Mega brill ride round most of the main road passes of the Lake District plus a couple of lakes. These passes are steep (20-30%) and most are single track roads with passing places through open moorland with sheep grazing. So different challenges to the passes in the Alps and the little bike does them well.
This was the route of my tour: starting at Keswick and Derwent Water, then Honister Pass (25%, 356 m.) - Newlands Hause (333 m.) - Whinlatter (318 m.) - Blakeley (Cold Fell) (293 m.) - Hardknott Pass (30%, 393 m.) - Wrynose Pass (25%, 393 m.) - Kirkstone Pass (20%, 454 m.) - Great Mell Fell (343 m.).
As well as Derwent Water, Buttermere, and Ullswater, this route had me ride over the moorland road between Ennerdale Bridge and Cleator Bridge, an area which is rich with ruins from prehistoric inhabitation, Stone Circles, Field Systems etc.
Hardknott Pass was largely clear of four-wheeled traffic as it was by then after 7pm, so it was me and a couple of friendly cyclists. The tarmac was still scarred with the day’s car wheel spins, the smell of overheated brakes and burnt rubber lingered in the heather. But no time to stop to enjoy the extensive Roman fort MEDIOBOGDVM.
Had Fish & Chips dinner outside in Ambleside, which was a mistake because Kirkstone Pass was in the shade (ie cool) by the time I rode it. Got back 2045, the sun had still not set as this was the day after the Longest Day and Keswick is 54°36.37'N 3°8.07'W
Knackered of course but hey it was fantastic, a memorable summer evening on two wheels after I’d been up to see the Midsummer dawn (and then taken a nap to catch up on sleep).
25% is 1 in 4. Hardknott (30%) is the second steepest hill in GB but, you get the steepest gradient twice on the Cumbrian pass.