Sometimes you just have to do certain things.
Like - when there is good weather in the Lakes and you want to go for cycle ride with the wife rather than Do Some Training :o)
When we were here in November we did a really nice ride on our Mountain Bikes. Entirely appropriate on the roads given the weather and the state of the roads which almost had more Fell on them than the Fells did ;o)
But this time we had our road bikes, and simply gorgeous weather. Warm and sunny with a light cooling breeze..... :o)
I like planning routes that avoid the busier roads, and here in the Lakes it is always a good plan. It is impossible to completely avoid them, of course, but you can still find some absolute pearls if you are imaginative enough.
This particular route I can see becoming one that we do regularly when we are cycling. It's a nice distance and there is a superb Tea Room that deserves plenty of patronage because of its fantastic welcome and service, and food that is astonishingly good quality at a price that is (IMO) ridiculously good value!
We will visit Mae's Tea Rooms in Uldale whenever we are up this way. And although it's a little off the beaten track - it's well worth a visit!
Anyway - the ride itself.
We set off from Keswick having been fed to the hilt by the lovely Pauline, who has been our regular host since we discovered her little B&B a few years ago. She clearly thinks that we don't eat enough and makes it her mission to give us at least a months worth of fantastic food every time we draw breath ;o)
We headed past Castlerigg Stone Circle to Thelkeld along the back roads, and then after a teeny bit of A66 headed into the hills from Scales. We happened across Grandad Grockle in his JAAAAAAG (you have to imagine Jeremy Clarkson saying that) who was driving slower than we were riding - and on this uphill section we were averaging 8mph!!!!!
We passed through Mungrisdale and Mosedale and headed up to Caldbeck, and from there to Uldale for a planned break, cuppatea and some high quality homemeade nosh!
They also has some magnificent artwork and photography which is for sale - and a multifuel burner which will defrost the coldest of cyclists :o)
Adequately refreshed, and with a little tweaking of Lorna's bike gearing, we headed down towards Bassenthwaite so that we could ride past Ling and Sale Fells towards Buttermere and up Whinlatter Pass from the West.
That climb is just really enjoyable - helped on no small part by the fact that the views up towards Buttermere were spectacular and the riding was not particularly taxing!
The descent gave out forearms a bit of a work out, and we discovered that the bridge at Little Braithwaite had been rebuilt since we were last here, so we got to ride the tiny road past Ullock this time. Nice!
The entire route was 44 miles and we took 4:06 and it included 1150m of ascent and descent.
More importantly, it was a wonderful day out with my wife. REALLY enjoyed that!
Here is the route