Putting the mountain back into biking

On a recent ride in the Lakes, Chris took a bash to the head. It's not that I wasn't sympathetic, but it seemed a good opportunity to secure agreement for something stupid before he recovered his wits.
The question posed at the last minute then: another killer day youth? That being the byword for a long days whether with bikes or boats. A great forecast, three big descents, two big carries, and some seriously technical riding in the central fells - well why not?
A quick climb to Watendlath on tarmac gave way to a steeper, slower climb to reach the first and easiest descent of the day.
A fast stretch at the top leads to steeper ground, some loose sections and then slabs - which set the tone for much of the day's descending...
...followed by a pleasant stretch to reach the track which follows Langstrath Beck beneath Sergeant's Crag whose steep slabs were a favoured haunt in years past.
Looking south towards Langdale Combe and Esk Pike - our route led up to the left, via Stake Pass.
Resembling an alpine pass, ironically enough, this 'improved' section of bridleway was probably the most ride-able piece of track encountered all day. Or it would have been had it been slightly less steep. And the hairpins slightly less tight. The first big carry then and a taster for what was still to come.
Singletrack threads between the moraines...
...promising more than it delivered, before the boulders began.
The top of the descent proved frustrating but from half height became more ride-able...
...giving way eventually to a fast finish to join the track which turns back up the fell - the ascent of Rossett Gill.
Time for a rest beneath Pike of Stickle, gathering enthusiasm for the carry...
...which begins almost straight away...
...and continues for longer than most.
Starting the descent from Esk Hause at around 750m...
...Great Gable looming ahead.
Passing Sprinkling Tarn first and then Styhead tarn...
...the rocky track then plunges again toward Borrowdale.
It is an unrelenting drop that ends abruptly at Stockley Bridge after which easier tracks lead back to the lake.
Last light, looking back towards Seathwaite Fell. 
Not the sort of ride I'd want to do every day perhaps, but it's good to put the mountain back into biking.

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