Singletrack Issue 126 | How to lose friends and alienate people

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Sanny takes on a Lake District pass too many, nearly breaks Mark and makes Nick Craig swear.

Words & Photography Sanny

Mark sat on the side of the trail, his shoulders hunched, his head dropped. His bike lay discarded on the rocky trail where he had been unceremoniously ejected from it mere seconds earlier. He was, for want of a less polite and more industrial phrase, utterly spent. We were deep into hour nine of what on the map is a mere sixteen-mile loop. Things were not quite going according to plan.

“You know, Mark, even I’m beginning to lose my sense of humour. Sanny’s a ****.”

Nick Craig

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David Gould

Singletrack Contributor

By day, Sanny plies his trade as a Chartered Accountant and Non-Executive Director. By night, however, give him a map and the merest whisper of a trail "that might go" and he'll be off faster than a rat up a drainpipe on some damn fool mission to discover new places to ride. Rarely without his trusty Nikon D5600, he likes nothing better than being in the big mountains, an inappropriately heavy bike on his back, taking pics and soaking up the scenery. He also likes to ride his bike there too although rumours that he is currently working on his next book, "Walks with my bike", are untrue (mostly).

Fat biking, gravel riding, bikepacking, road biking, e biking, big mountain adventures - as long as two wheels are involved, you'll find him with a grin on his face as he dives off the side of a mountain, down a narrow lane or into deep undergrowth in search of hidden trails and new adventures.

His favourite food is ham and mushroom pizza and he is on a mission to ride all of the Munros, mostly as it allows him to indulge in eating more pizza.

He has no five year plan, is a big fan of the writing of Charlie Connelly and reckons that Kermode and Mayo's Film Review Podcast is quite possibly the finest bit of broadcasting around.

Comments (8)

    A good story and great pictures, thanks…

    BW out of Seatoller ?
    Do you mean FP leading to BW ? (don’t worry, I’m not the police)

    After Blacksail YH you went up to Windy Gap, then down Aaron Slack ?
    You must have gone via Mosedale if you went up the BW to Styhead.

    Sounds like you (mostly) had a great ride.

    Ebikes certainly have their place but I’ve only been on an e-city bike this far. Hope to experience an eMtb through the Wyemtb guiding guys soon.

    Until then, are you able to share a GPX for the route you took or similar route that’s traditional (non-e)mtb friendly?


    Thanks for the comments. The route is all bridleway. We did the classic Tour of Great Gable aka the four passes. Aaron slacks was a possible bail out for Mark but he manfully decided to properly ruin himself by doing Black Sail and Styhead Passes long after he had hit the wall!

    No gpx but do a search online and you will find it!

    It sounds good.

    Ive never even attempted something like this. So if Mark fancies joining us and showing us how its done then we’d be up for that.

    Its a good story though. and the fact that you looked after him is what rides are all about.

    We were never going to leave him behind although I suspect he may have been happy to have been left! We didn’t set out to make it a sufferfest. It just kind of happened that way. It’s a proper technical challenge, even on a regular bike.

    I still want to do the Fred Whitton off road route I have planned though. It takes in three of the four passes amongst many, many others. I think I may leave it a while before asking Mark to join me though……

    I was chatting to the warden at Black Sail YHA about this – he was impressed, if slightly bemused as to why…. Still has the Ride for Charlie wrist band hanging off his ceiling.


    Well done you lot.

    Btw, another way to make NC swear is by getting in his way on the water splash at HtN. He lapped me on my first lap and let out a little “Ffs!” as he ran past the fat mincer who was holding him up.
    I was so proud….

    The warden was a really nice chap. I look forward to staying there, hopefully soon. Nick says the food is great and the rooms looked really smart.

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