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To ol' Jamaici Inn me hearties - May Pathfinder Ride 22/05/11
May 23, 2011, 10:41 am

Martin and Margaret leading the rabble on tandemDeparting Falmouth for the start near Bodmin dark clouds and heavy rain threatened to make today’s Pathfinder ride an uncomfortable one. The newly renovated club trailer took 9 bikes up (and 12 back) others cycled or drove. On the way we passed Ironman and Gill driving back to Falmouth for a forgotten helmet but we all arrived at the start in good time. The sun came out and the fitter amongst us left to include a hillier loop whilst everyone else followed co-pathfinders Don G and Fred. We met 6 vehicles within the first mile and a regular parade of vehicles throughout the ride - as these were some of the quietest, remotest roads in Cornwall goodness knows what was going on today.

After a very steep climb out of St Neot and some spinning up a lovely gentle valley we eventually popped out on the very windy but sunny moor where we stopped for lunch at the famous Jamaica Inn. They managed to cater for 30 of us quite efficiently, not withstanding a lost beef sandwich, but then they are used to coach parties of tourists.

On the return run a breakaway group managed to go the wrong way. Robin 1 was blamed but was totally blameless. Shane’s arm was blamed but Shane denied it. No harm was done and we all regrouped just outside St Neot for the final 8 mile push. (It turns out Robin 2 was the leader of the breakaway. Ed.) Whilst fiddling with Denise’s rear light as he cycled along, Robin managed to fall off taking Claire with him. No one got hurt as it happened at 5 mph but one of Robin’s Bianchis did get scratched.
The last stretch was off-road through Cardinham Woods which was tricky at times but nice and woody. At the finish we had some splendid tea and cake sitting in the sun which was the perfect end to an excellent ride.

Many thanks to Fred and Don G for the route (see here). See pictures here.

Nice Boys Punch Their Weight - Wednesday Evening Ride 18/05/11
May 20, 2011, 12:36 pm

Mid May and the drought continues despite sporadic and feeble attempts to rain. Not that we are complaining, except about the cold wind.

6pm and a weak sun is breaking through to find nine of us under the shade of a spreading tree at HQ. The usual discussion is helping to pass the time but not keep us warm. The Punch Bowl is mentioned but the idea is retracted due to a lack of belief that we ever actually end up there. Green Leader finally takes the reins and we set off for a pint at a mystery location. A left here, a shortcut there takes us out past Mabe Church where there is a quick flurry at the front of the string. We reach Longdowns and Trevor 2 and Shane see no sign of a drink on the horizon and peel off towards Helston. Charlie and Phil do likewise not long after.

Now we are down to five. The Punch Bowl is looking much more definite by Perranwell. Richard 1 is still not convinced however and peels off at the Royal Oak. Now we are down to four. Green Leader leads Robin 2, Gregg and Simon up the last, long hill before we reach, surprise, surprise......the Punch Bowl for a well earned pint and a packet of crisps.

There’s a beautiful evening sun as we steam back along the Tram Road and head for home. Pulla Cross Simon

Parky triumphs at the CTC National Awards
May 18, 2011, 1:04 pm

Our very own Parky has won not one but two major CTC national awards for his volunteering services.

He won the Regional Volunteer of the Year Award and was presented with a gold medal and silver cup and then was very surprised to learn that he had also been nominated for the National Volunteer of the Year Award for which he came third, receiving a bronze medal. Both awards were presented by Magnus Backstedt, leader of the UK Youth Cycling Team and TdF veteran (spookily Magnus looks like a slightly younger, taller version of Parky).

Parky is adamant that the club also deserves credit for the awards due to our members’ combined efforts during the CTC Birthday Rides. That's very generous of Parky but we all know how incredibly hard he worked on all aspects of the Birthday Rides and how many hours, days and weeks he gave up to make the event such a success.

Well done Parky, best ever Falmouth Wheeler volunteer!

photo courtesy of CTC all rights reserved

FW's discover a French Acorn Antiques - (long ride 65 miles) French Trip 14/05/11
May 16, 2011, 5:51 pm

As mentioned in the other report we too set off on the road following breakfast number two to Huelgoat. Having done this ride last year I was confident of the number of hills but the mind plays tricks and I had forgotten about some of them. There was 12 of us and eleven bikes, Margaret and Martin were on the tandem. We headed off on the blissfully flat, wide and virtually traffic free road to our coffee stop of Guimillau where we had the local delicassy of what looked like a squashed doughnut encased in sugar. Wonderful cake and just what was needed. We had the mast in our sites for most of the way, watching it getting nearer all the time. From the high point of the mast it was just about down hill all the way to Huelgoat.

This was our lunch stop and we chose carefully to ensure we were in a sunny spot. We all ordered in turn. However we had a feeling that when the french equivalent of Victoria Woods' Mrs Overall appeared with one pannini at a time, we were in for a humorous hour. With each order arriving individually and back to front and with a 7 minute gap between each one, lunch took a little longer than anticipated. We can only assume that the chef had walked out and as a desperate measure they went out and bought a Pannini machinni. Anyway they were lovely and with good company and some sunshine it turned out a very pleasant lunch.

We checked out the Huelgoat boulders before heading back and unlike the other group we ended up with a headwind and with the hills that I had forgotten about it made the first section quite tough. Once we had reached the top of the final bump it was literally down hill all the way to Morlaix. A beautiful ride meandering through the trees with very little traffic. The local cyclists training for the Tour weren't too pleased being overtaken by 3 people on 2 bikes though, well done Don! We then had the obligatory cake stop in Morlaix (see 'Patisserie Martin on the 'Gourmet Guide' page Ed.) with Jill finding time to look around the shoe shops and purchase a new handbag.

The final kilometers (or as Jill Lightfoot wanted to know, 'why don't the French ever put mileage on their road signs?') back to St Pol found some weary and hungry riders struggling against the wind. Well, I was weary and hungry so assumed that the others were. We found some of the others in the bar post cup final match and had a very welcome beer comparing rides. We chose our own man of the match, thanks go to Don, and I think a mention should go to the 2 Jills who both admitted not cycling more than 25 miles in the last 2 months and had just completed a round trip of 65 miles. Thanks to all for a fantastic weekend. Kath

The Gourmet Riders - (short ride 44 miles) French Trip 14/05/11
May 16, 2011, 10:54 am

After a leisurely second breakfast in the square and the departure of the Long Riders we, the Gourmet Group, set off from St Pol de Leon heading west along the D10. As is often the case the first rest-stop resulted in garments being shed (apart from Chris who still had 4 layers on), most disappearing into Den’s Tardis-like bag. Comfortably attired we rode on and the talk gradually turned to the prospect of the patisserie awaiting us at Plouescat. After all it was over an hour since the second breakfast.

We parked the bikes in the largest medieval bike shed in Brittany and proceeded to marvel at (and sample) the variety of cakes on offer nearby. During a stroll around the market the club strip was spotted by a sociable Frenchman who clearly had something to say to us. The word “Helford” emerged and a brief but satisfactory conversation ensued about sailing to Cornish shores.

High on a heady mixture of sugar and caffeine we lost the route on the way out of Plouescat. Fortunately Adrian noticed the sea was on the wrong side and we quickly rectified the mistake. Between Kernic and Lannevez the clouds cleared, the traffic thinned and we pedalled blissfully along the flat, coastal plain. ‘Don’t stop me now I’m on a roll’ our rider of the day (Theresa) was heard to exclaim. A right turn at Goulven and a few kilometres of seaside roads brought us to the viewing point at Beg an Toullou from where the coast, as far as Roscoff, spread out in front of us. Cameras emerged for multiple photo opportunities.

Despite the brisk headwind we managed to arrive a little early for lunch at Brignogan Plage. Nevertheless our table, at La Corniche, Restaurant de la Mer, was set and we had a little longer to enjoy the view while drinking our aperitifs and discussing the extensive menu (what no panninis?). Having taken a fancy to her coke glass, Vanessa engaged in a bit of payment in kind by proof reading the English version of the restaurant menu. As lunch drew to a close, the club strip was again spotted, this time by a fellow cyclist from the Roubaix club. (Possibly a retired famous rider? Ed.)

With the wind behind us everyone seemed a little livelier. Egged on by Chris, Dan and Jono had a tussle on the sprint of the day. On this occasion experience won over age! On returning through Plouescat, Adrian and Theresa peeled off leaving the rest of the group to the route touristique. Considering the days calorie count the temptation of an ice cream at Mogueries was resisted and we rejoined the D10 and headed for St Pol. By this time kick off was approaching and Denise’s speed significantly increased in the hope of finding somewhere to watch her team in the FA cup final.

Relaxing, post ride, with a cool beer outside the corner bar everyone agreed they’d had an excellent day and acknowledged the time and effort spent at home and in France in organising the event. See the route here. See more pictures here. Simon

Very Lucky £5 Jim - Sunday 9 o'clockers 15/05/11
May 16, 2011, 10:28 am

12 riders met on a sunny morning for a trip to Perranporth - a very good number as this was the french trip weekend. Don and Graham were the first off the mark, this was the new 10 o'clock 9 o' clock group. Then it was the rest of us via Halvasso, where we said good bye to Robin 1, then on to Cusgarne, Bissoe, Penweathers and Truro and it was bye to Admiral. Onwards through Idless met Don (in a hedge) and Graham somewhere between there and Perranzabuloe (no idea where this is but great name) and into our favourite Perranporth cafe ( overdue a golden spoke in my humble opinion).

Fred and Neil left us here, before much grease and coffee were consumed, and we set off back through the valley where the first incident of the day occurred. Helston Trevor's rear mech decided to fling itself into his rear wheel bending both. Trevor did an excellent job converting his bike to single speed whilst we looked on giving words of sympathy, abuse and advice not to buy Campag.
On again (leaving Don and Graham to their own devices) to Blackwater where we said goodbye to Trevor, later to be picked up by his back up vehicle (wife Gill). He should never come out without his wingman. Then Chacewater and a trip down the Bissoe Trail to Ricci's cafe, where £5 Jim and Robin 2 left us to take part in the second incident, when a 4 x 4 stopped and reversed into them, trapping Jim's wheel under the bikes it was carrying on the back.
Jim aggravated a shoulder injury whilst trying to pull away but on the bright side, the bike is ok, and there was much apologising  from the driver. Speedy recovery Jim. Meanwhile Richard 2, RFA Greg and myself enjoyed coffee in the sun. Back home via suicide alley and hangman's hill. 50 miles in good company on a lovely day. Dale

Food glorious food (and a few miles pedalling....)
May 13, 2011, 1:53 pm

I would like to introduce Hayley and myself to the Falmouth wheelers, as the new franchisees of the cafe' at Stithians Watersports Centre at Menherion. We took over the site just 5 weeks ago and in that time have created a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere with both indoor and outdoor seating. We are serving a fresh hot menu of paninis and hot wraps, along with bacon baps etc., for breakfast. Hayley's bakery is also located within the complex, ensuring a seamless supply of the freshest cake with great variety too.

We serve great coffee, teas and hot chocolate too and our prices are reasonable. I am not sure if you are aware that at the centre there are also function/classrooms available for your meetings, events etc. for which we can also cater if required. Being a cyclist myself, we would love to perhaps see a group or two on your club runs and you can be assured of a great welcome and good value. Many thanks Mark & Hayley Caffe' Nova

Wednesday Evening Ride - 11/05/11
May 12, 2011, 4:43 pm

No girls out on this week’s Wednesday evening ride which is a shame because it’s nicer when there is. Anyway, after a cloudy start the skies cleared and it turned out to be beautiful summer’s evening. We (9) went to the Star Inn at Porkellis encountering a curious lady enroute who refused to drive past us. With some friendly encouragement (we were stationary) she eventually did, but wearing a scowl that was positively frightening. We don’t know who amongst us at some point in the past killed her favourite pet but one of us surely did.

We returned home via Seworgen dragging Helston Trevor away from home though he left us after a while and then as some of us huffed and puffed up the Waymarker Hill Robin left us because Jill had his tea on the table. A lovely ride to a lovely pub on a lovely summer’s evening. It could be worse. Here’s the route for the curious - it's a good one.

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