Riders grouped in front of one of the many castles on the route.

Route: Upper Eden Valley Road Bike Route
Date of Ride: 21 July, 2019

On Sunday, 8 club members cycled what Ted calls the Upper Eden Valley road bike loop, in Cumbria, in north west England - exactly 70 miles in length with 1,474 m / 4,835 feet of total ascent.

The longest ascent was 3 km / 1.9 miles but only 5% gradient; the longest descent albeit gently angled, was 3.3 km / 2 miles long where we reached a max speed of 54 kph / 33.5 mph. Our route took us outbound along the quiet Eden Valley balcony road route which brought late morning into Appleby. Our wind-friendly return segment allowed us to stop in quiet Great Asby where we enjoyed fabulous home made cakes in the village hall and a chance to see a range of old well turned out tractors.

After lunch in Orton we headed north along the eastern flank of the Lake District, at first along a minor road between the north and south carriageways of the M6 then 8.2 km / 5.1 miles of traffic free access road. Quiet lanes led to the pretty village of Askham and thence to Lowther Castle. Brougham Castle is early 13th C and the arched masonry bridge will be at least 400 years old. We passed under the A66 and around Penrith before topping our last ascent and cycling the remaining distance to our start point.

Our route featured 2 excellent tearoom stops at Melmerby and Orton; we cycled past 4 castles and a range of other interesting buildings and locations including hidden Rutter Falls. Pace was quite fast and all rode well. Regrouping from time to time was appreciated!