With Mystic Meg’s reassurance that the heat wave would last another two weeks I donned my Altura Night Vision (not very) waterproof coat* and ventured out into the rain this morning, hoping that I would not be late arriving at Union Corner. In spite of the “temporary” traffic lights along Bicklandwater Rd I just managed to get there before Phil1 and John left to meet the others at Halvasso turn. It was, of course, the OGIL “Fred’s Return” ride, that annual event to celebrate the return of Fred from his summer excursions. But though the numbers did not match that remarkable time when we went to Gurnards Head there were seven gathered unsafely on the bend. Paul, Phil3, Mike2, Keith, new comer, Mark, Simon and of course Fred. With a bit of chivvying a destination was agreed and we were off; to Miss Molly’s. I have noticed over the last few weeks that it has become a habit to stop at regular points along whatever route we are taking, even when, as today, there is no need to let anyone catch up. This allows a general outbreak of conversation and distraction from the ride. So, at Kessel quarry, Crane garage, Penmarth, Bolenowe, etc, etc, I attempted to crack the whip to keep everyone moving. The result was that we were in danger of arriving at Miss M’s early and an extra leg had to be added, out towards Tehidy, to allow us to arrive just about 11am; 23 miles and perfect.
With our usual table, favourite waitress and few other customers it was “bootiful”. Conversations were too numerous to report on, meaning I have already forgotten them, except that I learned that Keith was even older than I; I have no more excuses for struggling to keep up.
When Mark excused himself as “needing to get back early” that was the sign for all of us also to prepare to leave. Mike left, ill prepared, leaving his jacket behind. Either that or it was a crafty wheeze to get the waitress to come running out after us. Like Peter Pan, OGIL never grow up.
It was the usual way back; across the cycle path to St Euny’s Church and on to Stithians. At Penhalvean, whilst bidding Simon farewell, we were met by Ann and Geoff, from the Liskeard Velo club, on their way back home from Penzance; a moment Ann captured on her mobile phone before we went our separate ways. At Stithians, Fred chose to avoid Deaf Cat Alley, and Bernie’s house, taking us instead straight on past the quarry but coming out again at Longdowns. Two proper cyclists, two younger women “from Falmouth”, crossed our path whilst we bade Fred farewell; but we pulled in our stomach muscles for a few minutes whilst we dashed past, and on home. A fraction under 40 miles for me. Dean
* Available from Evans Cycles.