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Sanny and Nick decided to tackle three classic Lakeland peaks in a single, epic day’s ride. Things, however, do not go according to plan.

For some time, I had been eyeing up a mini epic in the Lakes. Every time I put it out of my mind, it wormed its way back into my subconscious. I had an itch that needed scratching. Even on paper, it looked like a fearsome proposition. Helvellyn, Skiddaw and Scafell Pike in a day. The rules were simple; as long as there was bridleway to ride, it was fair game.

Poring over my faded and torn OS map, a circular route starting in Rydal jumped out at me. Including classic descents such as that from Rossett Pike down to Seatoller via Angle Tarn, all I needed was a weather window and a willing victim/ ride partner. The latter was easy – enter stage left mountain biker extraordinaire Nick Craig. As soon as I mentioned that there would be three peaks involved, he was hooked. As a multiple winner of the Three Peaks cyclo-cross race, my idea tickled his fancy. A couple of weeks later and in an unexpected stroke of luck, a perfect autumn day offered itself up. Game on.

Why is it still dark?

Bleary of eye, I awoke from my fitful slumber in the Rydal Hall campsite (hint: don’t pitch your tent in the pissing rain near the waterfall unless you want to spend all night dreaming about toilets…) and managed to cram well over a thousand calories in my face before emerging to a cloudless sky and Nick contemplating firing up his stove for the first caffeine hit of the day. Joining us for the early part of the ride was fellow Scott rider and former Royal Marine, er, Scott Easter. Pre-ride faff accomplished, we headed off into the early morning gloaming and the gentle warm-up that is Loughrigg Terrace. Despite torrential rain the night before, the trails were dry and free of the expected slippiness. Clawing our way up the first section of loose rock, I was glad I’d opted for the plus size wheel option. The added girth made short work of the broken slate beneath, the chime of slate on slate adding a natural musical accompaniment. To our right, dead calm Rydal Water caused us to tarry a little and take in the birdsong and the cloud inversion settling over the water. Green and pleasant land for sure.

Big sky scenery.

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Editorial – Chipps wonders where all the mountain bike heroes will go. Room 101 – a couple of things that really get us wound up. But are they enough to be condemned to the Room? International Adventure: Morocco Blues – a look at the Morocco that tourists rarely get to see. Trail Hunter: The Wayfarer. Berwyn Mountains – these oft-overlooked mountains in north Wales hold some tasty promises. International Adventure: Riding Romania – it’s accessible, seldom visited and beautiful. Here’s a road trip through the best of it. Column: Jason Miles – it seems you don’t get to be a winning 24 hour solo racer without getting annoyed about stuff. Biketest: Zombie Apocalypse Bikes – it’s the near future and society has broken down. A bike means freedom. But which one? We look at three British bikes from BTR, Olsen and Shand. Classic Ride: Cannock Chase – Barney finds fun and challenges in this popular area that locals love and which non-locals often forget about. Grouptest: Pads for Pedalling – now that pads are all-day comfortable, there’s a huge choice of what to wear. We recommend the best ones for each job. Singletrack Recommended – What the Singletrack team believe to be the cream of the crop when it comes to test products. Kit Bag – Our new feature delves into the bags of mountain bike riders of every discipline. This issue, Chipps shows us exactly what he needs to carry in his pack as a qualified BC Level-2 Guide. Oddball – Our random series of ‘just another thing’ begins with 6 mouth watering cheeses to celebrate great riding spots of the UK. UK Adventure: Three Peaks (The Wrong Way) – Nick Craig and Sanny take on an impossible circuit of the Lake District in a (long) day. Which one broke first? International Adventure: Danny MacAskill and Hans Rey take on Mt Kilimanjaro – two of the world’s best known stunt riders take on a huge mountain challenge. Column: Roly – Roly Lambert vows to stop being ‘that guy' again.