Ride to Cartmel via Levens, Thursday 30th August 2018

Upside down or back to front?

If you are a fan of the TV programs, where people look at houses and then do or don’t buy one, you will be aware of upside down houses. So why not back to front rides? We do tend to have fairly fixed routes and unless you have eyes in the back of your head you will be only be aware of half of the views available.

So take a route we normally do and go the other way! Leaving Kellet X we went over the mast and down to Bolton le Sands and onto the canal tow path. Here the concept of riding in two or more groups was challenged when the second group ended up in front of the 1st. Even leaving the canal was somewhat problematic but at Crag Bank the order was re-established. In two groups of 8 (or 9) the route continued via Silverdale Station and Storth to cross the flats and on to Levens Hall for coffee. Nick who had done sterling service leading his group passed the route plan to Mike C for stage 2.

Not liking the climb to Levens village we went via the flat lanes to Sampool and Gilpin Bridge. We followed the ‘old road’ towards Witherslack but, out of character, turned left across Meathop Moss to Grange. The cold start we had endured relented and tops came off or at least unfastened. A slightly uphill road led to Allithwaite and a right turn, the actual RIGHT turn might have been the one, before the one we took but such was the spirit of the group no one commented. Soon Cartmell was reached and my group headed for the cafe named something to do with ducks. The 2nd group soon followed and passed our cafe, maybe L’Enclume was more their cup of tea

After lunch we gained another 3 riders and set off NE to fork right and make our way towards High Newton. Here the back to front route paid off with stunning views towards Dow Crag and Coniston Old Man. A short climb led to the top of Tow Top. The way down has deteriorated over the years from being bad 30 years ago to even worse today but at least we went down! The group pressed on to Witherslack and back along the ex -A590 to Levens. Instead of dicing with death trying to cross the main road we turned into Heversham. Ackenthwaite and Holme Mills gave way to Cinderbarrow and the main Burton road. Here the group split some going via Priest Hutton and the others Greenlands Farm. I returned to Nether Kellet 60 miles since I left neither upside down nor back to front.

Brian Greenwood