Mini Epic – what happens when you start a bike ride late!

It was raining this morning, so we stayed in bed. But Saturday Kitchen was getting boring, so eventually we emerged. It was still raining.

A latte and a mince pie later, we decided we would trust the forecast – a brighter afternoon – and we headed to Borrowdale for a few hours on the mountain bike.

Just as we arrived, the heavens opened again, so we sat in the car and waited. Eventually the rain stopped and we actually saw blue sky. By this time it was 2.15pm.

Following the sun
Following the sun

Borrowdale (not the one near Keswick, but the one in the eastern fells) is a lovely, very quiet valley that heads from the A6 towards to M6. It was very wet and windy which really slowed our progress.


We got the usual kind of thing on a Mountain Bike route in the Lakes – lots of up, lots of down, and a little bit of flat. We passed a lovely gate.


Suddenly we noticed it was getting dark, and we realised we wouldn’t get back to the car in day light.

At the half way point - and it's dark!
At the half way point - and it's dark!

We tried to speed things up, but the final steep wet hill was too hard to ride. Pushing the bikes was exhausting – especially with the blocks of ice that had replaced my feet.

In the dark we lost the track on the hill, but we pushed on, heading vaguely in the right direction, and eventually we made it back to the A6. We had a scary ride back to the car in pitch black and no lights, but we made it one piece.

The bikes are back in the shed. Tomorrow I’m staying in bed.

18 thoughts on “Mini Epic – what happens when you start a bike ride late!”

  1. Well done for getting out of bed!! :zzz: :zzz:
    So it looks like you’ve started Christmas… mince pies for breakfast :yum: :yum: :yum: , I’ll have to tell Anna!!

    Good to see Pete in his usual Mountain bike pose…. looking at the map!!!! 😆 😆 😆

  2. Dude, there were nearly tears, and there were definitely tantrums! We were two hours from the car, it was dark, all the way back to the car was uphill, we were tired, Laetitia’s feet were soaked and freezing, and we’d lost the vague track in the dark and got stuck in the middle of an endless bog! Imagine marching across a bog in cold wet cycling shoes pushing a bike. Plus, at times we had to carry the bikes over massive areas of grassy hummocks that were impossible to ride. Laetitia threw her bike over a stone wall in disgust at one point… :zip:

    Eventually the distant sound of cars on the A6, and then seeing it was an amazing relief. But even then we had to ride a mile or so with no lights along the A6 with cars zooming by… One car refused to move over and nearly hit me. I shook my front wheel at him (I’d got off to push the bike because of the cars). He shouted “chicken” out of his window at me!? :angry:

  3. Blimey Pete, how can Tish call that a “mini” epic?? 😯
    Cold, wet, lost , close to tears, a thrown bike :angry: and finishing in the dark……. and no visit to a cake shop 😯 : that’s a major epic. Joe simpson had it easy… I see a book, film deal and years on the lecture circuit. Get writing!!!

          1. Hmm, let’s see… Joe Simpson, book, film… It’s a bad enough pun not to be immediately obvious :roll:, but I think Pete and Tish might still be lacking in the calories department.

    1. Indeed! There was even an exclamation of “I can’t keep going… sob!”, but I knew I would, could, in fact, had to.
      And now I’m rested, and I’ve eaten a gzillion calories to make up for the ones I surely must have used in all that exertion, I’m almost ready for another bike ride. 😕

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