When I learned that there had been a complaint (well, an expression of disappointment) at the absence of a ride report for last week’s UC OGIL ride, I thought I had better at least record the highlights of that ride before I get on to the nitty gritty of today’s ride. So here goes.
UC OGIL ride Wednesday 14th April
As we congregated at Union Corner in the sunshine, it was obvious that the only possible destination could be Poldhu. So it was decided, without the usual lengthy debate, and we set off. Kath set a blistering pace up to the Other Place, claiming that she thought that being on the front meant she had to go full gas, as we would all be freewheeling behind. As a result, we had to stop at the Other Place and regroup. Despite the agreement that Poldhu was where we were going, some of us seemed to be on autopilot and turned right up towards Halvasso, but a little gentle chiding got us all going in the same direction towards Gweek. Although it was nice and sunny, it was distinctly chilly in the woods along Gweek Drive, so that those of us in longs were able to feel a certain degree of smugness. Through Mawgan and Trelowarren, where Kath suddenly stopped and dismounted, declaring that her bike was broken and that the rear wheel would not go round. Suggestions that this might be because she had stopped peddling were peremptorily dismissed. Closer inspection by the dedicated team of mechanics confirmed what we had long suspected – Kath had a screw loose. More specifically, her through axle had come unscrewed. Dean deftly and expertly screwed it back in, and to stop further problems snugged it down quite firmly – let’s hope that wheel doesn’t need to come out any time soon.
On we went to Poldhu, where we partook of the available refreshments from the beach café. We were also relieved (literally) to find the toilets open as well. Despite misgivings, we all managed the climb out of the cove, and the merry crew returned home along the usual route past Culdrose and up (along?) muddy lanes, accompanied by much cursing and moaning from Dean about the dangerous amount of gravel and other detritus on the road which the Council apparently think is quite acceptable. Anyway, we managed to traverse this perilous course without incident.
Good fun. Just short of 74km for me.
UC OGIL ride Wednesday 21st April
Another sunny morning with barely a breath of wind – is this definitely Spring in Cornwall?? The now usual crew of Dean, Jan, John, Kath, Phil1 and myself constituted the elite six for the morning, and we chatted convivially by the missing phone box trying to agree on a destination. As seems to have become his wont, the hairy man stopped for a chat en route to the Other Place, proudly displaying his newly styled beard – no longer the wild man of Borneo, now more the hipster of Borneo. After exchanging a few insults he carried on, and we departed shortly afterwards, heading for Godrevy. We were surprised on reaching TOP to find the other riders still there, but after a few brief greetings they rode off, never to be seen again (not today anyway).
Nobody seemed very keen to take responsibility for leading the ride, and there was not inconsiderable discussion about the route. A suggestion of adopting the Murrell-method (ie just turning alternately right then left until you reach your destination) was discounted as the theory is still unproven, and eventually Phil became the default leader by virtue of being on the front most of the time and seeming to know where he was going. Our route took us to Four Lanes then Brea, followed by a tour of the back roads of Camborne, then Coombe and onto the North Cliffs road to Godrevy. The NT car parks were pretty busy, but thankfully the cafe wasn’t. I believe we were all more than happy with our food purchases – chunky sandwiches and cakes the size (and weight) of bricks. Our usual lively table conversation encompassed topics from environmentalism to philosophy to Council elections and back again, with a few diversions en route. We even had a contribution from a gentleman at the next table who seemed to think we were some kind of doom mongers.
Suitably weighed down by our refreshments, we headed through Gwithian and up Prosper Hill to Connor Downs and thence Carnhell Green. Rather than carry straight on to Praze, we indulged Jan who was keen to see the bluebells in the woods at Treslothan and turned left to Barripper instead. Unfortunately, when we got to Treslothan there wasn’t a bluebell in sight. If Jan was disappointed she didn’t show it, and just mumbled something about the hill this way not being as bad as the climb out of Praze. On through Troon and Nine Maidens (where Jan bid us farewell anyway) to Carnmenellis, and from there home by the usual route.
A good ride in nice weather – 73 km and 1,063 m of climbing for me.