Like the Highland Trail 550 route, Tom had some previous with the Lakeland 200. He'd already ridden the section from Staveley to Wastwater.
Tom wanted to recce the route rather than go for a sub 40 hour time, so that is exactly what we did.
We'd driven up the evening before and camped in Eskdale. An early start, and by first light we were riding past Burnmoor Tarn towards Wasdale.
Our theory behind starting in Eskdale was that we would get to the Black Sail pass fresh.
Fresh or not, there is a whole lot of pushing or carrying before you get over the top and down to the Black Sail YHA.
We stopped for some food there before heading up and over Scarth Gap and down to Buttermere.
Next comes Honister Pass. Riding and not pushing, Tom is happy.
Compared to our Scottish set up, we carried a lot of our luggage on our backs rather than on our bikes as there is a significant amount of hike-a-bike.
We lunched just before Keswick then kept going, here passing Blencathra on the Old Coach Rd..
We rode until dusk and found a place to camp above Ullswater.
Day 2 and we had a bit of a lie in.
It was not long though before we were going uphill though. First up Boredale Hause.
Then after a fast loose descent comes the climb from Hartsop to High Street. I'd like to say it was an easier climb doing it early in the day, but it will never be an easy climb.
Here's Tom enjoying the summit.
He razzed down the hill then climbed Garburn with barely a dab.
We'd missed Wilf's at Stavely, but the chippy was open for Scampi Chips and Gravy (Tom's choice).
Fuelled, we then headed over in a Coniston sort of direction.
Nearing 9pm we found a campsite in Chapel Stile, then went for a couple of drinks.
Next morning, an earlyish start with Fig Rolls for pre-breakfast.
Followed by a full breakfast in Coniston.
Then the last biggie, Walna Scar road.
The loop round Caw (and a fairly dry Stephenson's ground)
Leaving just the easy climb round Harter Fell and then a steep descent back into Eskdale.
Whilst as Tom said this ride wasn't about getting round super fast his total riding time of 28 hours isn't much slower than when I did a sub 40 hour ride in 2014.