Biking Around Claife Heights - Sunday 11th July

Organisers: John & Trudy Lymer

By Brian Richards

Once again John & Trudy had meticulously planned the days activities - an "easy" morning followed by a more "strenuous" afternoon.

The morning route was to be up, over and around Claife Heights and Wise Een (between Coniston and Windermere). The guidebook for bikers classified the route as easy. A definition open to dispute if, like me, you experience difficulty steering, peddling and are disconcerted by downhill speed. Slight gradients, unnoticed on foot, steepen as bikers approach. Evidence for this statement was provided by a group of walkers who kept overtaking as our group paused for breath or awaited the completion of emergency repairs. Unfortunately problems were resolved quickly; revitalisation was not achieved before the uphill peddling recommenced.

The descent to the west shore of Windermere was delightful, the climb via the road to Far Sawrey and an excellent pub, which we passed, harder work.

At this point one member, misreading the map, disappeared and John peddled off in pursuit. The party divided. One group returning directly to Hawkshead, one cycled up the bridleway past Wise Een Tarn while John and Brian Richardson battled their way, via a devious route through the forest, eventually to join with the others at Claife Heights.

Reassembled in the car park and now behind schedule, it was agreed that the more strenuous afternoon circuit could wait another day. A general move towards ice cream, coffee and snacks followed.

Come along next year and enjoy a great day out. I exaggerate the difficulties and our organisers did provide adequate recuperation time. John always finds interesting routes with a surprise or two.