Mangatank - Believe it or not the photo's were taken on my Blackberry ! Are you talking about the big High Street Loop in the Essential Trails Lake District book ? - I've had a stern warning about that one. Sunday I was up before dawn and on the trail for 9:30am so there was enough of the day to finish the route and change in the daylight. Mrs Excitable is a bit peeved though !
mikewsmith - I was planning to go last weekend in that glorious sunshine we had but discovered my rear wheel bearings were goosed the night before (ferkin Easton pre loads). You know what it's like in the Lakes the ice depends on the exposure, Watendlath Tarn was frozen over at a fairly low level where as Sty Head Tarn near the tops was ice free. Certainly a lot more of it would be rideable had it not been for the ice. Also agree with you about the bike carrying but with this route... I've got a friction burn on the back of my neck I did that much of it !!!
Here's how I'd rate the passes:
Fleetwith Pike - worth another go in the summer so I can ride the top section but the valley section is still stop start because of the big massive drop offs and rocks - I'm thinking Rangers path on Snowdon on steroids (and I think it's weathered a lot since the photos on Google and Youtube footage).
Scarth Gap - Crap & not worth the effort (apart from the view), just a line of slabs.
Black Sail - Yes, awesome but a difficult bike hike up - reminds me of the tight switch backs on the Nan Bield Pass.
Stonethwaite - I could take or leave it because the climb up is another killer and the top section is flat, undefined and boulder strewn but the bottom section through Black How was a good technical challenge.
Borrowdale Bash - Huge disappointment (again(never rated it TBH)) after doing all those passes but I still rate the first descent before the passes from Watendlath to Hazel Bank as big smile gainer.
E-mail me if anyone wants a GPS of the route.