Pics of Saturday now available
Some realy nice shots can be found here:-
The rider times from the Lake District Ride It! event are now available to download using the links below -
Thanks to everyone who turned up and roade with us at the Lake District Ride It! event. We were lucky enough to get some dry weather on the Saturday for the mountain bike ride but it wasn’t to last and for the sportive on Sunday most riders started in the rain and it didn’t let up until just after the last riders came back in. Due to the conditions most riders on Sunday switched to one of the shorter route options with only a few hardy souls managing to beat the conditions and the full route over Birker Fell, Hardknott andd Wrynose.
I need to have a word with my wife. There I was, happily working myself through the “100 best road climbs in the UK” book and using the events as an excuse to knock a few off whilst we are in the area (Got three in Thirsk ) I’ve managed about 20 so far so only another 80 to go, but with Harnknott on this weekends ride and the opportunity to ride down, up and back down Wrynose whilst putting the route out, there was another two in the offing. Then I woke up on Monday to a Birthday suprise, “Another 100 road climbs in the UK” So now I have 180 to do! Closer examination showed that there was another climb on our route, but we were going down it and it was in the middle of knowhere so I had to go down, up and down this new climb and then on to Birker Fell and the follow up of Harnknott. So by the time I got to the bottom Wrynose I was pretty pooped and didn’t go back up So another trip to the Lakes will be needed Still 5300ft of climbing was a good day in the saddle, my route, elevation, times etc can be found here Garmin Connect
Right, onto the rides.
MTB, it’s been raining over the past week so the trails are going to be wet with some deep puddles. Most of the course is on rocking terain so there shouldn’t be too much mud ( famous last words, the boys are putting out the course tomorrow so we’ll see) and my advice is to ride in the puddles as this is generally where there is less mud! Please. please close all gates and do not leave them open for the next rider, no matter how close they are ( if they come across the gate you left open for them, they probably won’t shut it and then we will have cows and angry farmers all over the place) Enjoy the up, downs and views as there’s quite a few to take in
Sportive. Shorter than our usual rides due to the hills! The Short loop is pretty ok with one hill up to the first drink station and the second after Hawkshead, but nothing too serious. The short loop finishes back in Coniston where the Meduim and Long set off for the hardest part of the day. Coming out of Torver there is a vertical looking strip of tarmac visible in the distance, that’s the first real hill of this loop, Hummer Lane. Steep at first it does relent into a constant gradient with some awesome views out to sea at the top……. Down hill and straight into the second climb, Kiln Bank Cross. Bit gentler but with a little nip in the tail at the top after the gate ( please close) Down hill and arrive at the drink station which is also the medium/long ride split. If you have been struggling to here then please do the medium as the Long loop only gets harder. This starts with the climb over Birker Fell which begins with a right turn into a 25% 4 hairpin lung buster. Luckily it’s over fairly quickly and you can settle into a nice rhythm for the rest of the climb. This is one of my favourite bit of road in the country as it’s so remote, so scenic and ends with a scorching descent. In the dry that is, today it was wet with a head wind so a cautious descent it was. The good news was that the head wind meant I had a tailwind for Hardknott which comes at the end of a long, flat section along the valley floor. I’ve done HK 4 times previously but another year older and without as much fitness as before, I was a bit nervous today. For those that haven’t done it, here’s what to expect. Starting from the old telephone box with the 30% signs, you immediately head skyward, over a cattle grid, past a carpark, and then into some hairpins, keep to the outside if possible to take out some gradient ( hey, anything that helps ) Eventually the road flattens off, although never level, so you can relax for a bit. My advive here is to put it in low gear, spin the legs and take a breather. If it’s misty then the next section will be obscured from view, which is a good thing. Eventually you’ll be able to see a lefthand hairpin, now it’s time to grit those teeth. Just before the left though there is a sneaky short left/right climb to take out any speed you have, hairpin left, grit teeth, hairpin right, grit teeth, weave over the road and then it’s all over, you’ve conquered the King of the UK climbs!! Next come Wrynose, but the easy way and it’ll seem like a doddle…..
A word of caution.
The descents down from Hardknott and Wrynose are just as steep as the climbs. In the wet they can be treacherous. I came down both today with both brakes on at about 5mph and still had the rear wheel skidding in places. Hardknott is not so bad as it’s all hairpins so you will naturally be on the brakes, Wrynose is more straight, hairpin, straigh, hairpin so you are more inclined to pick up speed before having to brake. If it’s wet – DON’T, keep those brakes on and WALK if you are at all in doubt. Please also make sure you have good brakes before you set off!! The forecast is pretty good to be honest so hopefully it’ll be dry and you won’t have to worry to much about losing the rear wheel.
The forecast for the weekend is not too bad. But this is the Lakes so it might be sunny in Coniston, but raining in the next valley. Please make sure you have suitable clothing for all conditions. Gore Bikewear won’t be here but they have sent some clothing to loan out for free, please use it!!
It can be remote
So please make sure you have spare tubes or patches to repair punctures – it might take us over an hour to reach you so make sure you are not sitting on the side of the road when you could be on the road! If you rip a tyre there is a good way to repair it on the road to keep you going, click here – Repairing a rip
THIS IS NOT A RACE
These rides are not races. Please follow the highway/countryside code. Give way to other road/trail users and be polite. Roadies, do not ride two abreast where it is not safe to do so and keep your speed down and bike under control into blind corners. MTB riders, there are a lot of HORSE RIDERS in the area. Please slow down and STOP when you meet a horse, follow the instructions of the rider. Remember, you have complete (ish) control of your bike, they won’t have control of a spooked tonne of horse which can injure you/them/the horse. Think of it this way, you pass the horse once, they get passed 400 times. YOU are responsible for your actions and their consequences, if you cause an accident then you are liable for the costs.
These are now up for those that have pre-entered,( please do not mail me if you are not pre-entered, the files will be available to download from our computers on the morning. ) the link will be in the pre-event mail you should have received. If not, please check your junk folder or any other email addresses you might have used when booking. If you still can’t find it, mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org. Bear in mind that I won’t answer mails between 7am – 9pm Saturday.
We are gearing up for this weekends event in the Lakes, always a favourite with the staff due to the grerat scenery and classic hills.
I’ll be posting here with last minute updates, but to start off with a reminder that you can camp at this event. Just follow the links from the event page, HERE