Bike-pack­ing

Trail (UK) - - Contents -

Q Are there any par­tic­u­lar routes in the Lake Dis­trict that lend them­selves to bike-pack­ing? Bradley Jones, via email

Jeremy says The Lake Dis­trict is stuffed to the brim with routes ideal for bik­ing-pack­ing. Most of these have an­cient ori­gins and are part of a net­work that criss-cross the dales, fells and sum­mits. These have been added to in re­cent times by forestry roads and pur­pose built cy­cle-paths. Mod­ern moun­tain bikes com­bined with ul­tra-light back-pack­ing gear make off-road life a lot eas­ier. It of­fers free­dom for walk­ers as it gets you eas­ily to kick-off points for sum­mit at­tempts or mul­ti­ple scram­bles. An­other plus is the Lake Dis­trict Na­tional Park Au­thor­ity along with other stake­hold­ers has created a net­work of ferry and bus ser­vices aimed specif­i­cally at cy­clists, with bike racks at­tached and ex­tra piers and stops. In terms of which routes are suit­able for who, there's a wide range. One fact with the Lakes, or any moun­tain area is you can't avoid hills and it’s im­por­tant you break your­self in gen­tly; hills that look easy on a map or in a photo al­most cer­tainly aren’t! A good three op­tions to start with would be: 1 Ac­cess En­nerdale via the val­ley track, overnight­ing at ei­ther Black Sail Hut YHA or wild­camp, walk­ing a few sum­mits around the val­ley head. 2 Next, ex­plore paths link­ing Am­ble­side with Lang­dale, Con­is­ton, Hawk­shead, and Win­der­mere by camp­ing, hostel­ing, or wild camp­ing. 3 Fi­nally once you’ve cut your teeth and got your bike set up, the big off road passes are the place to head. Some like Sty Head are highly tech­ni­cal with oth­ers like Boredale House, Gates­garth, and Gar­burn Pass are well within the scope of com­pe­tent moun­tain bik­ers. Don't for­get you may need to push, or even carry your bike at some points.

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