Growing old disgracefully

  • As if an excuse was needed (recceing)

    Planning another Daft Ride in a few weeks, this time up in Cumbria (mostly…), which includes a few bits I’ve never ridden before, so I took myself off to have a gander at some of them yesterday.

    Now this route I’ve got planned has a fair amount of road in it – it just has to, to link up the off road bits, but my aims were a) to get the road sections over as soon as possible b) wherever possible use the roads to cut out what would otherwise be crap bits (ie do a bit of climbing on the road to not have to crawl up some awful tussocky hillside) and c) use smaller and more scenic roads. The road sections on yesterdays bit of the ride did that quite well; cruising round Dufton over to Kirkland was a nice leg stretcher (or, during the Daft Ride will be a good chance to recoup and eat) and the road over from Garrigill towards Cow Green Reservoir gets quite a bit of climbing out of the way after a long (off road) descent. It’s a bugger of a road though, that one out from Garrigill, a real long drag…scenic though and obviously quite remote – in fact it was the first time I’d ever seen snow poles along a road in England!

    The more important off road bits were quite good; the climb up from Kirkland onto Cross Fell is ridable most of the way up (well, it was with fresh legs anyway), with a bit of a push onto the plateau where a nice rocky path leads the way back down to Garrigill over some seriously remote hillsides:

    Cross Fell

    I saw one other person in the first 20 miles…and this was on a Sunday afternoon in decent weather!

    The off road back over to Dufton, past Cow Green reservoir (and the photo-op that i didn’t take at Cauldron Snout) had a bit of everything, some techy sections, some fast grassy bits, some annoying bits that look like they should be rideable but aren’t, some paving slabs, some tank tracks (yes, army tanks) and lots more remoteness, culminating in a ride round the edge of High Cup Nick and a nice drop back down to the village.

    High Cup Nick

    High Cup Nick

    All in, that bit of the route was 43 miles and had 1673m climbing in it. It wasn’t super technical anywhere nor did it have any real singletrack in it (the tech bits and the singletrack come elsewhere in the route) and it’ll be a right bugger after a big day out on the fells & mountains, but it ticks all the boxes for inclusion in the Daft Route, so it’s in. People will no doubt be cursing my name during the hard bits 😀


    10:06 am on July 6, 2009 | 5 Comments | # |


  • Rich 3:17 pm on July 6, 2009 | #

    Looks like a good ride, shame I couldn’t make it. Did it look like where we may have to go on the c2c?

  • terrahawk 6:18 pm on July 6, 2009 | #

    looks like a memorable ride is taking shape…!

  • dgpowell 10:39 am on July 7, 2009 | #

    hi rich, it was further up north than the C2C goes – we stay over in kirkby stephen and head slightly south from there on day 3 i think, this was just north of appleby-in-westmorland.

    Same sort of hills though: Big!

    oh; am taking wayne over the howgills on sunday if you’re up for it (no snapping your frame allowed)

    jase: memorable: yes. daft: yes. still not decided where to start it from mind you…am searching for a nice little village somewhere between the first and last bits of off road…with a pub, obviously 🙂

  • Rich 10:18 am on July 8, 2009 | #

    I am at a wedding this weekend in Wales so won’t be able to make it. Did you get my message about kayaking for tomorrow. We would not be able to start till quite late in the evening. Do you want to put it back until sometime in the next few weeks?

  • dgpowell 9:46 am on July 9, 2009 | #

    yep, we’ll reorganise – I’m away on a course next week so probably won’t be able to do anything then