Celtic Coastal audax 100km – Sun, Sundials and Sandwiches

The good weather in October continues to surprise us.  We barely need to bother to consult the Met Office forecast before getting out on the bike. So how come the number of entries was down this year?  Organiser Chris Rayne had even tweaked the route again to improve it further.  So many of those who did enter were saying what a brilliant day it was to be riding this audax. Some were still in shorts!

As we left the hall at Wall the mist was distinctly thick and lights were needed.  Then as we climbed steadily from Praze-an-Beeble the sun slowly came warmly through, producing long shadows and colour.  Trevor stopped us missing the first info control and led us on through the side roads of Camborne and out to Coombe. There was a crowd at the top of Gwithian Hill watching the annual Penzance Wheelers hill climb where we spotted certain missing Falmouth Wheelers.  Names could be supplied….

On round the bay to Towednack church where we were greeted by the churchgoers just leaving the church as we were peering at their sundial over the porch for the answer to the information control.  By now our Wheelers group had consolidated into six riders including one German visitor.   The views across the patchwork of fields to the sea were more magnificent than ever. There was virtually no traffic.

After 65km we reached the control at the excellent Apple Tree café at Trevescan where Peter Hansen stamped our brevet cards before we sat outside in the sun having our coffee.  A second coffee was not in order. This was not an OGIL ride.  We continued to keep up a good pace through the backwoods of West Penwith and via St Buryan until we reached Paul church where another sundial required us to peer at it.  A helpful member of the parish turned up followed by the vicar and between us we worked out what the intriguing figure of Father Time/Grim Reaper was holding in each hand.  No, we said this was not a treasure hunt but interesting what you can be directed to on an audax ride.

As we sped through the harbour at Penzance a crowd was busy watching model power boats race over the water.  After the flatlands round the blue waters of Mounts Bay, just as we were thinking it’s all a doddle to the finish the route took us into St Erth and up the hill out of the village.  Typical audax route!  But we were soon back at the finish tucking into Liz’ very tasty sandwiches and homemade cake.  Now there’s a great day’s riding all for a very modest fee with Air Ambulance benefitting too.  Where were all those missing folk? They will never know what they missed.


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