Thursday 31 January 2013

Hallin Fell

An anticlockwise circuit of Hallin Fell, looking North towards Bonscale
and Arthurs Pike across Howtown Bay
Further round and the full force of the wind hit us,
Gowbarrow Fell across the white caps on Ullswater
The unusual bridge over  Howegrain Beck at the foot of
Martindale. Still a bit of snow left on the North
slopes of Rampsgill Head

Thursday 24 January 2013


Bridge over the River Aire in Gargrave
The Leeds Liverpool Canal near Bank Newton
Friendly Mallard Ducks (Think they get cold feet?)

Sunday 20 January 2013

RSF ride to Dent

We met today in the square in Kirkby Lonsdale, six of us today. A cold ride expected under what looked like snowladen skies. We all expected a cold ride! After Cake/Toasted Teacake and Tea/Coffee we rode up through Old Town across the western slopes of the Lune valley.
Frozen track near Rigmaden
Crossing the Lune we took bridleways and narrow lanes past Middleton Hall. One of these had alot of ice and claimed yours truly, I went down like a ton of bricks! No real harm done thankfully.
Simeon on the Low Lane near Middleton
A short bridleway from near Holme Farm took us over into Dentdale. Chris had a puncture here, not what you need in the freezing conditions today.
Onto the open fell, Howgills in the background
All the cafes were shut in Dent, so we had lunch in the shelter adjacent to the main car park. The group split at this point, Simeon and John went back by road. The rest of us walked up Flintergill to meet the Occupation Road.
Chris at the top of Flintergill
The Occupation Road would normally be an easy ride, but today there was no time to admire the view, the track was very icy. The concentration and adrenaline certainly warmed us up
Onto the Occupation Road above Dent, Howgills again in the background
Once at the Barbondale road we made rapid progress down Barbondale, leaving the tarmac to ride the bridleway below Barbon Manor. We still had an appetite for another short bridleway on the edge of Barbon village before riding back to Kirkby Lonsdale on quiet lanes arriving back at 3pm.

Friday 18 January 2013

Limestone Link and Leighton Moss

At least the mud's frozen!
Its been absolutely perishing today, considering I was probably never more than 50m above sea level it was as cold as I can remember. No snow while I was out though! The Limestone Link (between Arnside and Kirkby Lonsdale) runs almost past my door, so with a late start I decided to walk towards Arnside, then follow my nose.
Limestone pavement on the Limestone Link!
At Slackhead I chose to leave the path and went to have a look for Leighton Forge, (without success) then several field and woodland paths followed by a little trespassing took me into Trowbarrow quarry. A pair of Buzzards were quartering the sky as I crossed the disused quarry floor. The public hide at Leighton Moss was a welcome shelter for a brew, it was an icy scene from the hide very little birdlife. I made my way to Yealand then took field paths back to Hale and then quiet lanes back home. It was straight on with the kettle!

Sunday 13 January 2013

RSF ride to Arnside and Silverdale

Lancaster Canal at Longlands
A local Rough Stuff ride for me, so I rode down to Carnforth to the Refreshment Rooms to meet the rest of the group. The sun had been up but snow was forecast, the initial ride along the canal brought us to New England. We crossed the narrow bridge and followed the frozen lane to Borwick. Kirkgate Lane led us over towards Priest Hutton, then some road work brought us to Hilderstone. (I was nearly back home by now!)
John and Ian deciding if they should continue!
They did wet feet were the result.
The rest of us retreated!
This lane could only be descibed as "moist", some of us turned round and went round by road to Hale. Several more bridleways were ridden near Hale, before a bit more road brought us to Dollywood Lane near Leighton Beck.
Simeon on Dollywood Lane
Lunch was eaten at Arnside, as the snow finally started. A stiff climb over Arnside Knott was followed by some more tarmac to the RSPB cafe at Leighton Moss. he snow/sleet was heavier as we left to climb over the bridleway from near Crag Foot to cross Warton Crag.
Ian and John on Warton Crag.
(A poor pic, taken in the snow)
Here I said my goodbyes as I headed through the quiet lanes to Yealand and home the snow making for an interesting few miles back to Holme

Thursday 10 January 2013


A simple walk up one side of the valley

North from Watendlath, the mist slowly lifting
Watendlath Tarn, the mist almost gone
Then back from Watendlath back to the car (still shrouded in mist)

Sunday 6 January 2013

Dallam Park and the Fairy Steps

Fallow Deer in Dallam Park

Waking to seeing (or rather not seeing!) an all enveloping dense fog it was decided that a local walk would be wise. Parking at Beetham, we walked through Dallam Park and down to the River Bela. The resident herd of Fallow deer seemed unperturbed by our presence.
We crossed the road and followed the river until beyond the weir it meets the estuary. The tide was well out and the sand nice and firm. Our route then basically followed the old Hincaster-Arnside branch line, eventually leaving it to walk through Carr Bank and past Hazelslack Tower. From here we were able to use the path known as the "Limestone Link", climbing steadily to arrive at the Fairy Steps. We successfully ascended said steps, which are more of a challange to girth than climbing ability!

The Fairy Steps 
All downhill from here back to the car in Beetham from here, although the path through the woods again was extremely muddy, limestone should be well drained!
This completes the 300th post on the blog, I'm rather surprised I've kept it up.

Thursday 3 January 2013

Mosedale Cottage

Back down Swindale from Swindale Head

Today I was out with Ian, we parked near the foot of Swindale, the weather was much better than the forecast, there was even some sun! The metalled road makes for quick progress and gives the chance to look round, no need to watch your feet here. After Swindale head the bridleway leads across a natural causeway to avoid the boggy morass that is Dodd Bottom. As the ground steepens the bridleway becomes less obvious and alot wetter.We could hear the falls above the wind a few hundred metres to the east until the angle eases and the path contours above Mosedale Beck. I'd like to tell you that the path dries up from here....but it doesn't, if anything its worse!
North from the bridge
As neither of us had been this way for years we went and had a look at the bridge marked on the map were the two bridleways meet, before continuing the last kilometre or so to the Cottage.
Approaching Mosedale Cottage
The cottage was in good order, although a feeling of damp and cold pervaded. It didn't seem to have changed since we stopped here probably 10 years ago. It provided shelter for us to have lunch and brew up, luckily as the cloud had dropped and a heavy drizzle had set in.
Would have been nice if the stove was lit!
Would also be nice if the folk who struggle in with bottles of
Champagne could manage to carry the empty's back out!
I had a read of the "Bothy Book" most folks handwritting was appalling! Once we'd eaten up, the drizzle had eased and we retraced our steps back to the bridge, then followed the beck all the way to the bottom of Forces Falls. Then back to the tarmac lane which led back to the car. A great walk, no one seen except a couple of drystone wallers and the farmer in the distance on his quad.

Tuesday 1 January 2013

New years Day Mountain Biking

Looks clean eh
Today's ride was an opportunity to give my On One a shakedown ride and also check out the route for the RSF ride on Thursday 14th Feb which I shall be leading.
Starting from Chapel Stile in Langdale, I rode up the valley until just after Harry Place Farm. Here I crossed the valley on the bridleway which loops back past Base Brown Farm, and then over Owlets Nest to Little Langdale.
A cloudy Wetherlam from Owlets Nest
Sadly the cloud was well down, and rain was in the air. I rode down and across the ford which gives access to Tilbirthwaite The tracks and bridleways give easy riding generally. From High Yewdale the permissive path keeps you off the road, and crossing the road to Low Yewdale I was soon beside Coniston Water, which was very high.
The jetties were completely covered
The return leg took me back into Tilbirthwaite, then climbing over to Oxen Fell, straight across the road and onto the Arnside Intake track. Iron Keld was a good test of the climbing ability of the new bike, and its descending qualities on the way down!
A bit of tarmac work to gain some height, then over to High Park a very slippery ride down to Low Colwith then a couple of miles on the road back to the car. All the natural tracks were very wet, only to be expected given the rain we've had. The bike's great, and this is an excellent ride with very little road work.

Out with the Old in with the New

Bye-Bye Pitch Pro.......
.........Hello Inbred.
Sorry about the rubbish photo, rain on lens!
New Year, new bike. I've been building the On One Inbred over the past couple of months, having travelled to the On One HQ back in August to select the frame. The Inbred is steel, and is a 29er, the spec I came up with includes "dirt-drop" handlebars! Not something you see everyday on an offroad bike. It rides brilliantly! (But as I built it, I would say that wouldn't I)
And the reason for this change, well the Pitch Pro can descend like a demon, but it's a bit of a drag on the climbs. The other thing....well I'm getting on a bit, and the faster you go the bigger the accident when it happens.