It’s getting harder. I know that 200K is not a lot for some Wheelers, but it’s enough for me, especially when you haven’t ridden more that 80k since last years. It was nice starting out that hour earlier, when the air was cooler and it was good to get back before it was really dark, its just the middle bit.
13 started out, 12 triple OGILers and a groupie, with Ben and Charlie bringing the average age down a bit lower than for a normal Wednesday. No argument about destination, it was available to download and most had taken up the offer. First stop was the Regent Cafe at the Lizard but Paul and Phil declined and pushed on; we were to ride in various group sizes all day. There were lots of road works going on along the way and at one, John, getting mixed up with the monopoly instruction “do not pass GO” decided that the STOP board didn’t apply to him. Though he was wearing a club top we tried to disown him.
The first OGIL ended at Portreath with riders choosing their preferences of either the Hub or the Atlantic. Surprisingly the Atlantic got the better reviews, service at the Hub having deteriorated over recent visits. All cafes that are still relying on cardboard boxes and wooden cutlery get low marks from me.
Mike left us here although Ian, on his single speed was required to continue as his lift from here to Bodmin didn’t turn up.
A rearrangement of groups and we were off to Padstow, with an intermediate stop at St Columb, the Major, not Minor, where we regrouped to sit in the shade opposite the Coop. This was to be the hilliest of the 3 OGILs, so the break was appreciated. I was getting used to trailing the rest by now so was surprised to get to Padstow before the larger group. It seems they had taken the short cut, which is a bit further. Amanda had also suffered what could have been an exiting mechanical, with the chain dropping on to the wrong side of the cassette but managed to fix it. The first time I rode this route, with Simon and Fred, it was fish and chips and a pint of Doom; today, ice cream, was more to our liking and we sat on the harbourside watching the holiday makers. It looked like everyman and his wife, or someone else’s, was there. You tend to think that the final OGIL is mostly down hill but apart from the flat, but slightly rising spin along the Camel trail, the Strava record shows that we actually climb to the highest elevation of the day. The Camel trail is quiet at this time of the day so only a few “Ding Dings” were needed to announce our coming. We paused briefly at the Jail but carried on through the town and out on the Lostweithiel Road. Lanlivet came and went and although I could see Simon just ahead I was content to retain the pace I had dropped down to. Simon stopped at one of the Service stations to buy a sandwich and I joined him for a while but, convinced he would soon catch me up, set off for the Indian Queens Service Station, where I expected to find the others. Alas it was deserted so I pressed on, grumbling. I found later that “they” had decided to stop at the Cornwall Services; a text would have been appreciated. I stopped a couple of times to call Simon, who still hadn’t caught me up, but his phone seemed to be off.
There was a time trial taking place down through the Ladock Valley which encouraged me greatly. Only two of the competitors passed me, like trains, but I was disappointed not to get a chequered flag at the end. I decided to go through Truro but Simon popped out from the cycle path in front of me at Calenick, so clearly the quicker route. We cycled on together for a while, I needed someone to get me up the hill to Kea School, but parted company at Carnon Downs. The official 200k audax starts and finishes at Devoran but I had a few more miles to do to get back to Falmouth. Road closure signs were out at Devoran Gate but the traffic management crew, “Tell them Steve from Cormac said it was ok” took pity on me and let me through, cycling on an otherwise empty road through Suicide Alley. I thought I might get through to Treluswell but my luck eventually ran out and I was diverted off to face Hangman’s hill. I later found that the rest, again surprisingly were behind me, and were not so lucky, and had to take the longer Perranwell route. I’m not ashamed to say I walked up Hill Head, less embarrassing than walking up Dracaena Avenue, and I was relieved to get home in one piece and by Sunday I will be telling folk i enjoyed it. 131 miles for me.
Dean (feeling very much the older).
Others completing the ride but not previously mentioned were Jan, Amanda and Damien.