Macretro Lakes - Post Border Raid Report
We came, we got lost, one of us puked, we won prizes.
Official Post ride aftermath here
Me and the big fella win race to England. Luxury suite, bikes in bike shed. Car, Crown Inn pub, Fosters and chips and chips, Cumbria Way and chilli. Rob Atkin, daj and andypasher. Assorted chat.
Radek and Mark lost. Phone call, directions, meet them on high street. Up to YHA, check in, back in car, pub. Beer. ZZ takes car back up to YHA. Back to pub. Beer. Beer. Radek's bought another FAT. Beer. big.eck clock watching, time to go back.
Walk up road. Many comments about poorly plastered toilet wall. Sleepy time. Children sized beds and blankets. Get up for pee. Snoring. Get up for pee. Ear plugs. Get up for pee and painkillers. Waky time.
Pain killers for the big fella, closely followed by puking. Bad start. Get changed, get bikes, bump start Fiat Doblo, pop down to Bluebird cafe nice and early for breakfast. Cafe closed till 10, so back on bikes. Find an open cafe, install the big fella in the window to scare passers by:
Tall waitresses (mmmm), full englishes, bacon butties, etc. Aaaaah, ready now.
Along to Bluebird Cafe for 10. Old bikes, older men, new faces, old faces. Oooh, ah. Look at that, cool, 631, nice, jonrock paint job, home made 29er, S-works FSR. Excellent.
30+ headed up out of Coniston, starting with a short steep tarmac climb and then onto a nicely surfaced walking/cycling path. Nothing too challenging, although undulating nicely following the contour along the hill. Fast, swoopy and a few stony water splashes. Nice gentle warm up.
Back out onto a single track road, bit of a climb up into the hills proper. Stopped for a breather and photos.
Through a gate and onto some proper wide rocky track, mix of bed rock and loose stone which pretty much set the scene for the rest of the non trail center riding. Quite enjoyed it on the Moho, by the end of the day I was really glad I'd listened to Gazz's advice, it would have been hell of a hard work on rigid / small tyres.
Stopped at the big hole, marvelled, fannied about and took some pictures.
More rocky track, including a long, steep loose climb that a few of the guys cleaned. Mental. Stopped to fix a mechanical (S-Works stiff chain-link), then a brilliant fast swoopy descent - got to say the Moho is so much more capable than it's rider, made it all far too easy. Can't remember who it was that went hooring by me fully rigid, cantis on fire, lunatic.
After that, a bit more road work, then up onto FC fire road and into Grizedale proper and it's North Face single track. Really enjoyed the first couple of sections here, rocky, twisty fast, with some board walk thrown in to cross the marshy bits. Reminded me of bits of Glentress, the drop down into Deliverance, and that section after Spooky. There was one section where it all just came together, Radek chasing John, myself chasing Radek and the S-works FSR just behind me. We were in the zone, maaaaan! Finished up at some huge rock steps, with muddy chicken run to the side.
The big fella pretending he's not enjoying himself
Now worried about not having enough travel up front
Nae bother in the end though
Down to the visitors centre, where the choice was a salmonella burger van or expensive cafe food. More bullshit talked, then on to the big climb up and over to Coniston.
The final descent was superb. Started in the trees, loose muddy and stony, then hardened up to more bed rock as we came out of the trees and down the hill side. Cracking way to end the ride.
Then a short road section back to Coniston, where Macretro peeled off and returned to the cars at the YHA to load up. Big.eck scared a visiting school party by getting changed in the open, although I noticed one of their teachers seemed to be hanging about her Audi longer than was necessary as the big fella stripped off.
Finally, down to Bluebird Cafe, for the post ride bullshit session and bike jumble.
Icing on the cake, big.eck won spirit of the ride with the Massif, and somehow the Moho won bike of the ride - that's some strong ganja they're smoking down in the Lakes, I searched the gift shop for ages but couldn't find any for sale...
Seriously brilliant day, the whole thing made me realise why we do this thing that we do. You can't ask for much more than that.