OGIL ride 28 October 2020
Dean had another brilliant idea for a destination – Julia’s café at Camborne station. Probably not the most attractive of venues, but with poor weather forecast the idea of sitting inside in the warm trumped any concerns about the aesthetics of the place. With a full complement of six at Union Corner, we set off to test the nice new tarmac on Hillhead Road. We were not disappointed, and on reaching the Other Place waved to the motley crew gathered there in as friendly a manner as we could muster as we sailed past. All was not plain sailing up to Halvasso though, as the lane was busy with traffic apparently ferrying kids to a half-term event at BF Adventure. But we persevered, heading in the general direction of Releath as part of our effort to stretch the distance so as not to arrive at Julia’s embarrassingly early.
En route I arrived at Porkellis after an emergency phone stop to find the rest of team UC indulging in bike and body checks. Clearly an incident of some kind had occurred, but your correspondent was unable to ascertain the exact facts as certain people were being particularly cagey about what had transpired. All I could gather from the snippets of partial information and probably some fake news as well was that Dean had somehow toppled over and knocked over a stationery Jan. Had Dean been unable to unclip and chose Jan as a soft landing? We will probably never know. Jan had a sore thumb and shoulder, but more importantly her bike was unharmed, and she manfully elected to carry on rather than be escorted straight home by Sylvia.
So it was that an intact group of six fetched up at Camborne station after negotiating Praze and Carnhell Green. Unfortunately, Dean’s intelligence (is that an oxymoron?) proved to be wrong, and Julia’s was closed. Just goes to show that you shouldn’t believe every Facebook post you read. Suggestions of taking the train to the next stations down the line in search of an open buffet were rejected in favour of heading to the OGIL old wet weather favourite of Miss Molly’s. On arrival we were ushered into one of the back rooms, either because the other rooms were full or because the staff wanted to shield the normal customers from this strange gaggle of bikers, who knows? The food and service were up to the usual Miss Molly’s standard, except that the doorstep toast had been replaced with what looked like toasted supermarket bread, and for some reason spoons had to be delivered completely separately from the drinks. Conversation covered diverse topics ranging from the desirability of wearing body armour if riding anywhere near Dean, to why the baked beans in the big breakfast looked different from those in the vegan breakfast. John became unnaturally fascinated by Sylvia’s USB hand warmer, apparently available for fourpence ha’penny from the evil Amazon and posted direct from China.
Eventually we had to drag ourselves away for the ride home, as always by the Usual Route under Carn Brea and down to Four Lanes. We hadn’t gone far when Sylvia lost her bottle – not in the sense that she felt she had to brake on a fast descent (there wasn’t one), but she realised that she had left her water bottle behind at Miss Molly’s. Fearful that it may have a price sticker put on it and be bought by some unsuspecting bargain hunter, she instructed us to carry on and high-tailed it back to Camborne. We later said goodbye to Jan at some point as we passed within spitting distance of her house. After the fun of riding along Deaf Cat Alley, our next farewell stop was at Longdowns for John to take his shortcut via Penryn. It was here that we observed the black clouds rolling in from the west, the wind picking up and the temperature noticeably dropping. Not a good sign, we suspected. On we pressed through Halvasso, and it wasn’t until we got the Other Place that the rain started. Not too bad to begin with, but it soon deteriorated into a veritable deluge. No point even in stopping to don the rain cape. By the time the three remaining members of team UC arrived at UC it had more or less stopped. Still, other than the soggy bit at the end a quite enjoyable ride, and at least the heavy rain had washed most of the mud off my bike – a modest 64 km for me.
Team UC: Dean, Jan, John, Phil1, Sylvia, me.