Steam Traction Engine at Tottlebank

After a longish drive yesterday we decided on a loop from Backbarrow today, had an option to shorten it if we wanted to at Newby Bridge, but despite finding the ride hard, and worried about the ‘Everest Peak’ (in my mind only) we had to climb in the last section we carried on. Glad we did as all in all it was an excellent ride with lots of variety and fantastic views of the Lake District – however we were obviously ‘enjoying’ ourselves so much we didn’t take many photos. Where was the go-pro when we needed it?

  • Several highlights of todays ride:
    • bike path (70 700) along the Leven river, nice start to the day
    • coming across a steam driven traction engine at Tottlebank
    • off trail section through the fells to get to Ickenthwaite. I found going up easier than the trail down, so took the safe option and pushed in places
    • turning back as we reached a deep ford across the Force Beck just below Rusland which we would have had to carry our bikes across and – Mike also said I would probably have fallen in
    • the restaurant at Newby Bridge allowing me to refill out water bottles, it was too busy to get a table.
    • the section from Newby Bridge south to Field Broughton was delightful to ride along, great small roads with the terrain changing from the fells to rolling pastureland. Didn’t feel like the Lakes at all
    • finding an honesty cake stall towards the end of the ride which had the most outstanding brownie available – gave me a real lift; and
    • the last climb of our day was nowhere as hard as I had expected from the elevation profile (which was fairly extreme on the phone which distorts the profile).

The only real disappointment was that the pub at Oxen Park had not reopened, (even though their website said they were). The owner was very apologetic and given the change in the weather this week he probably wished he had been open for the spell of good weather. It is so hard for the hospitality sector at this time when they can’t open to inside trade.

I was bushed at the end of todays ride and had found it mentally hard as the climb at the end of the day had concerned me. I knew on the one hand that the elevation gradient was not that steep but on the phone it looked like a cliff and it messed with my mind! However, I still really enjoyed the day and once again was amazed by the variety both in todays ride as well as across the three rides we have so far done. The beautiful sunny days with very light winds are a true bonus.

We had asked Gordon if we could stay an extra night given Sunday looked to be a perfect day and as no one else had booked the cottage that was okay with him. So time for another ride!