There are two roads heading up from the valley which meet at the scar of which one is very much less travelled than the other which isn’t exactly the main route over the fell itself either. Perhaps the exposure helps keep the less travelled road so quiet, perhaps the half a dozen gates you need to open and close on the way up or down, perhaps the greasy narrow climb up a steep and tight curve from the main road, perhaps the deterioration of the road towards the top into more of a farm track than a highway, perhaps the unsigned and unnoticed turn off from the valley road, perhaps the fact that nobody much travels this way which means if you get into bother with the weather it might be a while before anyone finds you, and it wouldn’t take much weather to cause you some bother, only a very little snow turning the trip into more of a push or a carry than a ride, and perhaps because satnav mappers are a little more careful with this kind of thing than they were a few years ago. Also of course there is a perfectly good alternative which takes you to exactly the same place where there is just you and the wind and a view half the way back home, whichever way that may be. The quieter road however remains the best for the open space, for the escape from everything, and for the causing of puzzled looks on the faces of holidaying ramblers strolling up the parallel lane pointing squinting at the silhouette of a bike and rider gliding mysteriously across the top of the cliff where there isn’t supposed to be a road. When the chance comes to ride up over the scar at this time of year at all, and not only that but in the company of the ghost of the sunshine of a late summer evening, the light revived though not the warmth, resurrected for a couple of glorious hours in the middle of a late December day to breathe life into tired spirits then although there may be other things better for the soul this works fine for me. It’s nice to get home and put the kettle on though.