OGIL ride 04.03.20
…But people act as if they’re going to drown
Forget about the summer when the sun burns their skin
Forget that man lives not by bread alone
These words from a song by Bridget St John went through my mind us we all sat in puddles of our own making in Miss Molly’s; we were certainly not having bread alone either – supplements included sausages, bacon, eggs and various preserves, washed down by a hot beverage of choice. To me 1969 was a more innocent time, unperturbed as we were by thoughts of climate catastrophe kindled each time the weather turns a bit funny. Still, as the wettest February since records began seems to be spilling over into March, it was a hardy and/or foolhardy bunch of six that braved the storm to ride today.
Paul and PhilC met me at Union Corner in persistent and hard drizzle (is that a thing?), lamenting the absence of the telephone box for shelter. Although to my knowledge we, along with nearly everyone else, never used it for its intended purpose, we still miss Sir Giles’ masterpiece which nevertheless fulfilled a number of alternative functions, not all of them nice.
At the other place were PhilS and Keith. Fred had declared it (via WhatsApp) to be “horrible out there” and was not coming, and Dean had conveniently developed a ‘mechanical’ (or perhaps it was his bike) and wasn’t coming either. As is traditional when the wet stuff is coming down, the vote was for Miss Molly’s, overturning my bid for the Bluebell Nursery (the thought of double giant teacakes was quite appealing, at least to me). This was despite the fact that the loo at Miss Molly’s lacks that most essential of wet weather riding equipment – the hot air hand dryer. Encouraged by a brief lull in the rain, and the promise from the weather men at Bracknell that it was going to clear around 10-ish, we decided to make the ride a bit longer and go via Black Rock. So it was that the famous five headed up to the quarry to meet Jan.
The lull in the rain turned out to be very brief indeed, and I have to say the ride was not the most enjoyable, but perhaps I’m just a bit soft. But at least I’m not the only one, as when we reached Black Rock the idea of riding via Crowan was abandoned by unanimous consent and we headed straight for Praze. Riding straight past the Bluebell Nursery was difficult, but we carried on to Barripper, Penponds and then the scenic tour of Camborne before rocking up at MM’s, all of us pretty much soaked through.
Conversation in the café revolved around the permeability of so-called waterproof cycling jackets, Jan’s Pilates class the previous evening, and Kath’s dramatic cancelling of the forthcoming Pathfinder due to flooding. We all sympathised with Kath having to ride along water-logged roads around St Agnes to do the reccy for next Sunday, although someone did somewhat uncharitably suggest that she might be in her car – the truth will out at some point, I am sure.
Leaving the café and retrieving our steeds for the ride back, some of us made the startling discovery that our gloves may have dried better on the woodburner if we had rung out the ½ litre of (now lukewarm) rain water first, rather than now. Nevertheless, we all had a good time riding around the car park or doing star jumps to try and keep warm while PhilC struggled for what seemed like an eternity to put his soggy gloves back on.
The way back was by the usual route (cycle path, St Euny, Carnkie, Four Lanes etc etc). The return trip was uneventful apart from an encounter with an entire pack of hounds on the bike path. We presume that the person with them was a professional dog walker (why else would anyone have so many mutts?), but the dogs were very excitable and we were forced to stop while she tried to gather them together. Everyone survived and we carried on. To be fair the weather had begun to improve. The sun even threatened to make an appearance on a couple of occasions before retreating behind a big black cloud which obliged by giving us a quick shower. Still, it showed willing.
We said goodbye to Jan at Four Lanes, and to Keith the other side of Stithians. That left us four, and after a short debate about turning left or right at the main Helston road we of course reverted to custom and went right to head for Halvasso. Apart from a car that inexplicably pulled out in front of us and parked in the middle of the road with his hazard lights on, we arrived safely at the Argal crossroads and bad farewell to PhilS before us remaining Aberfalians (happy to be corrected on this) rode back separately for some strange reason.
Although my kit is still drying, definitely type 2 fun. A solid 64km for me.