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To the Lizard - 9 o'clockers 11/01/09
Jan 11, 2009, 5:02 pm
High SW winds decided the Lizard to be the sensible destination for the day. There was a good turn out of 18 riders with two friendly new faces, Dave and James.
After Gweek, Parky directed the group up the hill-from-hell “to see what it looks like on the ride profile”. Well Parky, as you can see on the ride profile below it (the little sqiggly bit between Gweek and Mawgan) doesn't begin to show the shock of being faced with a near vertical wall of tarmac or the subsequent suffering caused by it! Everyone made it up in good spirits though and then a few miles on Dan Dare decided to test his first ever bicycle helmet and spectacularly parted company with his bike and slid along the road. Luckily no serious damage was done to the bike but the helmet got scratched. Dan Dare, bruised, pedalled on.
At Kuggar we got entangled with several Tri-Logic chaps and other assorted riders so we stopped for a little cyclists' love-in, which was nice. On arriving at the Lizard half the riders went all the way to the café on the point and the other half stopped at The Witch Ball pub in the village, which promptly earned itself a place in the illustrious FW Gourmet Guide. We then enjoyed a great ride back home with tail winds all the way.
50 miles, mud, blood, sweat and tears - of laughter. What more do you want on a Sunday?

First Ride of The Year 4/1/09
Jan 4, 2009, 3:37 pm
You'd never guess the teperature of this sunny vista was near freezing would you?
Nine eternal optimists departed HQ for Porthleven under clear blue skies on a bitterly cold Sunday morning -so cold that triple socks and even ‘foot bags' were deployed by some.
Unfortunately Richard had to peel off for home at Penmarth feeling under the weather, but the rest ploughed on, all suffering with numb extremities.
Hilary was Pathfinder and guided us with impressive professionalism to Porthleven without a hitch or squabbling within the ranks. The chosen café provided excellent bowls of tomato and basil soup but at a price - £3.95! Anyway, it was a welcome break and the waitresses were lovely.
Jono had a puncture passing through the Porkellis hinterlands but apart from that and a couple of crippling hills it was a very pleasant ride. 41 miles.

Gut Busting Rides
Dec 30, 2008, 11:32 pm
Monday  Good start to the week - after bit of a layoff Jan & friend turned up for a good ride only to discover no other riders.  Like a good Wheeler rather than going for a ride opted instead to head home and go back to bed...
Tuesday Six Wheelers (incl. Jan) met up on chilly but dry day and headed off to Halvasso & Blackrock with the intention of coffee at the boating lake in Helston. Although we lost Paul & Hilary to a clan gathering & discovered the cafe at the lake closed, we ended up at the new Premier Inn for coffee. Despite being a hotel, warm welcome to cyclists, good coffee and reasonably priced. Left Helston on the main road  and as there were just three of us, rode to the Jet garage before the left turn took us across to Porkellis and the normal route home.  36 miles and a great day for a ride - beats working.
Wednesday - The Last Ride of 2008
With a cold, biting wind whistling in from the South East we anticipated a degree of suffering wherever we rode so we decided to valiantly press on to Perranporth and experience the culinary delights of the Camelot cafe. We were joined by two charming ladies at the start, Sarah and Kym, who for some inexplicable reason thought it would be a good idea to ride with the FWs. Poor misguided souls. Sarah brought Lance Armstrong along too.
At the top of Treluswell the aforementioned Lance sprung a puncture but Parky's nimble fingers came to the rescue and within minutes Sarah was back in the saddle. Yes, Lance Armstrong is indeed Sarah's name for her  bicycle, a trusty Tricross, and when she first brought Lance home he lived in her sitting room until Sarah's non-cycling hubby finally had enough and banished Lance to the garage. Sarah definitely sounds like a natural wheeler. It also turns out that Kym is a very keen cyclist too and rides 22 miles to work everyday and she and Sarah are going to do an ‘end to end' in August - blimey!
Upon arriving at Camelot the 4 boys gorged themselves on ‘all day breakfasts' (at a mere £2.99 each it's cheaper to eat there than eat at home) but the 3 girls were rather more demur, nibbling on tea cakes and toast. Jono's Christmas present, a Garmin bike computer GPS thingymajig also records the amount of calories burned whilst cycling, which was an astonishing 1,950 on arriving at Perranporth. It just goes to show that if you're into chowing down on fry-ups/pasties/naughty gooey things then get into cycling - then you can stuff your face with impunity as long as you get the miles in. (See Red Leader's Tips calorie chart on this website.)
There was a bit of a headwind on the return route but nothing too serious. En route we passed through Jolly's Bottom without incident (I've always wanted to say that) then Kym peeled off for Camborne and Scalatchi for Mabe. At Perranarworthal Jonathan drove past in a car with his bike safely stowed in the boot primed and ready for action no doubt. We guessed the poor chap must have been looking for us all over Cornwall having missed us at the start. As he didn't stop and proceed to ride with us we then surmised that not wishing to humiliate and demoralise us with his ‘fresh legs' he gallantly and selflessly decided to head for home instead.
All in all it was a nice leisurely 40 mile ride in good company. And it's true, even if your bed's warm and cosy and it's cold and windy outside you never regret going for a ride.

Sodding cold Sunday 28/12
Dec 29, 2008, 12:38 pm

‘You never regret going' was the famous phrase from one Wheeler who just happened not to be here today. However nine ‘hardcore' wheelers met up on a bitterly cold Sunday with the general plan to head over to the north coast. Don G kept muttering about riding to St.Ives but we were having none of it.  It was good to see Solo out with the 9.00 ‘ers & Richard was proving how hard he was by riding with bare legs.

A quick pit stop @ Bissoe to fix Ironmans mudguard before heading up the Chacewater valley and over to Blackwater. A good, fast route past the gate Lance crashed into many moons ago before dropping down into Porthtowan.  With the Avalon closed we headed over to the Blue Bar on the beach. Coffee, Ciabatti's filled with scrambled egg and sausage went down a treat.  Topic of conversation included the Falmouth Trannie -Amanda suggested looking at Falmouth Legends on Facebook -check to see if you're on there.. Red Leader & Hilary experienced a once in a lifetime moment in the loo's (Cornish communal is the term I think...) and all in preparation for that f'ing hill to Portreath & Bridge.

Back via Redruth followed by a long climb against headwinds to the top of Lanner and then finally across country to Stithies and Crane garage before heading home to more bubble & squeak. Forty five miles, good company and don't forget –‘ You never regret going....'

Boxing day brass monkey run
Dec 27, 2008, 6:22 pm

Despite a touch of the brass monkeys some 38 Wheelers met up for the traditional Boxing day ride.    Only two new bikes being sported, Jill on her new 'urban'& Steve H on a new mountain bike, won in a 'recycling' competition (gettit?).   Lots of helmets dressed appropriately, the best (and most surreal) being 'Paxo Nick' & 'Clotted Cream Chris'.

Good to see KK's brother and young Scott out riding with us and with a nippy easterly blowing we headed out to the golf course.  With immaculate timing   Don Gunner tells me as we whizzed down Swanpool hill at 30 mph that my creak could well be structural failure in the frame - 'no honest JB, I'm not joking....'.

Usual circuit via Hillhead and a couple of Mickey's non- PC jokes kept us warm as we inspected the new Germanic structure on the Ponsharden skyline.  Usual welcome from Watermans landlady and brandies & other winter warmers seemed to go down a treat.

At 12.30 the majority headed off home although with blue skies & sunshine breaking thru' a group of us went via the point and the beaches. Good leg stretch and a nice little warm up for the Sunday ride.

Christmas Pub Ride 21/12/08
Dec 22, 2008, 9:50 am
The Star Inn locals didn't take too kindly to the wheelers drinking all their beer...We sixteen bright eyed and bushy tailed 9 o'clockers left Falmouth for the Lizard on a mostly dull and cloudy Sunday intent on rendezvousing at Porkellis with the 10 o'clockers for seasonal refreshments. After wending our way up to Treverva we fairly rattled along, keenly anticipating the joys of beer and roast potatoes awaiting us later, sweeping majestically down to Gweek and then rising to the illustrious heights of Goonhilly Downs with the delights of Kuggar to come. On and on we went eating up the miles, past Culdrose (and a rather grumpy jogger hogging the cycle lane) and then up, and up again, eventually arriving at Porkellis and the wonderful Star Inn to a warm welcome and foaming ales, roast potatoes and sausages. Our numbers swelled as two cycling groups, the 9s and 10s, combined, which must have alarmed the handful of locals out for a quiet pint and some Sunday lunch, but there you go. Much ale and amusing banter was to be had and after the pub was drunk dry of Betty Stogs, we delicately pedalled home replete. Many thanks to the charming landlord and landlady for helping make it the best Wheelers' Christmas Pub Ride yet. 46 miles, 45 sausages, 50 potatoes, and plenty of beer.

The (first) Golden Spoke Awards 18/12/08
Dec 19, 2008, 10:39 am
There, there dear, you may get a Golden Spoke Award next year if you're lucky.The highly prestigious Golden Spoke Awards (initially referred to as ‘The Spokies' but renamed a mere 20 minutes after their inauguration) were held last night at the Woodlane Social Club.  Unfortunately we forgot to alert the world's media so huge crowds did not throng to see the nominees arrive and walk the red carpet. 
The awards were: The Ass over Tit Award won by Solo for managing to mash his bike and hospitalise himself yards from his front door. The Rear of the Year Award won by Micky for having manly buns, especially for a man of his age. The Bonk of the Year Award won by Jono for completing the last 28 miles of the 100 mile Dartmoor Classic courtesy of a man in a van. The Best Cake Stop Award won by Auntie Jill (the hostess with the mostess) for the best cake. The Travel Scholarship Award sponsored by ‘Bert' Morel won by the 3 Amigos for putting diplomatic relations with our European neighbours back 200 years. The Clean Mudguard Award won by Dan Dare for dodging raindrops. The Special Services Award won by Ironman for overseeing the Pathfinder rides and gracefully dealing with the club kit orders which would drive a sane man insane. The Best Rider Award won by Denise for never moaning and never getting off. The awards were made by Red Adair and presented by Jonathan.

Blizzard Sunday 14/12/08
Dec 14, 2008, 3:35 pm
It was a bit nippy for the 9 o'clockers on Sunday...

With frost on the cars and icy roads in Falmouth it was with some trepidation that 10 hardy wheelers gingerly set out on a freezing Sunday morning. We went around the point then through Penryn and up to Carclew, then down to Devoran and along to Bissoe Bike Hire café for tea and cake where Red Leader regaled us with some amusing Lance stories involving vegetarians and erroneous fish whilst Lance himself told us how his lovely wife Viv has discovered she can electrocute him if she prods his bum whilst he's riding on his new training rollers. (Lance's next door neighbours must wonder what on earth is going on with the sound of rotating rollers, intermittent screams of pain and Viv's laughter.)

Fred then took us up, and up, and up, and up until we popped out at Vogue where we found ourselves in a blizzard - well, it snowed a bit. But it was quite exciting, and there was frozen hail all over the road which was incredibly difficult to cycle on. Then it was home (just 36 miles in all) via Sandy Lane and Halvasso to a nice hot bath!

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