Ride Report: SMTBE Lakes Trip 2017

SMTBE Lake District 1st to 5th September 2017

The riders 

  • Andrew Titcombe
    “Riding in the Lake District hills and mountains puts me on level ground for my everyday challenges. Highly recommended. Great for the soul”
  • Craige Goodson
    “Challenging, character building and sunning scenery, the Lakes has it all”
  • Dave Bates
    “Yet again The Lakes delivered world class riding in awesome surrounding, loved every minute of it!”
  • Matt Wadsworth
    “Escaping into the mountains on a bike, banter with likeminded friends…oh we did laugh, a weekend to remember”
  • Rob Merrison
    “Tyre deflating, ankle twisting, knee bruising entertainment. Total enjoyment without a Jacuzzi being involved”
  • Sean Saunders
    “Could have done with a bit more gravy on my pie. Just saying 🙂 “
  • Stuart Fisher
    “Maybe 4 days of the toughest riding and bike hiking you’ll ever do, but well worth every minute  – what an awesome adventure”
  • Will Anstis
    “Challenging and epic days, both in environment and riding”

The Guide 

  • Charlie Oldrid
    “What a great bunch of lads! Thank you all for being top banter from start to finish, it complimented the epic riding to create a truly memorable trip”

The stats

  • 5 rides
  • 1000km ridden
  • 25000m climbed
  • 3000km driven
  • 100 ltrs (166 pints) ale drunk.

Friday 1st September – Ullswater 

Getting there 

At 9am the pick-ups began and we all congregated at Maccy’d’s Cirencester for breakfast at 9.30am. Coffee machine was out of order so we aborted breaky and headed up the M5 in search of much needed caffeine. Caffeine found, we continued in convoy via the M6 to the Ing Lodge at Shap on the slopes of the Cumbrian Far Eastern Fells.


A quick meet with Scott and Emma our hosts at Ing Lodge and an off load of kit into our high quality 4 bed bunk rooms (based on last year’s very small and smelly 6 bunk room) we assembled in the carpark to follow Charlie a few country miles for a short ride. Where Charlie could assess our riding ability and wonder just what he had let himself in for.

Click here for the full Day 1 report

2 rooms of 2 bunks – sparse, but comfortable enough. Bedding supplied, ear plugs and nose pegs not. 2 shower room with decent showers. Dining room and living room pleasant and a small bar with local ales, what is there not to like! Bikes nice and secure too.

Saturday 2nd Sept

Breakfast and out 

Early breaky. Full English for most and gruel for the antipodean rider along with copious amounts of tea or coffee for all. Bags packed and left in the foyer for onwards transit to the campsite, our next nights’ accommodation we rode from Shap onto the Far Eastern fells with packed lunches and a simple day pack.

Click here for the full Day 2 report
Gamp camping – well the tents did have carpets!

On our arrive from the ride via a short visit to the Hawkshead Brewery and bladders filled with Lakelands finest ales along with a couple of bottle of plonk from the local Spar, we found our kit, beds and sleeping bags deposited in 2 large bell tents and Charley’s partner Emily  preparing the BBQ. Bikes stowed safely, phones and Garmins on charge the serious matter of emptying bladders and stuffing our faces began and continued around the fire pit until it was deemed wise to get some sleep in readiness for the next day’s events.

Sunday 3rd Sept

Grizedale to Grassmere

Up and breakfasted early, bacon butties and gruel consumed, bikes and overnight kit packed into vans, we squeezed into 2 cars for the 30 minute drive to Hawkeshead to begin our ride with the usual amount of faffing and carpark riding, before we headed up the climb out of Hawkshead and up into Grizedale forest.

SMTBE Lakes Day 3 Classics Ride
Click here for the full Day 3 report

We rolled into Grassmere in light rain to live music and a large marque housing the world famous Grassmere beer festival. Clearly that famous that all the beer was drank. A little damp and in need of a warm we moved on to ‘The Inn’ where beer and an open fire was found. Our bikes loaded into a van and shipped back to Shap while we supped our ales. A beer or two later, warmer and drier we were mini bussed back to Ing Lodge for our evening meal, home cooked pies and the likes and of course a topping up of ale in the bar. Monday morning the cloud hug low over the hills as we breakfast then headed out.

Monday 4th Sept

Ledges and Reds
SMTBE Lakes Day 4 Glenderaterra Traverse
Click here for the full Day 4 am story

Safely down from the death defying ledge we said a temporary goodbye to Charley and drove the twenty minutes or so to Whinlatter forest as the rain set in.

SMTBE Day 4 Whinlatter
Click here for the full Day 4 PM story

Wet but grinning we assembled back at the vans, stopped for a quick pint in Braithwaite before returning on the long and winding road back to Shap for more quality home cooked grub and the obligatory beer.

Tuesday 5th Sept

Homeward bound

Tuesday morning and the weather had turned grim, with rain and wind lashing not just The Lakes, but the whole north of England. The previous night’s optimistic talk over dinner about visiting Gisburn or Cannock on the way home evaporated over breakfast and it was agreed that the trip had be absolutely brilliant. The rides, whilst always rocky, had been all very different, tough at times but totally enjoyable. The accommodation and food had been first class, as was Charlie’s hosting and leading, so on this high, it was time to head home.

GPX Files of the rides