Despite Robin's usual protestations regarding him rising from his chariot at an ungodly hour, he and I set off early on Saturday for the lakes, as we were not staying, instead just a down-and-up cross border raid, cherry picking some of Cumbria's finest trails.
Weather reports had us expecting intermittent rain, sleet and even the chance of lightning. How wrong they were - wall to wall sunshine and hardly a breath of wind until the last roll back to the car in Glenridding was the order of the day. Weather and scenery like this gives a real sense of privelege.
After the initial confusion of where we would actually turn our pedals that day, we set off through Glenridding and Patterdale to Hartsop, and the short climb up to Hayeswater reservoir. A wee bit of hike a bike up to the snowline on The Knott, and then it was back on the bikes for the cheeky footpath along to Satura crag. The views across to the Helvellyn massif were astounding, we had thought about climbing the big hill, but the amount of snow and ice visible across the valley vindicated our decision.
What a fantastic piece of trail, at one point Robin said that 'this is real mountain biking' and rather than wind him up as he would usually expect, I fully agreed. Once off of Satura, the trail along to Angle tarn was superb, a lovely flowing ribbon of singletrack with just enough rocky sections to keep you on your toes, and Angle tarn itself is a glorious spot.
The descent which followed topped the whole wee loop off, down past Boredale Hause and finishing on a cracking, techy blast back down to the start of the Ullswater lakeside bridleway. Robin and I both agreed that the previous miles were amongst the best we had ever ridden in the Lake District, a mighty accolade.
After a sandwich and some cake, our own stuff as the seasonal cafe was still closed, we headed off along the ullswater bridleway as a simple out and back, as we've now done this a few times and always enjoy it's techy challenges. It's a busy bit of trail, as it's very popular with walkers, but there's room for everyone, even the grumpy ones.
A brilliant days riding, and one that will be repeated in the future I'm sure. Bravo.