The longs and the shorts of it

OGIL ride report 10th November 2021

November already, but the twelve of us congregating by the side (and, it has to be admitted, in the middle) of the road at TOP commented on the unseasonably mild weather. Iron legs Kath was keeping to her 9C threshold and was in shorts, whereas everyone else had decided to acknowledge which month it was and were sporting a variety of longs, three quarters and other indeterminate leg coverings. Despite this, the wet roads were in full winter garb, spread liberally with mud, grit and other unmentionables. Definitely a day for mudguards one would have thought, although certain individuals seemed quite happy to decorate their rears with mud (not to mention the faces of anyone foolish enough to follow their wheel).

An unusually short debate ended with the decision to make for Porthleven by the usual route. The climb up to Halvasso involved multiple encounters with traffic, leading to speculation that there might be some kind of blockage on the A394 causing drivers to seek an alternative route. But when we reached the main road, the traffic seemed to be flowing quite adequately at the usual alarming speeds. Descending the hill in Carnkie we had to thread our way past the rubbish truck which we increasingly seem to meet here – at least it is consistent in its regularity, which must cheer the inhabitants of Carnkie. After a brief stop at Nancegollan to check whether the weight of opinion was behind the long or the short route, we carried on to Godolphin Cross as almost to a man/woman the preference was to enjoy the long, fast swoop along the cliff road to our ultimate destination.

We made a bee line for the Harbour View Café – there doesn’t seem to be any inclination to vary our favoured watering hole. Once there we split into two groups: the Covid-aware stayed outside, and the Covid-don’t-care sat inside (apologies for this sweeping and unjustified generalisation). The food and drink was up to its usual standard, and I think everyone managed to resist the advertised crab sandwich and a glass of bubbly offer.  As we were waiting for our orders, Sarah arrived looking remarkably clean and joined us, bringing our number up to 13 which absolutely none of us was superstitious about.  Also making a guest appearance was Simon, who was in civvies as he had driven (yes, in a car!), as he is still nursing his wounds from his recent close encounter with a member of the motoring fraternity.  Obviously, the pull of the Harbour View Café is stronger than physical pain.

Rather arty photo of the inside group in the café in Porthleven, taken through the window

We prepared to leave just as the sky took on an ominous dark grey colour. We shunned the cobbles and headed up Torleven Road, as there had been numerous grumbles about the probable state of Muddy Lane (we had already had our fill of Roubaix-style roads) and nobody was inclined to check it out. So we headed to Sithney and Truthall Halt, thence to Coverack Bridges and Wendron School, and from there the normal route home. As usual, individuals peeled off at convenient junctures to head directly home. We said our goodbyes, promising to meet up again on Sunday/next Wednesday/some other time according to respective diary commitments, although we were momentarily disturbed to hear Amanda making arrangements to meet Phil1 behind his shed later that afternoon. I’m sure there’s an innocent explanation.

We survived the day without getting rained on, but we will all need a good bike cleaning session (some more than others!). Despite all this, a fun ride. Around 65km for me.

One Reply to “The longs and the shorts of it”

  1. Mudguards have been ordered you will be pleased to know and thanks to my kindly husband I now have a clean bike. Even the neighbour over the road commented on the state of me and my bike when I got home.

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