Ride out from Keswick to Newlands Hause, Buttermere, Honister Hause, Borrowdale with a side trip to Ashness Bridge and up to Watendlath Tarn. I’m not making excuses for staying on the roads, they’re tricky enough just now with flood, washout and wind; knobbly tyres essential. Anyhow the “January Cyclonic Westerly” weather (ie wet and windy) means routes are enjoyable that I would avoid in the tourist season. But a really worthwhile ride for the majestic, magnificent views with water gushing everywhere.
One of the few others on the road, an ex-Enduro rider from Middlesbrough, he used to ride a GasGas 250, did the panning photo of me riding past Moss Force waterfall at Newlands Hause (333 m.), leading to the steep descent (20%) to Buttermere. Thanks mate.
The pass road up to Honister Hause from Buttermere was a Valley of the Waterfalls, cascades from so many crags. With bonus fun: the big kid thrill of splashing through big puddles along with the challenge of keeping the bike on target through the muddy washout and the potholes.
Hail and a sharp wind up at Honister Hause (356 m., +1.2 °C), then steep down (25%) to Seatoller in Borrowdale, as rainy as its reputation. Up again, there’s a memorable view looking out over Derwent Water from Ashness Wood on the single-track road to Watendlath (263 m.) that’s hardly wide enough for the wheelbase of a shiny city SUV.
This works for me even at less than 5°C and despite the wet. Partly because of the style of riding, which is much more muscular than on a head-down sportsbike that you ride like it’s a part of you. And the great gear, which was certainly soak-tested again today. The gym I have been doing seems to have made wrangling the CRF bike less difficult, plus every ride out increases my experience of this style of riding. I wouldn’t want a long ride home in wet gear though.