January Pathfinder

The lack of Pathfinders during the long months of lockdown found the Wheelers raring to go, and in numbers. 25 turned up at the Tresillian (or is it the Probus/just past the Mercedes garage?) lay-by. About half had ridden from base. Some were hauled back by Ian (chief sweeper) heading in the opposite direction. There were several sparkies, including a welcome appearance by KK. Finally a large peloton set off steadily and well together, up the hill to Probus. As we did so a certain Wheeler on his classic motorbike drew alongside to say “morning” as Helston Trevor explained he was on his way to visit his auntie. That was a relief. Sparkies on a ride are one thing. Motors are quite another.
Taking the back road to Ladock the roads were dry and free of mud in contrast to a few days before. After meeting a double spiked tractor on a tight junction we reached Grampound Road with views from the ridge across to the clay country. Apart from the odd car the lanes were quiet except for the twittering of the Wheelers. We paused to regroup by a little River Fal near the viaduct at Trenowth. We rolled on through to Sticker (ignoring a slight deviation from the map) before descending down to the main road at London Apprentice. We didn’t have Richard 75 to inform us as to why it is so called. Pity. The off-road cycle path (with excellent improvements – and a ford) through the woods failed to attract more than an intrigued handful while the rest preferred the joys of the traffic on the road. At Pentewan we regrouped before the one stiff climb of the ride at Tregiskey. At the top we paused to look out over Mevagissey Bay before getting to the Lost Gardens for a well earned bowl of hot soup (or the roast lunch if you hurried) in the cosy atmosphere by the wood burner. Some went for the choice of hot pasties from the outside café (including the Moroccan mmm….wow! hot in every sense).
Once refuelled we turned west through the quiet lanes past Pengrugla and Tregain and more gently rolling country with more views of the Cornish Alps. At Creed the lane divided. To the right a more gentle on-road route via Grampound: up to the left a bit of adventure with some rough-stuff down a farm track to Golden Mill. The rough-stuff riders were suitably impressed by the unexpected conditions, which included the ride leader nearly going A over T, riding through the rather liquid farmyard at Golden Mill and being disappointed that the Vicar and Spaniel was more than ‘dry’. As someone commented, it’s not a Pathfinder unless you get the unexpected.
It was a great turn out on what was a typically overcast and chilly January day. But the Wheelers enjoy the Pathfinder format and there are plans afoot for more rides further afield. Thanks to Ian and Robin for shepherding the rear of the flock and to all who turned up.

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