Wednesday, 17 June 2015

2 Wheels 6 peaks, Amazing downs with lots of up! Helvelyn MTB

I was pushing up hill. Again... lungs working over time, lactic acid burning my legs, humid, but at least there was breeze. 
5.10 shoes struggling to grip on the scree and loose rock.
Theres a noise, it sounds like pebbles in a washing machine, like a bag of spanners rolling in a bag. 
With my arms fully stretched out on the handle bars, forcing the bike up the steep tongue of Helvellyn Low man, i put an ear to the back wheel of my bike as it rolls. 


the bearings have gone.

Metal on metal. Rubbing, knocking, grinding.  

Not ideal really, Almost at the summit of Helvellyn, the highest point of the day, after that steep mountain sides, off-piste riding and technical single track tracks. Or so i had been told, really i didn't know what to face, i didn't even know if i could ride what was hiding on the other side... would it be too much, too hard, too fast, too steep and now the bearing is shot... Not much i can do really and i sure as hell ain't stopping after all the effort already invested. Lets just do it !!!

(Apologies for the lack of pictures, too much fun was had to think about getting a camera out).


I have seen posters and heard of doing this on a mountain bike. True mountain biking, the time where it does what it says on the tin. Biking an actual mountain. sounds good doesn't it.

Olly got in touch asking if i was interested. Of course the answer was yes, any adventure is a worthy one.
This one though i was excited about, it had been sat in the back of my head since moving up to the lake district. Looking out towards the mountain during trips at Whinlatter on the bike, thinking i should really be up there instead.

The day started at Glenridding, getting changed in the street and building the bike, I'm really not shy, if needs doing then just do it, its only a quick flash after all. Olly soon joined and we headed out to Dokray, a small road hike that allowed us to chat and catch up before the hills took our breath away.

Soon enough the climbing started up towards the Dodds. Things started okay, but soon the Great Dodd Bog, earned its name and swallowed up the wheels, slow going and hard work... but the treacle style riding was soon over.

Theres not a lot to say about the Dodds, rolling hills, riding up and quick downs, it sort of feels like your always going up as your down the next point so quick then faced with a long slog.

Eventually after summiting all the Dodd peaks we headed to White side then Raise. By this time we where both use to riding the loose rocky paths and we where well warmed up, even over taking walkers up hill with our bikes on our backs. A smug feeling when you see their surprised face.

We reached the top of Helvellyn, not stoping too long, as we where excited about what was to come and when it began, it happened. Steep grass sides, almost skiing rather than biking, amazing feeling throwing your body around the bike just to keep on. Every now and again a drainage ditch would appear, needing you to fling a wheel in the air before a trip over the handle bars. We soon met up again at Grisedale tarn. Arms throbbing, forearms sore and out of breath... i never realised how hard it is when your so involved with dancing around the bike.

A quick drink stop and we went for it. The technical fast steep track down the valley to the bottom. Something new to me a new style of riding, thousands of possible lines all with potential for a bad ending, it was more of a fight than riding, purely trying to stay on the bike and not of the edge, i bounced along, drop after drop, rock after rock and slalom after slalom...

It did happen though, i got flung of in full site of Olly... not very cool. Especially when theres a spike of rock to bounce over head first. But i stopped quickly and luckily was well padded. Used to going over the bars, i jumped back on and kept going.

Its hard to describe the ride and the day...

It was hard, really tough,

Not just physically but mentally. Always thinking, ALWAYS switched on, 10 moves ahead.

All i can tell you, was that is was good... really good.

To sum it up we passed an american group. One woman exclaimed "WOW, that is EXTREME".

Really made me laugh, i almost fell of my bike. Really to me and Olly it was just fun. An idea we made happen. I wouldn't call it extreme, to some it is, i guess things are all relative to what your used to, but to us, it was a good day well spent.

Thank you Mate, top idea !!!