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20,312 Feet <> 6.19109m In 6 days of mountain bike trail riding

The Lakeland Loop
Mountain Bike Epic Ride
The Toughest Trail In The UK! ....
(That's Official By The Trailfinders)

The trail diaries of the Lakeland Loop adventure

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6
The Lakeland Loop (By Tim Woodcock) is probably one of the most challenging, long distance off-road mountain bike route in England. It's also one of the most spectacular,
... 'And rivals the best in the world .... period!'

If you are looking for a mountain bike ride of your life that's crammed with just about everything a top class route has to offer, then take on this MTB route.
'Bicyclemania.co.uk ... has done'.
3D Route
Lakeland Loop, Large map in 3D
Lakeland Loop
Preparing for an epic off/road adventure such as the Lakeland Loop or Coast to Coast trip which involves a couple to several of days or more of riding, or even the South Downs Way which involves only 2 or 3 days riding, is a big task which must be considered carefully before embarking on.

If you plan it right then when the cranks start turning the trip should run as smooth as the gears.
  Organising an adventure:
The success of an epic ride relies on the ability to organise things both in advance and on the move, as plans often need to be changed as problems arise during the ride. Transport is a vital factor, if you are doing an end to end route then you need to arrange some form of transport to get you back to the start, or home unless you plan to ride back again!.  (Yerr ... ... right!)Bicyclemania's Trailfinder 'Kidder' trying to join up the dots!.

The choice of route is a very important factor when planning an epic ride, because you will need to arrange accommodation around your route or your route around accommodation and even sources of food if you are in a particularly barren area of the county. This is best done with a full set of OS maps for the area that you are visiting or a dedicated guide for a route such as the C2C or South Downs Way. When planning a route you will need to have a contingency plan in mind just in case the weather is too bad or you suffer mechanical or physical problems and cannot ride the full day.

Organising and booking accommodation is something, which must be done early on when planning an epic ride especially if it is high season in a popular tourist area. Booking is not always necessary with Youth Hostels and B & B's but it helps if you know you have got a place rather than wondering if you are going to get a bed for the night. (Ditch sleeping is not recommended)

What to take:'Do I need this ..?'
Travel light, that's the ultimate goal of every epic mountain bike rider, but I know that it never happens, you always take more than you need just in case. This approach is good but not necessarily the best, you may be prepared for every eventuality but you'll be so weighed down the ride will take twice as long! For trails like the West Highland Way or Wales Coast to Coast use back panniers for luggage a little cumbersome but they do the job and go for a good make like Karrimor. For the Coast to Coast and South Downs Way use a Rucksacks which are generally better than panniers for a short trip like the South Downs Way. Training is important when doing an epic ride however it is up to you how much you do. building up distance and frequency of rides allows you to prepare for a whole week of riding.

So what do I need to take ?
The essentials are: First Aid Kit, Inner Tubes, (even if you are running tubeless) Puncture Repair Kit, Allen Key / Bike Tool, Lights or Torch, Maps, whistle, Compass, Snacks (Bananas, Chocolate, power bars/gels are good choices), Water/isotonic mix, Appropriate Clothing......The list goes on but these are the essentials. Bear all of this in mind, with a bit of common sense, you will be well on the way to planning a potentially great Off-road Adventure.
  This route was based on the Lakeland Loop book by Tim Woodcock.  
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