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High Street - Lake District Page 1

We wanted to ride some of the routes from our sister site Offroad Adventures Online. Check out their routes guides for details if you're inspired. This one is a bit further up North than most in the Lakes and has something for everyone, except the unfit or unadventurous!

Easy Riders...
"Let's try one of the most excellent routes from our sister site Offroad Adventures'' we said. We should find one of their one day routes pretty easy. Ha. As we hadn't ridden much in the lakes we chose the very promising looking 'High Street' route and took the author's advice, starting from Sandwick Church rather than the More accessible Pooley Bridge. The narrow lakeside road was busy on the day and we had a few near misses, ending up scratching the side of the car on the machine cut hedge, so if you do start along here be warned. The last 500 yards to the church are up the steepest and tightest tarmac turns we've ever driven on, park near the church and gear up for a long day. The ride starts with a mile on tarmac then goes left, straight up a just do-able, rock strewn grass bridleway. This bridle has the feel of a lakeside footpath, the kind that you would salivate about riding if only access laws were more liberal.

A twisted tale
With loads of rocky steps and challenges it certainly gets the day off to a good start. One or two of the numerous short climbs and drops will have all but the best of you wrong footed. This tough CyB style trail has the first of some of this rides exceptional lakeside views, don't get too wrapped up in your technique to appreciate them! After a mile or two of this the route includes a possible diversion for the very keen riders, this must be us we reasoned, so we took the crazy steep boulder slope climb off to the left. After a good deal of pushing and shoving the optional detour reaches a small green plateau before a lovely grassy descent.

The twist in the tail of this little trail is a narrow quarry style section and a rock drop-off which caught me napping. I planted my front wheel on a handy rock which tipped and sent me up and over to get properly acquainted with the very attractive local stone, up close and personal.

No damage done. I set off after Tom and Matt for a short drop down to our first road section and a quick diversion to a fantastically well stocked village post office which seemed to have everything from Kendal Mint Cake to mp3 players, useful. A bit more road brings you to a farm track with a steady start followed by a 1 in 4 section which would make Tinker Juarez sweat. At the top of this, all of which is ride-able unfortunately, is a small lake flanked by impossibly steep grass 'cliffs'. A quick check on the map and it's clear the route hacks pretty much straight up one of them. Ouch. After a good old climb things start to get even tougher with the addition of some 'mini' peat bogs and a fair bit of diverting and bog-hopping.

Sherpa! are we nearly there yet?
There pretty much isn't a path at this point, but it doesn't matter, just bear right up the steep section and a trail develops once more. Following the trail East soon brings you to another climb this time up a very loose and stony double-track. Have we given you the impression there's a lot of climbing yet? Good. When you do reach the top of this final pitch, apart from light-headedness and a sense of euphoria we put down to the early signs of altitude sickness, you really do feel on top of the world. The view down to the lake below alone is worth the effort you've expended. The trail continues to challenge you with numerous embedded Slabs and holes, no chance of spinning away the miles on this loop. > Next Page >

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