Dodge the tourists

OGIL ride report 1st June 2022

The sun was making an appearance, there was barely a breath of wind, and the OGILs were raring to go. But wait, it was half term and also the week of the Jubilee extended bank holiday – that meant hordes invading our usual watering holes. We needed to do an extensive risk assessment as part of the destination decision process. Suggestions such as Gwithian were easily eliminated as being not far short of crazy. Then the Milk Barn Café at Mullion was put forward as a possibility. Not only is this now the OGILs favourite stop for refreshments (friendly and, more importantly, relatively cheap), but it is also away from the coast and rather hidden away in Mullion. It was a no-brainer (aren’t most OGIL decisions, by definition, no-brainers? – ed).

So it was that we set off from TOP heading down to Gweek, deviating only slightly to indulge Ian in his newly discovered penchant for taking in the sights of Constantine en route. When we regained the usual road again we encountered a gravel tourer who appeared down a muddy track. Under interrogation he admitted he was heading for St Agnes, and rode off in search of more off-road routes. As our friends from across the water would say, if I were going to St Agnes I wouldn’t start from here. Slightly puzzled, we continued on our way. After a brief stop at the bridge in Gweek to make sure we were all there (no comment – ed), we headed out only to have our usual run up to the ramp into Gweek Drive thwarted by temporary traffic lights. As responsible, law-abiding citizens we all stopped at the red light, muttering. Once under way again, we enjoyed the usual 10C drop in temperature as we rode through the woods, but revelled in the opportunity to warm up again with the climb up to the roundabout, where we paused again, as is our custom.

From there we predictably rode to Trelowarren. At the entrance to the estate we had to make way for a lady on a horse, who seemed surprised to see so many people on bicycles looking so smart. At the top of the hill we came across another rider, who enquired whether the road we had just come up was a right of way. Affronted by the implication that we may have been trespassing, we ignored his question and simply shouted greetings and continued. On the ride out towards the gates a couple of very impatient drivers in big, expensive looking SUVs were determined to overtake us. Luckily, as they were in SUVs they could take to the verge to do this. Amazingly, none of us seemed annoyed or particularly bothered about their antics.

After a relatively calm traverse of Goonhilly Downs (we rarely exceeded 25mph), we soon found ourselves in Mullion, where we split into two groups depending on whether we wanted to ride round the one-way system or preferred to ride the 20yds down the pavement to get to the café. Those taking the shorter option were rewarded with being at the front of the queue for orders – it has to be said that the ordering process was approaching glacial in pace. Paul, who unfortunately found himself at the back of the queue, gave up and walked to the shop for a drink and a bar of something. Still, the food arrived pretty promptly and was as good as we remember it being.

Milk Barn Café, Mullion
Jubilee excitement running high at the Milk Barn Café in Mullion

Riding home was completely predictable and uneventful – through Poldhu and Helston, up Muddy Lane, then to the Wendron Cricket Club and thence the usual route(s) home.

A good ride, with a good stop and no tourists to talk about – about 75 km for me.

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