Monday, 17 May 2010

The Lake District Day 3 - Awesome Skiddaw Loop

And awesome weather! We've been really lucky - it has rained, sometimes heavily, but only while we were asleep! This being the last day, I decided it was time to do a 'proper' ride. It would be a shame to not have done a single route out of my Lake District Mountain Biking book, so I chose to do the Skiddaw Loop. Something like 30 miles. I can say, without risk of exaggeration, that this was one of the best rides I have ever done on my bike! Maybe the best. Everything was perfect - the weather, the scenery, the tracks, the descents, climbs, distance, everything! Of course, the weather could have totally ruined it, but it was lovely - hot enough for short sleeves, but not hot enough to be uncomfortable.

Started off going up the track we came down on Saturday, but this time continued beyond the head of the dale to Skiddaw House. For some reason I had forgotten that this was a YHA - must be great staying there. There is a true wilderness feeling up there. In each direction you look, you can't see anything like a building or a road.

Turned right at Skiddaw House, sublime singletrack and sketchy, rocky in places track down Mosedale. Saw a walker, probably had stayed at the YHA. Just great biking in great conditions.

Right down this dale, miles of brilliant mountain biking

Turned left on the road in Mosedale, then looking out for a track to the left after a few miles. Needn't have worried, it was obvious to find, just before a cattle grid, like the book said! Good track then, climbing up past old mines. The descent to Fell Side was clear. A bit more road and then picked up the Cumbria Way, another great track, and an absolutely superb grassy descent!

Descend, fast, on grass

More road, before the final piece of amazement - the path up past Dash Falls back to Skiddaw House. Tough climb in places, but totally doable - just the right sort of difficult. And super spectacular views. I'm going to run out of superlatives soon.

That's where we're going, up!

Looking back down the track to Dash Falls

From Skiddaw House, after a brief pause, I blasted it back to Threlkeld down the same path.

Skiddaw Loop, awesome

Got to be some of the best biking I've ever done.

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