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A Return To Cycling

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Today, I ventured out for bicycle ride for the first time in 20 years on a second-hand mountain bike. It was quite enjoyable.  Being fairly fit (running an average of 12 miles per week), the route I'd set myself wasn't too daunting at 11 miles. I just hadn't accounted for a 600ft (183m) ascent. It was hard going at times, but I completed the ride within the 90 minutes I'd set myself. I've learned a couple of things: 1) I need a new bike - the one I have is too small. However, I won't jump in straight away and splash the cash because this could be a short-lived fad of mine.  2) Riding a bike hurts my arse. Padded cycle shorts could help, but an aversion to looking ridiculous means that I'll just have to grin and bare it until my backside overcomes the pain - a pain which did cause me to walk the final 500 yards home.  As I progress, I'll be trying to compliment my running with a ride on recovery days. Doing so, should help improve my cardiovascular fitnes

Cogra Moss

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Cogra Moss is a wonderful enclosed forest surrounding a reservoir which is now used by the Cockermouth Angling Association. The walk up to the dam is along surfaced tracks. Beyond the dam a number of unsurfaced paths provide the visitor great access around the reservoir in a loop. Cogra Moss is an artificial water retained by a substantial dam across Rakegill Beck, created as a reservoir about 1880, and discontinued as a public water supply in 1975. It has a pleasant setting surrounded on three sides by Forestry Commission planting on Lamplugh Fell and Knock Murton. /> BUY THIS PHOTO Cogra Moss

River Liza

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The River Liza flows through the wonderfully remote Ennerdale Valley. The river spawns Trout, Salmon, Char, among others. The name of the Liza derives from old Norse, conferring a meaning of "light (or shining) river". The Liza is one of England's most natural rivers. From its source under the majestic peak of Great Gable the river flows through a glacial landscape past the iconic Blacksail Youth Hostel. Constantly eroding new routes it flows through the heart of the big forest before calmly entering Ennerdale Water. The river is subject to the Wild Ennerdale Project which aims to introduce more wildlife to the Ennerdale Valley. The Wild Ennerdale Project uses a policy similar to managed retreat which means the river is subject to no human interference or maintenance such as dredging, straightening or even flood defences. /> BUY THIS PHOTO River Liza, Ennerdale

Crummock Water

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Crummock Water is located between Buttermere to the south and Loweswater to the north. The lake is 2.5 miles long, 0.6 miles wide and 140 feet deep. The River Cocker is considered to start at the north of the lake, before then flowing into Lorton Vale. The hill of Mellbreak runs the full length of the lake on its western side; as Alfred Wainwright described it: "no pairing of hill and lake in Lakeland have a closer partnership than these". The meaning of 'Crummock' is 'Crooked one'. The lake is owned by the National Trust. /> BUY THIS PHOTO Crummock Water

Clints Quarry Nature Reserve

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Clints Quarry is a former Carboniferous limestone quarry near Woodend in West Cumbria. It's a fascinating place not only for wildlife, but also for geology and industrial archaeology. In the 1600's the limestone rock was used for building and agriculture, and more recently in the local steel-making industry, until quarrying finally ceased in 1930. In 1984, Clints Quarry nature reserve was purchased from British Steel and Lord Egremont. Damp conditions between the spoil heaps are ideal places to find northern marsh and common spotted orchid. Explore the drier slopes of the spoil heaps to find wild strawberry, ox-eye daisy, centaury, mouse-eared hawkweed, bird’s-foot trefoil and knapweed. You can find bee and pyramidal orchids here too. This sheltered quarry provides with its profusion of flowers and grasses is an ideal habitat for butterflies. Throughout the summer on sunny days you can find common blue butterflies, orange tip, gatekeeper, ringlet, and meadow brown butterflies.

Saint Bees

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St Bees is a historic town on the west coast of Cumbria, on the Irish Sea. St Bees is a popular holiday destination due to the coastline and proximity to the Western Lake District. In the village there is the Norman St Bees Priory dating from 1120, and St Bees School founded in 1583. The Wainwright Coast to Coast Walk starts from St Bees and the National Trail, the England Coast Path, runs along the coast. The village is served by the Cumbrian Coast Railway. The priory had a great influence on the area. The monks worked the land, fished, and extended the priory buildings. The ecclesiastical parish of St Bees was large and stretched to Ennerdale, Loweswater, Wasdale and Eskdale. The coffin routes from these outlying areas to the mother church in St Bees can still be followed in places. The priory was closed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries on the orders of Henry VIII in 1539. The nave and transepts of the monastic church have continued in use as the parish church to the present

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Cogra Moss

A Return To Cycling

River Liza