Pathfinder Up the Fal 22nd September 2019

Ten punctual bikes and riders set off from the Tresillian layby at 10am, with one more bike squeaking onto the tail end of the peloton just before the first junction. So then we were 12: Robin and Ian (our leaders/sweepers), Simon, Amanda, Fred, Phils 1 and 4, Dave F, Sonjia, Liz and ourselves.

Robin and Ian had promised roads less ridden. The route started up the Probus bypass – then took a left turn towards Trelowthas, re-emerging on the bypass for a quick left and right into quiet and pleasant lanes heading towards St Michael Penkivell. There are some nice flat stretches here, but we managed to fall off the back anyway with a minor chain snag. When we caught up we found the rest of the group hanging over a bridge admiring the perfectly manicured Tregothnan carriage drive, which has its own underpass on the way from the lodge gates at Tresillian to the main house, still the family home of the Boscawen family. We continued on public roads, as far as the hoi polloi are permitted, (and bemoaning the loss of the passenger ferry to Malpas and its foreshore access to other private interests) to take a quick look at the church and Tregothnan estate buildings at St Michael Penkivell.

Retracing our route up the hill we made a right turn to follow the lanes through woods and alongside reed beds, descending via a couple of zed bends to follow the estuary to the Kings Head at Ruan Lanihorne for our coffee stop.

Here we could stop envying the privileges of the 1% as the pub had opened early just for us.

The next leg of our route took us further up the Fal, running alongside the river to the bridge at Tregony and our lunch stop at The Kings Arms. Again we were well looked after, with generous portions and a pleasant atmosphere.

Robin promised a few more hills for the second half, which was indeed the case. The route took us up out of Tregony and through Creed to Grampound. A right and a left to cross the A390, more ups and downs, then crossing the Fal a last time before the climb up the hill to Grampound Road. The forecast rain teased us with a brief appearance but as soon as everyone was caped up made off in another direction.

We followed orders and eschewed the “easy route” back via Ladock, turning instead to take on a few more hills and a final run back through Probus to the layby. 23 miles in total.

As promised, an excellent route with excellent refreshment stops. Just a shame Kings only have Heads and Arms, or we could have had a tea stop as well.

Many thanks to Robin and Ian for organising.


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