The tuesday night ride, 22nd December 2009.

It was short, hard and slightly dangerous to get to.
I’m glad I went though, even if the Highways Agency are saying don’t make unnecessary journeys because of a bit of scary snow on the ground.
In fairness, there’s next to no snow down here in Barrow. The insulating water jacket called The Irish Sea makes snow in Barrow quite rare. If you go inland it’s different. About 10cm of snow has fallen in Ambleside over the past 24 hours, and it’s more like 15 to 20cm on the lower fells.
It took one hour and fifteen minutes to get from Ambleside to the top of Iron Keld. Without snow it takes about an hour, possibly less if you’re keen.
There were two riders on this ride, and I was one of them. That’s part of the reason why I’m glad I decided to take part – it made it worthwhile for Andy to participate. I’d have felt very guilty if he had turned up to find no-one there at all.
If you were planning on coming, but didn’t, you missed:
(a) a lot of sliding around in the snow
(b) a good bit of pushing up and along trails we normally breeze up and along.
(c) an entertaining, but not quick, descent of Sunny Brow.
At that stage we were both feeling the effort of pushing through 15cm of snow, so we decided to cut the ride short. The total distance was about 11 miles, but they were well earned.

I shot this (and a couple of others) just to demonstrate we were there.
Two bikes and the sign post on Iron Keld, Ambleside.

A word about “scary snow”.
I was able to drive sensibly up to Ambleside from Barrow without any fuss or drama.
Coming back there were two “non-steering” moments where I had to control a slow front-wheel skid – and one of those was at the roundabout at Newby Bridge.
I think the hardest part about driving there and back, was parking in Rydal Road car park. Several times I had to rock the car forwards and backwards to coax it out of the snow.
I learned this forwards/backwards technique from the BBC’s Top Gear Polar Special – thanks to all concerned for that.

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