Every year the operations team at Saddle Skedaddle host a training week for guides; the well seasoned and the newbies have a chance to get together; us office mortals are invited along for a weekend of workshops, bike riding, good company and laughter! There’s a definite feeling of being pampered. Around 100 Skedaddlers descended on Derwant Water; this years culture dish included Brits, Spaniards, Irish, Belgian, Italians, Japanese, Azorians, Kiwis, Australians… lots to soak up!
The drive over in the morning was pleasant, loading my bags into the van and setting off just before sunrise, it was a very cold -2 and dark. A quick coffee stop at the Costa drive through and it wasn’t long till the sun started to make an appearance. With a pearlescent sunny sky overhead, I took the route straight through Carlisle, meaning a nice jaunt down towards and along the 4 mile length of Bassenthwaite Lake. I reached Derwent House just in time to join the end of breakfast, I grabbed another quick coffee and said a few hellos before the welcome meeting and the workshops kicked off. Very nicely timed!
Fast forward through Saturday… a day filled with workshop shenanigans from product development through to marketing; a great Scotland rugby result 💙, followed by a change to don some high heels and a sparkly top for the evening meal and free bar with entertainment…
SooOOoo after quite a late night socialising with a free bar, Sunday morning arrived and it was time to ride! I was a bit apprehensive about not keeping the pace, especially with my recent training being focused on my next bikini competition, this means a big no to any lengthy time on two wheels.
Our road cycling group gathered together at Derwent House, all bright and looking forward to the morning ride. I’d went for a Skedaddle hire bike! There’s a new fleet this year heading to France, and we had the pleasure of giving them a test run. The ladies ride was a Giant Defy Liv, lush charcoal grey colour, sparkly! Nice ride, smooth and quiet! Oh and good components too 🤔
We headed out and enjoyed a three mile warm up before heading up Whinlatter Pass, a new one for me; I admit I felt a bit ropy at around 1/2 mile from the top, perfect for starting to blow away the cobwebs from the night before and setting off the hangover 👍! That was the only climb of the day, so it was easy to relax after that and just enjoy the views. The sun was shining and there were only a few ice patched to be wary of as we headed for the Lakes Distillery for the traditional road cyclists coffee and cake, and a bit of a natter. Always fun and inspiring listening to the guides stories from the previous year holidays.
From the distillery we headed back to Derwent Water, splitting our little group of 14 into two smaller groups and keeping single file so not to frustrate too many drivers, as we headed along a busier stretch of road through Embleton and round towards Applethwaite and Keswick. It was nice to have a bit of silent riding; with the sight of the rider immediately in front and the surrounding mountainous lakes scenery. The sound of gentle breaking behind and the odd gear change.
A beautiful first mini break for my 2018, and wonderful to spend some time on the bike in great company… next up, Ben Macdui, The Cairngorms.