Do this route regularly and inall conditions. Watch out for tourists, walkers,cyclists and sheep. Road surfaces have taken a battering last winter but the majority of this route is ok. Love it in both directions!
Theres something about being able to overtake round blind corners with drystone wall just inches (probably feet really) from your head. Taking the route towards Ambleside provides great visibiilty up the road so you can see what is travelling towards you well in advance, and for a impromtu brake test you can always hang a right down the Struggle into the town. For me the fastest of the Cumbrian passes.
I love this route. The way to the top from Bowness is as twisty as heck, and there are plenty of rises and dips to enjoy yourself on - not fast but really challenging. Its got a reasonable surface and isnt too narrow (m comparing it to usual Lake District roads here) - it is lined by grass banks/drystones and there are a few sheep up the top to look out for. The way down from the top to Ullswater is pretty narrow in places, and is completely lined by drystone walls. Well...apart from the metal gates, which isnt really an improvement. The road past Ullswater is more of the same...but flatter, I guess. Still twisty though. Ive seen one copper on it in 4 years, which isnt too bad - it was the August bank holiday though, so it was probably a special case. The views in general are stunning - Ullswater is a beautiful area.
I actually prefer doing the reverse of this route. I find it more exciting to go up to the Ullswater side - the visibility through corners is better, so yo can nail it a bit more (and Id rather nail it up hill than down). You can easily see enough to take a full racing line using both sides of the carraige way in places (but only in places).
There is a pub at the top of the pass - if you ever see a lone Bandit or Commando up there and a guy reading a book whilst sat overlooking the views, its probably me!
The Kirkstone Pass is the Lake District's highest
and has a 1 in 4 gradient in places. The pass
runs along Ullswater, regarded by many as the most beautiful
of the lakes, where original 1850 steam boats can
still be seen, at the other end of the speed scale,
Ullswater was used by Sir Donald Campbell to set the world
water speed record in 1955.
Take the A591 out of Windermere for a short excursion
to Grasmere, the burial place of Wordsworth.
Fantastic road, not fast but very challenging, never got above 3rd gear on it. The view from the top at 7.00am on a summer sunday is stunning.
April 24, 2006 - 5.0
i travelled this road by car on the way back from centre parcs and was wishing the whole journey i had my bike. magic. exceptional views round ulswater. thinking of going back up there on the bike from wigan. if yr in the area get on the a592
This route forms part of my usual trip to Devil's Bridge of a weekend. It is a fantastic route but needs to be treated with respect. Sheep, tourists, bits of stone wall lying in the road and the lycra clad pushbikers two abreast to name a few things I regularly come across. There are coaches a plenty in the summer causing big tail backs. It can add to the fun for a biker mind; overtakes need to be precise and well though out. The run alongside Ullswater is different every time with changing light conditions, mist and rain it can be really beautiful. Treat this road like it's the first time you've ridden it every time and you'll be fine, always make sure you can stop in the distance you can see to be clear. I once came round a bend travelling towards the Kirkstone Inn from Windermere to find some idiot stopped in the middle of the road taking a photo. A fantastic road best done of a summers evening; fewer cars but the ones you do meet tend to be locals to have a bit of fun with. Watch out for leaves and stones washed onto the road during autumn. Great road, go and do it!
Stunning ride, combine it with a tour of the lakes, yes watch for the tourist traffic, walls and corrugations occasionally, but it is very, very nice. Speed is not a problem more so than on any road, it's how you use the speed that matters. Ride at your own pace and you will cope. OK so you can't be doing three figure speeds on here, but it can still give you a good workout - tight bends, crests and dips ridden well are one of the biggest buzzes; for me anyhow! Learn to roll with the flow, dance to the tune of the road, don't impose your own! This road can teach you quite a thing about riding country roads, don't fear it, take it as a challenge and enjoy it.