About the Tuesday night bike ride (March 2nd 2010).

It was a bit cold when I arrived, and the weather report had promised the temperature would drop below freezing before the night was over. Weather predictions are often the butt of jokes about being inaccurate or just plain guesswork. Yesterday it proved to be accurate.
So our little party of four set-off from Ambleside, straight up and over the fell past Brow Head Farm, and descend to Tarn Foot. There we met the (for the want of a more appropriate term) “extension Tuesday night ride” which consisted of two bikers climbing the route we were descending. We exchanged pleasantries and moved on before the cold crept in.
On past Loughrigg Tarn and we met the minor road which leads towards Red Bank. Left turn and more road climbing past the YHA, down across the fell and through Elterwater. We used the Sustrans-signed “challenging option” route 37 to the South-West of Elterwater. It’s a short and technical climb leading over to Little Langdale.
Continuing down through Little Langdale we encountered the first of the “ice lottery”. This is when you turn a corner and you don’t know if you’ll be on terra-firma or ice. There are some secluded valleys which have had little sun, and therefore there’s patches of snow and ice.
We went straight ahead after the ford, and along past Moss Rigg Wood to the farm at High Tilberthwaite, and turned sharply right. This is a short rocky climb leading to an interesting descent, sometimes fast, sometimes boulder-y. There was no danger of missing the right turn to Low Hall Garth and the track back towards the ford at Little Langdale.
We ignored the déjà vu and took the route towards Stang End, the tree roots were particularly slippery being glazed with patches of ice. There’s a short bit of tarmac before the route becomes classic small slate pebbles as it proceeds South to Hodge Close.
From there we climbed tarmac and descended to the A593, crossing straight over and up Iron Keld. We left Iron Keld at sign “Arnside”. It’s a bit more climbing. At this point, if you get to a gate you’ve gone too far. Back-track about 20m, there’s a right turn on to a route which descends towards Sunny Brow and eventually leads to a back-road. Bearing left, we took the roads to Ambleside via Skelwith Fold.
A well-earned 16 miles.


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