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If I could cycle 100 K, then I could cycle 100 more.
May 17, 2016, 8:27 am

Da da lat da (Da da lat da). Da da lat da (Da da lat da). That was the sound of my chain slipping off the rear sprocket every time I tried to change down to the bottom gear. But more of that later.

When Martyn’s 200k audax was mentioned to Kath, and others, it was “go on, you can do it”. I, foolishly, thought that most of the Wheelers would be taking part so didn’t want to miss out. Yet the response to me was “ You??” I must admit, getting up in time to be at Devoran before 8 o’clock, in the morning, seemed somewhat of a challenge. The fact that I hadn’t ridden more than 50 miles at a time since, at least, before Christmas, could be another hindrance, and Mr Garmin has been suffering from battery exhaustion just recently. Could he last out for more than half a day? The last problem was solved with a visit to Maplins, the second by setting my alarm clock for 6 am – I had forgotten such times existed since I retired and was surprised that it was quite light. That just left the little problem of getting round. Fred solved this “ You have only got to get to Padstow. Then if you’ve had enough, you can come home”. Padstow. 86 miles. That seemed do-able, given Martyn’s reassurances that “it is very flat”.

So, with my bar bag stuffed with more rations than Scott took to Antartica, I set off with a couple of dozen cyclists to do the Lizard and Camel audax, the Lizard being our first port of call. The OGIL contingent; myself, Simon and Fred, took up the rear guard; letting the young whippersnappers speed off. It was going to be The Tortoise and the Hare, all over again.

A visit to the Lizard stores, a suitable purchase and time and dated receipt acquired, and we were off again, to Gwithian. Passing through Helston we were accosted by an old drunk who was waving his arms about and who, I thought, was likely to stagger into the road in front of us. I had the strange feeling that he looked familiar.

I had little need of Mr Garmin in these early stages, the path was well trod, and I could see Fred and Simon in front of me, most of the time. Now, to me, a 200k audax would be 200k, not 211k. There wouldn’t be any need to put in an extra loop down to the beach at Gwithian to the control, other than to enable Phil3 and Peter to be nearer the toilet. But it was a nice morning, a nice view, and a welcome slice of cake and a banana. After a few minutes Nick turned up. I don’t think he had properly got the idea of an audax but had been talked into entering the evening before by Robin “This is going to take all day. I’m off home”.

As we set off again we passed some of the more sensible Wheelers on the 50k ride. In my haste to refuel I neglected to ensure that my bike was securely propped up against the fence, with the result that it slipped over, twice. The consequences were that, on starting the climb up to Hell’s Mouth, I dropped down to the big sprocket, and, with a “Da da lat da” the chain dropped off the back of the sprocket into the wheel. I am sure that Martyn can explain this better than me but the shiny bit with the 2 little wheelie things had obviously bent inwards. The large plastic disk that is meant to stop the chain getting tangled up with the spokes, didn’t, and with a crack, and a few more “Da da lat da”s flew across the road. Emergency repairs consisted of attempting to straighten the offended component by hand, with limited success. Changing gear was a bit hit and miss but if I kept a steady pressure on the lever I could manage to get the chain to stay on the biggest sprocket, now and then. “At least” I thought, “I have an excuse for packing it in". I just had to catch Simon and Fred and tell them the revised plan. Fortunately, as Martyn had said, there are few hills along the north coast, so, having caught up the others I shelved my plan for a while. After Mithian the route got a little more complex so I was able to catch the other two more easily as they were to be regularly found with instructions in hand, scratching heads, at likely junctions. Mr Garmin came into his own. “This way”, I’d call, as I clanked past.

At Goonhavern, it was time for tea and cake, at the garden centre, a popular choice for Sunday lunches but we found a table outside and enjoyed our break. Eager to get on I rallied the others and we set off again, out to the A30 before turning back towards Newlyn East, the Lappa Valley Railway, and on up through Whitecross, to St Columb Major. Although these were all “new roads” to Mr Garmin he had been communicating with Martyn’s bike computer and he silently pointed out the road in front. The chilly start to the day had given way to a sunny, but not too hot day and spare arms and legs had been shed. “Left here” shouted Fred, as they turned off on the outskirts of Padstow. “NO, straight on” called Mr Garmin, a suggestion I repeated but was equally ignored.

I was waiting at the station in Padstow when Fred and Simon arrived, but since they had only added to the mileage of the route, I promised not to tell anyone of their “short cut”. Rick Stein’s was shut as so we had to make do with an alternative café for our fish and chip tea. But it was good, and only cost about twice than at the Penmere. Whilst we ate I allowed Mr Garmin to refuel, by means of an external power pack.

By now it was late afternoon and the expected crowds on the Camel trail had dwindled. It was really rather pleasant. Once on you can’t really go wrong and we kept up a steady pace throughout, apart from a couple of comfort stops. At Bodmin we passed the old gaol and checked out the last control point, at the railway station, before heading out of town. I have often wondered what that little bridge over the A30 was for, and yesterday found out; a short cycle path crossing onto Treffry lane, bordering Lanhydrock, and eventually back under the A30 and up to Innis Downs roundabout. Fred and Simon allowed me to catch up now and again; it was all down hill now, or at least to Truro. The miles slowly counted down as we sampled the new, but not yet opened, cycle path from Tresillian to the new Park and Ride, then downhill into town. The climb up to the top of Lemon Street, though accompanied with a few clanks, was not so bad but the ups and downs of the Old Coach Road tested my gear changing technique and brought me to a halt. It was quicker to walk. I caught up with my carers at Playing Place and, together, we whizzed down through Carnon Downs, along the Bissoe Road and back into Devoran. Thanks to Simon and Fred I had finished; according to Mr Garmin, 132.33 miles at a, for me, remarkable 13.1 mph. Now for the best bit, tea, cake, rhubarb crumble and custard, and recounting the highlights of the day. About 10 minutes after we returned the last six cyclists came back. We had seen them at regular intervals during the day, a group of younger riders who had just been out enjoying a day’s cycling.

This morning just the good memories remain, together with a few aches and a sore bum. Oh, and a little problem with the gears to sort out before the OGIL ride on Wednesday.


 A long report but it was a long ride.

Sunday 14th May
May 15, 2016, 9:46 pm

We arrived at HQ with only Alice as the welcoming committee, she was getting worried that she would be riding solo. we explained many Wheelers are probably doing M&Ms new Audaxs today. Three more arrived,NZ Dave, Jules and John, we decided to head to Tehidy as we hadnt been there for a while, luckily for me as I was explaining roughly the route, Bernie arrived, with no better suggestion,  off we went,  a good pace was set, as we took usual route up to Halvasso. It was looking a bit grey and cloudy, should I have worn a jacket? Bernie said shall we add on a loop out to Troon, seemed like a good idea. This did mean that we wouldnt get chased by the geese, but heigh ho. It was a lovely ride through leafy lanes spilling over with bluebells, heavily scented. We flew along roads I hadnt been on for ages and arrived at Treswithian and down past the Premier Inn, and then past the Crematorium.  We eventually arrived at Tehidy and sat outside with the usual type of banter with our bacon and egg baps and flapjacks. We reluctantly left the pleasant relaxed cafe in the woods and set off for home.  we rode on roads and off roads, along part of the tramway. Eventually arriving at Brae village then to the outskirts of Redruth and up to Fourlanes, then the fast run home via Stithians where Bernie rushed off to check Martha was ok. The rest of us chatted about which route we would take to get home, only Dave took the challenging Argal route, the rest of us headed straight down the main road to the Treliever roundabout, where Alice and John headed down past Tremough  to Falmouth, Jules, Victor and me headed down to B&Q roundabout then Jules braved the Penryn bypass to go to Budock, and Victor and me headed along Kernick Road to home.  A lovely ride of 39.6miles, that garmin is useful.  didnt need the jacket after all, but I think may start wearing suncream as my cyclist tan is coming along nicely....


The two Dons cycling and camping trip.
May 12, 2016, 8:55 pm

Sunday  May 1st.                                                                                                                                      After loading our bikes and kit on the campervan, we set off for Highfield Farm campsite at Topsham.  Although it was a basic site in a large field with a few hookups, the shower block was clean and tidy.  After lunch we cycled to Exmouth on the trail – about 15 miles there and back, then had a quick shower and walked to Topsham to find a pub and food.  

Monday May 2nd.                                                                                                                                        We were up early for our planned ride to Dawlish, mostly on bikes trails via Exeter and Starcross.  We made a detour to Powderham Estate and farm shop.  On reaching the trail again Mr. G realized that he had lost his gloves, so we had to retrace our steps but only found one glove !  Onwards to Dawlish for lunch.  On our return we decided to look in at the holiday park at Dawlish Warren but the only entertainment was a group of large ladies wandering about.  Enough of that ! and so we retraced our steps to Topsham, where we had a welcome shower, before cycling the short distance to Exton and the Puffing Billy pub.  We had an excellent meal there and the obligatory few pints before retiring to bed after our 50 mile ride plus the pub ride!

Tuesday May 3rd.                                                                                                                                            Today’s ride was to Otterton via Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton.  After Exmouth we had to cycle on a busy road and lost our bearings.  We met a Scottish gentleman who redirected us.  Later we discovered that there was a trail that we could have followed from Exmouth, but it was not well signed.  After a stop at Budleigh for a “cuppa” on the seafront, we found a disused road to Otterton where we were lucky enough to see a Woodpecker pecking!  We had lunch at a very busy tea room and then decided to cycle on to Colaton Raleigh along a narrow lane where a fox crossed our path with a dead rabbit in his mouth.  On the way back we had to ride on a track by the river to avoid a busy road. After ice creams at Budleigh, we arrived back at the camp site ready for the usual evening outing.  Today 46 miles.

Wednesday May 4th.                                                                                                                                   We journeyed on to Bristol,{ not on our bikes,} to the Baltic Wharf camp site.  In the afternoon we cycled to Pill along the Avon cycleway, and then on to Portishead which is now very upmarket.  The ride back was not so pleasant along busy roads, but the pub is a few yards from the back gate of the campsite so we soon forgot the homeward traffic.   35 miles today.

Thursday May 5th.                                                                                                                                      We followed the Bristol to Bath cycle path and then on to the Kennet and Avon canal tow path as far as Dundas Aquaduct.  The access to the tow path has been changed, so we needed the help of a local resident to find it. However, the route through the city of Bath was well signed.  Again the harbourside pub at the back gate of the camp site was our haven for the evening.   50 miles today.

Friday May 6th.                                                                                                                                            To break the homeward journey we stopped at Sourton for a ride on The Granite Way to Oakhampton and then back to Lydford for lunch at the National Trust café there.  Total of 19 miles.

A very enjoyable few days with  a total of 191 miles !  For finer details please refer to Don or Don.

This happy breed of Men
May 12, 2016, 10:19 am

It’s nice to be missed; especially when it’s by a silver Peugeot driven by an old man in a hat who tries to squeeze past between Kath, me, and the central refuge. But that comes later. Today was the return of Richard II; not Richard of Bordeaux, but our own Richard of Falmouth. His return to the OGIL gathering was as unexpected as the Spanish Inquisition, and we were just about to set off from Union Corner when he made his appearance. “I’ll peel off when I have had enough,” he said. He was still with us at the other place, where there was just Simon and Fred waiting, although the M&Ms appeared before we had a chance to nip off.

After yesterday’s sun I had decided to cast a clout; a too hasty move as the morning sun hid behind a cold mist for much of the time. Other than the Peugeot driver’s display of impatience it was an uneventful ride out; Halvasso, of course, Porkellis, Black Rock, Praze, Barripper, Penponds and Bell Lake. Richard was still with us when we got to Tehidy. TD was already there.

The way back was more direct, up through Pool, Bray, Bolenowe and Penmarth, where both Simon and TD left us, and on through to Carnkie and Crane garage. Richard sped up the hill from the reservoir like a two year old. With a farewell to Bernie and the tandem it was just Phil, Kath, Martin and myself that made our way back to Union Corner. Oh yes, and Richard was still with us. 41 miles for me at what, Richard said, was a livelier pace than he remembered.


New Forest Day Out 100k Audax ride report Sunday 7th May 2016‏
May 10, 2016, 8:02 pm

I couldn't have picked a better weekend weatherwise to enter this Audax and I was very excited about the predictive lack of hills too.  A parking permit for the council car park was provided and bananas and chocolate bars on offer at the start. We were allowed to start whenever we liked which was a little worrying for me as I needed to find people to tag along behind who I think are of equal ability and also know the way.  I managed to find a group that varied in ages from 40's to 60's who didn't seem to mind me cycling with them. I did lose this group, they were a little slower than me, but I picked up with a man and his son who I also lost as they put in an extra stop but I finished with a very nice man called Neil who had to wait for me a little bit but I think that was because I had the route and he hadn't brought his glasses with him.
The route was delightful and we just about circumnavigated the New Forest going all the way to Breamore, pronounced Bremmer, which is virtually on the Wiltshire border. We passed through the little village of Lover too. The terrain was very varied, we went through pretty villages, wide open spaces with New Forest ponies grazing at the road side, beautiful Pine tree filled New Forest roads and even an odd hill or two.
The 'lunch/control stop' was at Breamore which was at 52Km but there were plenty of other places that the cyclists were stopping at, Garden Centres and Pubs etc.  The hilly section came in the 2nd half but these were short and nothing like the Cornish Hills and quite a pleasure to ride.
Back at the finish which was equally as friendly as any other Audax that I have ridden there was a spread which was pretty impressive.  There was a selection of hot food which was Pasta, a couple of toasters where you could make toast or bread and cheese if you wished to make a cheese sandwich.  The cake table was laden with cakes along with Peach Slices and Rice Pudding.  My Falmouth Wheelers kit attracted a nice bit of attention with people who couldn't believe that I had come all the way from Cornwall.  It was a lovely day out and I would thoroughly recommend it as a ride.  There were 4 routes on the day, 200km,164km,100km and 54km.  I am not sure what the total entry was but there were about 80 who entered the 100km.  There is another event in September which takes in the Isle of Wight as part of the route and I will talk about this at the next Wheelers meeting if people are interested.

The Eden Classic 100k
May 9, 2016, 8:18 pm
Three 'pink' Wheelers represented the club on Sunday in this hilly 62mile Sportiv, partly in preparation for our London to Paris ride in July.  It's reassuring to know that challenge should be much flatter!  Paula, Jo and I found the total 5479 ft ascent on the ride was tough going, but the fantastic scenery, excellent signage (we never once wondered where we were supposed to be going) plentiful and delicious food, and overall great organisation - (an improvement on the inaugural event last year?) made the day very enjoyable; we had a good feeling of achievement when it was over!  The 100k route took us down to Charlestown, on to Mevagissey, past Caerhays, and after 25 miles, to the feeding station at the Lost Gardens of Heligan.  While the short 50k ride headed back to Eden, we set out for Tregony and Veryan, and back via Portloe and the toughest hill of all.  We stopped at Heligan again for a very welcome cup of coffee, before the final 12 miles back to the Eden Project, where our time was recorded before the descent down to the biomes. 62 miles in 6 hours 50 minutes including three short stops.  A great ride in perfect weather.         

May 9, 2016, 8:14 pm

A group of 12 riders on 11 bikes eventually separated themselves from the pack. The rest divided into 3 groups some going Perranporth  in 2 separate group some following Bernie  and a strolling group of Don & Don (recently returned from their tour of Bath & Bristol) who were joined by Richard 2 (recently returned from his winter training camp in Spain) and then of course the mainly ladies group heading for destination unknown.

Our destination was to be The Lizard, as most of us were intending to do Martin’s 200km “Lizard and Camel” next weekend it seemed to be a good idea to put in a few hills as he had promised the 200km to be flatish!!. Also we could avoid his route as much as possible.

First hill was Meanporth then up from Trenarth Bridge Up from Porth Navas up down up down towards Constantine, some riders taken the short cut via Trengilly Wartha so as to avoid the hill up through Constantine. We the made our way through Bridge to meet up with the others then on and up I think to join the Gweek road, then  downhill  whoopee!!  From Gweek it was up hill again to Mawgan turning left of course to Mawgan cross another delightfull  little hill. Perhaps I should have given more prior warning as several were caught in a two high a gear, Sorry.

Then a pleasant ride through Trelowarren out towards St Martin to Traboe Cross then a gentle ride across to Kuggar well sort of! Then down and up through St Ruan skirting Cadgewith and then at last out to The Lizard.

After a well earned snack( or in Shanes case a feast and he couldn’t eat it all) we headed to Helston via Poldhu of course and on to Porkellis and then home. 

55 excellent miles for me & thanks to Trevor,Raymond,Shane,Ian,Phil1,Phil2,Emma,Amanda,Gerry & of course Martin & Margeret.


No Dean, so we get two reports!
May 6, 2016, 9:30 am

Loose Screws and Loose Ganders – OGIL report 4/5/16

You’d be forgiven if you thought you were in for a Dean special report.  What with a mass of bare white flesh on display and a close inspection of Kath’s saddle taking place before we even left the bottom of Halvasso the only ingredient missing was the OGIL correspondent himself.  Where was he? No message either? It’s still a mystery....

The sun was out and so were the lily white legs for the first time on an OGIL this year.  The wind kept us reminded that spring is still struggling to emerge.  So the pace was soon noticeably brisker than usual no doubt to keep warm.  Or was it to impress Martin who was visiting from the (not-to-mentioned)One and All.  The other usual suspects were Fred, Bryan, Bernie, Admiral, and Nigel. Kath’s screw under her saddle was tightened which solved the creaking we could hear.  Past the Greek chapel the usual noisy dog was absent (perhaps he was being walked by Dean?).  Further on though a gaggle of watchful ganders were agitated by the leading riders and by the time the tail of the peleton arrived they were in full cry, advancing rapidly in menacing style, their necks stretched out like bayonets. Some stout shouts from the back markers were needed to deter them from nipping a chunk of white flesh.

On past Pulla Cross where the chairman had to check up on a bantam who had nearly turned up her toes the day before.  More animal magic was witnessed approaching Blackwater as a sunbathing bunny was holding up the traffic in the middle of the lane.  Another screw came loose, this time on Bernie’s bottle cage.  Multi tools to the rescue again. 

We found a new back lane through Mt Hawke village signposted Banns and Towan Cross.  The sun was getting stronger and so was the pace up the hills.  A fine view of Porthtowan beach was had from the hill near the Victory before a fast descent to coffee and baps at the “other place” next to the Blue Bar.  Talk on one table centred around Martyn’s forthcoming 200km audax on 15th May. It turned out three of those present had entered, Martin was interested in entering and Kath was wavering.  The chairman’s optimism in her ability was indignantly challenged after he had contentiously seeded her behind Dean in the Pedal ‘n Puff last Sunday.  She maintained she had nearly had to stop to avoid his back wheel climbing up from Swanpool.  You just can’t please all of the people all of the time...

We returned up the valley from the beach to Scorrier then Treskerby to the watershed where Bryan peeled off and the chairman did the same near Fourlanes.  Who knows if the rest found their way home again.  Maybe they found Dean on the road to Damascus. 

Some quality miles, possibly 35, on a quality day out.


Wednesday 4th May

A beautiful day and I was joined at home by Martin who normally rides with one –an-all but as they do not do mid- week rides asked to join us. At Halvasso request stop we were joined by Brian and Simon greetings were exchanged while we waited to be joined by Bernie, Nigel, Kath & Dave Spargo. No “ Dean”  where was he no-one knew!! Found out later he was in the Isle of Wight.  We set off for Porthtowan via the Bissoe Valley, we deviated through Mount Hawke so as to join the top road and enjoy the view and what a view it is. Simon stopped to take photos. After a very pleasant coffee stop sitting in the Sun a rare treat so far this year (I know I spent a month in Spain but that doesn’t count) At our table Simon and I tried to persuade Brian and Kath to do Martins 200km. It is very flat we explained hardly any hills! On the other Table I assume it was sprogs and cockette’s and the club differences. They didn’t believe us but you could hear the wheels turning  the seed is planted. We returned via Mount Ambrose,  another  mount and we could have called it the three peaks ride.

A very pleasant ride in good company and nice weather for a change

Don’t know how many miles probably about 30 does anyone really care.


Edit. Dean would even be proud of the picture.

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