Monday 6 April 2015

Fat Bike Fun in Yewdale and Tilbirthwite

A foggy morning was against the forecast, but with the promise of warm sunshine due in the afternoon I loaded the car up and set off. I arrived at Sheperd's Bridge near High Yewdale Farm just as the sun started to appear. No rush today with a new bike to work out, I had a vague route planned in my mind I'd see how things panned out....

Guess who ate all the Easter Eggs?
I've thought about buying a Fat Bike for more than 2 years. So now I've taken the plunge and bought this Felt Double Double 30...looks heavy but weighs quite a bit less than my 29er!
The 4" wide tyres look heavy...but are of course full of air!
Anyway on with the ride..

Riding down to Low Yewdale , I took the bridleway over to Boon Crag. Then down to Coniston Water and a bit of road work up to Low Bank Ground. Then up this great bridleway which climbs at a good gradient through Lawson Park Farm. 

This brings you onto the "North Face Trail". I rode this for a little way noting that some trail maintenence had been carried out to replace some boardwalk. 

As I came out of the woods I stopped for lunch near High Park. I enjoyed the view over to the Coniston fells, remnants of the inversion still hanging in front of the "Old Man".

I arrived at High Cross to find that a new section of "Multi Use" path was almost completed.

My next section of off road was the old road over Arnside Intake. As you reach the high point of the Iron Keld bridleway you're treated to this view of the Langdale Fells framed by the old Larch trees.

Its a great descent down to the road below Park fell. From here Helvellyn is seen in the background.

This bridleway near Colwith has also been improved. I followed it up to High Park before passing through Stang End . Then heading South to Hodge Close.

I always like to have a mooch round the old tips here...nice and quiet place even on Easter Monday!

I felt good and was enjoying the ride immensely so decided to put a loop in round into Little langdale and over to High Tilbirthwaite.
This track is now very eroded still almost completely rideable on a fat bike tho!
The pimple in the distance in Pike O'Blisco.

Back through Tilbirthwaite to Hodge Close I came across these "Hairy Coo's", only young un's!

From Hodge Close it was on one of my favourite bridleways round the back of the quarries and down Low Coppice to reach tarmac for a km or so back to the car.
So how did I find the Fat Bike?....Awesome, I couldn't believe they climb so well. They smooth out the trail in a different way to suspension. But you've got to embrace low pressure...6-8psi for me.
They certainly put the grin factor into cycling!


  1. Awesome route. Awesome tyres. I don’t think i have ever seen such fat tyres. Never heard of the North Face Trail but it is quite a while since i was in Grizedale proper. Can you walk the NFT or is it just a mountain bike route.

    1. I love that area Alan, I never tiring of revisiting and exploring old haunts.
      The tyres are 4" wide...although I may go up to 5" for winter! They run at very low pressures for best effect. They also present low pressure on Mother Earth as well, which is good.
      The North Face Trail is MTB only, but the Silurian Way is an excellent introduction to the Grizedale Valley anda great wet weather alternative.

  2. Great photos and nice wheels

    1. Thanks Paul, as I say above I always enjoy my time in the Yewdale and Tilbirthwaite area either on foot on by bike.
      Loving the bike, wish I hadn't waited so long to get one!

  3. That looks an incredible day's riding. Thanks for sharing this - I'll certainly be robbing your route next time I'm up in that neck of the woods :-D

    1. Pick a good day for it Georgie. There's no where better, views are just superb. Here's the Strava track

  4. Great Wright up and bike ,just had a great price from my bike dealer on one of these,one thing Alan do you think yourself wanting a suspension fork or not keep up the good work atvb steve

    1. Hi Stephen, I don't miss suspension 1 bit! Over the past couple of years I've sold both my Spec full sus and my front sus as well. The fatbike is a different kind of advice would be to have a test ride before purchase. It wouldn't suit everyone. I had a ride on a Surly Pugsley, a while ago but the Felt is way better IMHO of course!!
      Hope that helps!!