At Balfe’s we’re all passionate riders across a wide range of disciplines, so you can guarantee if we’re not in work we’ll be off doing something fun on two wheels! Barry Godin is also an avid bikepacker, with a brilliant YouTube that you can follow here.

Read below to find out more about Barry’s most recent trip to the stunning Lake District and check out some stunning snowy photos!

Just before finishing work and jumping into the car to head north, a friend text me to ask if I had looked at the weather? Well Lake District weather is always changeable so not often worth looking as it could change in an instant anyway!

Storm Arwen was approaching and the forecast of wind speed gusts of over 80mph did start to scare me I’ll admit. I racked my brain for places to camp under shelter and two ideas came up. There are two bothies in Borrowdale but thought that they could be busy of a weekend evening, and then Caves were my second idea.

With a plan in mind I set off from near Penrith with my first aim to ride round the back of Blencathra and Skiddaw, then up through the middle past Skiddaw House to Keswick. The sun was glorious and almost as huge as the grin on my face as I rode off into the mountains. This trip was not about millage, just being in stunning landscape and escaping reality.

With the Sun setting at 4pm the day was short, but weirdly the wind dropped right off, was this the calm before the storm?

I set up camp at dusk worried about the wind, so found a ruin to camp in – this seemed a great idea until it became rather hard to put in my pegs. Out of nowhere a huge gust blasted the tent from the unsheltered side of the ruin. That was it, I was not going to spend a night of pure survival just for the sake of it, so packed down my tent again, lights on and had a superb night ride through the stunning mountain valley (though the wind was blasting me from all directions). I was only one hours ride from my friends’ house and so the idea of an open fire and a glass of whiskey was too tempting. The temperature outside also had dropped to -4’c and it started to snow!

I woke the next morning to an icy paradise, every single surface was not snow, but white ice. I set off on a short route on the Old Coach Road to St Johns Valley. I could not ride more than 10 meters before taking another photo, the air was crystal clear and conditions you rarely find in the Lakes.

After stacking it only twice, (haha), I ended up in St Johns Valley, and with the wind chill temperatures dropping to feel like -8’c, my idea of camping in a cave very quickly went out the window in favour of a warm fire and another whiskey.

In the end over two days I rode about 60 miles, carried all my camping gear including breakfasts and dinner for three days all just to end up staying at a friend’s house.

But it was a mini trip I will never forget, so so so spectacular!

Big thanks to Barry for sharing his experience in the snowy Lakes – it looked like a stunning trip, we’re all a little jealous here at HQ!

You can hear more about Barry’s trip in his video covering the weekend below:

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