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Seven Go – cycling
Mar 16, 2014, 11:05 pm

“We went at 10” “We went at 9”.

It rained all day? “No, it was fine.”

“Oh yes, I remember it well.”

The truth of the matter is that I don’t remember it too well these days, and one reason for writing these reports is to get it down on paper, before I forget it. Of course, I am not the only one that has this problem as several Wheelers have on occasions responded to a particular report with “I can’t remember that bit”.

Hopefully there will be no dissent over today’s ride, to the Stepping Stones café, Perranporth, one of the best of the Wheelers “cake” stops. Excellent food, excellent service, excellent prices. The only downside to the morning was the weather; one of those Cornish spring days when the weather just doesn’t know what to do; a cold chill in the air, no sun to take on the mist and a feeble attempt at rain from time to time. It will improve “Drekly”.

There were seven Wheelers that took the route out, via Penryn, Norway Inn, Bissoe, Helston Water and Truro. A slight deviation took us down Dobbs Lane and through Hendra, to avoid the road works in Truro, but then it was back to the usual Idless lanes, Goonhavern and the long sweep down into Perranporth.

After breakfasts all round, and a quick check to see if the sea was still there, the way back was the well used route up the Coombe and towards Blackwater, but the number of Ogil on the ride then biased the decision making, taking us on to Wheal Rose and Scorrier, Treskerby and Lanner Hill. At Penhalvean, Alli headed for home whilst the rest turned to Stithians and, except for Richard 2, a pint at the Seven Stars. Here Amanda was introduced to the art of OGIL conversation, although, if Steve is reading this, she wasn’t there at all.

The last few miles saw Jim peel off first, followed by Robin; then Fred at Halvasso turn and finally Amanda at Mawnan crossroads, allowing me to quicken the pace back to Falmouth and home. Just short of 49 chilly miles. Dean


OGIL ride, Wednesday 12 March.
Mar 12, 2014, 5:52 pm

“Where it began, I can't begin to knowin'

But then I know it's growing strong”.

This could be an account of the origin of the OGIL rides, but is in fact the opening lines of Sweet Caroline, and the line “Who'd have believed you'd come along” would, again, fit the occasion as we were, indeed, blessed with Caroline’s inaugural OGIL ride. Not that she was such sugar and spice when cycling up Chapel Hill at Porthtowan. The air was blue. Too much for the sensitive ears of the rest of us, we had to push on ahead.

I admit responsibility for the choice of destination, the Blue Bar, and the general route, out via the Greek Church and Burncoose, but it was not my choice to turn left at Twelveheads, up, and up, and up to above Chacewater, before sweeping down into the village. Definitely a yellow card moment for somebody. Was it the presence of the Helston Boys, the Cervelo twins, the first appearance of a “disc” wheel on an OGIL ride, or was it Fred out for a test ride on his tourer. Whoever it was it was uncalled for. From there on there were no surprises, through Blackwater, Mount Hawke and speeding down to Porthtowan.

The Blue Bar was, fortunately, open and we sat outside to enjoy the long awaited sun, and for 4 of us smoked bacon nestling in ciabatta rolls to accompany the tea or coffee. Not the cheapest, but good. The conversation flowed, like a Mexican Wave, spreading around the table as OGIL tweaked their hearing aids or generally caught on to the subject of the moment, or the moment before. All was well until Admiral came back from a visit to the ladies room, following directions to the toilet from Caroline, and the subject plummeted to women’s ability to pee standing up. We left before the demonstration.

I was all for retracing our way back up the valley, to Redruth, and then back over Lanner Hill, but the pack leaders had other thoughts, turning up Chapel Hill and across towards Portreath, before doubling back past the Gold Centre. It was plain sailing after that; Redruth, Lanner, Mama C’s to collect or order Wheelers Kit, Stithians paper shop and home, Caroline continuing down the A394 to Penryn whilst the rest turned to pay homage to Halvasso. The sea mist remained over Falmouth as it had done at our departure. 45 miles for me. Dean


Long ride to St Ives 09:00 09/March
Mar 9, 2014, 7:22 pm

 

 There were 17 people at one stage on the longer ride to St Ives today.
While Steve took a smaller group, as far as the boating lake in Helston, for the shorter 9:00 ride.
Here’s Susan’s photo of the first of 2 punctures at Godolphin.
She calls them the 3 Phils; someone else remembers them as:  
      "Pheel Free"    

 


OGIL don’t stop Hells Mouth Wednesday!
Mar 5, 2014, 6:40 pm

It is said that the Inuit have many different words for “snow”. Perhaps we should have several words for “rain”, although I would have little use for any of them today as this was the first dry OGIL ride “since records began”, or at least as long as I can remember, which is not very long these days. The sun was out when I got up, it was out when I got to Union Corner, and, although there were a few cloudy intervals with a chilly wind, the morning was almost delightful.

The turnout for the OGIL ride is now such that it is in danger of becoming the main ride of the week for Falmouth Wheelers, the Sunday rides being almost peripheral. But the continued presence of the women cyclists does mean that I must curtail the language used in these reports. I can no longer, for instance, comment that “Amanda was well out in front” or relay Kath’s query as to who had a “sensitive finger”. No those days are over.

With one virgin OGIL, Big Phil, Phil 3 or “Feelfree” as Ian dubbed him, fortunately not in the hearing of Admiral, joining us at Mawnan Crossroads, and on his new bike, we met up with Fred, Simon and Jim at Halvasso as usual and headed off to Hells Mouth. Admiral, by the way, is in serious training for the OGIL French trip with his bike heavily laden with panniers and tent. I didn’t see Simon come a cropper when his chain slipped so can’t comment on that, but we all safely crossed the A394 and headed down past the Greek Chapel (no sign of Bernie) and around the back of Stithians, 4 Lanes, Pool and out to North Cliffs. Although it is March the café at Hells Mouth remains closed. However, the NT café at Gwithian is, IMO, more welcoming, has better food and has reasonable prices.

The usual route back is via Carnhell Green, Praze and Carnmenellis, and this is what we took, diminishing in numbers as we neared Falmouth. Another 46 miles logged for me.  Dean


llogils go welsh?
Feb 26, 2014, 6:37 pm

Rumour had it that there would be OGIL Virgins joining today’s ride and I have to say that there hasn’t been as many riders since that wonderful day when Fred returned to the fold and we all went down to Gurnards Head for lunch. 8 started out from Union Corner, and another 3 waiting patiently at Halvasso Turn. And this turnout did indeed include 2 virgin OGIL, Amanda and Kath, given special dispensation to join us, as their ages added together do not, I am sure, qualify them for regular membership. Amanda was showing off her new bike and Kath’s could equally have been new, as it shone with an apparent lack of winter use.

With so many it might be expected that a decision on choice of destination would be a long time coming but with the sun shining there could only be one cafe in mind, Poldhu. There was no dissent from Fred, Jim or Simon at Halvasso so it was down towards Gweek and the usual turn through Trelowarren. We, however, left the estate via a different exit and headed out towards St Martin before turning back to the crossroads after Goonhilly. The rain shower came as a surprise but was nothing more than annoying. Shortly after Amanda’s bike shed a toe clip but she pressed on undeterred and just before Mullion Holiday Park Kath confirmed her virgin status with the line “I’ve never done it this way round before. Or at least not knowingly” Well she is a Hasher. In Mullion itself Simon stopped to pass the time of day with a woman car driver* who had attempted to deprive him of his bit of the carriage way and then we were at the café, rejecting the outside veranda and taking over all of the unoccupied inside tables. I did not catch all of the conversation but it appears there has been an incident in Suez.

In order to avoid the editor’s wroth over the length of this report I will skip over the detail of the return ride. It goes without saying that enough mud and flooded lanes were found to satisfy most; we went via Culdrose, Wendron and back on to the A394 for a stretch; and folk sidled off at various points along the route. Eventually there were just 5 who took the road through Halvasso and leaving Fred at the turn, continued homewards, as another shower passed over. 46 miles for me and the best Wednesday morning ride this week. Dean

 

* I mention that it was a woman car driver only to retain my reputation for accuracy in these ride reports.


And then there were three.
Feb 20, 2014, 1:53 pm

Richard 2 was demob happy this morning and without the controlling influences of Fred and Bernie (at campervan show), and Jim (baby sitting) he let himself get a bit carried away. Not needing to meet the others at Halvasso turn the suggestion that we went down to Maenporth seemed reasonable, but the diversion down towards Helford Passsage was questionable. “Are we going anywhere?” queried Ian. The answer appeared to be“Yes, we were going - anywhere”. Bar Road is, however, a road to nowhere, lived in by folk who have been everywhere. Its only redeeming feature was that it was straight, and flattish on both the ride down, and the ride back. Then, for no particular reason other that it seemed to remind Richard of a romantic weekend, we inspected the Budock Vean Hotel. Fortunately we were too late for breakfast, as I hadn’t got more than £20 in my pocket. After the dips down to Port Navas and the climb up to Constantine, we then squared the triangle by turning back towards Bosahan Quarry before the left turn, at last, to Gweek. By now a destination had been suggested, Culdrose. I have to say that I have never been to the café at the viewing area and Richard’s comment that it was the only café where they could get a bacon sandwich wrong and that it was run by “a multitude of women of a certain age” did not add to its attractions. The chance of seeing Shane riding about the airfield in a white transit seemed to be the only thing going for the place but by now the mizzle had been joined by a cold head wind so I did not dissent. The café was shut. With a choice of Sainsbury’s or Helston boating lake I plumped for the latter, and having an extra hill in the route Richard accepted this.

The café was at first surprisingly quiet for a half term and even the seagulls had parked themselves along the hand rails around the lake, as there were few visitors to annoy. News of our presence, however, soon got around and the café came to life.

The route home has been described many times before, up through the town, down muddy lanes, but this time very muddy and flooded lanes, past Wendron Football Ground, and Crane garage. Here Ian left us and Richard and I paid a visit to Halvasso and home. Another wet Wednesday to add to the list and 36 miles to add to the, so far, meager total for the year.     Dean


The Young Ones
Feb 18, 2014, 10:22 am

The word multitude comes from the Latin, multitudimen, meaning a great number, and it perfectly fits the gathering of wheelers at 9 o’clock this sunny Sunday morning. It was probably also the word on the lips of the staff at Jordan’s cafe, Marazion, when approximately that number descended upon them about an hour and a half later. I say approximately as, allegedly under the direction of Ian, todays ride seemed to swell and contract as we wove our way down the spine of west Cornwall. Ian first noted the disappearance of Bernie, Admiral and Ironman and gamely retraced the route in a vain attempt to locate them. We presume that Steve had felt the urge to be home for lunch and that Bernie and Admiral had gone in search of a suitable target to try out the cow catcher that Bernie has fixed to the front of his bike ready for the OGIL tour this summer. New comer Ali’s disappearance, however, seemed to escape notice as after stopping for pee he lost sight of the rear marker. But at least knowing the chosen destination he was able to rendezvous with the rest at Marazion. Here we also found Trevano Dave who just couldn’t be arsed to ride all the way over to Falmouth just to ride back again and so short cut straight to the café.
The only sign of the destruction of the last few days weather was the redistribution of the beach across the road and cycle path but the café was busy as Cornwall got back to doing what it does well, enjoying Cornwall. For us this meant a variety of filled baguettes, except for John, who mistaken that the reappearance of the sun meant that summer had arrived bought an ice cream. John had brought with him a trio of young blood, Felix, Jordan and Becky. Was this the reason for the slightly faster than normal pace or was it the sheer pleasure of being able to get out without fear of rain, sleet or howling winds. As Ian gathered up the children for the return leg, via Porthleven, Nigel split off to continue westwards.

       Back up through Marazion, and tracing our path until turning off to cross the main road at Ashton, was slightly faster, perhaps leading to Ali's decision to forgo the pleasure of sweeping down to Porthleven and then climbing back up to Helston, but chose the main road back at this point. If Marazion was busy then Porthleven was something else as villagers and visitors crowded around the harbour to watch the locals clearing debris at low tide. It was difficult to imagine just what the village had suffered in the last couple of weeks. The route out of Porthleven, along the harbour and then along adjacent to the seawall was open, though still had road closed signs, but long term road works forced us down through the Penrose Estate, a route I feared would have been washed out. The lower end of the track, alongside the lake has, however, been resurfaced and it was smooth tarmac, interspersed with dogs and kids on balance bikes, most of the way back to Coronation boating lake. At this point, Fred turned off through the town whilst the rest of us went up towards Sainsbury and took a hard right down to Penboa. “Where’s he taking us now” muttered Martyn as they attempted to manoeuvre through the bollards. Shortly afterwards Jordan indicated that he had a slow puncture, and no spare inner tube, but was able to pump it up enough to get as far as the Gweek Inn, where the majority of the pack, including Phil, Robin and the Young Ones, fell to temptation, whilst only Richard 2 and myself cycled on back to Falmouth. Whether there was room at the Inn, and whether Jordan received helpful advice on puncture repair techniques, I know not, but it was a tad over 50 excellent miles for me and back to put the feet up to watch the winter Olympics.     Dean 
  
There are some fotos (in the Photo Gallery) of the group, supplied by Robin. Also a postscript from a Mr B. Bagley:
"Cheers Dean nice write up. For info we never intended to go all the way (Ooh Er missus) but stick with the intermediate ride. And so with Steve we returned homeward at the roundabout above Marazion; but as no one was posted on station (possibly as your hunger pains kicked in) there was no one to report to!" (ed)


Three unwise men on Tractors
Feb 17, 2014, 7:31 pm

Not wanting to become victims of the icy road forecast for Sunday morning Shane thought it would be a good idea for the three of us to get our mountain bikes out and pay a visit to Cardinham Woods and have a go on the Bodmin Beast cycle trail so after scrapping the ice of my van I picked up Shane & Raymond and made our way up the A30. After paying the reasonable £3 all day parking fee we set off just after 9 o’clock with a heavy frost still around to the first surprise of the day as the start of the trail had been closed on safety grounds and the diversion could not have been any steeper for cold legs, just think Hill Head but on wet, slippery & loose slate. For the next 7.5 miles we encountered lots of technical climbs and descents with twisting single track with tight berms, step downs, rollers and table tops with most of the route cut into unfenced wooded side slopes where we sensibly rode within ourselves leaving the much more proficient riders pass when we could and stayed on the moderate Blue grade route ignoring the two Red difficult grade trails. Luckily by the time we got back to the car park the excellent Woods Cafe which is in an old woodman’s cottage was open for us to enjoy a welcome coffee.

After coffees we got back on the bikes and cycled the few miles up out of the woods to Lanhydrock to sample their newly opened cycle trails. These trails which had only opened the day before had a lot more children and family friendly easy Green sections and even had a skills area to learn and practice your off road skills. We rode the four Blue sections each about 1 to 2 miles long,  but by now we were getting brave and took on the difficult  Saw Pit section which had two single tracks running parallel so gave us a chance to have a little race which was great fun but not too competitive. By now we were getting hungry so leaving Lanhydrock we headed back down to Cardinham and the cafe for a bite to eat.

Suitably fuelled we once again heading up hill to take on the Bodmin Beast but this time we found it much easier with Shane even accidently taking us on to the first of the Red routes which we found to be quite benign so when we came to the second Red route called Hell’s Teeth we took that as well, now this starts very steeply and gets steeper with every switch back so it came as no surprise when I looked back the others were walking but not much slower than I was riding but with lungs bursting I made it to the top and uttering hell’s teeth!  I set off down the other side leaving Shane & Ray to enjoy the climb, this downhill section was hard work trying not to fall off on the loose stone on the tight banked corners and on several occasions I came close to riding off the side into the valley below, when we finally regrouped at the bottom we agreed that next time we will stick to the Blue route. 

A very nice sunny but cold day doing something a little different which I can recommend to all.    Trevor 2


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