Long Way Up.........The M6

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Long Way Up.........The M6

Post  MrNutt on Wed Feb 01 2012, 02:03

I have wanted a bike since I was about 6 or 7 years old, at the age of 18 I started to read about biker’s trips and then became somewhat obsessed with the long way down/round series and desperately wanted to do a bike trip from then on.

So in early Jan with Anna we decided to do our first proper bike trip, staying in the Lake District, doing ride outs around the Lakes national park and then also heading over into the Yorkshire Dales to.
Everything was booked and planned within about 2 weeks and the whole trip only cost just over £200 each for 5 days so was a cheap trip but was huge amounts of fun, proof you have to spend the earth to have a good time, or go that far really.

We decided to stay in a Yurt, a Mongolian style portable bent wooden structure, I think there were originally invented and used by the Turks but don’t hold me on this my knowledge isn’t that good!
Anyway accommodation booked up, routes planned and everything packed we were ready to go, but alas the weather of departure day was so bad we decided to delay going for a day, which was a master stroke as it was about 10 degrees warmer, with no wind or rain the sun even came out to!

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So there we are happily trundling along the M6 near our get off for the lakes and in my mirror I see this green car that looks very familiar, but then thing there is more than one green VW Passat in the UK, but then it drew along side and the driver was waving at me, took me a few seconds for things to click, but I did know the car and driver, twas my uncle driving back home from Liverpool!!

So in a bizarre selection of hand signals and saying stuff in my helmet which of course Anna could hear, me telling her it was my uncle and that we would pull over. Though as she sadly isn’t a telepathic, she though when we stopped I had got into an accident with this car.
Anyway after explaining we went into a local service station for some coffee and food, which was a nice pleasant unscheduled stop.

So we finally rocked up to the site where the Yurts are, it in the woodland which belongs to a wood yard, it’s a full working yard but only on a small scale, but does mean the place is out the way and secluded which is nice if you want to get away from things.
The route from the road through the yard and up into the woodland was an interesting one, the ground is solidly compacted and covered in slate shingle which is pretty stable but it was rather steep, so with supersports suspension and road tyres we rode up to the yurt. So I can now safely say that the Cat can do some light off roading! Never thought I’d say that of the bike.

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So after a rather interesting shopping trip to asda where I had boxes of things strapped to me and the outside of my kriega rucksack we were able to get a fire going and settle in for the first night, ready to order our Thai food, but then came a slight hitch, none of the Thai or Chinese’s in either Windermere/bowness or Ambleside actually deliver, maybe it was bad of us to assume that takeaways deliver lol


First proper day

Okies so we wake up to light rain, we kit up and leave, thankfully the rain had stopped by this point, and so we traversed our way back down the rather steep route, brakes got a right work out doing that!
And of course about 2 mins after we got out onto the road proper the heavens opened, sods law really!
But we still had a nice 30-mile slow trundle into the heart of the lakes national park going through forests and up and down windy passes to get to Ambleside, Though once we got to just outside Ambleside we were soaked through and decided to call it for riding that day and go wandering round Ambleside in search or warmness and hot food before heading back to the Yurt for the evening.

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yups thats snow!



2nd Day

Weather was looking much more promising today, was chuffing freezing and a thick frost but it was clear and wasn’t raining!


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So after kitting up and clearing the bikes of frost we headed off for Devils bridge (Kirby Lonsdale), was a nice ride out, the sun cam out and blue sky was a plenty, we stopped off for a drink at by the bridge and as you can see we were the only bikers there!

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While looking at our route into the dales for the day we checked the weather reports, which had changed again! Went from sunny to rainy, so we decided to head back into the lakes and go up to Keswick and try the hornister/whinlatter pass, we took a slight longer route into Ambleside, stopping off at Grasmere for some lunch and of course the obligatory stock up on the famous and tasty gingerbread, the weather was on and off, raining, sunny and hailing. But we decided to carry on up to Keswick on the A591 which is a spectacular road, the views were stunning even in the rain, yeah we couldn’t absolutely hoon it around but it was nice to go along at a nice relaxed pace drinking everything in.
We got to Keswick and the hail started so we decided to head back and skip the whinlatter/hornister as we had no idea what the conditions would be like and didn’t fancy anything bad happening, there’s always another time…

Here are some pics on the A591 from Keswick to Ambleside.

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We stopped of for some awesome cake and hot chocolate at Lucy’s in Ambleside, which I would highly recommend as a great place to eat if you are ever in that neck of the woods, we then heading back to the yurt to get all the kit dry. Did just over 100 miles on this day

How to dry bike kit yurt style.

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3rd day

Today the weather was glorious, cold again but crisp, dry and clear. In my eyes perfick wintery biking weather.
We kitted up and left to head off into the dales today, again stopping at Devils Bridge.
Though sadly plans were scuppered a tad when going round a round about I hear a scraping of metal noise and see a light flash across my mirrors and see my best friend sliding across the road, Cat following in tow I went into complete panic stations knowing I could do nothing to help as I was in front, so slammed the anchors on stopped on the side of the road and legged it back to make sure Anna was ok, thankfully when I got the completely out of breath, she was standing up in a very dazed and shocked state, and of course no one else stopped to check she was ok, all the car drivers just made a B-line around the bike and her and fecked off, I was less than impressed, though by some odd stroke of luck as I was double checking Anna was ok, an ambulance happened to be passing and the paramedics helped get the bike up and check Anna which was very good of them as they didn’t have to, some faith was restored in humanity in my mind at that point!
We got the bike going and got to Devils bridge to decide what to do, Anna obviously really didn’t feel up to doing anything much after that which is completely understandable, so she went back into Ambleside to chill out for the day and I went off by myself for a day in the Dales.

My route was as follows-
A65 to giggleswick/settle
B6480-B6479 through Horton in ribblesdale
Stop off at the ribbleshead viaduct
B6255 to hawes
Lunch in Hawes
Out towards hardraw – then buttertubs pass
Back towards hawes via buttertubs pass
A684 – sedbergh and Kendal

The run down the A65 to settle was awesome, Pen-y-Ghent following me all the way along the lovely open empty road, that road with the views, lovely twists and turns was the poetry of motorcycling in motion right there for me, and it was only ever going to get better the further into the dales I ventured.

I stopped in Horton in Ribblesdale hoping to get a hot drink in the Pen-y-Ghent café, sadly though it was closed, but I sat in the car park with the view in the photo below for company for a while.

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Rolling out of Horton along the B6479 was awe inspiring, stopping every now and then for photos, again like earlier I wasn’t hooning it around just taking it steady and drinking everything in, and of course being cautious incase of any ice.
I was happily minding my own business enjoying everything till I was nearly stopped in my tracks turning a corner coming over the brow of a hill to find the Ribbleshead Viaduct splayed out in front of me with snow covered mountains surrounding it.
What an awesome view and sight that place is to behold, took some snaps, though shame someone had to park a horrid RV motorhome sideways across the view!

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the awesome road to Hawes


Leaving the viaduct I was able to take a run into Hawes on the B6255 which is a fantastic road, even in the cold and slightly slippyness it was that day. I don’t know why I was expecting Hawes to big bigger than it was when I got there, but it was tiny, but lovely at the same time.
I stopped in at the Pen-y-garth café for some lunch and a break, when I rocked up outside there were about 10-12 guys on road going dirtbikes who had been out, they all thought I was nuts and deserved a medal for being out in these conditions on a road bike, one of the guys really like the cat and was very impressed with its condition and its good looks, and the fruity noise from the back of it (many thanks to nick I think for me getting all that praise!)
Though some of these guys were from the proper wilds of Yorkshire with reet thick accents that I really couldn’t get my head around, so I nodded and smiled a lot not wanting to get on the wrong side of em as they were all rather large chaps!
But they were all up for some banter either way, was an entertaining lunch break!

After a huge plate of food I couldn’t finish I headed off towards hardraw and the buttertubs pass, I didn’t realize it was quite as steep as it was, and had been warned by the dirtbikers of black ice lurking but thankfully never came across any of it.
I made it about half wayish along the pass before I bottled it and head back, if I had done my entire intended route anna would have been staying overnight in which ever coffee shop she was in, there is always another time for another run up there…
Though I only did a section of the buttertubs, what a road I was the only thin on it for most of the time I was there, and when I stopped to soak in the views and take some photos nothing living came past me at all, it was perfect silence, well until I fired up the cat to leave that is!!

Below are some pics from the buttertubs

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knee deep in the snow!



After heading onto the A684 towards sedbergh and Kendal, which is a perfect way to end this ride, in and out of valleys through tiny hamlets, with a huge change in scenery as you ride along, finally making it into Kendal and then meeting up with Anna in Ambleside to head back to the yurt for the final night.

Now going home could be straight forward but we decided to make a right old meal of it, Anna was leading on the M6 I had to pull over to sort my ipod out as it was making a hideous noise, I indicated, flashed my lights and even waved my arm, but alas it was all pointless as miss hassel rode off as I stopped, I sorted myself out and rode on thinking ‘oh I bet she’s stopped just up the way’ ok nope to that, so then thought ‘ok there’s a service station a little further along the M6 so pulled in their and waited but again alas no Anna, eventually I ended up in chanock Richard services and Anna rocked up about 20 mins after I got there, turns out she never noticed me stopping and then turned off the M6 instead of going to the service station on the M6, and she also went back north looking for me so we must have crossed paths a few times, its one of those things which is funnier in hindsight than at the actual time!
Though I reckon if it was all filmed from a birds eye view, you could have put the benny hill chase music to it and it would have been comedy gold!!

So after our brief tour of most of the northern M6 service stations we finally were a pair again and on the long and chuffing cold haul back home, we both arrived in one safe piece.
Though most annoyingly my chain became slack for the last 30 miles, was hoping I could get away with nowt happening to the bike…….


All in all a great first trip, which has certainly spurred me on to do more, hopefully Anna feels the same and isn’t too sick of the sight of me!

Total of 750 miles for me on the road, possibly a bit more for Anna after her service station tour.

My bike never missed a beat, ran like a real gem, having done the trip I can now highly recommend the Michelin pilot road 2’s once scrubbed in they stuck me to the road like the proverbial to a stick I don’t think I ever felt a slip of the wheels at all.
I would also highly recommend the place where we stayed, Google the lovely yurt company, they are based in fell foot woods opposite lake Windermere, very well priced and a fantastic location, especially if you want to get away for a bit but stay somewhere other than a hotel, also those who have a phobia of tenting but like the outdoors it’s a great option.

Hopefully some of you didn’t get bored of the writing and made it this far!!
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Re: Long Way Up.........The M6

Post  Rosco on Wed Feb 01 2012, 06:11

Brill photos and write up Dave.

At last a challenger for write up of the year award which has always been won by Radar (Tony)

Note that this award is purely hypothetical and has no monetary value - but still worth winning.

Hats off to you both for completing the challenge.
I've done a fair bit of the roads you mention on Surf n turf rideouts over the years but never in those challenging temperatures or road conditions.
Great roads and great scenery too.

Managed a snowball fight on the bike in the Pyrenese mountains a few years ago but would be too scared to attempt in this country.

Glad you both had a good time and glad the 'off' wasn't too damaging. Still can't believe none of those car drivers stopped.

And thanks for explaining what a yurt is. I was struggling to understand your posts til now.

Cheers
Rosco
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Re: Long Way Up.........The M6

Post  ady66 on Wed Feb 01 2012, 07:14

Nice write up, glad you both had fun.
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Re: Long Way Up.........The M6

Post  YZFJohn on Wed Feb 01 2012, 09:09

When does the book come Out? pmsl

Glad Anna was not hurt. having looked at the pictures of all the snow, glad you both made it back safely. great


Last edited by Manor69 on Wed Feb 01 2012, 10:02; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Long Way Up.........The M6

Post  Snowcat on Wed Feb 01 2012, 09:51

Great pics, great write up, glad Anna is okay and you both had a great time.
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Re: Long Way Up.........The M6

Post  billyw on Wed Feb 01 2012, 09:53

Enjoyed the read and pics, well done.
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Re: Long Way Up.........The M6

Post  ellie on Wed Feb 01 2012, 10:22

Excellent write up, hats off to you crazy kids for attempting a rideout with snow on the ground. great Thumb

Love the bit about talking to yourself in your lid, Im frequetly pleased we have no intercom system because I talk to myself all the time, swear and curse when I do something wrong (happens frequently) and when Im bored I sing very loudly! loony

So pleased Annas OK and I really hope your confidence improves Anna, you've come along way in the last year! Your a biker chick and we're made of strong stuff, you can do it! Thumb


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Re: Long Way Up.........The M6

Post  MrNutt on Wed Feb 01 2012, 10:23

Managed a snowball fight on the bike in the Pyrenese mountains a few years ago but would be too scared to attempt in this country.

I really wanted a snowball fight up on the buttertubs rosco, but I couldnt quite get it to work with just one person pmsl

everyone seems to have been miffed by a yurt, so thought i'd explain it a bit more than saying its a glorified tent, which it kinda is really....

Also forgot to mention in the write up how impressed I was with the tank range on the bikes, on both long stints there and back both bikes got over 210 miles going before the orange light of doom came only, and that even included some impromptu drag racing on the completely empty M6 toll road on the way up great not that we were bored or anything..... haloangel
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Re: Long Way Up.........The M6

Post  Nanabanana on Wed Feb 01 2012, 10:59

No....not at all Dave.... haloangel see....it's me.....
and the off...its like riding a...bike. Just gotta get straight back on it and fight those demons angry
It was a good trip, but cold and soggy, the pictures don't really show how much of a drowned rat I looked..
And Dave, I'm not sick of u, depends if you are using it as an excuse to get away from me :(
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Re: Long Way Up.........The M6

Post  MrNutt on Wed Feb 01 2012, 11:09

well when the bill for bikeshoveerer and pusherer is paid we may see eye to eye again...... tongue
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Re: Long Way Up.........The M6

Post  stretchie_ on Wed Feb 01 2012, 11:21

Cool, glad you guys had a good time

I read about the off on Anna's thread, glad she's ok.

All in all, apart from a spill sounds like you had a good trip pal
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Re: Long Way Up.........The M6

Post  Dai-San on Wed Feb 01 2012, 19:16

Great write up mate and some nice pics.

Glad you both enjoyed yourself despite some trying conditions and the obvious incident.

Great to get these sort of trips under your belt, they become great stories to swap over camp fires.
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Re: Long Way Up.........The M6

Post  robertcains on Wed Feb 01 2012, 19:41

Absolutely nuts!! Well no surprise from Mr 'Loose' Nutt himself naughty
Well done to both of you, especially for still being mates after all of it pmsl
Great write up Dave & with that spirit Anna you will go far Thumb
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Re: Long Way Up.........The M6

Post  Panzerbuilder on Wed Feb 01 2012, 20:17

Well done Dave and Anna, you both deserve a medal, what with the weather and doing it for the first time. My first outing will be, a hopefully warmer, little Mac in April.

I hope everything is getting better Anna, Its just time and keeping going that will help you.

Rich.
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Re: Long Way Up.........The M6

Post  greencat on Wed Feb 01 2012, 21:48

Glad to hear you're both home safely with some great stories and memories. I think you're both a bit crackers to take on the weather conditions in January! scratch The photos and write-up are excellent great
Guess you've both got the ride-out bug now? Hope you'll find time to catch up with some of us over the year.

Chris

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Re: Long Way Up.........The M6

Post  MrNutt on Wed Feb 01 2012, 23:41

I will certainly be coming out on some of the rideouts this year, only so many routes around here, and the trip has spurred me on to do more stuff on the bike.

Even going to try some home servicing son, hopefully I wont end up with a bike in bits!
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Re: Long Way Up.........The M6

Post  kwakkat on Thu Feb 02 2012, 19:42

YOUR NUTS :lol3: glad you had a great time
pete
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Re: Long Way Up.........The M6

Post  MrNutt on Thu Feb 02 2012, 19:54

I try to live up to my name the best that I can........... rofl
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Re: Long Way Up.........The M6

Post  Snowcat on Thu Feb 02 2012, 19:57

As long as you have access to a Haynes Manual even if you end up eith s bike in bits this will show you how to put it back together.
Mine had no battery, electrics, seat, tank, side fairings, rear mudguard, rear suspension shocker, tail light or indicators last week end and I got it all back together with a little help from Haynes.

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Re: Long Way Up.........The M6

Post  Stu on Thu Feb 02 2012, 22:42

Enjoyed the write up. Glad you enjoyed the trip.
Got me thinking how can i fit a trip to lakes in Very Happy
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Re: Long Way Up.........The M6

Post  MrNutt on Thu Feb 02 2012, 22:44

well if you want any advise on bits up there, let me know, could easily do a long weekend up there no probs
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