|View from Brambles Cafe before we started
Today was the first ride I'd led for the Rough Stuff Fellowship, and the starting/meeting point was Brambles Cafe above the Co-op in Chapel Stile. There was alot more snow left after yesterdays 7hrs continous snowstorm than I anticipated. I was pleased to see Mick, I thought I might be on my own!
|Ullets Nest track looking towards Wetherlam
A short bit of tarmac as we rode down to Little Langdale ford. Sensibly we used the footbridge. We continued through Tilbirthwaite before climbing up to the gaping quarry workings at Hodge Close. Here we took the bridleway which skirts the western slopes of Holme Fell.
Once down in Yewdale the cycle/footpath makes a pleasent option to avoid the road into Coniston. Butties were eaten at Waterhead, the sun was trying it's best but not hard enough! A relativly new permissive bridleway follows the lakeshore before bringing you back onto the road to the head of Coniston Water.
We had decided to climb to High Cross on the Hawkshead road by tarmac rather than a loop into Grizedale forest, the minor roads by Atkinson Ground were quiet enough and once at High Cross we dropped down to Knipe Fold and settled in for the long climb up the Arnside Intake byway, we had great views of the Langdale Pikes and Wetherlam.
|Langdales from Arnside Intake
Straight across at Oxenfell and through the farmyard at High Oxenfell. most of this byway wasn't rideable, there was spinning wheels aplenty. Turning right at Hodge Close cottage the undulating byway brought us to Stang End
|Approaching Stang End
Here another right turn and a short stretch of tarmac before the last bridleway of the day started at High Park this lane was very wet. we declined the ford just before the tarmac at Low Colwith! From here it was just a short stretch of minor road back to the cars on Elterwater Common. We both agreed it had been a good ride, inspite of the snow/slush. My feet were numb with cold, but what can you expect, it certainly hadn't spoilt my enjoyment at all.