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Another OGIL report
May 13, 2017, 11:49 am

You may have read various ride reports whilst I have been away of catastrophic mishaps suffered by OGIL, and guests, during their Wednesday morning rides. There have been, allegedly, near death experiences; long verge-side vigils awaiting the arrival of an ambulance directed from somewhere in Yorkshire; one of our former colonial brethren, wing mirror firmly clutched in hand, doing cartwheels across the road; single speed tandems limping home. Alas, I have to inform you that this was all fake news, alternative concocted by those hoping to oust yours truly from this column. Today, I can truthfully report, as on all OGIL rides, nothing happened. That’s right, nothing happened; you might just as well go make a cup of tea or get on with the housework. But for those interested in the banal details here they are.

As usual we set out from Union Corner, at 8.53, delayed a little by a coach and mobile crane, increased in numbers at Halvasso turn and all 9 of us, Kath, Phils 1& 3, Fred, Raymondo, TD, John, Mike and myself, headed up Halvasso hill on route to Loe Beach. Fred provided strong and stable leadership; there were no U turns. It was a fairly short ride, not particularly fast nor slow, and took us down to the Greek Church, the mud has dried up, out to Barncoose, Gwenap, Bissoe, Playing Place and down to Loe Beach. It might be worth noting that the beach café is now under new management, who were pleasant, not fazed by off menu requests, such as egg on toast, and is still reasonably priced, if not more so. We sat outside, enjoying the view over the river. The General election may have been mentioned but Raymond’s bike seemed to be the main topic on the table I sat at. There was the hill climb afterwards, but the least said about that the better. The return journey was, of course, down to Point and along to Devoran, then hangman’s hill and on home. That was it really. 33 miles for me. Dean

A New Forest Day Out – 100k Audax, Sunday May 7th.
May 10, 2017, 6:01 pm

When Kath suggested that some of the Wheelers might like to join her to ride the New Forest Day out, it seemed a good idea for me, as I grew up in that area and could combine doing it with visiting old school friends.  The Audax started from the Lymington Centre and headed up to the open heathland of the New Forest, where we crossed the first of a total of 13 ! cattlegrids during the ride.  The contrasts with Cornwall were everywhere – masses of bright yellow gorse at the roadside - but not so many bluebells - ponies, cattle and donkeys roaming freely - the ponies wear luminous collars to help cut down on accidents at night.  I even saw a notice warning of ‘pigs running free’! Houses and churches are built of red brick instead of the grey granite we’re used to, and of course it’s flat!  Well, undulating, but no serious inclines – I used bottom gear about three times in the whole 100k.  At the café stop, a young man from Portsmouth told me he’d sleep well that night, because of “all those hills!”  Come to Cornwall and we’ll show you hills!

It’s noticeable how much less tired you get when you can roll along for miles, instead of finding a climb at every turn in the road.  The weather was perfect, dry, not too hot, with sunshine in the afternoon, so the scenery was stunning; beech trees with very vibrant new green leaves, and huge mature oaks in the sun and dappled shade of the Bolderwood Arboretum/ Ornamental Drive, as I headed south towards Lyndhurst and Beaulieu.  At a sharp right turn at Hatchet’s Pond, the sign ‘Lymington 6 miles’ had been turned around to face in the wrong direction – very helpful – but we had been warned that some joker had been at work.  Heading west into the sun to the finish, I passed the Isle of Wight ferry station and crossed the old Toll Bridge into Lymington. (No tolls now, but when we first moved to the town in the 50’s, it was 6d to take a car across).

Up the High Street – one of the steepest hills of the ride – to the finish, where an excellent tea, including hot food, awaited us.  Despite finishing a lot later than Kath, I was pleased that my average speed was the best I’ve ever done over that distance.  Altogether a fantastic ride, very well organised by a friendly, welcoming team.  Highly recommended -   maybe more of us will take part next year?


'New Forest Day out' Lymington Audax - Kath's Story
May 9, 2017, 6:55 pm

I was combing a weekend visiting family with the Lymington 100k audax ride and with good weather forecast I was looking forward to the event.

It was colder than I was expecting on the Sunday morning but no rain was forecast which was good.  I met Liz in the carpark, had a quick catch up and agreed to meet up when we had both finished the ride.

This is the only Audax that I know that lets you set off when you like so once I had signed in I got going.  On a Sunday around the New Forest there are more cyclists than motorists I reckon as there were cyclists all over the place but not all of them doing the Audax.  As following the route sheet can be a bit tricky I usually tag on behind another rider and hope that they know the route.  I managed to tag on behind the wrong people not just once but twice (I followed one the wrong way and had to turn round and the other was a group of local riders just out for a 45k ride) before I found another 100k audax rider. Whether this chap minded having me on his back wheel I will never know but I stuck with him till we got to the coffee stop Control point at 51k . An interesting thing about this chap was that he was riding a Roberts Steel framed bike. I understand that they are quite nice and not made anymore.

My chaperone didn’t stop for anything other than filling up his water bottles while I stopped for a bacon sandwich, coffee and a chat to a very nice couple on a tandem.  I set off on my own for the second half of the ride which was a bit more direct than earlier.  The route continued to be as delightful as before.  Its is a variety of open Forest land, villages, rivers, fords, lots of ponies, deer and I think we all saw the most gorgeous baby donkey. I haven’t mentioned any hills so far and to be quite honest though there were some they were almost a delight. The ride back to Lymington is along flat open roads or through undulating forest roads which can get quite busy with traffic but the tarmac is good and the traffic keeps to the speed limits.

There was a lovely welcome back at base from the organisers with toast, baked beans and cheese, rice pudding and peaches and lots of cakes and biscuits – nearly as good as the Wheelers catering.  I nipped back to my mums for a quick shower and another cup of tea before Liz text to say she was back.  I had yet another cup of tea and a bit more cake with Liz before we said our goodbyes agreeing that we had both had an excellent day on the bike.

This ride will be in my diary for next year and with a 100mile route and 200k route on offer too I may look at doing the 100mile route next.


Puncture, Poldhu, Poldark, Porkellis and problems!!
May 7, 2017, 8:06 pm

It was a perfect morning for cycling- sunshine, not too windy and a scenic destination, but little did we know what was in store for us.

Fred, Mike2 and Paul2 were waiting as I arrived at the ‘other place’ and Kath, Phil 1, John, guest OGIL Jan and very young OGIL Emma soon joined us. As Fred announce that Poldhu was our destination, the M and Ms swept into view. We set off….. only for Mike to find he had a puncture! Twenty minutes later we were on our way- down to Gweek, up through Trelowarren and out to Goonhilly. We passed Amanda’s manhole cover (no mishaps this time) speeding across the downs, through Mullion and down to Poldhu.

A spectacular sight- large waves crashing onto the sand and lovely clear blue skies. We made our orders and sat in the sun. Coffee, cake and cooked breakfasts came eventually, after a huge overloaded trayful was tipped into the sand by the kitchen staff.

We returned by the usual route, up the steep hill, past Mullion Golf Club and towards Culdrose. Soon after the ford the tandem’s rear deraillier and chain brokeso while ten bikes and riders were strewn around an irate guys grass Martin used Mike’s chain tool to create a fixed wheel tandem. Fred left to seek help at the Helston Giant shop and others returned home. Mike, John the tandem and I gingerly crept towards Helston. With blasts of the horn Steve from the Giant shop arrived in his van to take the tandem and the M and Ms to Helston. Amazing service!!!!

Eventually we rode home with Fred and Paul rejoining us at Wendron. We lost forerunner Mike who missed the Poldark turn and he joined us again at Crane garage. An eventful ride!

45 miles for me. 


Footnote. Having just spent £145 on a complete new drivetrain I have bought a chain checker (just £6.99) and I will use it regularly to check my chain wear. There’s a moral there somewhere.

Brittany trip
May 3, 2017, 9:51 pm

The first wave of Wheelers arrived at ferryport, via trains and cars, some earlier than others, so some had time to rehydrate at new bar next to ferryport. Sylvia did a few turns of the roundabout and carpark, as we unloaded and sorted bags etc, Sylvia asked where my pannier rack was, I explained, Victor had volunteered to carry all of "our " kit in the panniers on his bike! As my Giant is not compatible with pannier racks.  How generous.

 Finally all boarded to find cabins, The Pont Aven is quite a large ferry and the cabins were spread randomly around the various decks, we rendezvoused in the bar, where various other Falmouthians were gathering, inc Trevors cousin and Falmouth Vocals choir, it was like being at home.  After eating, we returned to bar for the top notch entertainment, the disco went well according to Mike, especially YMCA, the French student loved that.. The we had the magician, Kk spoilt this for us by telling us what would happen next, We always knew he had a special gift...then the singers came on with their take on Jolene, quite an unusual song for two strapping lads to sing, then whilst they sang Bon Jovi's Living on a Prayer, we all slipped quietly out to relocate the cabins we struggled to find when sober.

Friday 28th Apr, first cycling day, luckily Nick and Christine "offered" to carry our pannier bags in their campervan to the campsite, so we were fairly unladen on our pre planned Garmin route out of Roscoff,

we rolled along the pretty lanes admiring the stone work buildings and how well the new and old went so well together.  Then onto Santec, with lovely sandy beaches, we were following the well(ish) signposted cycle route to Sibiril, where we tried to find a coffee stop, as we had been quite cold,  No cafe/bar  there, so to warm everyone up we went the wrong way and ended up re climbing the hill we had just come up.. Then stayed on main road to Cleder, where we piled into bar for coffees and to the bakers for pastries. Yum, this was going to be a great weekend. We got chatting to one local chap Leou who was quite taken with Sylvia, being so tall. As she was wearing the red jacket he thought she was in charge, and gave us his address as where we were going was on the next road to where he lived, about 10 miles away we said we would look in if we got the chance, We headed out of Cleder back toward the coast to follow extremely  scenic route to Plouescat for our lunchstop, Crepes or sandwiches for us. Some were also seen visiting the patisserie , photos were taken.... Mike and John went into restaurant Bistrot des Halles to sample the food to see if it would be good enough for us all in the evening. It was. So we booked our table, and set off for the campsite to unpack and get out of our lycra.  and back into civvies, by now the sun was shining and was warm enough to sit out and relax with a cup of tea...

The campsite was about 2 miles out of town, so we cycled to restaurant  in the evening, to keep our cycling miles up. The food was just as John and Mike had said, "excellent".  Then we raced back to site to catch up on  our beauty sleep.    around 40 miles today depending on whether supermarket run included.

Evening meal Bistrot des Halles, food excellent especially the chips, and desserts, great service.

That was day one, full report in Recent Grand tours, under Wheelers in Brittany.


OGIL Ride Wednesday 26th April
Apr 27, 2017, 10:23 pm

It was a beautiful sunny day but with a very cold wind as we met at the bottom of Halvasso turn.

We were joined by Ian and Raymond who were out for the day but waiting for Ben to join them after his morning shift, so they rode with us until they heard from Him, simple plan. We set off towards Portreath via Carnkie hill, Raymond became aware he had a broken spoke but carried on round Stithians reservoir towards Nine Maidens. Here Raymond decided to head back to receive a spare wheel from his back up crew (Sister in law). Then Phil 3 decided to head home as he was feeling rough and suggested to me that as Dean had handed the Pen to him that he would hand it to me, bit like pass the parcel. At Pencoys Kath left us as she had to be home by one. What else could go wrong M&Ms chained jammed that’s it can’t be anything else, so on to Churchtown Bray village picking up cycle path to Industrial estate across to Illogan down to Bridge and thus to Portreath. A very pleasant coffee stop was enjoyed with much banter about Andrews route (we all know a better way don’t we!!) We then made our way up valley to Rhodda’s where we met Raymond coming the other way. So after he and Ian had  a kiss and a cuddle they went there own way I presume to find Ben. At Trevails we bid farewell to Keith and continued to Crane garage where we bid farewell to M&M. We made our way down Halvasso where the final incident happened and Mike narrowly missed a very nasty collision with an oncoming car and after removing there wing mirror doing a somersault and various other acrobatic tricks emerged apparently unscathed but very concerned about his bike (everyone else was asking him if he was alright but to him bike was more important.) After apologies all round we continued on our way. Paul and I left Mike, Andrew and Dave at the Bottom of Halvasso to make our way home.

An interesting 33miles for me more for everyone else I am sure, and home by one.

Cast was Dave (Admiral), Kath (early bath), Phil3 (early bath), Keith, Paul, Andrew, Mike, M&M, Raymond (broken arrow), Ian and your’s truly Fred           

Apr 24, 2017, 4:53 pm

We have been asked to publicise this double End 2 End in June,  www.standingalltheway.weebly.com  Any help, company on the ride or donations are welcome.

Cast not a clout until May is out.
Apr 20, 2017, 9:15 am

This may be sound advice for the labour front bench to persuade them of the merit of a ceasefire in their attacks on JC, or even an extract from the OGIL rulebook relating to winter attire. If the latter, then there were only a couple of OGIL out today who had headed the warning. But it was the sort of warm and sunny Wednesday you expect immediately after the Easter holidaymakers have left the County and I felt more than slightly overdressed in my windproof jacket. Going a’ la Richard 2 I left the jacket to flap in the breeze caused by an alarmingly fast first section, from Union Corner to Halvasso turn. Mr Garmin suggested that I had travelled at an average of 16.2mph, and I was still almost last arriving there. This honour fell to the M&Ms, meaning a total of 18 Wheelers set off for Perranuthno. The usual miscreants were joined by the Culdrose kids and Paul 2, on his second trip out with the FW. It was the usual route out, down the spine to Goldsithny, and even though the speed dropped down to a more reasonable 12.5 mph, we were soon at the Cabin. Though the £4 a day car park was, not surprisingly, relatively empty, the café was busy and the arrival of another 18 did not improve the speed of service. Nor did the apparent inability of some to remember what they had ordered until the waitress had walked around the garden three or four times. On my table the conversation was mostly between Admiral and Bernie about a couple of Tossers at the sailing club, interspersed with tales of cars I have loved and cherished. The most interesting moment was the young boy practising his balance bike skills who eventually discovered that putting his feet down was a better way of stopping than running into the wall and causing his future potential to come into sudden contact with the crossbar; an act that not quite brought tears to the eyes but definitely needed some “hands on” self examination of the offended parts  “Why is everyone laughing at me?” he asked his granddad. “It’s not that it was even funny”.

There was a brief discussion regarding the return route, with Hayle being mentioned as an alternative to Breage or Porthleven. Three, who won’t be mentioned by name, mainly because I can’t remember who they were, clearly thought that Hayle was more than enough and left us to brave the main road back. For the rest it was a retrace to Goldsithny and, ignoring the right hand turn we had come out of an hour before, continued on towards Hayle, but taking a side road down to St Erth as an extra loop. Here John decided to sit on the kerbside to await the stragglers but his failure to unclip from his pedals lessened the impact he had on the general public onlookers, if not on the kerb itself.

The ride up along Copperhouse Pool is always delightful after which it was up to Connor Downs and right turn, to Carnhell Green, then left to Baripper. I heard Helston Trevor telling Paul 2 about his long distance cycling exploits, and when we got to Ramsgate, clearly in awe of being in the mere presence of such a sporting legend, Paul attempted to kneel at his feet. Again, removing his feet from the cleats would have improved the gesture.

After Nine maidens, wheelers started to disperse, Trevor to return to Helston, Simon to sort out the creak from the region of his bottom bracket.                                              

It was just Phil1, Admiral and myself that returned to Union Corner and at 51 miles, for me, a reasonable warm up for Sunday’s Audax.


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