Day 3: where to go? If in doubt, Swaledale – mountain biking: lovely rocky tracks, amazing scenery, and the old lead mine history all around you.
I’ve been neglecting my full suspension bike since acquiring the fat bike, so today was time to make amends. However, when loading it into the car, it seemed the front wheel bearing had seized! It really was feeling unloved. Getting it fully tightened up in the fork and a good amount of torque got things moving again, and some GT85 and grease applied to the gaps into the bearings (probably did no good at all, but it made me feel better – I’ll get it serviced properly in the near future).
Reeth was busy, so I went up the valley to park between Low Row and Gunnerside. My first objective was to cycle along by the river to reach Gunnerside.
Then it was climbing up the old mine access road, steeply at first, and then evening out a little (but still always up).
Things then started to get a little more remote, with tempting views up the valley to some of the mine workings.
Once I’d left the main made-up track onto a little bridleway going roughly across the valley side, it wasn’t long before a cracking little descent to the mine workings proper.
There was then a bit of hike-a-bike to get out of the steep valley…
… before eventually reaching another made-up-track that would take me over between the valleys into the Old Gang Mine. On the top it was like the moon, with old mine machinery abandoned, and the mist and old snow drifts just making it more atmospheric.
Then onto the track down the valley to the Old Gang mines.
To finish off the day, a short-but-sharp climb up from Surrender Bridge, and then a brake-burning descent to Low Row. Return to the car, disassemble bike, another great day out cycling!