Ride Reports

Saturday 14th August 2021

B1 Rde - Windermere - Phil Morgan
Yesterday’s Park ‘n Ride – route 17 on the website, titled “Windermere”- was an absolute cracker; it’s a 53 miler, plenty of hills to climb and lake and mountain views to admire, and you get to cross.... Windermere ....on the ferry…what’s not to like.?
Now its’s very easy not to bother getting up a bit earlier and driving/cycling to a more distant start location than Garstang on a Saturday morning, and I myself was in danger of just saying sod it, I’ll ride local, but it really was, and is worth making that effort, as all B1 and B2 riders out yesterday would concur.
This was a classic ride, one of many the South Lakes has to offer: quiet, scenic roads with world class lakes and mountain views en-route, and great to see newer club members discovering some of these for the first time, courtesy of our Park 'n Rides: not to mention the attentiveness of RC’s Shane Blackmore and Chris Jones: many thanks to both..
For the ride, some folk drove up to Millside ( that’s the old road that runs alongside the A590 near Witherslack) and others rode- myself from Over Kellet, Peter Heyworth from home, and Karen Sienkiewicz, Shane , Paul Armitage and Trevor Ford with lifts, driving, riding- I lost the plot on how we all came to be there, but there we were…!
Having persuaded Shane ("you're banned if you don't do what I say Shane") to reverse his intended clockwise route (ie North up the side of Coniston etc) to the more traditional and in my view much better anticlockwise route, we set off- in hot pursuit of said Shane, who surely must be the clubs own Duracell Bunny , given the enthusiasm with which he attacked the hills- sometimes too enthusiastically as riding on sight can have its downsides, especially when the gradient facing you is actually only 30% of the climb total, which is just out of sight round the next bend.....
As per the website route we progressed north through Brigsteer, through Winster and down into Bowness and the ferry, where we joined the queues of cars, cyclists and pedestrians waiting to cross-- all the time in sunshine, with gentle wind scudding the clouds across the sky.
After hanging around for 20 minutes, both waiting for, and crossing on, the ferry, the sudden steep upwards incline towards Sawrey was quite a jolt to the senses...but we all made it and progressed to Hawkshead and the infamous Hawkshead Hill....ouch!
What was noticeable was how courteous all the car drivers we encountered seemed to be, much much less aggressive than those we tend to come across locally- perhaps it’s the fact they were on holiday perhaps?
Lumpy is the best way to describe the route with everywhere spectacular Lakes Scenery…our one concern was finding a suitable lunch stop as all cafes were suitably rammed…Coniston fitted the bill as a mid distance stop, but anticipating tourist chaos, we carried on…and on, and on. The ride alongside the east shores of Consitaon Lake is one to savour..... Eventually, Paul suggested we actually make a decision about a cafe stop, and not just talk about it, so we headed to the Greggs inside the Services near the roundabout at Newby Bridge- quick, cheap and who can refuse a Greggs Chicken Bake?... Shane had two…
By now we were less than 15 miles from home and it only remained to toil up the final big hill out of Cartmel and swoop down into Grange Over Sands before a final blast along the flatlands back to the old road and a drink at the Derby Arms Witherslack after a truly memorable day out.
And talking of the pub, I could tell Peter Heyworth was slightly below his normal self as not only did I more than keep with him on the hills during our ride, I had to buy him a pint of orange juice at the finish...I mean to say, orange juice...who'd have thought?.....but I promised to keep this a secret.....so sssh!
A few more Chairmany things: there are plenty of routes on the Rides Calendar that these days just don’t get ridden….and yet by driving a short distance, we open up so many opportunities to ride in unbelievable places…. so particular thanks must go to Shane for devising the Rides Calendar, and for guiding us round today.
I do hope this effort that goes into making these “oven ready” rides available to members does not go wasted- with such a realatively local goldmine, both areas and routes, out there waiting to be explored, we should make that extra effort to try new places once in a while….
That’s my report, rather different from the anticipated barrage of insults that usually occur....refunds area available and insults by appointment if you really feel unloved..
Oh, and most pics courtesy of Karen Sienkiewicz, thanks Karen- lifted off Strava

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