Part two of Ingrid's amazing summer - Bike plus girl verses the best the Lakes can offer

December 01, 2016

Having hiked my bike in the Cairngorms and got back to a level of fitness I was happy with, I felt ready to return to the one place that I was longing to explore again.  I headed to the Lakes.

I started by returning to trails I knew.  Next I asked round bike shops for trail advice and gathered every bit of information I could find before setting off on natural trails that were new to me.  I was incredibly lucky with the weather and I hardly experienced a day of rain.  In fact I was craving it!  It finally came on a day riding Grizedale’s bridleways, over 5 weeks into my trip.  I stayed out as long as I could, waterproofs getting tested to their limit.  I don’t like moaning about the weather, I will be the first out on the trails in a blizzard on Orkney.  I just feel so lucky to be able to ride, to be able to do what I love!  You soon forget it’s raining when riding anyway!

The rain was short lived and I was running out of excuses for avoiding two hike-a-bike routes I was itching to try.  They were long natural trails, and I wasn’t sure what I was thinking tackling these solo for my first attempt, but the weather cleared and it was ideal for Nan Bield & Hellvelyn. 

Sunshine at the Lakes


I had spent the last week or so building up to riding these.  I had shocked myself riding Garburn decsent into Kentmere blind.  Navigating was feeling good and my fitness was definitely exceeding my expectations.  I was full of nerves and adrenalin.  I first set foot on Nan hiking 3 years ago. I met 4 mountain bikers there and I knew this was a place that I wanted to ride.  Every trail and even skills practice up until this point was probably subconsciously leading me back to Nan.

As always when I set off on a ride, my mind is full of thoughts.  Since it was my first ride round Nan it was really full of them.  However it didn’t take long before I was completely immersed in my surroundings, forgetting what I had even been thinking about.  I hardly met anyone that day & the weather couldn’t have been better.  Starting the hike, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face, true happiness, with adrenalin more than peaking when I reached the summit.  My descent wasn’t the best that day, but nothing could ruin that day. It was the best. 

Hiking up Nan in my favourite Flare shirt

It was such an amazing opportunity to learn and knowing that I was ahead of where I was the previous day was more than enough motivation for pushing my riding round Nan.  I find it hard to describe, it just simply meant the world to me. That feeling that I can never find the words for is what continues to bring me back to these places, to continually explore and push myself.  It’s what gets me out on my bike regardless of weather.

The next day I woke really early and headed for Hellvelyn.  This was a trail I hadn’t even hiked, let alone taken my bike up.  Setting off full of nerves and adrenalin again on another beautiful day, I noticed my adrenalin hadn’t even come close to settling after the previous day round Nan.  I know I was being really ambitious even considering Hellvelyn that day, but I was too intrigued. 

Helvellyn was too temtping to ignore

Before I knew it I had descended Sticks Pass and was back at the car.  I was overwhelmed, tired and not ready for a break in pushing my riding (I was due to be heading to Eastbourne with my Mum!).  I felt there was so much I hadn’t even begun to explore, my riding had been really progressing and I was really enjoying finding loads of new trails.  I was itching to come back and I had some serious added motivation.

Next stop .... the North

Size Guide

Women's Tops

UK USA World Bust Hip Length (front)
8 4 X-Small 87-90cm 96-99cm 53cm
10 6 Small 91-94cm 100-103cm 54.5cm
12 8 Medium 95-98cm 104-107cm 56cm
14 10 Large 99-102cm 108-111cm 57.5cm
16 12 X-Large 103-106cm 112-115cm 59cm
18 14 XX-Large 107-112cm 116-121cm 61.5cm
20 16 XXX-Large 113-119cm 122-128cm 65cm

Women's Shorts

UK USA Waist Hip Length (inside)
6 2 70-73cm 84-88cm 34cm
8 4 74-77cm 89-93cm 35cm
10 6 78-81cm 94-98cm 36cm
12 8 82-85cm 99-103cm 37cm
14 10 86-89cm 104-108cm 38cm
16 12 90-93cm 109-115cm 39cm
18 14 94-97cm 116-122cm 40cm
20 16 98-101cm 123-129cm 41cm

Men's Tops

Size Chest Length (front)
X-Small 87-91cm 55cm
Small 92-95cm 56.5cm
Medium 96-99cm 58cm
Large 100-109cm 59.5cm
X-Large 110-119cm 61cm
XX-Large 120-127cm 64.5cm
XXX-Large 128-135cm 66cm

Men's Shorts

Size Size  Waist Hip Length (outside)
28" X-Small 69-73cm 84-88cm 60.5cm
30" Small 74-78cm 89-93cm 61.5cm
32" Medium 79-83cm 94-98cm 63.5cm
34" Large 84-88cm 99-103cm 64.5cm
36" X-Large 89-93cm 104-108cm 65.5cm
38" XX-Large 94-98cm 109-113cm 66.5cm
40" XXX-Large 99-103cm 114-118cm 67.5cm