I knew when I set out that it was going to be a tough day, but I didn't know how tough!
I left Staveley around 09.30 on a figure of eight route. My plan took me from the village, up to the top of Garburn Pass, and down to Kentmere. This first part was fine, good riding, steep ascent, but more or less ridable all the way except for a couple of short pushes. The descent into Kentmere is brilliant, steep and rocky all the way down. Stopped for a sandwich and drink half way down the next section from Kentmere to Sadgill was also fine, a bit muddy and an indistinct trail. The next climb took me up by the side of Buckbarrow Crag, the bridleway is very old and seems to have built by placing massive flat stones on edge, so the effect is really bumpy and where it was very steep not possible to ride. So it was a very long push to the top of the next pass, Gatesgath. From there down to Dudderwick, no respite, the next climb was to the top of Nan Bield Pass, a major undertaking for me, coming after what had come earlier, it ended up a very long push and carry to the top, all 3 miles of it. In some places this trail is almost vertical, climbing up great rock steps. At the top is supposed to be the start of 14 miles of “classic singletrack”, I didn't seem to find it, the first section was very steep, and being so far from the car and on my own I took it very carefully, when it levelled out and it was possible to ride, it seemed that every 20 metres there was a deep stone drain, about 600 mm deep and for me impossible to ride over. The last few miles were easy enough, and through beautiful countryside, but was by now too tired to appreciate it.
Back in Staveley I wanted to have a look at the famous Wilf's Cafe, when I got there there was some kind of beer festival going on outside, there were lots of fatties with big bellies hanging out in the sunshine, I just rode past, back to the car and home. Bought a very large cup of tea at Forton, with lots of sugar!
I used my phone with Sports Tracker, unfortunately the battery went flat, but anyway I was quite impressed with the result. You can have a look HERE