On 18th March the Steezy Collective off-road recce crew headed out to tackle the Lakeland 200. Our resident Adventure Rep, Jade Field - the mountain goat, has rounded up the trip for Steezy.
In 2021 I saw an Instagram post about cycling the Way of the Roses with Cold Dark North and the Steezy Collective. I decided to get out my comfort zone and sign up, in search of a good time and some new cycling gal pals. It did not disappoint on either front, for getting over my nervousness and putting myself out there I was rewarded with a fun weekend cycling across England and I met some super rad women. Soon after I found myself a full member of the Steezy Collective Committee and being invited to join some other Steezies on an adventure. Of course, I said yes.
The plan was to tackle the Lakeland 200, a mountain bike ITT route taking in 200 km and 6,400 m of the best bridleway, singletrack and hikeabike the Lake District has to offer. Currently (according to selfsupporteduk.net) there are only 24 people who have finished the route within the 40 hour time cut off, and all of them are men. We decided that we were going to do things a little differently – to take the time to enjoy the views and the ride, to create a short film of our adventure, and to complete the route at a leisurely pace over 5 days. We also wanted to recce the route with plans of organising a Steezy Lakeland 200 bikepacking trip and/or a women’s mass start of the Lakeland 200 in the summer in order to get as many women on the finishers list as we could as soon as possible.
Being signed up for the 2022 HT550, a mountain bike race created by Alan who is also behind the Lakeland 200, I decided I would do the route on the gravel bike I was planning on riding the HT550 on, it’d be perfect training. Kitty and Taylor were on very nice full sus Hopes and Alice, Pau and Vanessa were on hardtails. We got fully kitted out with backcountry bike bags from Apidura and riding kit from Rapha. I got to try out a full frame bag (complete with bladder system for my water) for the first time, which I was not sure about at first but came to really appreciate. The Rapha MTB range kit was great quality, super comfy and crash proof! We had gotten trousers and long sleeve tops for riding in, which would have been perfect for the Lake District in March had we not had the pleasure of a very unexpected heat wave. Somehow we managed to get 5 days of glorious sunshine.