Two Feet, Two Wheels and Four Paws
With the Coniston Trail Marathon less than two months away and my entry for the Glencoe Marathon accepted, I’m getting some regular training miles in my legs.
So far training has been a mix of short speed sessions and some base mileage mixed in with cycling and gym sessions but I was aware it was time to spend some more time out on the fells. As my partner Mark is a keen mountain biker but has an aversion to running I was faced with a dilemma, how do I get the miles in whilst also spending time with my significant other? Mark (a man with a practical mind) had the answer, we would go mountain biking together but,……. I would leave my bike at home. Me (easily confused at the best of times) had to think about this for a while…… and then the penny dropped. Of course! We would spend the day together out on the trails, Mark on two wheels, me on two feet and Lottie Pup, as always, on four paws. Mark thought this to be the ideal compromise, I thought it sounded hard work, though admittedly very good training.
We needed a route that would be fun for all involved; a circuit of Caw it was to be then. We parked the van along Hummer Lane and headed into the woods. Sections of rooty technical singletrack ensured I was never too far from Marks back wheel, Lottie Pup was busy clocking in extra miles chasing squirrels. Joining the fire road it was time for the gradual climb up to Natty Bridge where we would cross the River Lickle and the head down the trail under Caw along to Stephenson Ground. From here it was time to climb again, up past Jackson Ground, skirting round Raven Crag before the classic descent of Park Head Road (technical, rocky and great fun on a mtb, ankle twisting on foot). There was no heading all the way down to the Newfield Inn today as we turned right and headed upwards to join Long Mire, though a brief stop for some Haribo was some consolation. From here it was back down to Stephenson Ground before retracing our steps through the woods and back to the van.
Enjoying a half of Bluebird Bitter at the Wilsons Arms in Torver, we both agreed the day had been a success. The terrain is technical enough so that it kept Mark entertained whilst allowing me to keep (relatively) close (most of the time). Lottie Pup of course thinks that any day spent out on the hills is a success, though the choice of Haribo as trail side snacks leaves a lot to be desired in her opinion
We are now debating where to head for tomorrows adventures.