Saturday 22nd June 2013

This weekend, I headed over to Swaledale, for a few days of biking, based at the Dales Bike Centre with Michael and Robert. Unfortunately, Robert had an injury, meaning that he couldn't ride, but was still able to head down to the Dale for a change of scenery.

We weren't treated to the best of weather. High winds and regular heavy rain showers, at times hail made for some unpleasant riding conditions. This meant, we opted for a shorter route than hoped, but still getting out on the bikes for enough time to make it feel worthwhile.

We got the road and most of the climbing out of the way right at the start on leaving Low Fremington, heading south towards Wensleydale. It wasn't long before we hit the first bridleway, continuing to climb up to the top of Greets Hill, where we descended down to the crossroads at Dent's Houses. This was a particularly unpleasant experience, with the wind full force in our faces on the exposed moorland and the rain turning to hail, having to pedal downhill to keep moving. On a calmer day, this track would be great fun.

Taking a right at the crossroads, we climbed right up Apedale, before hooking right again. At this point the ride changed entirely as we had the strong wind on our backs and we covered the next few miles contouring round the top of "High Carl" at some speed, with barely any pedal strokes.

At "Blue Hill", we forked left and descended down to the road on a loose, twisting track, which was pretty sketchy at speed; without doubt the highlight of the loop. We then took the bridleway next to the River Swale back to Low Fremington, which is a good warm down and far less exposed being in the valley bottom.

The ride was mostly on well defined moorland tracks and despite there being little in the way of features to navigate by, was pretty straight forward to follow.

Stats 'n that

How far and how long:

12.10 miles, 2 hours

Who was with me:

Michael Harrison
Wind, hail and a rainbow.

Wind, hail and a rainbow.

Dropping down to the River Swale.

Dropping down to the River Swale.