The Lake District
I have just been on a weekend cycling tour to the lakes. On Friday three of us (Sausages, Will Smith and I) caught the 7.30am train to Penrith out of Euston. We were fully loaded with panniers and excitement. We nearly missed the train because of mechanical problems with one of the bikes but we manged to do a quick road side repair and be on our way.Three and bit hours later we arrived in Penrith to torrential rain and high winds (joy). Waterproofs on we battled to Keswick. Along the way I came off from going to fast on wet leaves and Sausages got a puncture. After a pub lunch we set off to Buttermere where we were staying for the night. The weather grew wetter and the wind stronger. Not what you need when you are carrying panniers and you have Birkrigg and Knott Rigg to contend with.Day 2: After a mammoth breakfast we set off around Crummock Water (stunning) to Gosforth via Ennerdale and several Fells. Swarth Fell is particularly stunning. We stopped for lunch in Gosforth and enjoyed the glorious sunshine – the weather is so changeable up there. Next stop Ambleside with two passes to get over – Hardknott pass and Wrynose Pass. Hardknott is impossible to cycle up with panniers. If anyone has done this then I take my hat off to you. It broke me physically and mentally! But the view from the top is spectacular and of course, you get to go down the other side at speed!Day 3: From Ambleside we went straight up the struggles onto Kirkstone pass. Another killer but you can’t help be blown away by epicness of it all. After that it was an easy 12 miles back to Penrith, and a well deserved beer on the train.Despite the harshness of the weather and the mountain passes it was the most enjoyable cycling that I have ever done. The landscape and downhills make the hard bits well worth the effort. Just don’t over fill your panniers and stock up on water and food when you have the opportunity!