Posted by: Bruce Duncan | October 7, 2009

Night Ride

Last night was the first time i’d been out riding with the group that meet at the Pedlar on a Tuesday evening.  I had been so busy over the summer that i had missed out on all the daylight evening rides, so it was time to get the big lights out and go play in the dark.

I had no idea what to expect as a ride, i had heard stories of huge hike-a-bikes, gnarly rocky descents and crazy mountain tops summited.  And i wasn’t to be disappointed, as the large group (over 25 people) gathered i heard people talk of a ride up to Force Crag Mine, and then a yomp up to Coledale Hause!  I immediately regretted my choice of shoe, the rigid soles i had would not be great for a long walk! oh well.

As we set off i got chatting to the few people i knew, and soon enough we were off the road on a tricky bit of singletrack, where i managed to roll down the hill in the bracken after slipping trying to get into my pedals, my new shoes are very slippy, hmm not ideal.

The track to the mine is very easy and was another chance to chat and ask about the route, it sounded like a walk almost all the way from the bottom.  As soon as we crossed the ford i looked at the track and thought it was rideable, so i gave it a go, i quickly pulled away from everyone else and managed to ride a good long way up the hill.  It was tough work, but i’d much rather try and ride stuff than go for a walk with my bike.

I waited further up, where it really wasn’t rideable, for the others to catch up, then we walked up to the hause.  The route had been changed on the way up, we still had more climb to come, luckily it was almost all rideable to the top of Crag Hill, and with stunning 360degree views it was worth it.  The moon was out and with 20 sets of lights it looked really cool, what people from Keswick must have thought if they’d have looked up i have no idea!

After all the climb it was now time to drop back down, having run the ridge between Crag Hill, Sail and Causey Pike i knew it was pretty interesting in places, and i wasn’t to be let down.  The first drop was very steep, and any error would have been costly, so a bit more walking was employed, and in my rigid shoes i had more fun!  After riding a bit, then getting to the top of Sail it was a fast, but very rocky decent to the col, this was great fun, but with a cool wind blowing my eyes started to water and made things all a bit blurry, not ideal.

Regrouping at the col, we then dropped down some tricky singletrack with a huge drop to the left then hurtled at a silly speed down Stoneycroft, an apt name for a very rocky track with wee jumps, washed out channels and wet slippery corners.  I was very grateful of my tubeless tires as this was snakebite heaven.

People gradually joined us at the bottom, and my friend Paul suddenly realised that his chain had not just slipped off, but had actually gone somewhere on the decent, so instead of waiting for everyone we headed back towards Portinscale, with me pushing him along the road for which he was very grateful.  I left him in Portinscale to wheel the last bit to Keswick and i sped back for some food as it was 9.30pm by now and i was hungry!

It was a brilliant first night ride of the season, my legs were pretty pumped and i was sky high with adrenaline, i can’t wait to get out and play some more!

Route of Night Ride

Route of Night Ride



  1. Cheers again for the push Bruce – I was first to the pub thanks to you !

    • no worries, least i could do, been in that situation before. Great ride, i was tired when i got home, hard training this week!

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