After being home for Christmas it was time to go back down to London, instead of just getting the train back down we decided to make it a bit more exciting and also make the most of the mountainous landscape in the area compared to the relatively flat areas around London. So I drove over to the Lake District with my Mum and met Jonny and Roy for a ride out around Ambleside.
After some goodbyes, my mum went on her way to Keswick and we set off late morning into the rain. We rode all the way up and over the first hill in the heavy rain and were soaked by the time we made it to the bottom of the first descent, the trails were great, rocky technical, multi-line trails that we know the Lake District all too well for, my bike was making a few nervy creaky and cracks which scared me a bit but I thought if it was doing that then it was already broken so rode on. It was the last we heard of it all day luckily.
The sun came out and the trails started to dry out a little and by the time we arrived in Ambleside it was time to find a cafe for lunch. I used to live there so knew a few and decided we should stop at The Apple Pie as there was room to sit next to a fire and they did proper good big pasties and also something called a Bath Bun (highly recommend it). We had a right faff at the cafe involving us having bought take away food then deciding to eat it at the outside seating meant we still had to pay ‘eat in’ prices, we were not impressed so in protest took to eating our pasties one step outside of their premesis on the pavement before going back in to get a coffee and bath bun, even then there was still a faff with the payment of take away and eat in prices.
We decided to add on a bit extra to the loop in the afternoon as we were not quite ready to end the ride, we had planned something relatively short since it was rather short days but had got it done quite quickly. Instead of going straight back to Skelwith Bridge where the cars were, we rode up and did a loop through Jenkins Crag, whilst up there (as you can see in the last photos) the sun started to set and gave some incredible light over Windemere with a nice orange glow lighting up the hillside where we were. We rode back down into Ambleside and had one last steep hill to hurdle before being back at the cars.
Roy was on his way back home in his new car (BMW 3 series) and I joined Jonny for the drive back down to London afterwards which involved a stop off at his girlfriend’s family’s for their annual games night which proved entertaining. We eventually arrived back in London at about 1:30am where I discovered I was locked out of my place, the only other place I could have stayed was my girlfriends all the way across in Islington (I was in Wimbledon), 15miles away. I didn’t exactly have the right gear to ride that far on road but I put together what I could; my mountain bike, my worst jacket I could find, my wellies (it was raining), some warm gloves, a makeshift rear light and some music and set off across the city.