Shaman, intrepid thespian that he is, just couldn’t be stopped. Never mind that the boards were narrow, wet and off-camber, Shaman rolled on, kept his nerve and rolled off again!
Sadly I’ve no photos – too wet for lugging my camera round – instead you’ll have to make do with a few I took decades ago, when Shaman was still a young man:


That was taken on the first hill out of Ambleside, just below Ivy Crag. Similar weather really, the onset of tropical storms, warm and wet.


Over to Arnside and Iron Keld, then tracks and finally road to Hawkshead. We took the new track up into Grizedale to join the North Face Trail. First section seemed all wrong – rocks and bends in all the wrong places! But the next stages were great and we swooped down through the forest in the rain, maintaining contact with the borads at all times, to stop for an early lunch at the Grizedale Visitor Centre.

After lunch it’s the climb up on the NFT to the start of the Lawson Park descent. It’s a cracker! Cling on, keep the front wheel up and watch the bends. Top!

Now its a trek north past High Yewdale to the slate quarries at Hodge Close. In places it’s like riding down a stream as the rain floods down the track – but the rocks mostly keep their slipperiness to themselves! And on to the bridge at Little Langdale:


The scene of the first mishap. I ride along the wall to avoid the puddles Shaman is threading through on my right. I’m smiling as he’s getting wet. I would have done better to focus on where I’m going, as my hand and bar clip the wall on my left and I hurtle off to the right, landing face down in a large puddle with my bike hanging from the brambles – I really am a clumsy oaf!

And then it’s over to Elterwater, along that lovely rocky track at the foot of Lingmoor Fell. From here it’s a road climb to High Close and the delights of Loughrigg Terrace. Everyone should ride this once in their life. And the view of the lake isn’t bad either:


We’re pretty wet now, but things are going to get worse. There’s a rocky outcrop to ne negotiated. For some reason I think I’ll ride round it, through Rydal Water. It doesn’t look too deep, so in I head. It’s quite warm too as my feet go under. And my legs. The water is now over the top of the wheel and I’m struggling to steer. As the water reaches the headset I decide It’s possibly not a good idea and dismount. It’s a good job the water’s warm!
I fully expected to hear Shaman’s laughter behind me, but he was in there up to his waist too!
Good job the car was only five minutes away.