then realised that my pump had come apart inside, and wouldn't supply any pressure! So about 20 miles away from home, kind of concentrates the mind, I managed to dismantle the parts of the pump which hadn't already fallen apart, and bodged it back together. Back on the road, after about another mile I had a re-occurrence, my fingers by now were cold and I managed to snap the end off the valve, I always carry a spare tube thankfully, this seemed to do the trick. Time however was running out, partially due to my late start and partly due to the dramas. My quiet cycle down the " Fairmile Road", had to be cancelled with a more direct and busier route shadowing the M6, just getting back while there was proper daylight. (I had lights to be seen with, but not to SEE with!)
Food stop at the "Duo Cafe

Sunday, 19 February 2012

RSF ride to Shap

At the start of the Roman Road

A beautiful morning greeted us as we met near the Old Schoolhouse Cafe in Tebay, this morning. 7 folk had turned up for the ride. After a visit for Tea and toasted teacakes in the cafe, a plan was hatched, our ride today would take us to Shap and back. This doesn't look far on the map, but our route would be circuitous. We rode on minor roads via Gaisgill, before crossing the A685 at Kelleth and using an old track, crossing the River Lune. We doubled back using a byway passing Fawcett Mill ( now a house) before riding another minor lane over Coalflatt Bridge. A short way along the road to Orton a bridleway took us across fields passing the isolated house of Martinagap. A little bit of roadwork, and we reached the open fell and rode the bridleway, which follows the line of a roman road to Oddendale. The track was very slippery the sun was thawing the frozen mud producing a tricky to say the least consistency! Ambition got the better of ability on here and I was dumped upside down in the mud to much amusement of the group. We had lunch sat in the sun on here with a splendid view of the Howgill fells. After lunch we rode along Harberwain Rigg, again tricky in the cloying mud. At the end of the lane we turned left and headed into Shap, to visit the cafe, however it was shut! The return leg all on the road took us on the water board concrete road, before climbing over Hardendale Fell and crossing under the M6 to ride down into Orton and the Chocolate Shop cafe. Hot Chocolate and other treats were consumed, somehow we managed to empty the cafe! Don't know how or why! From here its only a short way back to Tebay and the cars. A great ride today, I used my full suspension bike today, rather harder work I'd say.
Well behaved Hedgehogs in the Chocolate Shop Cafe

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Gait Barrows

And all done by nature!
After a ride on the road bike round the Arnside and Silverdale area, I had planned to do a few jobs in the afternoon. However the forecast rain was much lighter than they said so I went for a short stroll round Gaitbarrows. This is a NNR and lies within the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There were a few guys cutting down the scrub down ready for spring no doubt, this will allow the many flowers which the reserve is famous for to thrive. The remaining areas of untouched limestone pavement are very impressive, carved into amazing shapes by a combination of glaciation and water erosion, although today, rather slippy! The rain came on rather heavier just as we got back to the car, good timing.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

RSF ride to Kitridding

Crossing Lupton Beck

Today's ride started once more for "The Refreshment Rooms" at Carnforth railway station. I had ridden to the start from home (Holme),  so some of my outward route was retraced,  we then rode the bridleways west of the A6 before crossing from Hale to Pye Bridge Lane, which then led onto Elmsfield Lane. Our route then skirted Farleton Knott, crossing Lupton Beck was achieved by most of the group using the bridge, although it was a bit icy. One of our number decided that crossing the ford would be a good idea, it wasn't! Sadly this wasn't captured on "film". Once across the A65 we climbed Crabtree Lane this gave us access to the bridleway over Scout Hill. Lunch was eaten below the summit, the view from here I'm sure is superb, sadly today it barely extended for 200m. There followed a kilometre or so of mainly pushing, due to snow,ice and  basically really rough going. Cake was needed at this point so after a bit of careful riding due to untreated roads, we arrived at "Kitridding" farmshop and cafe,which was very busy. Space was made for 8 cyclists, cake and other goodieswere consumed. Suitably fed and watered we headed towards Kirkby Lonsdale, making a detour by Mansergh Church and its adjacent byway. As we were running out of daylight, it was tarmac all the way from here, via Biggins (really) and Hutton Roof, before dropping down to Burton-in-Kendal. I said my goodbyes at this point and rode home on the lanes. My feet were like blocks of ice, but as usual on the Rough Stuff rides it had been a great day. Should anyone like to read more or indeed find links to other accounts and articles on/about the RSF follow this link:-
Bridleway on Scout Hill. 

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Fog on the Canal (Not the Tyne!)

No it's not Black and White!
A short walk beside the Lancaster Canal, very foggy, a day of looming blurred images. North from Holme to just short of Crooklands and back along the quiet minor roads to the village. At a guess the temperature has been just above freezing all day, the snow of yesterday is still hanging about, but is particularly slippery!