Introduction - how this blog works

The idea of this blog is to share some of my favourite bits of mountain biking with the world. Principally so that you too can enjoy the bits I've enjoyed. And avoid the bits I've hated. So many people have given us advice on biking since we started - what bikes to buy, where to ride, how to ride. So this is my chance to feed a bit back to that body of knowledge.

I'd really welcome your comments - what have I raved about that you thought was awful? What gems did I miss when I visited your local riding spot? Is a bit that I said was awful actually sweet singletrack in the summer or when you're riding well? Comments will help this resource be improved for all readers, and also give me some hints as to where to ride next!

I've written a load about what we've ridden over the last year, and grouped it geographically. My plan is to add to it in the future, hopefully using the tags to keep each region together, though I haven't quite worked out how it will work yet. I may just need to start all over again in a year to keep things organised more sensibly - I'm not really sure a blog is the most sensible format - but it seems the best for me as I'm not terribly motivated to learn any more code than the day job necessitates.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Nan Bield and Gatesgarth passes

Those of you who know me and the history of this route may not expect me to rant about it.   But I'm going to.   We started in Kentmere, but it would also be possible to start in Lonsleedale or Mardale Head.   From Kentmere head east from Stile End (NY 465 050) to Sadgill (NY483050).   Although this is just the warm up on any other route it would be the highlight.   Then there's a long slog up Gatesgarth to Mardale Head (NY468108).   This isn't quite as good, as Rich put it "how can doubletrack be this hard?" with lots of loose stuff and unhelpfully placed drainage ditches.  

The push up to Nan Bield is pretty brutal.   The first half is just about pushable (and Rich rode most of it down while I pushed up slowly....).   Beyond Small Water it is brutal - real hike-a-bike.   If you're a nutter it does go but even these guys weren't on the actual trail.   However, it is worth it.   The first section is all rideable switchbacks - tricky but fun.   There's a middle section with just enough to keep you on your toes, then it steepends again at the bottom.   Just watch out for the big drop off! .....  Possibly the best natural trail in the UK?

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