Lots of ducking out due to the potential icy conditions on WhatsApp this morning (or else having to be in Devon – ??), but it was the girls who made the eminently sensible suggestion of starting and hour later to give the roads a chance to thaw. But the decision to ‘start at 10 instead of 9’ caused a little confusion, as we normally leave Union Corner at 8.50am – was Paul late or had he had a last minute change of heart? We waited and eventually left without him, just three hardy souls – Cath with a K, Adrian (aka Andrew) and myself. At the other place, Fred and Jan were waiting patiently, and we lost no time (well, not too much) in deciding to head for Porthtowan using main-ish roads just in case there might be some ice lurking in wait for us on the less frequented lanes.
Up to Halvasso, then Stithians, to Chacewater, Blackwater and Mount Hawke before swooping down triumphantly into Porthtowan. Part way down the beach road into Porthtowan we met Paul, who having been warned of our destination had beaten us there by half and hour (or so he claimed). He very generously turned around and accompanied us to the Beach Cafe, which was fairly quiet. Unfortunately, our normal diet of eggs on toast is not an option in this particular establishment unless you like it with bacon or smashed avocado or some such. As a result, most of us opted for the carrot cake or lukewarm soup (as usual Jan managed to magic a helping of Marmite from somewhere), except for Adrian who tackled the bacon and egg toastie. It was obviously not enough for him as he followed it up with an almond croissant and an espresso – something he came to regret as we tackled the climb up past Wheal Ellen on the way home. In the cafe much of the conversation revolved around Fred and Paul’s recent ski trip, although there was some interesting discussion around how ladies manage (or not) with bib tights when the coffee has worked its way through the system. Apparently, Kath can last a whole day without having to worry about such things!
The ride back was along the usual route of Wheal Rose, Scorrier and on to Penmarth. There we met an unruly bunch of cyclists at the side of road obstructing the traffic light-controlled roadworks. They turned out to be the 9.30 group, which had actually left at 9.30 – no fear of ice amongst that lot. After politely passing the time of day we pressed on, leaving the slower group to its own devices, only to be aggressively overtaken by two sparkies on the hill after the Stithians causeway. Well, the laugh was on them as they had to stop in the lay-by at the top of Carnkie to recharge their batteries (I think), and so Fred’s retort of ‘you won’t get there any faster’ was vindicated. Sonjia arrived and accused us of talking about her (which coindentally happened to be true), so we pretended we were getting cold and pressed on home via Halvasso.
As forecast, it had warmed up a little so that nobody lost any fingers to frostbite, but it did become a bit damp and drizzly.
Still, a fun if a little chilly ride to the seaside that was enjoyed by all: about 68km for me.