Elterwater Youth Hostel Weekend
I’ve just got time to add a bit about the SOC weekend staying at Elterwater Youth Hostel organised by James and Barbara. Half a dozen mountain bikers turned up and after a busy Friday evening watching fireworks, playing liar dice and drinking too much beer (in some cases) we headed off south towards Hodge Close. The first half of the ride was plagued by mechanicals as Pete’s bike seemed to be stuck on middle ring, Russ ripped the sidewall on his tyre and Matt couldn’t get any low gears. This didn’t stop us enjoying an excellent descent from Tarn Hows on a fairly new permissive bridleway (courtesy of the National Trust) before a stiff climb up into Grizedale. The descent to the visitor centre was even more exciting than usual after the recent rain and an extended lunchtime stop enabled Russ to buy a new tyre and Pete to get his gears sorted out at the shop. By this time Graham had perked up and we had a good return run via Hawkshead and Iron Keld and down the final rocky descent into Elterwater. The Britannia Inn fireworks on Saturday evening were quite spectacular and very loud (many £50 notes went up in smoke) and the meal cooked for us all by Mark was fantastic (especially the fish pie).
We lost two and gained six on Sunday and did a route that Nev had planned out to take in a few previously unknown (to us) bits of bridleway. We also picked up Dave and Sue en route who were staying with friends just before we climbed up onto Claife Heights and then zoomed down into Hawkshead for tea and cakes. We came back via the long descent off Iron Keld (good value) and then another bit of bridleway we hadn’t tried before near Slater’s Bridge. Rach then terrified some other mountain bikers coming back into Elterwater as they minced about on the drop-off halfway down. Thanks to James, Barbara and Mark for organising, fireworks and food and to the other SOCers for a great weekend away.