The scene: a table in Jenn’s Diner, just outside Redruth.
We had just ridden there by the most direct route according to Ian, which involved taking turnings never before explored so that we could tackle as many long and steep hills as can be found in these parts short of starting with an abseil over a north coast cliff. A mere 40km to Redruth and we didn’t even get to see the sea. But sitting there getting stuck into our omelettes, breakfast baps and battenburg cheese cake, something didn’t seem right. It took us a while to work out that we were not sitting in puddles. A ride to Jenn’s Diner in the dry, who would believe it? Still, Kath got to experience the delights of American diner style dining for the first time. And we didn’t even know that Redruth was on Route 66! Kath was also privileged to be engaged in conversation by a man on an adjacent table who declared loudly “You must be mad” when informed that we had ridden from Falmouth. What would he have said had he known the actual route we had taken to get there?
As we were leaving, something else seemed distinctly odd when Dean confessed to self identifying as a woman. He claimed that this was solely for the purposes of using the loo, but nobody was totally convinced. Especially as he was keen to tell us that he was departing for Gay Paris the following day.
Although it was spotting with rain as we left, we survived to the top of Carnkie hill (approached from Stithians lake, not Carnkie – what’s happened, Ian??) before the Longdowns mist turned to persistent rain and we got drenched watching Mark change the tube in his front wheel which had suffered a deflation event. In the flurry of activity of putting on rain jackets over other jackets we completely lost track of how long it took him to make the change, thus denying him a possible entry in the Wheeler’s book of records. Interesting though this demonstration of bicycle maintenance was, it was not enough to keep the attention of Ian, who declared he was getting cold and could probably outrun the weather on his own, so off he went. Whether we could find our way home without our illustrious leader was temporarily in doubt, but some of us dimly remembered being in the these parts before (last week?) and we somehow managed to navigate our way in the general direction of home.
The last half an hour of the ride was very wet, but at least the puddles slewed off some of the mud collected on the bikes earlier in the day.
A good ride at the usual OGIL sedate pace, mainly flat apart from the hills. 66km (41m) for me, with 936m (3,071ft) of vertical ascent.