Honister Pass…but the wrong way

Aug 23rdHow can you climb a pass ‘the wrong way’? Good question….but we did….so let me explain.
All the routes at the Birthday Rides have been mapped out by local club riders, who know the roads and, more importantly, know the cafes. We can use written route notes, paper maps, or gpx files on cycling satnavs. I used the latter, and I set off with Alex (from Shropshire) on the 40 mile approach to the pass, via Buttermere, only to see before us the enormity of the whole climb (here you can see Alex in the early stages)

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…..but added to that, (and we knew this was going to happen) we had a fierce headwind, with gusts of up to 50-60mph. It blew us both completely off the bikes on the ascent, Alex to re-mount twice and complete the climb, I couldn’t re-mount, so had to walk the final quarter of the ascent (damn it!).

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Look carefully and you will make out the sign announcing its incline of 25% (1 in 4).
We could, of course, have done the route in reverse and ‘enjoyed’ a wind-assisted climb, still horrendously tough, but with nature’s support. Why didn’t we?
I wish I knew……the perversity of free will, perhaps? The greater simplicity of following a route as laid out by the route designer? Whatever the reason, we paid the price……..

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….but we enjoyed the views of Crummock Water

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….and Derwent Water.
Some prices are worth paying….. 🙂
Distance: 73 miles. Climbing: over  6000 feet.

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About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on August 23, 2015, in Cycling UK. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I did Honister Pass the right way when supporting my brother-in-law in Ultra weekend at Keswick. Looked down from top, where slate mine has café, and watched the unprepared struggle up on racing bikes with totally inappropriate gears! I didn’t bother dropping down just to climb up again, just had another coffee.

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