Falmouth Wheelers
Tuesday January 23 2018 
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A tribute to Glen Campbell
Aug 10, 2017, 2:52 pm
I felt that Wednesday Morn was calling
I just had to hide the pain.
Getting out the Tricross 
for another ride in the rain.
Bernie, Phil and Kath were waiting,
Though I was there on time,
and four lycra wearing wheelers
set off in a line.
 
Phil (3), Keith and Mike were waiting
At Halvasso, in the rain,
so it looked as though Miss Molly’s
would be choosen yet again.
But Fred said Smokie Joes
Would be an excellent place to dine
So 8 Falmouth Wheelers 
went off in a line.
 
As we were nearing Blackwater
Bernie’s tyre went pop.
But a temporary repair was managed
In a sixteen-minute stop
And with not too much inflation
 it was holding up just fine.
So, on down the old A30, 
we were all in a line.
 
We sat at two adjacent tables
Ordered food and drink
There was talk about the French trip
or at least that’s what I think.
There was talk of getting older
And how to recognise the signs
But these eight Falmouth Wheelers 
weren’t in that line.
 
So our grand day out was ending
Our journey almost done
Just a bit of wind and raining
But it hadn’t spoilt the fun
See you all on Sunday morning
For we’ll be there rain or shine
When 30 Falmouth Wheelers
Set off all in a line.
 
Dean

Long Ride 6th August 2017 – Bottoms Up!
Aug 7, 2017, 12:40 pm

Slithering into HQ at a finely-judged 9 am, we were pleased to find both Robin and Trevor sufficiently recovered from their LEL adventures to be on the start line for the long ride, together with Ian, Phils 1 and 4, Ben, Amanda and Raymond. So it was ten for the Lizard, with the suggestion of Robin that we might see a bit of Falmouth Week on the way back.

Ian led us down? to Gweek by an interesting route – clearly on gears today. One of the One and All groups was mustering at the normal mustering point, and also heading for the Lizard. We followed them onto Gweek Drive and there was a bit of mingling as our climbers and theirs broke for the last slope. Sorting ourselves out on opposite sides of the road at the war memorial we bid our farewells as we took the low road to Trelowarren and they took the high road and were probably there (but not in Scotland) before us.

We followed the usual route down to Lizard village, though the strong cross wind (or perhaps the after effects of Martyn’s carnival waddle) meant that the tandem didn’t provide full loco service to the train across the downs this time. The Regent Café thankfully doesn’t do “summer prices” and we were quickly and economically served with coffees and breakfasts. Trevor did his best to put us off ours with a tasteful photo of the effects of 400 odd miles in the saddle, and Ben, having called for his forgotten beans, didn’t quite do justice to a full veggie, but we were all well fuelled for the return leg.

I’m not sure where we went exactly on the way back but it involved a lot of hills – and we did get a couple of good if distant views of the working boats in Falmouth Bay. Raymond’s free hub had been grouching all day and he’d been threatening to take a file to it, but it spared him the trouble by breaking up altogether on the hill out of St Anthony. Ben’s hand on the back got him up to a turn back to St Keverne, and we hope he scooted and coasted his way home OK.

Now down to nine, we continued back to Gweek on the coast road, where Phil 1 and Amanda left the rest of us at the Black Swan to rehydrate and debrief. Robin perhaps unwisely warned the pub of Wednesday’s intended visitation. We had an increasingly merry discussion on the strategies of long events and the merits of different saddle, shorts and embrocation combinations, physios, massages and wobble cushions, until it was time for us to tackle Four Mile Hill (it isn’t really) and home.

About 64 miles for us.  Margaret


The season of mellow mists and fruitfulness
Aug 2, 2017, 10:09 pm

I set out on my ride beginning to come round to Richard 174’s view about over reliance on technology. Mystic Meg had said that the weather would be wet, windy and generally ‘orrible, yet on the way over to Union Corner it was just a bit damp. I took the absence of any other OGIL as evidence that they had received similar dire weather warnings and thought that it would be a good morning to sort the sock drawer. They missed out on a very enjoyable ride. OK, it did turn out to be wet, windy and generally ‘orrible, and I did find out that my new “waterproof” jacket was probably not living up the reviews on Evans cycles website, but everything will probably dry out by Sunday. Just 3 others, Keith, Phil3 and Mike2 at the other place but what we lacked in numbers we made up for in enthusiasm, and with Miss Molly’s up on the destination board we were soon on our way. It was the direct route, via Bolenowe and Brea village, so it only seemed like hours before we were gathered around one of the small tables, next to a radiator. The black cat, put out by the fact that all I could offer was a very wet lap, stretched out across the radiator, leaving just enough room for a couple of pairs of gloves. I placed my usual order but the others went for the large breakfast. It was to be a 2 coffee stop, Mr Garmin later informing me that we had been at the café 1 hour and 18 minutes, 2 minutes longer that the (moving) time it had taken to cycle there. I listened enthralled as the others discussed hearing aids and the advantages of subtitles on TV programmes. Phil kept a keen eye on the window and, eventually, announcing that the rain had stopped it was time to leave. It was just a lull and normal service was resumed very soon. The road from St Euny Church is open once more so there was no need for off road antics. Keith, who had remembered his coat this week, left us near the llamas and Phil and Mike bade farewell at Argal Crossroads. Mr Headwind came out to welcome me back to Falmouth. Only 32 miles for me. Dean


Tom Simpson’s 50th anniversary
Aug 2, 2017, 6:46 pm

It’s a year since the Wheelers rode up Mt Ventoux and visited Tom Simpson’s memorial. We laid a simple but fitting piece of Cornish stone with a plaque at the top of the steps amongst the many water bottles and other mementoes riders leave.
The wind and the winter do surprising damage to the steps and the memorial. It’s not called “ventoux” for nothing. This winter was particularly harsh. But thanks to a combination of Belgian firms and bike team sponsors with the Simpson family, a fine set of polished granite steps has been laid.
On 13th July 2017 it was 50 years to the day that Tom Simpson tragically died on the Ventoux during stage 13 of the 1967 Tour de France. He was 29. He was the first Briton to wear the Tour leader’s yellow jersey in 1962. He was the first Briton to become world champion on the road in 1965. His other wins included the Tour of Flanders, Milan-San Remo, Bordeaux-Paris, the Tour of Lombardy and Paris-Nice. In those days the prospect of a British winner of the Tour de France seemed unattainable. Simpson was the man who put British cycling on the European map. Despite the controversy surrounding his death he remains an iconic hero not only to many British cycling fans but also in Belgium where he lived with his young family.
Some 400 cyclists gathered on 13th July in Bédoin to ride up to the summit before gathering at the memorial. Many wore Peugeot team jerseys, some rode steel frames in the Peugeot colours with original chainsets and some with Simpson’s frame number 49. One of his daughters, Joanne, rode in her father’s wheel tracks and together with Tom’s widow, Helen, paid tribute very movingly to her father before thanking the Belgians and the British fans for their continuing support. Riders from his club, Harworth & District CC, unveiled two anniversary posters. The mayor of Bédoin cut the ribbon to unveil the new steps. Tom’s former team mate, Barry Hoban, was present and would no doubt have ridden up but for an impending knee operation. When I introduced him to Clare as a winner of 8 stages of the Tour and one of the top sprinters he was keen to add that he could a climb a bit too, and descend!
Simon


              Prudential Ride London 46, July 30th
Aug 2, 2017, 6:33 pm

I hadn’t given the Ride London much thought until Ian and Chris rode in it last year, and then Paula and Jo both entered the ballot for 2017 but were unsuccessful.  On a whim, I tried for the 46 and was surprised when I was offered a place – maybe they had fewer applicants for the shorter distance, which was intended for the over 16s and people who had never done a Sportive before.  Neither applied to me, but it was a do-able distance on closed roads; a great opportunity for me to cycle in London for the first time in nearly forty years.  But the logistics of getting to the start, at Olympic Park, Stratford, seemed difficult until I discovered that you can take a bike on most tube lines between 9.30am and 4pm and all day at weekends.  So I booked myself and my bike tickets from Falmouth to Paddington, and found a cheap and cheerful hotel only a couple of miles from the start.  It was a bit scruffy, but the owner didn’t bat an eyelid when I said I wanted my bike in the (small!) bedroom with me.  The journey up was uneventful, and after registering at ExCel, I met up with family and we enjoyed the Festival of Cycling in Green Park, and watched the first few laps of the Elite Ladies race (twelve times round a 5k circuit starting on the Mall).  The rain was pouring down by then, which made the course more treacherous.  Luckily things had improved by Sunday morning as I made my way to the start in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, with 25,000 riders in the 100 event (80% male) and 5000 in the 46, of which 35% were female.  The organisation had to be excellent, and it was.  My ‘wave’ was due to go at 0915, so it was a long wait in the starting area, but with a view over the Olympic Park and other riders to talk to, the time went fairly quickly.  I was glad I kept my FWs jacket on until the last moment; some of the other riders looked quite cold.  Then we were off, down the A12 towards central London – and within five minutes, we were passing riders with mechanicals!  I’ve never seen so many problems – mostly punctures? – in such a short time.  Was it nails or tacks on the road?  There weren’t any reports of them, and I certainly didn’t see any; was it ultra skinny tyres? Whatever the reason, it must have been very frustrating for the victims.  The 100mile route was closed quite early, so for anyone who missed the time limit at 25 miles when the routes divided, their 100 mile ride was over. A case for more robust tyres at a slightly slower pace, perhaps.  As we were constantly reminded, it was not a race!

At 18 miles we crossed Chiswick Bridge, and by 22 we were in Richmond Park – I passed various people only to have them pass me, but I mostly kept to the ‘slow lane’ riding at a steady 12 – 15 mph (my average over the whole event was 13 mph, faster than I ever manage in Cornwall).  The food and drinks stop at 27 miles was very crowded, and it had been my plan from the start to keep going, with snacks and plenty of water.  In fact I didn’t need them, just a few swigs of water was plenty, on a coolish day with no hills.  At the Cycling Show at ExCel, there must have been a dozen stands selling energy drinks, bars and gels – the samples I tasted weren’t great and were a rip off at nearly £2 each! Those peanut and choco bars from Lidls do the job just as well and you get six for £1….plenty of people must fall for the hype, but the truth is that no magic gel is a substitute for training, whether it’s spinning or grinding up Cornish hills.

We crossed the Thames for the third time near Hampton Court, and at mile 38 encountered the only real hill on the 46 route, which was about as long and as steep as Dracaena Avenue. 

It was soon after this that the road narrowed and a big bunch of cyclists up ahead meant and incident had occurred – as we slowed the pace to pass, there were at least two riders on the tarmac, being attended to by the medics.  It didn’t look good, a sobering thought which emphasised the mantra ‘stay out of trouble’.  I just hope they were ok.  Then someone behind me said ’only eight miles to go’ which was energising – over Chelsea Bridge and back along the Embankment, round Parliament Square, along Whitehall, under Admiralty Arch and up the Mall for the finish.  A very nice medal made a great souvenir.  

Overall impressions?  Everything was incredibly well organised, with thousands of volunteer marshals, and very clear information about everything, from the day you are offered a place. Lots of lovely Londoners lined the route and cheered us on, having given up the use of their roads for the day.  The ballot for next year’s 100 opens on August 7th and closes on January 5th, or when they have 80,000 applicants.  Go to PrudentialRideLondon.co.uk if you’re tempted!

 Liz  


The Blue Anchor in Helston pub ride
Jul 27, 2017, 10:52 pm

Image result for blue anchor8 of us at hq but 3 went to Flushing, so only 5 to Helston. Robin and Trevor warming up for the small ride that is the lel, Victor, Jim and his gash and me (Chris H) we set off with the intention of going via Porkellis and Wendron but Robin needed to be back early as he hasnt packed for the weekend yet so went the direct way through Gweek.

Once at Blakner we bumped into some old giffer called Ian. Had a spingo or 2 and met Ian's "little ones" Harrison and Seth. After some lively banter etc Robin left to pack with Victor as his tow as he had to finish packing. Something about a cut off toothbrush?

On departure Ian, Jim and myself found the allure of the Star too strong so went home the way Jim suggest coming. So here we are. Sat in the Star with a coke. 

Chris


What I had in mind
Jul 27, 2017, 10:46 pm

It was one of those Wednesday mornings that made a ride to Argal café seem attractive. In fact, the Bickland café seemed an attractive destination to propose to the other three OGIL who were waiting at Union Corner. Mystic Meg said that it would rain all morning, and was not far out. About half way to the other place Kath and Phil1 decided that the rain had just about soaked through to the innermost layer, so it was time to stop and put on the rainwear, in Kath’s case a bright pink affair that did its best to raise the enjoyment level above zero. At the other place four more OGIL, without Fred to muster them, stood and dripped whilst waiting for instructions. Choices offered were Miss Molly’s or the Dewspring Café. Kath chose; it was to be the Dewspring. Last time I said this was at Carnkie but actually it is at Piece. Bernie’s suggested route took us out to Bolenowe, where Phil3 discovered that disc brakes are not infallible, then on to Brea village, and back to St Euny Church along the cycle track. We had come that way on Sunday, on the way back from Marazion, and I had noted the advance warning of a planned road closure, from 24 July. “I must remember to point this out if someone suggested going that way in the next few days”, I thought, the thought quickly disappearing into the recesses of my mind. We have seen many “Road Closed” notices this year but always got through. This will be nothing different. Cormac won’t be working in the rain. “Road Closed”, said the first warning sign. “NO, the road really is closed” said the second. “I’m not joking”, said the third, shortly before we came across the barriers and a deep trench fully across the road surface. “We can just about get across that” suggested Bernie to Mr Cormacman. “No you can’t” was the reply, “but you might be able to get round”, pointing at a muddy path heading off at right angles to the highway. “New Road” thought I. “FFS” replied Mr Garmin, as we bumped over the rocks and gullies, and swamp, that represented the only way forward. Eventually, we came back onto the same road, about 50 yards further on. Success. It was then just a couple of miles to the café, where one of the two women who run the place was looking out of the window, no doubt thinking “We might as well go home. No one is going to be daft enough to come out in this weather. She was too late, we had arrived. With no excuses for repeating myself, do try the Dewspring. It’s a small café, not too out of the way, and a good alternative to Stithians, a very flexible menu, and open from Tuesday to Sunday. About 100 metres from the Countryman, we had taken a slightly longer route than last time, not wanting to get there before the rain stopped.

With wet clothing draped over the, unfortunately cold, fireguard, we were ready for our refreshments. Conversations ranged from updates on the wellbeing of TD and Bryan, both doing well, and the agenda for this weeks club meeting. There was little enthusiasm for leaving but eventually the reality of life called and we ventured back out into the rain. At least it is only a few miles, up to 4 Lanes and across to Stithians. Bernie was the first to depart, then Keith, Paul, Mike 2 and Phil3 with just Phil1, Kath and I returning to Union Corner. I got home just as the rain stopped. Perfect timing and 34 miles for me.

Dean


Who let the Dogs out
Jul 21, 2017, 11:11 am

Kath, John, Bernie, Amanda, Emma (the lure of the OGIL ride gets to everyone eventually) and Admiral awaited me at Union Corner on a morning not too dissimilar to Sunday’s Audax, but the wet stuff held off until we got home. Fred, Simon, Mike2, Keith and Phil3, at Halvasso turn, rounded up to the dozen, and with Tehidy on the destination board, and no show from the M&Ms, we were on our way. I think there was a nominated leader, but it wasn’t clear just who that might be, although we found our way out to Bolenowe, Troon and on towards Baripper, without too much dissent. As we regrouped at Lower Pendarves, Bernie alerted us to what appeared to be a sausage dog, but shorter, running towards us along the side of the, busy, B3303. He went to intercept but at the sight of him the little thing turned and ran off in the other direction. At this rate it was destined to become more of a burger than a sausage so I pedalled in pursuit and to cut off his escape. With the help of a motorist this was successful and the doglet turned once again into the waiting arms of Bernie. He was only bitten the once and fortunately by now a woman from the adjacent lodge appeared and saying she knew who the little blighter belonged to, took over. First Aid was applied to Bernie’s finger and we were onwards again, good deed done. Maybe because of these excellent ride reports the OGIL rides are now becoming well know and as we came out on the Camborne/Connor Downs road we were met by several motor cycle police men who watched for traffic as we circumnavigated the junctions over the A30 before turning down past the Crem and on to Tehidy. Someone suggested that that they were really part of a Royal visit but I can’t believe that just because I had said I was unavailable to visit them on a Wednesday, they would come down to see me. Whatever, fortunately they didn’t see us as I hadn’t got the fox hat with me.

Tehidy was quieter than expected and the weather was sufficient to enable us to sit outside. Although I didn’t recognise the waitress she must have heard of me as I got an extra egg on my bap. Its now Friday so don’t expect me to remember what the conversation consisted of but there were some admiring looks and words said about Emma’s bike before we left.

All good things come to an end, they say, but for some, not soon enough, as Emma, Amanda and Simon shot off ahead, never to been seen again. We took the road into Pool and the cycle track across to St Euny Church, as usual. Back at Penhalvean, Admiral said he wanted to get some extra miles in and he and Fred carried on as we turned down to Stithians. Others left as they do, with just Kath and myself returning to Union Corner, just as the rain started. 41 miles for me.


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