Twinkly Dave – Mud splattered bicycle and pizza enthusiast Growing old disgracefully

December 14, 2009

Waiting for ‘that’ frozen ride

Filed under: bikes — dgpowell @ 12:01 pm

You know the one – where the temperature doesn’t rise much above freezing all day, but it doesn’t matter as there’s no wind, pale blue skies, bright sunshine and you’ve managed to get the right amount of clothing on to stay nice and comfortable.
You start psyching yourself up for it sometime in mid November as the reality of shorter days and the loss of the warmth of summer, it’s something to keep riding for when it’s awful outside, that one ride were the ground stays frozen enough to recreate the fast, solid trails of summer, with some added excitement in the form of hidden icey patches.
Saturday’s road ride, with it’s frosty views for miles and wonderful stillness in the empty countryside, suggested that ‘it’ might be on this weekend, so Rich and I headed out on Sunday morning over trails that are out of bounds (if you actually want to ride, rather than slither about in hub deep peaty slop) for most of the year – only being good fun in either long dry spells or in the frozen depths of winter.


Annoyingly, the temperature was about 2 degrees too warm to keep the ground properly frozen, so much of the ride was spent waiting for the “crackle, crunch, graunch” noises to suddenly turn into “ker-thwolp, fwop fwop” as we gingerly pedalled over and would then get bogged down into, the saturated hillsides. It was good fun though, slithering around like that, powered by bacon butties, mugs of tea and views to make city-locked people jealous 🙂


I’d forgotten just how awkward and tricky the descent down from the top of Whin Fell to Brennand Farm is (well, that’s a bit of a lie, I knew full well it was tricky, I just hadn’t ridden it for a while) and anout 30 seconds after setting of from the top I remembered why I usually bother to drop my saddle on it, as a freshly washed away little drop off had me teetering on the front wheel, peering over the edge of the sinuous, rock littered trail down a drop to the right that could easily spell disaster. Much of the rest of the cliff-face traverse part of the downhill was spent with one foot out, scuffing the hillside with both brakes squealing in fear, so I didn’t have to!
Rich took my front wheel balancing act one step further by going ‘OTB’ and smacking his arm, but managed not to fall over the edge and down the big scary drop, so lived to tell the tale and roll the easier lower slopes of the descent.
We cruised along the World’s Best Surfaced Bridleway down to Dunsop Bridge and extended the ride a bit by romping over Waddington Fell, past all the freshly dug-out road signs warning of ice, without even contemplating taking the descent into the village of Waddington itself any slower than normal before heading home again.

It’s meant to get colder again next weekend, so maybe the first properly frozen ride will happen then…

1 Comment

  1. I remember that descent now 😉 thank the lord for food poisoning, shame I missed out on a near death experience again LOL

    Comment by Wayne Farrell — December 14, 2009 @ 5:13 pm

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