The Golden Child, rental trailer and the old workhorse
Well we went to bed last night to a forecast for heavy showers today, got a thunderstorm in the night and strong westerlies this morning. The forecast was to improve over the day so we had a lazy morning and then went into Keswick after lunch. The weather had brightened, the wind lessened and things were looking good.
As we drove south though things decided to look the other way and the weather turned black - Borrowdale disappearing behind a curtain of rain. We only had a limited rental window left the for the trailer so as soon as we arrived at the car park I shot off to collect it. The decision to cycle the path could be made when the rest of the group arrived.
Leaving the car park the heavens decided to open. I don't mind being soaked as I soon dry out when cycling but thought the rest of the group would have vetoed the excursion in my absence. However, the shower was short lived and they were just about ready upon my return. The day was looking good again.
The sky turned blue (in small patches) as we left the old railway station - me with child/trailer, the BIL with child/tag along, the wife with her old tank of a bike, the sister with her sub £70.00 "full suspension" bike and the two eldest nieces with their little bikes.
The incline at the beginning is the steepest section but it didn't cause us any problems. I just dropped to the front middle ring and put my head down - the trailer was noticeable but not too difficult, a bit like riding with full panniers and a bit of head wind. Everyone else made it up still cycling although some were puffing more than others.
Once past the wooden path section, which clings to the cliff above the River Greta as the route goes below the A66 flyover, the rain started, got heavier and also decided to approach from a 45 degree angle. The youngest niece, exposed on the tag along, was not enjoying it but the Golden Child was having a great old time eating biscuits and shouting "faster Daddy". We were about halfway to Threlkeld and decided to press on and hope for better weather for the return. If better weather was not forthcoming the BIL and I could always leave the kids/mothers at the pub and return to Keswick for the cars.
As we arrived at the pub the rain now decided it was a good time to stop and the Sun even made an appearance so, after welcome refreshments, the concensus was for all to return on the bikes. The youngest niece strongly vocalised her opposition to this but was quickly vetoed by her mother who for some reason didn't fancy being left in the pub for an hour or so. Me? I have no problem being in a real ale pub for several hours or so but probably not with either my daughter or youngest niece so I can see her point.
The Sun had had enough by the time we set off and the rain had returned after resting for exactly the time we had been inside. We decided to split into two groups as we only had 45 mins to return the trailer. My wife and I went ahead so I could leave the Golden Child with her while I went to unhitch at the bike shop, the rest of the group following at a more sedate pace.
The return journey was kinder with the weather in the end and when I met up with the rest of the mob I found they had actually all had a good time. Returning to the holiday home (and Ninny Nanny who we had left having a bath that morning) we found it had been glorious weather there and hadn't once even threatened a spit of rain.
That's the Lake District for you!