Yo-Yo ride to Hell’s Mouth

With surprisingly little Whatsapp chatter beforehand, it was therefore a bit disappointing that only eleven of us congregated at the Halvasso turn for the traditional discussion about destination.  Dean had given his excuse for not joining us, which seemed to involve him being in training for a dentist’s appointment next week.  His subsequent request for care home suggestions was reinforced by his use of a dentist joke that it is believed first surfaced in music hall sometime in the century before last.  So no literary masterpiece from Mr Evans this week.  No names are mentioned in this report (other than those essential to the plot) to protect the innocent, and because I still can’t tell one Phil from another.
While we admired each other’s new bikes at the Halvasso turn, arguments were proffered for a number of different possible cafe stops, the main criterion being the opportunity to sit outside as the sun was actually shining, albeit through a veil of thin high cloud.  After a complex decision making process that masqueraded as democracy, Hell’s Mouth was settled upon and Ian either decided to lead or was volunteered, it was unclear which.
He proceeded to lead us on an interesting but, it has to be admitted, relatively direct route which showcased the attractive sites of the various Redruth industrial estates as well as the odd bit of countryside.  The ride experience was enhanced by the setting of a sedate pace (about the same as the Team Ineos TTT) which inevitably strung out the participants.  This necessitated about 39 stops to re-group.  At each stop, an amusing feature was that as the last rider arrived gasping we immediately set off again at a similar pace, and so the process was repeated.  All good fun.
We arrived at the Hell’s Mouth Kitchen after the time trial along the coast road from the top of the hill at Portreath (we were spared the ascent by Ian’s ingenious route planning), and occupied two tables outside for a well-deserved recovery.  I’ve no idea what the other table was discussing (although there was much laughter), but on my table the main topics of conversation were [1] the seeming inability of the cafe to cater for anything that wasn’t exactly as specified on their menu (they blamed the till software), [2] e-bikes and [3] the fact that electric cars are allowed to park anywhere which explained why the big shiny Tesla was sitting in the middle of the entrance to the car park.  As it finally whispered away we were undecided whether electric cars should be made to emit car-like noises for safety reasons.
Riding home via Penponds and Troon provided a similarly exciting riding experience to the ride out.  There was only one minor routing deviation when the grupetto failed to realise that the peloton had swooped left round a craftily concealed minor turn, but this was soon sorted out using the latest communication equipment (a phone) and we were soon joyfully reunited to continue with our yo-yo ride homeward.  Along the way, various individuals opted to visit friends, ride directly home or even (gasp) ride on ahead with the flimsy excuse that they needed to get back for something very important.  So the numbers gradually dwindled until after the Argal crossroads it was two of us that flew into Falmouth after another super day ogling.  74km and 1,053m of ascent (46 miles and 3,450 ft in old money) for me.

(I am pleased to confirm Colin’s permanent appointment as Chief OGIL Ride Reporter. Ed)

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