A Canter round West Cornwall

The fog cleared as Richard and I drove over to Wall Hall on Sunday, which was a relief as we had unfinished business with the Celtic Canter, the 60k Audax from Wall, near Carnell Green.  Last year’s event was hit by hail and heavy rain, and before we’d reached half way we were soaked, cold and fed up.  So we stopped to warm up at the café at Lelant Garden Centre and didn’t finish. This year was quite different – Nine Wheelers on eight bikes set off on the 100k Celtic Coastal, and half an hour later it was our turn.  Thirteen riders took part in the 60k, an anti-clockwise route which went through Praze an Beeble, then north towards Camborne, over the A30 and up to Hell’s Mouth, where we passed the Sunday fast ride Wheelers at the café – then west to Hayle via Gwithian, where we met the other Wheelers ride coming the other way, led by Sonjia – there were lots of cheerful greetings as we whizzed past.  From there it was round to Lelant and up to Towednack.  We went a bit wrong here (Richard’s track record for navigation isn’t that great!) but eventually got back on the route, and arrived at Towednack church where the information control question asked for the date on the porch sundial – 1720.  A quick look inside and we were off again.  The only regret I have on many rides, is that there isn’t time to stop and explore.  The church information sheet, read later, was very interesting and demands another visit.  Towednack’s short, stumpy tower doesn’t have the four pinnacles so typical of Cornish churches, which makes it unique in Penwith.

The next 9k leg was via Nancledra and down Blowing House Hill, a road neither of us had been on before.  At the bottom, the route sheet said R@T no $ – confusing when there were two large signs in front of us! but we ignored that and all was well.  Richard spotted the left turn leading to the footbridge across the main road at Longrock – the starting point for several of Ian’s Pathfinders – and we stopped at Longrock stores to buy a welcome snack and get a dated receipt, as required by the rules.  With just 13k to go, we pushed on past Marazion beach, along the National Cycle route towards St Erth, with a long climb to Fraddon, then Reawla and back to Wool Hall, where we enjoyed excellent sandwiches and cake.  A very good 63k ride, and job done!


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