Ride of attrition

Like freckles, the sun brought out a goodly number of OGILs for today’s ride, including those known to be allergic to rain. No shorts today, although Dean was cheekily displaying his ankles in a fetching half calf length number. A total of ten of us, including new rider Sam, studying animal behaviour at the Exeter University Penryn campus. Despite talking to him at length, it was not entirely clear whether he was just joining us for a ride or whether we constituted some kind of experiment for him. Regardless, he fitted in well and resisted the temptation to flout his youth by riding too fast for the rest of us. Full points for giving the old ‘uns respect. He also usefully helped reduce the average age of the gathering by a significant amount (especially as Fred was still AWOL).

Kath was mysteriously bedecked with a backpack, but explained that she was going the long way round to work, so routes in a northerly direction were generally favoured so that she could carry on to Truro on the way back. Even though the ride on Sunday had been to Perranporth, we decided to go to Perranporth anyway, albeit by a slightly different route, as it was such a nice day.

The sunshine turned out to be a bit deceptive, as the temperature dropped to zero in a couple of sheltered places, leading to animated discussion about the physiology of fingers with respect to temperature maintenance, and the merits or otherwise of riding in mitts or claw gloves. Needless to say, in the spirit of most OGIL discussions, the outcome was inconclusive. The sun, being unnaturally low in the sky, also caused problems with seeing where we were going. A number of potholes were vigorously explored with front wheels as a result, luckily without consequence.

After descending the hill into Perranporth at near suicidal speed, we were welcomed enthusiastically in the Stepping Stones cafe, where we were more than adequately fed and watered according to our various tastes. The quantity of coffee made up for the quality, and there were no complaints about the tea from the normal quarters.

Riding home, we waved goodbye to Kath near Blackwater as she realised that she would be a bit late for work and so carried straight on towards Threemilestone. Then there were nine. We skirted Redruth and at the turn off Lanner Hill we said farewell to Jan (she claims she lives nearby). And then there were eight. We carried on through Penhalvean and, having gone straight on at the crossroads at Stithians, started the usual grovel up towards the main road, only to be deserted by Keith half way up. He claims improbably to live in Ponsanooth. And then there were seven. We pressed on, shedding Phil3 at the Argal crossroads so that he could ride to Mawnan for some reason. Then there were six. The rump then engaged in the usual mini-smashfest to Union Corner, where we said goodbye to Dean as he wanted to go home. Then there were five – no, wait, there were only four of us left. What had happened to Simon? Presumably he had peeled off en route for reasons known only to himself. Whatever – we (Phil1, Adrian, Sam and yours truly) carried on into Falmouth, arriving home safely after a splendiferous 80km (for me anyway).

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