Sunday 30 November 2014

Rough Stuff Fellowship Ride from Orton to Warcop.....and Back!

Just the 3 of us this morning at Orton for the planned ride to Warcop, short days at this time of year so we were off prompt at 10am under blue skies and with little wind. Ian was our leader for the day...seems he likes mud!

The first climb of the day out of Orton, here looking back towards the Shap Fells

Quick check of the map, straight onfor us into Great Asby Nature Reserve.

Descending the twisting singletrack through the reserve, greasy with muddy tyres on the limestone.

From Great Asby we rode by Breaks Hall and Bleatarn.

Before dropping down to cross the River Eden on the edge of Warcop.

We had our butties here at the convenient picnic bench, Warcop was very sleepy, hardly anyone about!

Leaving Warcop we rode the bridleway through Blacksyke (very muddy) and on to Little Ormside.
Then along the lane above to Ormside Mill. 

Where there's a ford! Luckily the water was low! 

Are we lost?...Only joking Ian!

Another ford, this one at Rutter Force. Handy for washing the mud off our tyres!

Looking East fro above Gaythorne Hall to the North Pennines.

The bridleway across Gaythorne Plain is never easy, not steep, not really muddy, just awkward.
But eventually after gaining some height, the limestone outcrops and the views open out. here we look North.

From the top of Orton Scar it was all downhill, and actually not as wet and boggy as I remember!
The late evening sun was bathing the scar in warm light, a great way to end the ride.
Just over 25 miles, lots of off-road. A good ride, thanks for the company.

Thursday 27 November 2014

Along the Lune from Halton

A dull damp and drizzly, mizzly day....still better to do summat than nowt! Here's some suitably dull photo's!

Looking upstream past the site of Forgemill, there's a new hydro scheme being built here using and old weir. Minimal impact...what's not to like!

Towards the "Crook" from the cyclepath...and no this isn't Black & White!!

We had a buttie on one of the benches here at the "Crook O'Lune" before walking back on the Northern bank. The drizzle came on harder and the camera was put away!

Sunday 23 November 2014

Adhoc Rough Stuff Fellowship Ride Round North Windermere

A last minute email from Nick to let me and others know that an adhoc RSF ride was planned for today saw 7 of us gathering at Wilf's cafe in Staveley for a ride in the early winter sunshine....

After a ride along the cyclepath to Windermere we took the bridleway down to Droomer. Then onto this bridleway through Lickbarrow.

There were good views over to the West, such as this one of the Coniston Fells

Once across the ferry we rode along the West side of Windermere to Wray Castle.

Lunch was taken at the castle, where we took in the to Red Screes and the Fairfield Horseshoe.

And here to the Langdale Fells

The offroad cyclepath made for easy car-free riding from Low Wray to Clappersgate. We then climbed up through Skelghyll Woods and past Jenkins Crag.

The late afternoon sunlight was showing the Lakes off to their best.

Surely the best viewpoint for Windermere, high above Ecclerigg.

After dropping down into Troutbeck, we rode through Limefitt Park and up onto the Longmire Road.
The last of the sun lighting up the "Troutbeck Horseshoe".
We completed our ride by descending to Moor Top Road, and cycling along the cyclepath back to Wilf's cafe for an after ride brew.
Another grand "RSF" ride in great company!

Friday 21 November 2014

Meldrum Bumps

Thursday's short walk turned into a mini-peak bagging exercise...

Great Mell Fell in the background and Little Mell Fell from Watermillock Common.

Sun rays over Ullswater

Looking back to Little Mell Fell, Watermillock Common and a conifer clad Little Meldrum from the slopes of Great Meldrum

Gowbarrow Fell from Great Meldrum.
We returned to the car on the nicely contouring path through Swinburn's Park.
These were the first wee hills after a certain persons knee replacement!
They (Great and Little Meldrum, Watermillock Common) are Birketts for them folk who like lists! :-)

Sunday 16 November 2014

Rough Stuff Fellowship ride from Force Mills

Just 3 of us for today's RSF ride, which started from Force Mills. Only a couple of miles South of the "Grizedale Centre", this is an off-road cyclists paradise. There are bridleways and old roads in all directions...although our ultimate goal for today was Wray Castle (and it's cafe!) on the West side of Windermere. So on with the ride.....

We opted for the bridge at Low Dale Park rather than the ford...but be warned the bridge is slippery beyond all!

The Low Dale Park to  Hazelseat bridleway was pretty wet, this is about halfway up. Not much was ridden up to this point!

Setting off down the bridleway beside Cunsey Beck, mist was still lingering in the low fields.

After a climb from Far Sawrey we had a great descent to the shore of Windermere.

The recently renovated bridleway follows the lakeshore almost all the way to Wray Castle (just a short detour required) The Fairfield Horseshoe is the range in the background.

Wray Castle where we had our cafe stop...It's a laid back kinda place!! :-))

After leaving our cafe stop we took the road to High Wray before heading generally South past National Trust Basecamp. The has been a lot of clear felling here....never pretty. 

Soon we were out of the trees, here at the start of the downhill section past Wise Een and Moss Eccles Tarns 

The view over Wise Een Tarn to the Langdale Pikes was much better than this photo suggests! Certainly worthy of a pause!

Unfortunately Ian suffered a pinch flat on the rocky track. A quick tube swap and we were on our way to Near Sawrey then Esthwaite Water before our climb over to Dale Park.

We were surprised just how much of this track we could ride in this direction and in the wet conditions.
We had 2 for ascents and descents from here back to the cars. Firstly we pushed/rode over Breasty Haw to Satterthwaite then over Force Coppice.
A great day's riding with Duncan and Ian, Thanks Guys!

Thursday 13 November 2014

Beside the River Lune Nr Caton

Typical grey November day today, so we got out for a stroll beside the River Lune. We parked at the Lancaster City Council car park at the Crook O'Lune , paid the princely sum of £1.00 for the day! (Nat Trust and LDSPB please take note!) We set off on the North bank into a stiff Easterly breeze...nitherin it was!

So...Who was/is Dave?

Looking back towards the recently restored railway bridge, which now carries the cycle-path from Caton to Lancaster.

Upstream below Halton Park.

The waterworks bridge, this carries the 4 huge pipes taking all that lovely rain that falls on us Cumbrians down to Manchester etc. 

Looking back to the waterworks bridge and what could well be the last of the Autumn colours...the wind was blowing the leaves off left,right and centre!
We were lucky today arriving back at the car just as the rain started!

Sunday 9 November 2014

Wray Bay Ramble

With the hills shrouded in low cloud and drizzle, and jobs/errands to carry out in Ambleside we had a short stroll round Wray Bay. Pleasent enough even though it absolutely tipped it down for much of the time we were out! Managed to snatch a few pics from the gloom!

Another wonderful new sign, these are springing up all over the South Lakes!

Windermere at its calmest the sun trying to burn through (unsucessfully!)

A rare glimpse of blue sky from Wray Castle Boathouse looking across Windermere towards Lowood and Wansfell

Sunday 2 November 2014

Rough Stuff Fellowship ride to Coniston

It was my turn to lead a ride for the Rough Stuff Fellowship, Our starting point Skelwith Bridge. I had planned a very circuitous route to our destination, Coniston. My main concern was that as much as possible be rideable, not that easy in the Lakes! A reasonable turnout of 7 including myself...was soon reduced to 6 because Norman forgot his front wheel!! Anyway on with the pictures......

Up the Langdale valley to start beside the River Brathay to Elterwater.

Through Chapel Stile and the classic view of the Langdale Pikes.
Shortly after here we crossed the valley floor to ride back through Bays Brown Farm and over Owlets Nest.

Here we're almost back on tarmac in Little Langdale.

Along the road towards the foot of Wrynose Pass, then on the bridleway from Fellfoot Bridge..

This leads to Hallgarth and down to the ford at Little Langdale. There were "Hairy Coos" on here!

The colours were still good through the old quarries at Hodge Close. The bridleway skirting the lower Western slopes of Holme Fell brought us back to tarmac and onto our lunch spot at Sheperds Bridge.

Great views across to Wetherlam from the bridlewway above Holme Ground.

The excellent cycle/walkers track through the woods meant a car-free approach to Coniston

Down to the edge of Coniston Water to the excellent "Bluebird Cafe". Large Cakes for large appetites!

Round the head of the lake and thenthe hardest climb of the day from Thurston to Grizedale Moor. Turning back North across Hawkshead Moor we dropped down into Hawkshead via Walker Ground.

Looking North from the Walker Ground towards the Fairfield Horseshoe and Red Screes.

After the steeper than I remember climb up Skinner How Lane to Knipe Fold we were off-road again.
The old road over Arnside Intake took us over to Oxenfell High Cross.
As darkness was catching up with us it was road almost all the way back to the cars...except for a short lane off Skelwith Brow.
 A grand ride (if I do say so myself) in great company, thanks to all who turned up!!