The second event in the Adventure Cross Series, the Grizedale Grizzly is Lake District riding at its best.

When: Sunday 15 May 2016

Where: Cartmel Race Course, Cartmel, Cumbria, LA11 6QF

Why ride it? Don’t be fooled by the gentle, rolling start from the pastoral beauty of our event HQ at Cartmel Racecourse. This is Lake District Adventure Cross riding after all! Fast forest sections are interspersed with tricky trails, fantastic fire roads and country lanes. For the most part the routes are in the true heart of the Lake District and there’s plenty of cracking Cumbrian climbs.

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The 2016 Adventure Cross Series incorporates both road, off road tracks, trails bridleways and lanes – a cross-country adventure by bike.

The courses are challenging but with two route choices you can decide what suit’s your ability. All routes are designed to be ridden with knobbly tyres whether that’s on your cyclo-cross bike or mountain bike, you decide.

As the title of the event suggests, much of this ride takes place within Grizedale Forest. It covers a colossal area and is a wonderful wilderness resource, custom made for cyclo-cross bikes. The Grizedale Grizzly offers a huge array of terrain; from picking your way between small rocks, pedalling through boggy ground, powering up grassy banks and hurtling down gravel forest roads, there is plenty to test your skill. Of course, your physical fitness will also be put to the test.

The Challenges:
1. The Claife Clatter – Skill and fitness are required to conquer the first part of this loose rocky segment before being rewarded by a flowing forest road descent.
2.Biketreks Bash – Loose slate makes for a challenging surface on this undulating section. Keep your speed up to power over the rocks.
3. Final Fandango – A little sting in the tail to finish off weary legs, this is the last effort between you and a large slab of sticky toffee pudding.

If you are a Strava user, for a more detailed look at the route map and a 3D route profile click here.

The south Lakes offers lots of little hills rather than the dramatic mountains of the north Lakes – its scenery more chocolate box than the dramatic mountains of the north Lakes, but it is no easy option. The little hills have a kick to them and the accumulated climbing of just under 2,600 metres will take its toll by the end of the route.

The route features 11 off-road segments in the 63 miles of the full-distance Massif route, making up 41% of the ride.  Most segments are either rocky, gravel path, broken tarmac or slate. It is really only in the first off-road segment that you are likely to encounter mud. On a dry day this is a fast, grassy bridleway; on a wet day it becomes a very challenging slippery affair. Even on the wettest days, other than the first segment, this course never becomes a mud-fest.

Mini Massif: 46 miles (42% off-road, 58% on road)

Grizedale-Grizzly-Mini-Massif-profile-(MMR)Grizedale Grizzly Massif: 63 miles (46% off-road 54% on road)

Grizedale-Grizzly-Massif-profile-(MMR)Difficulty rating:

Technical terrain difficulty 4/5

Wilderness Riding 4/5

This event has some of the most technical climbing of the Adventure Cross series, but only in short sections. Both the Strada Sterrate and Claife Clatter will both require concentration and skill to pick your line over rocks and a constant application of power to cope with the gradient. Although not a technical climb the Corker La is physically the toughest on the route as it is both steep and long, nearly a mile of continuous uphill effort and one that will make both legs and lungs burn. This climb is only on the Mini Massif route. Most of the descents are on fast and flowing forest roads, a fun reward for the climbing.

The final run-in to Cartmel includes a long section of disused railway. Flat and relatively smooth, it is a tempting spot for a burn-up as you’re getting close to the end. Don’t get too cocky and start racing your mates to the line just yet though – there is one “Final Fandango” still to come. This aptly named final stage drags up gradually before a rapid descent and a final very steep but short climb, guaranteed to put the hurt into tired legs. Keep something in the bag for this section and you’ll be able to power away from your mates.

Post-ride: Don’t forget to take advantage of Cartmel’s culinary pedigree as the home of sticky toffee pudding – nobody can say you haven’t earned it.

Where to stay: Cartmel has a good range of accommodation. The Royal Oak sits right on the cobbled square in the heart of the village. For further information and options here.

Local Bike shop:  If you are already in the Lake District head to Biketreks in Ambleside for knowledgeable info on local trails from owner Andy. If you have just popped of the M6 on your way to Cartmel head to the new Giant Store in Kendal for any last minute bits.

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Other events in this series are:

3 April – Moors & Shores – Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire

10 July – Peak District Pioneer – Bakewell, Derbyshire

18 September – Galloway Gallop – Dumfries, Scotland

16 October – Lakeland Monster Miles – Keswick, North Lakes, Cumbria


Official partner:

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