After guiding a lot of road trips, I always love getting back on my mountain bike, riding and guiding quality trails. This summer I’ve had the pleasure of riding one of my favourites in the Lake District with good friends: the three passes starting from Staveley.
This was followed by an impromptu trip up to Scotland to cover the last few days of Saddle Skedaddle‘s Celtic Crossing trip. This is an epic journey in the traditional cross country mould which starts on the north coast of Scotland in Bettyhill and concludes at the Wallace monument in Stirling. The day I started we were to cross the Corrieyairack Pass.
The highlight day of this trip has to be the penultimate leg from Dalwhinnie to Killin, crossing some beautifully remote terrain.
I also found myself back in the north Lakes, guiding some great rides near Ullswater. The forecast was for heavy rain all weekend but the usual Lake District sunshine prevailed for the most part.
Last weekend I had the pleasure of working in the Lake District with some of the best guides around on Saddle Skedaddle‘s Awesome Ambleside trip.
The first day is a great loop around Coniston Water, going from the tourist honeypot of Ambleside to some of the quieter corners of the Lakes on some fantastic trails. The second day takes in more classic trails in the area.
The first trip of the season with Saddle Skedaddle and it was a big one! Having previously done St Malo to Nice and Land’s End to John o’ Groats, it was great to take on another iconic end to end journey.
From the first day, the climbing begins.
There’s some huge open landscape views along the way.
There was so little traffic on the route, you sometimes wonder where everyone is!
Over a couple of weeks we had a few drops of rain but the clouds often made a dramatic backdrop to the scenery.
On the highest point of the route, we even rode in to the clouds.
Roads clung to the side of the hills overlooking the ever changing landscape.
One of the great things about the trip is the diverse range of incredible accommodation it visits.
As the trip gets further towards the south, the hills don’t let up. There’s a steep climb to the picturesque town of Zuheros.
Towards El Chorro the mountains get really impressive, the roads taking a sinuous route through them.
During May there are thousands of poppies lining the route, with occasional fields cloaked in bright red.
Ronda was the penultimate town we visited. Sat atop vertical cliffs and strung together with incredible bridges, this is somewhere I would like to return to.
With one last climb to go, the route is beautiful to the end. Watch out for the strong Levante wind descending to Tarifa. There’s a reason windsurfing is so popular here!