The Last Mince Pie

Confusions over start times at TOP were superseded by the appearance from a 9 month isolation of Fred who has been spending his gestation time usefully planning new routes for the OGILs. No more chilly moments wasted trying to decide on a destination today. We were off to Porthleven by a different way. This COVID thing is making us think again.

There seems to be even more traffic than ever in the lanes. A near drama was just avoided near Gweek as an oncoming lorry and sand and grit on our side of the road nearly ended in multiple rear end shunts of mudguards and spokes as we skidded to a halt. We did well to stay upright. Recovering our breath it was particularly damp and chilly as we passed through Gweek and descended through Little Australia Wood. The next drama was narrowly avoided leaving Gweek as a driver attempted a video game style undertaking of Amanda as she turned left, and gave us a blast on his horn. This COVID thing is producing some very bad behaviour.

Assuming Trelowarren is still closed we headed across to Cury Cross Lanes and Cury Church Town before looping round past Culdrose to Helston. The rangers at Penrose were kindly removing a fallen tree for us as we felt the chill once more by the willow wetlands. Another change of direction uphill from the usual meant we arrived at the top of Porthleven overlooking the harbour. What a great view it is.

There was another group of four cyclists having coffee in the “Harbour View” when we arrived. Under Boris’ rule of 6 we wouldn’t say we knew them but generally speaking they seemed friendly enough. We chatted about such things as what were the best undergarments if you went sea swimming in winter (two mad characters had been spotted swimming in the harbour). We were getting on very agreeably with these folk until we placed our orders and the waitress mentioned there was a special offer on mince pies. Can’t miss that, we said. It was at that point that relations with our new friends froze like 1963 when it turned out that one of the other four (the important looking one) had had the very last mince pie. At that point they got up to leave (in a bit of a hurry I thought). It was as they put their masks on that we immediately recognised the cover girl on the Wheelers Christmas Newsletter. There are certain duties beholden to the captain of a ship, such as being the last to leave the sinking ship, sharing out the last of the food rations with your starving shipmates…..

Ah well. Some say worse things happen at sea. Morale was swiftly restored as Amanda asked us if we could wait for her while she visited the facilities since her winter kit would require her to be déshabillé. Did we hear the band strike up or was somebody whistling a familiar tune?

Returning home feeling warmer via Sithney, Coverack Bridges and Porkellis with the infamous Carnkie hill still exerting its sting as ever, the 6 of us – Fred, Amanda, Paul, Phil 3, Damien, and myself enjoyed the change of route and riding together again. 69km [43 miles] for me.


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