I was probably a sorry and forlorn sight as I stood alone in the rain at Union Corner, but just before departure time along came Paul. ‘It’s not too bad’ he said optimistically as the rain dripped from the end of his nose (at least I think it was rain). I had reason to doubt him, as for the first time he wasn’t wearing shorts.
The two of us headed off and caught Phil S just before the other place. Despite waiting in hope until the appointed hour, it became clear that it was only going to be the three of us heading off to Miss Molly’s. Off we went up to Crane where Jan was not waiting for us, despite her earlier enthusiasm for a ride. Then on to Penmarth and Bolenowe and thence to Brea and the welcome sanctuary of Miss Molly’s. We parked the bikes against the chairs outside, confident that they would not be needed by other clients, and ensconced ourselves next to the wood burner. We experimented with the melt point of various items of clothing against the stove, and merrily steamed away whilst we consumed our tea/coffee/breakfasts. Conversation mainly concerned the permeability of so-called waterproof cycling attire and whether Paul, now he lives virtually next door to the Wood Lane Social Club, will feel obliged to show up at tomorrow’s club meeting or whether he could just open his windows (weather permitting) to participate.
Having donned our still sodden but now slightly warmer clothing, we ventured out for the return ride via Carn Brea Village, Carnkie, Four Lanes and Stithians. This involved riding along what appeared to be river beds in full spate masquerading as lanes. The rain was now even harder than before, and we were all resigned to being completely soaked to the skin. The gusty cross headwind caused the occasional involuntary course alteration, and we were obliged at frequent intervals to ride into the middle of the road to avoid large areas of standing water. In places (passing St Euny church and at Halvasso) this strategy proved to be of no avail and we simply had to plough through deep water spanning the entire road.
Still, we survived. One unexpected benefit was that my bike was cleaner when I got home than before I started, courtesy of a ride that was more like passing through a car wash (but without the suds) than anything else. Altogether a wet, cold and miserable ride, but strangely satisfying. Definitely a type 2 fun day.
A short 53km for me, but it felt like a lot more.