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Audax Rides 5/4/09
Apr 6, 2009, 10:29 am
Behind the scenes with Scalatchi, top cyclist, event marshal and washer upper. Just before the off...
The FW's annual Audax rides were very well attended by cyclists from all over Cornwall and were blessed with absolutely perfect cycling weather.
Many thanks to Falmouth Cricket Club for the use of their premises and also to the army of volunteers that helped make the day happen, including the cake makers (this particular wheeler thinks super-chef Ian's amazing cake deserves a special mention), sandwich and savoury makers, scone and bun makers, tea makers, marshals and of course Adrian and Theresa for running and administering the rides.
No doubt there must be a few entertaining tales to tell so please don't be shy and send them in to be included in the next news letter as soon as you can! Email them to  wheelersnews@hotmail.co.uk or give them to Theresa or Adrian.

Lost soul... 9 o'clockers 29/03/09
Mar 30, 2009, 5:43 pm

The wheelers put the 'p' in Perranporth...A perfect morning for a ride, so a little surprising to see comparatively few turning up at the start - we were minus many of the usual suspects!

Don G and I agreed on Newquay as a destination, so we headed via Lower Treluswell, Norway Inn (en route Alan joined the arse-over-tit-club) and Penwethers for Truro - losing Steve, Amanda, Sean and Louise to do their own thing.  We were not sure whether Louise had intended to part company there, but as she shot off at such a pace, there was no choice. 
In Truro there was a mix-up, with yours truly managing to lose the peloton when I went down the new bus lane towards the centre!  I retraced to meet Drew - only to find that he was no longer with us.  Headed up through Idless - where a lady on a horse said "they are just ahead of you".  Well they weren't, it was the Truro CC 10-o'clockers - who hadn't seen the lost souls (or was I the lost soul?).  After a short natter with them during their pee and rest stop at Gwarnick - and their enquiries regarding Keith & Terri and Admiral - I waited, and eventually we were reunited! 
On we went to cross the A30 via the underpass and into Zelah, and then on to Newlyn East and Gwills to a brief stop at Lane were we decided to go via Treloggan and Trenance.  Not a good idea on my part as it seems, as this involved going up the short but very steep Trenance hill!  The situation was further aggravated by a BMW 4X4 driver who obviously thought we shouldn't be there - does this sound familiar?  Another split-up - not helped by me going down a one-way the wrong way! - ended up eventually with a regroup at a cafe and some excellent bacon and egg sarnies etc. - and excellent service, with entertainment by a local starling.  We set off again for the return via Crantock, Cubert, Trebellan and Rose in Vale and Perranporth - for a pee stop by the lake.  It was then up the familiar Perrancoombe valley and back via Chivvy and Dangerous Crossing and a very fast gradual descent to Bissoe and 'home'.  A really good day's cycling - I think we would all agree! (60 miles+? Ed.)

Dan Dare

Mother's Day Ride 22/03/09
Mar 22, 2009, 6:19 pm
Hitler was going to live here if he'd won the war.It's not every day you meet a famous Cornish author chilling out at the side of the road. Especially in somewhere like Relubbas. Gordon Channer, a charming man, warned us to buy his first book first and if we didn't find it funny don't bother to buy the others, which is fair enough. Gordon also owned a handbuilt Claud Butler but he wasn't on it at the time. Given the excellent weather, I bet he wished he was.
We bade farewell and left Gordon behind to glide majestically down into Marazion where we met up with Parky and Ironman who left Falmouth at 8am to test out the club's 100km Audax route (5th April) because Ironman is going to miss the official ride. After some breakfast baguettes - Mr ‘lettuce leaf' Gunner shocked us all by having a side order of chips too! - our happy group of 10 split into 2 with one bunch taking the fast route home for various Mother's Day duties. The remainder climbed out of Long Rock and spotted a massive quarry in the distance. Why we've only just noticed the thing is a mystery. There was some debate about where and what it was called (it is called Castle an Dynas, well done Richard2).
Then it was down past Trencom Hill and Splattenridden (yes non-Cornish readers, that is a real place name) and along to Hayle. Fred then dragged us all up a long, long hill to Praze an Beeble (yes, non-Cornish readers, that is a real name too) and home via Carnmenellis and Halvasso (inevitably).
60 miles, good company, lots of hills, an angry lady driver and an idiot in a green Subaru doing 60 mph past us on a single-lane. 

The 24 hour Cyclethon 15/03/09
Mar 16, 2009, 11:50 am
The young farmers struck terror in all who witnessed them hutling downhill at 35 mph with little more than luck to guide them...This week the Falmouth Wheelers are resting after the first, and possibly the ‘best ever', 24 hour Cyclethon around Pendennis Point.
There are so many anecdotes, so many acts of generosity, and even heroism, that a brief news report here won't do it all justice. It would be fair to say that the event surpassed all expectations with cyclists of all ages from all over Cornwall taking part as well as whole families and a gamely bunch of semi-suicidal young farmers on a custom made 8 man bike. Some people turned up for a few laps, others pedalled 100 miles plus, whilst Rob Young, a rider with the Falmouth Wheelers and local student based at Tremough, completed an awesome 165 laps - which is at least 280 miles - and that's after crashing and drawing blood on the 3rd lap.
The total amount of sponsorship raised was an impressive £4,021.62p but money is still being gathered. Check out the 24 hr Cyclethon page on the left to see some piccys.
A message from Fred, whose foolish idea all this was...
I would like to give a huge thank you to all those who helped to make the Cyclethon happen, the Riders - Marshallers - Tea Makers - Bucket Wavers - those numerous friends and work colleages who again have sponsered us - the public who dug in their pockets - Bernie, Liz, Tom and Margeret for 24 hour non stop manning and supplying base camp - K.K. who has found his role as a Hobbitt living in a garage - the Jenkins family for allowing us to use their Garage - Tom Bird who pitched up to take some photos and stayed on into the night marshalling - Julia Goldsworthy for attending and trying to ride the wheelers' four man bicycle - Praze young farmers for entertaining us with their eight man cycle - Rob for amazing all of us by just keeping going - The Police for their support - The fire service for erecting the lighting - and last but not least; to Parky and Jono for tirelessly organising everything in my absence. And apoligies to anyone I have forgotten - you all did very well. 
Yes the Falmouth Wheelers "Wheely did something funny for money"

Riders of the Storm 9 o’clock ride 08/03/09
Mar 8, 2009, 3:38 pm

The Tesco instore cafe on the wind swept edge of Helston. Oh yes, we Falmouth Wheelers know how to live it up...When the weather forecasters predicted ‘blustery' showers they weren't kidding -two of us were lost in a storm never to be seen again...


It was a promising start with clear blue skies and a refreshing nip in the air as we climbed to Mellangoose and swooped down to Gweek. There was a smattering of rain accompanied by a chilly wind so Scalatchi sensibly decided to shelter in a phone box. He said it was very warm.

  Steve and Amanda broke off for home via The Grange for tea and coffee whilst the rest headed on to Helston where Dom Lemond 1, Parky and Hilary also left for home due to family commitments. As we proceeded onwards we encountered a rain and hailstorm of such ferocity ‘biblical' was an understatement. Somehow we managed to get to limp to the café at the boating lake -and it was closed! We huddled, cold, wet and shivering, in the lee of the cafe sheltering from the wind and rain until it subsided enough for us to quickly pedal the couple of miles to the sanctuary of Tesco's in-store café.


Then we realised that Richards 1 and 2 had disappeared during the storm. Presumably they had decided it was more preferable to go home for tea and crumpets than die of exposure. Or had they been washed away?
After some excellent beans on toast we decided to head for home via Wendron. Halfway there, in the middle of nowhere, biblical storm number two hit us hard. All we could do was crouch against the hedge, wimpering, until it passed.

After 10 minutes or so of ‘hedge huddling' we went on to Carnkie where we were blown up the hill, which was nice, and then because the weather perked up (blue skies were glimpsed) and we hadn't cycled many miles, we returned to Falmouth via Mawnan Smith and Maenporth. Of course, this still wasn't enough for Don G so he dragged Don M and Rob off around Pendennis Point for good measure.  16 riders. 33 miles. 2 riders lost in action.


Richard1 writes: No, I wasn't drowned - at least, not quite!  Had an inkling that the cafe would be shut - so sheltered with Parky and Hils by the cemetery. Hils and Parky headed home towards Wendron and I headed back along the main Helston-Falmouth road - the strong tail-wind persuaded me that it was a good idea. I didn't just get sprayed by vehicles - it was more a case of cycling through bow-waves!  Mind you, that wind certainly propelled me along with great gusto. Went through Stithie only to encounter the second 'Biblical Storm' before squelching and skidding down Kennal Vale - without falling off - and home.  Never saw R2 again, so can hopefully assume he's not still out there...

Amanda and Steve's weekend in Somerset
Feb 25, 2009, 11:40 am

Ah. The romance of Burnham-on-Sea...Thought we'd try something different so joined the Somerset Road Club for a Saturday sprint from Taunton to Burnham-on-Sea and back, about 40miles. We kept up the pace for most of the way there but lost them when they upped the pace to 20mph!

Not put off by this we joined them again on Sunday for a 50 Mile ride. We set off at the same pace again from Taunton but Amanda had traffic light problems and the peleton quickly faded into the distance, luckily for us two riders, Pete 79yrs (Don's dad!)and Roger 65yrs dropped back to pick us up exclaiming “We'll never catch them now”.
We headed out of town towards Tiverton, Pete leading us on a lovely route through the Exe Valley and then on to Bampton where we stopped for coffee and cake and listened to Pete reminiscing about his past achievements and then on to the family cycling history. World champions, Olympians etc (Brian and Greg Sandy). Home via Pete's hill (he always wins the sprint up here) and back into the Vale of Taunton.   A beautiful ride and great company, slighter slower than their usual ride I feel.

It was great to try something different and challenge ourselves and we'd like to thank Pete and Roger for a great day out. Have a look at their cycling club's website.

Lost on the Lizard - 9 o'clock ride 22/02/09
Feb 22, 2009, 6:44 pm
When, at the start, Richard asked Don G for an allen key and Don tried to give him a ‘hankie' it may have been a clue that this wasn't to be an average run-of-the-mill Sunday ride.

It was good to see a new rider, Robin from just outside Mylor (dressed for high summer even though it was cold), Don M back in the saddle and sporting a deep tan (fresh from Tenerife) and regular 10 o'clocker Caroline out with the 9 o'clockers. It was also good to have Jan's friend Dave from somewhere-up-country join us too.

There was no catching Hilary as she sped off to the Lizard - Roskilly's Farm our destination -and there was plenty of banter in the peleton. We followed a lovely creekside lane up and down dale and were even bathed in occasional bouts of sunshine. Gear hill didn't disappoint the masochists among us and then just past New Town-in-St Martin and before St Anthony-in-Meneage Robin decided to fling himself off his bike and Don G and Caroline swiftly followed in sympathy. Luckily there was no serious damage to bikes or people apart from a couple of rips and muddy smears. Then Jim wanted some attention too and punctured his rear tyre. Always the rear wheel isn't it? Leaving 3 members of the wheelers' brain trust (combined age and experience 202 years -I'm not joking) to sort out the puncture the rest selflessly carried on to Roskilly's for refreshments.

After enjoying tea, cake, soup, pasties etc. it was noticed that Richard, Caroline, Jan and Dave were missing. Then half an hour or so later Richard appeared leading the aforementioned ‘missees'. Apparently they had sped ahead took a wrong turn and then somehow managed to make their way 5 miles towards home before realising their mistake and retracing their route. This obviously involved needlessly going up some very, very steep hills. Twice. Richard is obviously going for the 2009 Wheelers' Pathfinder Golden Spoke award. For more 'Golden Spoke' info click here and scroll down.

Due to time issues half the group left for the more direct route home and after clocking up rather more miles and hills than anticipated Caroline very sensibly ordered tea and cakes and called for her chauffeur (husband Victor) to retrieve her and her bike.

For the less sensible it was on to Coverack and up one of the steepest nips in Cornwall, along to Helston battling against very strong headwinds, followed by the joys of Carnkie hill. After all this hard work - just look at the profile below! - it would be, as Scalatchi so eloquently said, home to “a hot shower and then falling asleep in front of Time Team”. And it was.

16 riders. 56 miles. 4 crashes*. 1 puncture.

*Richard crashed on the way to the start too.

Breakfast at Porthtowan - 9 o'clock ride 15/02/09
Feb 15, 2009, 5:23 pm

A couple of new-ish faces were amongst the 18 strong throng today, including Dom2 who evidently wasn't put off last week.  And off it was, for a nice easy ride across Cornwall to indulge in the superior culinary delights of breakfast at the Blues Bar in Porthtowan (checkout our Gourmet Page listing) and then along the coast to Portreath (see an end-to-ender's report) and Gwithian passing by the entrance to top-secret chemical weapon factory ‘which-no-one-knows-about' and no one goes near just-in-case-they-start-sprouting-extra-heads-like-the-lobsters-found-by-fisherman-just off-the-nearby-coast at Nancekuke en route.

Freshly signed up members Kym and Sarah departed at Tehidy to make their way home through the country park. Charming company they are too.  

It has to be said that there were a fair few challenging hills along the way and at one drink stop near Portreath Fred let it slip that Don persuaded him to announce the route as it would sound better coming from him! Much laughter ensued. (You may not know that Don is known, perhaps unfairly, for making us cycle up steep hills.)

There seemed to be an inordinate amount of bicycle-curious small hunting dogs loitering around farm entrances today as well as a sprinkling of horses, the riders of which were surprisingly well mannered towards us, as indeed were the dogs, which makes a pleasant change.

Spirits were high throughout the ride partly due to warmer temperatures and believe it or not, no rain -a first this year?  A menacing cloud did try to rain on our parade at Halvasso but failed. The best bit was getting home, tired, after a long ride and not having to wash a muddy bike. 50 miles. Ave. speed 12.6 mph. No punctures or dramas.   

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