Classic Ride 149 – Britain’s Newest Bridleway

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James Vincent takes on the classic Borrowdale Bash, complete with new official off-road start. Words & Photography James Vincent If ever there was a route that showcased all there is about Lake District mountain biking in a neat, easily accessible, all-weather package, the Borrowdale Bash would have to be up there. It’s got plenty of rock, some slithery singletrack, janky techy climbs, awkward waterbars, river crossings, quaint tea shops and some of the most stunning vistas you’re likely to find on a mountain bike ride in this country. Sure, it’s lacking some obligatory hikeabike, but that’s really not such a...

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Having ridden bikes for as long as he can remember, James takes a certain twisted pleasure in carrying his bike to the most inaccessible locations he can find, before attempting to ride back down again, preferably with both feet on the pedals. After seeing the light on a recent road trip to Austria, James walked away from the stresses of running a design agency, picked up a camera and is several years deep into a mid life crisis that shows no sign of abating. As a photographer, he enjoys nothing more than climbing trees and asking others to follow his sketchy lines while expecting them to make it look as natural and stylish as possible. He has come to realise this is infinitely more fun than being tied to a desk, and is in no hurry to go back.

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  • Classic Ride 149 – Britain’s Newest Bridleway
  • thegeneralist
    Free Member

    I was gutted not to see rich’s url anywhere in the paper article. Seems the least that could be done given what a great thing he has done.

    He knows the lakes like the back of his hand…

    Mtb Guides Keswick – Expert Guiding and Coaching in the Stunning Lake District

    Full Member

    I have always gone up the road after Seatoller. Never spotted the stone track which misses out the brutal climb. Will give that a go next time 🙂

    Full Member

    Never spotted the stone track which misses out the brutal climb

    That’s a steep old climb from Seatoller, probably a push. Think I’d rather just ride up the road.

    Full Member

    Road for me too, the off-road is steep and stony so a push for me. Up the road you get a nice bit of doubletrack descending from the top down to where the stone track would have taken you.

    Full Member

    I’ve never done the Bash but I’ll be in Keswick in July. Finally time to tick it off I think.

    Full Member

    I like the off-road Honister alternative. The Bash is full of climbs that are tough to clean, I prefer to be offroad with that as a challenge than grinding away on the steepest bit of the tarmac.

    Full Member

    My overriding memory of the bash is grossly unfair but centres around automatically correcting a sliping contact lens whilst eating a mix of wasabi and chilli salted peanuts whilst waiting at the top of honister.

    I should probably go back and give it another go in an attempt to exile the ghost of that particular unpleasantness.

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