Hi Ho, skip to the loo!

Another bonus day, and a great ride to the Sunset Surf cafe at Gwithian. As has been the norm for the last few weeks, I said I would go a shorter route so as not to hold up the boy, and girl, racers. Fred volunteered to keep me company but once again, we seem to have ridden about the same distance as the rest. We parted company with the main group at Carnkie, to turn towards Penmarth, stopping to admire Jane’s new house, then across to Nine Maidens, Troon and Praze, where our paths crossed again. Not so many options from then on so I tagged behind the rest; through to Leedstown and Fraddam, then, following the 200K Audax route it was a right hand down to Copperhouse. Just a short distance from there and we were turning on to the road down to the cafe, admiring the newly laid tarmac. Looking at the numbers in the Cornwall Council car park, at about £6 a pop, they’ll still have some cash left for a bottle of bubbly at the Cormac Christmas Party. This was my first visit to the Sunset Surf cafe, it has always been closed when previously mentioned as a potential destination, and with the full car park I though it might be crowded. However, the surfers were too occupied with doing what ever it is they do and there was plenty of room, both inside and out. The staff were lovely. Though sunny I thought it was a bit chilly to sit outside, a view shared by Ian, Phil1 and Danny. We thought of Robin and Simon facing 5 hours of train travel to London. Talking of views, which would be the more memorable, the sea and beach or the Big (enormous) Vegan breakfasts that were put before the M&Ms. Colin from now on will be known as Little Vegan.
Soon enough it was time to leave, and from now I would have to tag on to the others. After the climb up to Carnhell Green it is fairly easy from then on, turning left to Baripper and Ramsgate and back to Troon. The whiff of the barmaid’s apron at the 7 Stars got me up the hill out of Bolenowe and we were soon enough saying goodbye to those that didn’t stop to quench our thirsts. A pint of Bath Ales’ Gem was put in front of me and all was good with the world. It was even better at the second pint. Fred volunteered me to write this report. Although I hadn’t shared the same route for nearly half the ride this was no obstacle, it seems. Mind you, I have been known to write a report about a ride that none of us had been on. No one noticed, or if they did they didn’t comment.
For some time I have been having difficulty with my rear derailleur, after replacing an old 10 speed with a MTB 9 speed; they say it works on the interweb; but on the way out of Stithians the chain started to come off, first off the rear cassette and then the front chainwheel. Close inspection indicated that the tension spring was broken and the derailleur was just flopping about from side to side. Who knew my bike was in worse condition than me? Selecting a mid range cog I was moving again, though too much pressure caused an unintentional gear change, or half of one. Plodding on, we said goodbye to Ian and turned across to Halvasso. Andrew either stopped for another drink at Halvasso or stopped to get rid of one. Fred and Sarah waited at the other place but I pushed on thinking they would soon catch me up. Coming down to Union Corner the puncture fairy whispered in my ear “psst, your back tyre’s flat”. I wasn’t going to stop and change a tube, with just a mile to go and although my tyre was deflated my bladder wasn’t so I set off for home at a good walking pace. Sarah and Andrew stopped to enquire a bit later on.
I got home in time, what a relief. 46 miles for me. Dean

(photos courtesy of Sarah).

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