…or the ride formerly known as the Magical Mystery Tour.
It had a bit of this:
and a bit of that:
and this is where we went:
The start was deceptive, a dusty road with a string of telegraph poles streaking off into the distance, like a scene from the American mid-west. Well, that was in my head, the reality was always different.
It was wet..
and we rode in fields of gold. We were the richest men in the world.
We invested our wealth and the returns were oh so sweet
The lowland delights of Woodland Fell were all too soon behind us, and we entered the murky world of Broughton Moor. The forest was a vision from Tolkien – dark rutted rootiness and trees straining to catch us as we swooped by. And then we were out into the light
It was a short step across to Stephenson Ground, in the shadow of the forest – just far enough away for safety
The path meandered along, parallel to the river, gently gaining height, throwing roots, rocks, tussocks and deceptive troughs of water at us
We had a target, a goal to aim for. We were going to the top of Walna Scar by golly yes sir! And for the first time it was in sight. Well actually it wasn’t – but it was up there somewhere behind the cloud. Where’s Walna?
We stopped for lunch. Egg sandwiches! Lashings of ginger beer! This IS the life! and just look at that view! Breathe the air! We are alive!
The break was shortlived. Then it was time to move on, before limbs began to stiffen up and bodies started shaking from the chill on the cold Lake District breeze.
We were on the edge of the cloud base, and as we moved slowly along we were swallowed up in the fog. We joined Walna Scar Road by the old quarry. The track was not as I remembered it – it had been sanitised. Not even Barry Scott with his arsenal of domestic cleansing products could improve that glossy finish – Mr Muscle had already been there. I would like to say that sanitising the track made it so much easier – but I was still off and pushing. Only Terrahawk kept the flag flying for the IFB – riding all the way to the col.
From here it was all downhill
It stayed murky too. We saw gorillas in the mist!
As usual – no pictures of the descent. Just too much fun. I’d like to say that comparing Walna (I’m on first name terms now) with Garburn is a bit like comparing the Pepsi Max Big One at Blackpool Pleasure beach with a kiddies slide down the municipal park.
But that’s not really true. It is one excellent descent though.
The first section of around 230m down to the bridge is a rock strewn track, bikes bouncing off babies heads.
From the bridge down to the top of the road (150m) is fast and stony, with a few obstacles jumping out with no warning and staining your trousers – almost off there!
And then the slower more technical section over the waterfall past Spoon Hall (140m).
The Walna Scar descent has plenty to get excited about, and with around 550m of downhill it’s not a bad run!
The rain kicks in at Coniston, we retreat for cake and cappuccino. We needed three spoons of sugar to steady the nerves!
And then Marvo the Magician spellbinds us all with the “Rotating Wheel Trick”. This one really has to be seen to be believed!
From the wilds of Walna we head off into Grizedale, climbing up past Lawson Park, along forest fire-road and out onto the open hillside of The Park
The day is nearly done now. We’re just left with a bit of gentle downhill
and a bit more of that lumpy, vulcan-death-grip-on-the-bars-sphincter-clenching-muscle-wrenching-eyball-popping-jaw-locking-balls-out-descending all the way down to High Nibthwaite
That’s the way I like it!
Ladies and Gentlemen……
I give you……
The English Lake District!