Having tackled the lanes east of Windemere we turned our engines off and sat waiting for the ferry west. I was already feeling very happy with the CRF. It's obviously a tamed motocross bike that's been tuned for more low end torque along with gear ratios more suited to the trail than track. The CRF also comes fitted with 450cc's but it's hard to imagine a situation where the extra quantity would be necessary on the UK's Green Roads.
At Grizedale forest I accidentally rode past the track I've been using for thirty years. Recent timber harvesting had completely changed the appearance of the landscape making the entrance to the track unrecognisable. From there it was onto Coniston for lunch at The Meadowdore. This is one of the last proper cafes in existence and a must for any motorcyclist seeking delicious sustenance with a log fire and plenty of room for drying clothes.
What do you mean you didn't think it was very deep...?!
Having studied the weather forecast this ride was taking place a day early and on the eve of, what turned out to be called, Storm Desmond.
Our first clue to the impending devastation came when Greg's mobile phone finally picked up some signal just as our chips arrived. His mother had been stranded inside her flood damaged BMW for four hours outside Cockermouth the previous evening. Rescue had at last arrived just before midnight and the car was a write off.
This rather disconcerting news was bad enough, little did we know what was yet to come.
Tilberthwaite to Little Langdale is perhaps one of the most scenic routes in the Lake District so it was no great surprise to find ourselves in a queue behind three orange 4x4 vehicles at the beginning of the trail. These vehicles belong to the area's only commercial off road tour company. 48 hours later this company was to make national headlines for all the wrong reasons after helping wedding guests make it through the impending floods for what some saw as extortionate fees. Regardless of the fees they certainly missed a huge PR opportunity some would say they were in desperate need of.
As we reached Little Langdale we parked the bikes up at the entrance to the abandoned slate quarries. We climbed a stile and took a short walk up to the entrance of a tunnel which led us into what is known as Cathedral Cave. This large 40 feet high cavern is lit by two openings leading off to other workings and a huge column of slate has been left in the centre to help support the roof. As trail riders it's very easy to ride past such points of interest, getting caught up in a 'covering as much ground as is humanly possible' mentality. Riding in a group, even of two, often means the lead rider feels under pressure to keep moving and those behind, to keep up.