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200K Audax report or an extended OGIL ride
Jul 20, 2017, 11:16 pm

As Bonnie Tyler so famously sang “It's an arse ache, Nothing but an arse ache, Hits you when it's too late, Hits you when you're down”. I don’t know whether she has ever cycled 130 miles but I shared a very intimate experience on Sunday, during Martyn’s equally famous Lizard and Camel Audax. Unusually I arrived in good time, but without my water bottle, so a return trip to Falmouth meant that everyone was ready for the off when I returned. Not so many starters for “the big one” as I expected. The fast boys, and a few others made off at a rapid pace, leaving Fred in charge of the rest of the FW contingent; Sonjia and Kath, Vic and myself. Trevor tagged along with us for a while, waiting the arrival of Raymondo, but why he was delayed I don’t know. We were not to see him until we were well into our coffee stop at the Lizard. We had passed Robin, Dene, Ian, Phil1 and Phil4 on the way to the Lizard- they were coming away, about 6 mile ahead at this point. The first third of the route, to the Lizard and then across to Gwithian, taxed neither me nor Mr Garmin. The drop down to the beach to the check in, and back up, was dispensed with this year, instead gathering at the Gwithian Church hall. Pleasantly surprised to see Dale and Jim there, on the shorter of the three rides, and spotted Mr Gunner out for a tootle at Bridge. From Gwithian you have Hells Mouth to look forward to, and to look up at, but the main concern was choosing where we were going to stop for lunch. Last year it was Goonhavern Garden Centre, which is just about at the half way stage, and that seemed as good a place as any. Though Mystic Meg had suggested warm and cloudy, she forgot to add “Cornish Mizzle”, which did nothing to add to the enjoyment. Not too heavy to need a coat but made its presence felt. Perhaps the weather did put off the Sunday lunch crowds as we found no problem in being served and our more unusual Sunday lunch choices were not frowned upon. There are one or two long hills in this middle section, up to Padstow, and I am not sure whether those after half way are more numerous, and steeper, than the first, or just seem that way. The route sheet does have more twists and turns, on one of which we met a speeding Mini, and Mr Garmin earned his keep in keeping a check on Fred’s memory skills. Sonjia, Kath and I all had our moments of falling behind, a bit, on this section but we stayed together pretty well. The sun was out in Padstow and after battling through the crowds we found Walkers Fish and Chips café, our tea time stop. From here it’s only an OGIL ride back home, and the first 12 of which is as flat as can be, along the Camel Trail. Again, this wasn’t as crowded as last year and we managed to keep up a reasonable pace. There is a bit of excitement in using the footbridge over the A30 to Lanhydrock but after that, up to Indian Queens, it’s a bit boring. However, Kath was not looking too well, and was finding the going a bit harder, and we pulled into the Cornwall Services for another hot drink and she, wisely, with 108 miles on the clock, decided to call it a day and rang Clive. We pressed on, along the old A30, round the back of the Owl Sanctuary, and down into Indian Queens. From then on, with Vic close on Fred’s heels, they were mostly dim red glows in the fading light. Sonjia and I followed, down the Laddock valley, through Tresillian and up to Waitrose. Just a couple of hills left; up to the top of Lemon Street and then the little matter of the back road to Playing Place. Sonjia had almost stopped chatting by then but perked up as we left Carnon Downs, Devoran in sight. Martyn and Margaret were waiting for us, Martyn to stamp our cards and Margaret to treat us like the prodigal son, with cake and rhubarb crumble and custard. It was worth it just for that. “See you Wednesday” I called as I made for home.


Red River Blue Sea 110k Audax, July 16th
Jul 17, 2017, 5:43 pm

Five members of Falmouth Wheelers took part in the 110k Audax organised by Martyn on Sunday – Paula, Sheila, Richard 74, John Hyslop, and myself. Unfortunately Richard had to drop out at 46k due to problems with his leg, and John caught us up about twenty minutes after the start, having waited to finish his tea and toast – provided by Margaret, who as always, did a wonderful job with the food for the event. The first part of the route took us 27k over to Gwithian, via Carharrack, Lanner, and Redruth. Then a sharp left hand bend before the viaduct, and up the hill, along the trail at Carn Brae village, dodging the dog walkers and other cyclists. The weather was ideal at that point – dry, rather cloudy, not too hot. We pressed on over the A30, past Park Bottom, Tahidy and Hell’s Mouth, arriving at the Control, the church hall at Gwithian. We got our cards stamped and had a quick bite to eat before heading out for the 55k loop around West Penwith. After cycling through busy Hayle, it was a relief to turn left for the Cycle Trail to Penzance, which took us over to Longdowns and the familiar footbridge over the A30, the starting point for several Pathfinder rides around the very western part of Cornwall. It was at the right turn to Newmill and Zennor, that Richard’s leg gave out; very frustrating for him, but he wisely decided to retire from the ride and catch the train home – the station was luckily not far away. We were very sorry to see him go, especially as his knowledge of the route had prevented us from taking several wrong turnings.  

It was a long climb towards the North Coast, with the drizzle increasing and as we turned east after answering the question on our Brevet cards at Trevean, the visibility was very poor – a shame, as on a clear day it’s stunning along that road. Between Zennor and the turning for Towednack the weather deteriorated, and we put on our rain jackets and back lights during a stop at the Moomaid mini-café, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. The coffee was very welcome, but the girl running the place was doing a miserable trade – no demand for icecream in the wet fog! It was a big relief that the rain dried up as we turned SW towards Hayle, and crossed our outward track at the turning to St Erth. By the time we stopped at the Gwithian control again, things were much better, plus more coffee and cake! The last section back to Devoran started at a left turn at the Red River pub, and took us through Barripper, Beacon, a long grind up to Four Lanes, then down to Stithians, Perranwell, and Devoran. By this time I was pretty tired and the others were great about waiting for me to catch up, which I really appreciated. The wonderful spread of food and tea provided by Margaret made for a very enjoyable finish to the ride – 109.8 k or 69 miles. Thanks again to Martyn for organising a great route and giving us excellent directions.          Liz

OGIL ride Wednesday 12 July 2017
Jul 14, 2017, 12:49 pm

The day dawned grey and overcast, but the forecast was good and a cheery peloton achieved a consensus with the suggestion of a ride to Porthleven. This band of OGILs comprised 13 bikes and 14 humans: far too many to name, other than Amanda in view of her gritty recovery from her collarbone fracture.

Considering that this was an “OGIL” group there seemed a rather high youth ratio, and several of the riders weren’t even Gits, and this may have explained a pretty fast outward ride via Porkellis then cross-country to Godolphin Cross (where Amanda headed for home after satisfying herself that we could manage the rest on our own).

From Godolphin the ride went on a very long uphill leg that rewarded us with an absolutely glorious sweeping descent around the back of Porthleven with the sea sparkling to our right. This put everyone in a good mood for our stop at ‘Nauti But Ice’, a good café on the harbour and not overly expensive. Talk included the changes at Stithians Café, concerns being mitigated by the observation that at least rock buns were still available – we always cover the big issues on our breaks.

The climb out of Porthleven is inevitably a bit of a beast, but soon we were barrelling through Helston then up Muddy Lane, after which our West Cornwall based brethren turned off. Nearing the return to Union Corner this rider decided to speed up for the next hill just as a car in front decided to undertake an emergency stop for an oncoming bus (a good half mile away), leading to my becoming better acquainted with the hedge than I would have liked – twisted handlebar but no great damage.

Having ridden without electronics on this occasion, my legs told me the ride was about 120 miles, average speed say 23 mph. The map suggested maybe it was 43 miles or so, but I’m sure you know which to believe. Another grand day out.

MJW (Mike 1)

You take the high road
Jul 6, 2017, 9:27 am

With a great big fried egg in the sky and two more on the plate in front of me, what’s not to be happy about. And we were sitting outside at the café at Godrevy. Good food, good company and a great ride down the north coast from the top of Portreath to get there. Ok, at Halvasso turn it had been necessary to remind one young whippersnapper who is merely a guest member of the OGIL just what the “O” in the title referred to and even my average moving speed on the outward leg had been 14.1 mph, but I couldn’t grumble. I had a good go at it, but I couldn’t grumble. Still reduced numbers, again, this week; just Phil1, Jan and Kath joining me at Union Corner and Paul and Fred waiting for us at the other place. With the destination agreed, if not the route, we were ready to set off when Mike turned up, looking as if he might have been hoping we had gone and he could do a short circle and home. Carnkie, nine maidens, 4 lanes, Pool and Park Bottom brought us out at the top of Portreath Hill, then along the coast road to Godrevy. “Did you do the Dartmoor Classic on your own”, asked Paul. “Yes, it was just like riding with the Wheelers”.
The café was not as busy as we had feared and service was good, and with a smile; both from the waitresses, who recognised Jan as a regular, and from me – much less expensive that Hells Mouth.

Last weeks conversation, on biking matters, was continued at length. I might have mentioned that I had done the Dartmoor Classic on Sunday. Before we set off back, Paul persuaded us to go and have a look at the sea, and beautiful it still was.

It should have been a simple return route; Carnhell Green and turn right at Baripper. At Killivose I suggested continuing up to Beacon, rather than the long drag up to Troon, which worked ok, but, when Mike, Kath and I reached Beacon there was no one else in sight. I guessed, that the rest had gone right and then left at the “1895” Chapel well known to Audax riders, and this brought us out at Bolenowe, where we received a phone call from Phil1. They had just realised that we were not with them, still at Troon. The 3 of us tootled on at a slower pace but it wasn’t until Penmarth that they eventually caught us up. Rule No 1, leave a marker at turnings. So, a little shorter than planned, for me, 45 miles, but an excellent morning out, and back in time to cut the lawn.


Famous Five go OGILing
Jun 29, 2017, 6:45 pm

I almost went to London today. Liz and Phil wanted to show me their new Corgis. Liz has managed find a “like new” model of the Coronation coach and Phil’s got a sports car, a fathers day present from Charles. When I explained that I couldn’t pop in as I was going to Carnkie with the OGIL, he said, “Carnkie?, Wear the fox hat”. Strange, I thought. Wouldn’t match the lycra but I’ll give it a go.

Last weeks scorcher seemed a dim and distant memory. So do most days for me, but at least I remembered it was Wednesday; OGIL day; the day after bin day. There were just five of us. Ok, I know some have got real sick notes; not like the one that Raymondo has been know to turn up with, but even Mystic Meg hadn’t forecast too bad a ride. In fact, last night I checked and it said, “rain for most of the day”. Great, I thought, I can try out my new coat.

We had noticed the café sign on Sunday, during the audax, just after the Countryman and before you get into Carnkie. That’s the other Carnkie; so it was an obvious choice on a wet, and not too warm, morning. The route out, via Halvasso and Bowlenoe, after which we followed the Mines and Minerals route through Treskillard, was a little short so it was only 10.15 when we arrived at the Dewspring café, and it looked closed. However, as we parked our bikes the door opened and we were welcomed in by one of the two women who run it. The menu isn’t large but is only a starting point. The idea of “brunch” appealed to Mike 2 and Mr T, whilst the rest of us went off menu, with eggs on toast for Fred and I and toasted teacake for Phil1. I only mention this so as to encourage others to visit. They will be open on Sundays, as well, for the next 2 months. I was assured that bacon baps could also be provided, and there were several selections of cake on the counter. Much of the talk concerned the late summer trip to France, Dartmoor Ghost and Classic, the 200K and other cycling related events. Fred had brought his new touring bike out for a shake down so that got a mention too.

It wasn’t just the weather that encouraged us to stay for what is probably a record, at least for this year; and it was 64 minutes before we paid and left; a two coffee stop.

No one seemed particularly eager to put too many more miles on the ride so we turned right; to go down past Carnkie; coming out at the bottom of Buller Hill, then right again, up the hill, before turning off towards Stithians. We gave the village and Deaf cat Ally, a miss this week, continuing on past the reservoir and up the hill to the other Carnkie, then Chez Jim’s, Halvasso and home. Just 30 miles for me but there had been no mechanicals and no one tried to head-but any oncoming vehicles. Dean

Best OGIL Ride, Ever.
Jun 23, 2017, 10:18 am

I have noticed that whenever there is a TV programme on the best love song ever written; the top comedian, ever born, or the worst weather event, ever, it is always something that happened, was written or was popular only about 5 years ago, so I was not surprised when, after 5 days of hot weather, it was announced that we are officially in a heat wave, the hottest since 1976 and that it was the hottest 21 June, EVER; but I was surprised by Fred’s choice of destination for today’s ride, The café at Loe Beach. What made him think of it, I shall never know, and it met the criteria in every way. There were only 6 of us, so no complaints from Bernie, not that he was one of the six; it wasn’t too hot; it wasn’t particularly long or fast, it wasn’t going to duplicate any sections of the later mid summer eve ride, and there weren’t any hilly bits. Ok, I lied about the last part. But it would have been perfect if we hadn’t met up with so much traffic on the back lanes.

John was back from walking up somewhere that sounded like Killigrew St, but probably wasn’t as steep, and joined Kath, Phil1 and myself at Union Corner. So just Mike and Fred waiting at the other place for us to roll out on one of those crazy lazy hazy days of summer. Greek Church, Burncoose, Peranwell, Carnon Downs, Playing Place, and down to Loe beach; it all went as smoothly as that. Any concerns that it would be too hot at the café were dismissed, as each table had its own sun umbrella, and being just 6, we sat comfortably around the one table. I am sure that Mike and Fred would agree that the scrambled eggs were delicious, though were unsure as to why I was served up with what looked like twice as much as them. Though we sat next to the beach there was no talk of boats, just about the joys of cycling on such a perfect day. There was the small matter of the hill back up from the beach but even that seemed to have been levelled out for us.

Dropping back to Point we were surprised to meet up with Mr G, out on an illicit ride along the flat from Devoran. We escorted him back to his car, before chancing our luck along Suicide Alley. Fred obviously thought it was his lucky day, as he pulled out directly in front of an ambulance, perhaps he was trying to short circuit the NHS waiting list, but we all safely reached hangman’s hill. 32 pleasurable miles for me and by the time you read this it will probably be raining. Dean

The Alternative OGILS Ride, Wednesday June 14th
Jun 15, 2017, 8:31 pm

It was already getting hot as five Wheelers met at Union Corner for the 9.30am 'slower ride' - Sonjia on her old bike, complete with panniers from her French trip with Jane, Don M, on his road bike this time (and was heard to mutter, as we toiled up yet another hill 'this is why I bought an electric bike!!), Sheila on one of Paula's bikes, as her own had broken a gear spring; Jane and myself.  After the usual debate about where to go, we decided on Porthlevan, via Gweek, Helston and the Penrose estate.  What a great day for a ride - warm sun, a clear horizon so we could fully appreciate the passing scenery, and some lovely smells - the elderflower trees are all in bloom right now.  (The bakery at the back of the Helston  Sainsbury's smells pretty good too!)  

Penrose estate was green and shady, a peaceful change from the main roads, then out towards the sea, with a stunning view as we cycled down into Porthlevan, bouncing over the cobbles and round the harbour to the cafe which Sonjia wanted to try - the 'Atlantic View', which proved to be a great choice, with good coffee, fresh scones, a selection of cakes, all at very reasonable prices (£3.75 for tea or coffee and a huge scone with jam and cream! you can't beat that). Nothing is perfect though - they don't do bacon butties, but Don went for the crab sandwiches served with big chips and salad.  We'll be back!
Then it was home via the 'back route' out of Helston, avoiding the main street and those traffic lights which often catch you, meaning a dodgy hill start.  Along the B 3297 to Wendron, right at the Poldark mine, and the now very familiar Porkellis, Carnkie, and Halvosso route.  36 miles at a comfortable speed.  Anyone who is free on a Wednesday morning and would enjoy a slightly slower paced ride, come and join us!                                                                                         Liz

Coffee and Cream
Jun 14, 2017, 9:53 pm

Mystic Meg’s subliminal messages to Fred seemed to work, though he may have read my suggestion on facebook. “Poldhu?” he called. It was the only bid made and was accepted by the silent majority. Being June Cormac are busy tarmacing and surface dressing before the arrival of our summer visitors so there were many signs warning of road closures. We called their bluff at Brill and got through to Gweek without any sign of the “men at work”. Mike 2 only went as far as Gweek, as he had get back to work and Bernie and Admiral went off on an alternative route, but for the rest of us, ten, Poldhu it was, and what a good choice. The beach looked at its best, the sun was shining, with little wind, and I caught them in a good mood with my “eggs on toast” order. Fred was pushing his luck too far with “scrambled eggs?” and had to make do with a bacon bap. Other than talk about last weekends various rides there is little I can reproduce without fear of prosecution so I will leave it at that. Jan had other hills to climb so set off for home early but the rest were content to sit in the sun. It was a two coffee stop, with, for some, an ice cream as an alternative.

Even the hill up to the Golf Club seemed a little easier and the ride back was as pleasant as the ride there, though Paul didn’t fancy riding all the way back to Falmouth. The remaining eight was reduced by one more, when Fred went off to look at new bikes in Helston and Simon left us, as usual at Chez Jims. That just left Keith and the M&Ms to go on down the main road from Crane garage as Phil1, Kath and myself turned right and back to Halvasso, and home. A good 46 miles for me. Dean

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