Yes, there were mountains. And yes, there were bikes. But was there any kind of trail riding? Maybe. Take a look below at Sam making his way on the ascent up Scarth Gap Pass:
|How exactly do you ride up this?!|
|Sam preparing our mid-ride meal|
The descending on the other hand, was insane. So steep and rocky that our hardtail XC bikes couldn't really handle it, brake discs boiling water as we rode through it due to the brakes being held on otherwise you would accelerate into warp speed nearly instantly. Punctures were a bain of my life in the first day, the first coming from a "Puncture Wizard" as we christened him - a probably irate hiker who asked "Have you had any punctures yet?" just as I rolled down a rocky outcrop just after Honnister Pass. It was inevitable that I got a huge pinch flat, the rim slamming down with a jarring thud. Probably bad technique on my part, but most likely the Puncture Wizard. The second was failing to lift my rear wheel high/far enough as I crossed one of the numerous drainage ditches scything across the path. Pictured below is Sam on a section of really rare, rideable, fairly tame descent.
|Sections such as this were really enjoyable|
We made it to our hostel in Eskdale. After around 9 hours, we were ready for some food. Quick! To the pub! The pub stopped serving at 9pm, we made it in to order at 9:03pm and were told we could only order a pizza. RUBBISH! So faced with no other option, we had 3 pizzas between the two of us. Couldn't quite believe how strict they were on this policy. At least it was some sustenance. Finished these quickly and back to bed, ready to face day 2.