Checking out by hire car the many riding possibilities accessible from my new front door and garage in Keswick, Cumbria. These roads are “Nice but deadly”. Some long and straight, routes laid by the Romans, some with plenty of curves. Huge landscapes and skyscapes: “Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Sussex anymore”. But the most enjoyable big roads, like the A686 to Alston, including the climbs to Hartside Cross (575 m.), are bedecked with speed camera signs and warnings of a high casualty rate. Bikers beware.
The popular cafe at the summit of Hartside Fell climb burnt down a couple of years ago and there’s no sign yet of it being rebuilt but happily this area’s still good for artisan bakeries offering biker-warming coffee as well as sticky buns.
Plenty of opportunities also for off-road and I didn’t see a single “No Motors” sign, there are numerous drover and quarry routes both up on the moors and fells or down in the Vale of Eden. So lots of possible interest there and an off-road bike would be different from what I know. But first you have to get there, which means using the more major roads or following the “all traffic” parts of the cyclists’ network.
And I should also point out the hail and the sleet, not to mention the overnight frosts; even in mid-April: it was -4.6°C in my garden here overnight last weekend. So not a surprise that the bikers I did see out on two wheels were wrapped up particularly warmly with plenty of layers.