Cycling Day 4: Ambleside To Ambleside…

…via a few hills.

Today started like this:

It is ending with me cowering in the tent from the rain wearing the only remaining items of dry clothing in my panniers.

Today the weather has been far from kind. It has rained for perhaps 50% of the time. Half of me wants to feel frustrated because this is the middle of July for goodness sake. (You know that โ€˜goodnessโ€™ isnโ€™t the word I wanted to type.) Yet half of me is thinking well, this is the Lake District. It is what it is – green and luscious – primarily because of that very same rain. The other half of me hoping for more favourable days to come (and wondering how on Earth there can possibly be a third half…).

All that said, the cycling today was very good indeed. My intention had been to cycle along the Langdale Valley and then over hill to cycle the length of Coniston Water followed by cycling the length of Windermere back to Ambleside. But a few days ago, Tim Boden got in touch. He lives near Ambleside and offered to be my guide so this morning I met up with him at the start of the ride. Coffee and crumpets consumed, we set off in the direction of Langdale.

With the weather being as it was, the views were a tad subdued but not unspectacular:

Mmm… That 25% was always going to be a challenge. I cycled for the first 20 metres and then pushed Wanda the rest of the way. When pushing is just as fast as cycling, you have to question why you are putting yourself through the pain. Mercifully it wasnโ€™t far to the top of the pass and โ€˜Little Langdaleโ€™:

In Coniston, Timโ€™s expert knowledge of the routes came to the fore. If we were cycling under blue skies in balmy temperatures, we might have concluded that the original plan was a good one. As it was… probably not. The shorter route via Hawkshead and Sawrey back to Windermere seemed a much more sensible option. But by no means was it a second-rate option. Interesting little villages, cracking views through the mist and quiet roads and tracks linking them altogether. I would have struggled to do such a seamless job myself of fathoming such a route, but Tim did it with aplomb and was good company to boot.

So, despite the weather – itโ€™s getting worse judging by the sounds of the droplets on my tent – a very good day on the bike.

Tomorrow? Dry my clothes seems top of the agenda, then a bit of pottering in and around Ambleside. This economic recovery ainโ€™t gonna start without me visiting a few cafรฉs for coffee and cake. Sacrifices have to be made! Iโ€™ll take one for the team…

Categories: Adventure, Cycling, Travel

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4 replies »

  1. Hope you’ve dried out by now! Lovely cycling round there – I reckon it’s the best area of the Lakes for cycle-touring, as elsewhere there are fewer roads, which tend to be narrow and busy.

  2. The news says that it was 29C in the south-east today! I think we took one weather-wise for the rest of England! Still it was a great day out – thanks also to Andrew for his company and advice about touring.

  3. Now your have done it! One of my favourite places in the world. Glad to hear you are helping out the local economy by frequenting the many cafes and restaurants in town. We all have to put our shoulders to the wheel. Of cause, I would have a pint in The White Lion.

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