Escaping winter blues, March 2022

After several months rolling around local roads in the cold, it was nice to take up an invite to head north.

I arranged four nights in a pub in Milnthorpe, on the edge of the Lake District, and the Yorkshire Dales, with the intention was to take both 700c and 650b wheels so we could do a bit of road and a bit of gravel riding.

This trip had been pushed back several times due to terrible weather, ice, winds, torrential rain, and the weeks prior to the visit had been hit by two massive weather systems, which caused major damage, trees down, power outages and flooding.

I set off early Monday morning arriving just in time for a sausage sandwich and a warm brew and Gordon’s house. We discussed what we wanted to do, but also what was going to be possible as many of the off-road routes were washed out and probably worth leaving until later in the year.

The forecast for the week had also changed, with frost in a morning, and rain and winds on the cards. At this point it was going to be planning on the fly. The first thing was to get a good walk in to get the journey out of the legs.

Total 9Km and 244m of climbing

We jumped in the car and drifted round to just outside Grange-over-Sands and parked up. The walk was up to the Hempsfell Hospice.

It was still dry, but blustery on the way up, with stunning views. Judging by the shape of the trees, this wind is not out of the ordinary.

The journey back down was damp and cold, so a warm brew in Costa brought the feeling back into my fingers.

Tuesday 15th March

The weather was much better than expected when I woke up and we managed to get a great road ride in over some familiar roads. There was a lot of evidence of the storms with swathes of forest tipped on its side. Interestingly, the trees grow with a lean with the wind, which is normally from the west. As they grow their root structure is stronger on the west side, but the big storm had come from the east and just ripped them out of the ground.

We stopped for a break at an old reclamation yard, which I realised had seen on the TV show Salvage Hunters. There were some amazing old wrought iron gates from a brewery leant up against the wall, stunning, but at £10,000 you really must want them.🙂

Total 65Km and 392m of climbing

Wednesday 16th March

As I opened the curtains the rain was beating against the window. We had expected this and agreed to visit the motor museum in Ulverston and see what the afternoon weather would bring.

With the museum being in the Lakes, it was fitting that some of it was dedicated to the Campbells and Bluebird, as the Sir Donald had died on Coniston setting the water speed record in 1967.

In the Afternoon Gordon and I took a stroll in the mizzle, down the old railway line from Sandside to Arnside.

Total 6km and no climbing

Thursday 17th March

Again, the weather was not perfect, but a dry start and the forecast was grim. We managed to get to Kirby Lonsdale for a tea and snack break. Coming out the cafe into the drizzle and cold wind was a shock.

We pushed on, in and out of the rain, but the scenery, and just being on different roads with good company made the ride special. We left Cumbria, into Lancashire, snack in Yorkshire then back to Cumbria via Lancashire.

Total 65KM and 845m of climbing

You guessed it, in the afternoon the weather broke, the sun came out and I decided to go for a walk in one of my favourite places in this part of the world, Arnside.

Total 2Km with no climbing 🙂

On the way home, heading back south, I dropped off and spent time with family, meeting in Bridlington.

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