Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Settle Loop

Had a bit of a girl free day in May so what to do, what to do???

Didn't really have enough time to do a big, epic walk so we decided to do a bit of mountain biking.  Had grabbed a few spare hours a week or so earlier and followed the bridleways up to the Nick of Pendle.  Coped ok so we decided to have a go at the Settle Loop.  This is a little section of the much larger Pennine Bridleway and looked just about perfect for the few hours we had at our disposal.

Despite a bit of a gloomy and overcast, slightly ominous looking sky we headed off to Settle.  Again, there had been a poor forecast.  Honestly, if you paid any real heed to some of the twaddle they tell you, well you would never get out of the house would you!

There is a simply enormous climb out of Settle.  Really long and it took ages to get up.  I confess, I cried a bit as I was so far behind it made me feel very inadequate and unfit..... so it must be good then!  Here I am finally getting to the top of the first hill.
Stopping to admire the impressive scenery
Once at the top of the first climb, you go through some incredibly amazing Yorkshire scenery. Lots of limestone humps and bumps.  Victoria caves are in the area around here.  It's superb.  The tarmac lane eventually ends and you head off onto the bridleway.  The riding is much rougher and gets quite technical towards the summit.
Bit rougher riding here - you need to do a bit of "gurning"
Nick looking fresh as a daisy ahead.  Me behind, red-faced, sweaty and possibly on the verge of tears!
Trudging and pushing up the technical bit!
It gets really rocky up towards the summit.  I had to push at this point.  Was unable to ride on this at all. Just kept falling off.  But then even Nick struggled with this part and had to push at times too.  Still ended up way behind though... Mind you I would have huffed and puffed just walking up here, never mind pushing my bike at the same time!
At the top - Malham Tarn in the distance
The view at the top is amazing. On top of Yorkshire with a great view over Malham Cove and Tarn.  You can carry on in that direction but we decided to stick with the loop and follow it back round to Settle.

Now came the really, really fun part.  So muddy in places that there was hardly any tread left on your tyres!! They were that caked up.  Mostly down hill too so you could really let fly.  Huge fun.  Lots of lumps and bumps to make you almost take off too.  And then the best bit.  A properly made bit of track.  Sandy and bendy and downhill.  Utterly brilliant!  Got some real speed up and flew over the bumps - sure I took off a few times.  So exhilarating.  Made the nightmare climb out of Settle seem a teeny tiny price to pay for such a fantastic ride back down.  Next bit was a bit more gravelly but still fun.

Almost back in Settle.  Final steep decent.
Very steep final bit of decent back to Settle.  A brilliant ride.  It made me cry at one point so it must be good!  Recommended!

1 comment:

scarletti said...

Gasp! A Girl Free Day!! Moments to savour indeed : )