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In search of trail treasure, Sanny and chums tackle what is reputed to be ‘the worst trail in the Lakes’. Do they find a hidden gem or should they have heeded the warnings?


Let me be honest with you, dear reader. I have a bit of a reputation (undeserved I might add) for seeking out trails and routes that could, if one was being unkind, be described as ‘Sanny’s walks with his bike’. While for some the very idea of a hikeabike route is a complete anathema, I will quite happily haul my bike over summits and mountain passes in my ongoing quest for trail perfection. A line on a map. A whisper that a route might just go. The faint promise of singletrack nirvana on the descent. There is something positively addictive that comes from seeking out a new route. Most of the time it pays off… mostly. But what if you have an itch that needs scratching in spite of the sage advice of those who have actually attempted a route that says ‘horror show’ and ‘avoid at all costs’. For me, Greenup Edge was that itch.

Words of warning.

Nestling in the heart of the Lakes, on paper at least, Greenup Edge holds the promise of adventure on a route that joins Borrowdale with its imposing, steep-sided valleys in the north and the gentler, rounded fells that surround Grasmere. It is route one. Directissima. Following a natural line through a glacial sculpted valley, millennia in the making, it tops out at over 600 metres before gently descending to Grasmere Common and the tourist honeypot of Grasmere, far below.

It promises much, but comes with some serious health warnings. Let me share a few from the Singletrack Forum with you.

“I tried this route a year or two ago and said never again. I don’t mind if the descents are worth it but to carry up and carry down as well… could have gone for a walk instead.” d45yth. “Leave it and go somewhere else would be my advice.” trout. “I’ve hiked a bike over Greenup twice in the past. Second time was to check if it was as bad as we remembered it to be. It was.” Drew.

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About Singletrack

Editorial: Longer Shortcuts Chipps encourages us to expand our mental maps and seek out the hidden byways between here and there. In between, happiness lies. UK Adventure: There Be Dragons Here! Probably… Sanny takes advantage of the long dry summer to check out a Lake District route reputed to be so wet, steep and horrible that only a fool would try it. Column: Jason Miles Jason just wants to ride a long way. However, he’s not keen on being judged for it. Classic Ride: Clwydian Hills Tom Hutton takes us on a tour of this lesser known riding spot in an eort to persuade us there’s more to Wales than trail centres and Snowdon. International Adventure: Just When It Was Going So Well Jason Miles dons his best Lycra and jumps on one of the worst bikes he’s ever ridden to take part in a local Spanish stage race. Spoiler: he doesn’t win, but by getting to hear the tale, you do. Interview: Simon Gallup - There Is No Cure Best known as the bassist from The Cure, Simon Gallup is a cycle nerd and collector of Orange Bikes. Chipps goes to check out what’s in his shed… quite a lot as it turns out. Behind The Scenes: Build It And They Will Come Antony de Heveningham takes a look at unauthorised trail-building and asks whether this is breathing life into the trail network, or threatening its very existence. Behind The Scenes: MIPS - Twisting My Melon Our resident neuroscientist Dr Barney Marsh checks out the technology behind MIPS helmets and the injury risks driving their development. Bike Test: XXC We test out three short-travel, full suspension bikes from Intense, Saracen and Yeti to see how this new crop of slack(ish) but swift bikes compares to their steeper cross country brethren. Plus much more…