18 February 2016

Biking the Old Coach Road

So last weekend we spent a lovely few days in the Lakes, see where we stayed here. This was going to be a bit of a biking break as we both feel like we haven't done enough biking recently....  So Day 1's adventure was cycling from our cottage to Keswick along the Old Coach Road.

The road itself literally starts right outside our cottage.  It is an old road, that isn't really a road anymore, you certainly couldn't drive in a normal car and I think you would struggle even in the best 4x4! We did see a trail's bike doing it though.  Lots of people use the road for fun trying to get vehicles across and lots walk it too as it is simply stunning!

It was a beautiful crisp cold February day, perfect biking conditions complete with picturesque snow capped fells in the distance. I was so impressed with the landscape I was probably annoying Mark by stopping every five minutes to take photos!

It was so cold the puddles turned to ice which were actually fun to bike through!

As Mark is demonstrating here!

Look closely and you can see the road wiggle off into the distance here.  It feels like you are completely in the middle of nowhere with literally nothing but grass and fells for miles before you. In actual fact the road itself is only 5 miles long with another few miles then into Keswick on more 'normal' roads!

 Picturesque scenery all around!

So as we got nearer the Keswick end the road condition badly deteriorated as you can see here.  I am not sure if this is from the recent weather or just from over the years but there was a deep ravine running down the road and in a lot of parts impossible to cycle down (well so I thought anyway!).

This road is well worth a visit, but certainly not possible on a road bike (don't be fooled by the name!) you will need to be on a mountain bike to do it with some decent tyres.  It would be a fantastic walk though.

As we neared the end of the road we started to see some civilisation coming into view as we dropped down the hill.

So this is what happens when you don't put the decent tyres on your bikes folks! Mark bombed out not one but both tyres coming down. We were not prepared for how bad the road condition would be so Mark thought he would be ok on hybrid tyres, should have brought the Downhill bike! hehe.

I made a cute new friend whilst Mark changed tyres...

So the road ends near St John's in the Vale and then you can continue on to Keswick via Castlerigg Stone Circle and stop for some lunch in the town.

We did notice an awful lot of downhill on the way here and hearts kind of sank at the thought of the climb back. There was not really an alternative route unless we wanted to do ridiculous miles by bigger roads so pushing up the hill with the bikes it was.  I was a little broken by the end and my muscles were screaming.

So top tip if you do this road, go from Dockray to Keswick NOT the other way round and figure out how to get back a different way! haha.

So of course we treated ourselves to a big pub dinner in Dockray when we finally did get home, then more walking again up hill a mile home in the snow!

Total mileage for today's biking adventure around 18, can't believe was only 18, with the ridiculous hills and the state of us when we got home it felt a LOT more.

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