First OGIL this year

OGIL ride report 5th January 2022

A total of 14 riders congregated at TOP, tempted out by the forecast of dry weather with hardly a whiff of wind, and the possibility of some sun to boot. This was despite the temperature hovering at a low enough level to ensure everyone was in longs and sporting heavy gloves – some even looked more like boxing gloves than anything that would give you a sporting chance of controlling a bicycle. After the usual chit-chat and mysterious decision-making process, Portreath was settled on as the destination, and we set off as a rather disorganised group up the hill towards Halvasso.

After a few stops to allow traffic to pass on the climb, we re-grouped by the weighbridge, and two groups of seven were established for the next stretch navigating the A394, although as usual the two groups fragmented according to strength, willingness and luck at the junctions. My grupetto (#2) paused at Penmarth to wait for Sarah, who had messaged to say she was on her way. We are becoming accustomed to Sarah popping up at random spots on our route depending on how late she is.

The route (at least the one we took – I have no idea which way group #1 went) was through Bolenowe to Troon and on to Barrippa. From there we carried on to Penponds. Just before we got to the church, a postie helpfully informed us that the road ahead was blocked. A good thing as we could easily have missed the big red “Road Closed” sign across the road 50m further up the road. As usual, we ignored the sign and rode on, enjoying the nice quiet roads (apart from walkers and dogs doing the same thing) until we reached the actual blockage. Two vans completely obstructing the road, and three jovial blokes sucking stuff out of a hole in the road (which they had presumably dug earlier) using what looked like an enormous vacuum cleaner. Still, there was room to squeeze by on foot and continue our ride.

On reaching the A3047 on the outskirts of Camborne we turned right to head towards the Tehidy Road. Strangely, Paul declared that he was turning left. It turned out that he wasn’t just being contrary, but needed the extra miles to keep to his 100 miles per week target. We took the oft-travelled route over the Red River, up the hill past the Roscroggan Chapel, along by Tehidy Woods and thence to our destination – the Atlantic Cafe in Portreath. Dean was already there when we arrived, having taken an alternative route (aka a shortcut) at Bolenowe so that he wouldn’t slow us down. This was a strategy he also usefully employed on the return leg. Three of us sat outside, whilst everyone else partyed in the cafe, enjoying drinks courtesy of Adrian and Damien celebrating their birthdays.

Atlantic Cafe, Portreath
Preparing to leave the Atlantic Cafe, Portreath

When it was time to leave, we posed for various photo shoots and then headed out on our customary route towards Bridge, although for some reason we swung a left up Sunnyvale Road, which of course joins the main road a little further along, adding at least 75m to our route with an extra 5m of elevation. On reaching Bridge, we headed up the Old Portreath Road, sweeping past Jenn’s Diner without even considering stopping for more coffee. After passing under the railway viaduct in Redruth we turned right; it was at this point that Dean took his second alternative route by continuing  straight on, accompanied by Jan who was heading directly home as she had something to do. As we twiddled up the hill (Trewirgie Road) there was a moment of confusion at a junction, and Simon was recalled from his advance position in the mistaken belief that he had taken the wrong turn. When those who know better arrived and it was decided that he had been right all along, he had to climb the hill a second time which he did with surprisingly little in the way of grumbles.

We later took the left turn at St Euny church, much to Damien’s delight at discovering that he knew where he was, but equally to his confusion as to his mind this was the route back from Miss Molly’s. Perhaps he has yet to grasp that the nature of geography is that places are connected and can be arrived at from more than one direction.

We followed the usual route (ie the route back from Miss Molly’s) from there through Carnkie and Four Lanes. Remarkably, the descent down into Penhalvean was free of oncoming traffic – a real treat. Also remarkably, just as we reached the junction in Penhalvean Dean arrived on his alternative route: perfect timing. From there it was on auto-pilot through Stithians, right at the crossroads and up the hill to Herniss then homewards. Thankfully, we all negotiated the Argal crossroads without incident.

A dry and at times sunny day for a ride, albeit a bit on the chilly side. A nice day out on what was, to quote birthday boy Damien, a perfect winter’s day. A standard and not too challenging 68km for me.

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