Universally Spoken

May 17, 2016 at 11:25
by Tristan Tinn  

Universally spoken blog images. From Sticks Pass Glenridding.

A few days after my last post went live on Pinkbike I received an email via my website from a Swiss mountain biker planning a trip to the UK with some others. He was after someone with a bit of local knowledge to show them the loop. We were in touch on and off via email as the date neared. As it turned out my schedule was looking pretty busy that weekend so I contacted a few friends to try and find someone able to show them the ropes. Without much luck I decided to travel back to the lakes specifically for the ride from Newcastle, not a tough choice given how much I love riding my bike there!

Universally spoken blog images. From Sticks Pass Glenridding.
Helvellyn summit sat in the cloud from Whiteside

We’d planned to ride the loop late Friday afternoon taking advantage of the long summer evenings, the weather forecast had been looking promising with clouds due to clear in the early evening hopefully giving way to some sunshine into the golden hour. Travelling over the Pennines I grabbed my first glimpse of the northern Lake District fells, shrouded in hill fog. It wasn’t looking so promising anymore – although in this part of the world there’s an old saying "if you don’t like the weather wait 10 minutes."

Universally spoken blog images. From Sticks Pass Glenridding.
Looking over a grey Keswick to Skiddaw and Bassenthwaite from White Side

Arriving in Glenridding I sent my contact – Bas, a WhatsApp after locating their car. I wasn’t sure what to expect - a bit like a blind date. Meeting the group at the car was a relief, first impressions were a great bunch of guys who oozed enthusiasm and spoke good English. A real mix of nationalities; Swiss, Dutch, Austrian and myself British all brought together by bikes! Without hesitation we ventured on up riding along the bridleway to greenside mines and the YHA, past this the going gets steep. We climb along into Keppel Cover to the base of the zip-zags where the ride becomes a push. From here we have a great view up the valley onto the summit sat in the cloud.

Universally spoken blog images. From Sticks Pass Glenridding.

Eventually we break out onto the path between White Side and Raise, we head left up onto White Side where it is decided we shall begin heading back down via Sticks Pass as one of the guys is suffering cramps in his leg. Helvellyn summit still sits in the cloud coupled with a strong cross wind giving a chill of -5, best not to hang around up here then!

Universally spoken blog images. From Sticks Pass Glenridding.
Off to a good start.

We rode the loose descent down White Side before ascending Raise to 883m the highest point in the ride.

Universally spoken blog images. From Sticks Pass Glenridding.
Group photo on the moonscape that is the summit of Raise

After a group photo for the visitors, it was time to hit the descent, breaking it down into sections for safety and photo opportunities. The loose rock typical of the area was proving a fun challenge for the group! Into the switchbacks gave some exciting spectating, lots of line choice!

Universally spoken blog images. From Sticks Pass Glenridding.

Universally spoken blog images. From Sticks Pass Glenridding.
Endo to get it around!

Universally spoken blog images. From Sticks Pass Glenridding.
Keep it low on the jump to make the turn.

Universally spoken blog images. From Sticks Pass Glenridding.
The trail hugs the side of the gulley.

Universally spoken blog images. From Sticks Pass Glenridding.
Stream beds crossing the path add a technical challenge.

Universally spoken blog images. From Sticks Pass Glenridding.
The trail winds its way through the old quarry and into the final zig-zags.

Universally spoken blog images. From Sticks Pass Glenridding.
Boni keeping it together over a slab of bedrock.

Universally spoken blog images. From Sticks Pass Glenridding.
Bas cutting into the edge of the trail to find the best line.

Universally spoken blog images. From Sticks Pass Glenridding.
Grehard coming in towards the mines.

Back at the bottom the grey clouds gave way to some fantastic golden light - typical but I think it niggled me the most being one with the camera. We headed into the Travellers Rest for a well-deserved pub dinner and a pint of Helvellyn Gold!

http://tristantinn.co.uk


MENTIONS: @tris400d

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10 Comments

  • + 5
 Riding with strangers, always entertaining !
  • + 14
 Riding strangers, always entertaining !
  • + 1
 Rode this in 2010 with friends living close by. We ended up on a slightly different route with www.pinkbike.com/photo/13501595 shows the trail we took climbing again. OTB-to-faceplant trying to hop up on one of those rocks Razz
  • + 1
 Stunning scenery. But that's about it for me. Having lived in England for almost 2 years, I'm still to come away from one of these types of Lakes rides with a big smile on my face. Maybe I'm doing it wrong Smile
  • + 2
 'Keep it low to make the turn' Ha! Yeah, I didn't do that last week thankfully the runoffs safe! ????
  • + 1
 Rode this a few weeks ago. Was a fantastic descent. The views are stunning.
  • + 1
 Long live the lake district!!!!
  • + 1
 How do you find the ride-able singletrack without pissing off the horde's of hikers up there?
  • + 2
 @Andy-ap: Bridleways and avoid the rest at peak times. Plenty of stuff thats too far out for most of the hikers too
  • + 1
 Great article and nice pictures!

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