2,500 feet of climb but only 16.5 miles

Another Solo Sunday.

With all the sunshine last week I’ve been catching up in the garden – and found myself really enjoying it! Even got to wondering whether I should perhaps join a different club? Maybe a gardening club? However, last thing on Saturday evening I ended up routinely sorting out my bike and bits for the Sunday ride just as normal. Old habits die hard!

The sun was shining and it enticed me out for an early start – but in summer attire I felt ill equipped! The chilly northerly wind crushed my plans and I crept feebly back to bed for a rethink. Later, with the addition of another merino layer and leggings I set off for what Strava described as an “afternoon ride”.

I’m endeavouring to ride only in the Parish of Mylor during this “lockdown” so I’ve fine tuned a demanding route and, though quite short, it could take two hours to complete!

I want it to include all the local climbs, some of them incredibly steep, and together uniquely….. iconic! There are eight climbs, perhaps nine if you count Passage Hill, with other smaller ones like Bissom hill. In total, over the 16.5 mile route, there is over 2500ft of climb! The Sa Copotatos Challenge.

I set off for the “start” at the St Gluvias turning, deftly negotiating a pedestrian who had just left the garage in Penryn with groceries and had crossed the road without looking either left or right. In fairness there was a zombie bleakness to the main road that morning!

As I passed Gluvias Church there was a large gathering in the car park which immediately struck me as a bit strange and I conjured with this spectacle for a while. I supposed it had something to do with their normal routine. All our Sunday’s are now certainly very different.

Bissom, then right for Flushing and down to the waterfront before turning around and heading up the hill to Mylor Harbour. My encouraging progress up this next  climb feels crushed when a young woman flew past on a ladies touring bike! She didn’t giggle with glee like Denise but I suspect she had a bike that was not that dissimilar!

This zombie thing – I don’t get it. I know we’re in lockdown but there are cars still on the roads – and bicycles too – but that didn’t register for the next of the “living dead” I meet who strode out in front of me in Mylor village without looking up at all! I recommend that, if you don’t already have one, you fit a bell to your bike!

Passage hill, then Weir before heading back to climb Pandora hill. Thinking about it, it’s good to have a bell fitted during these times as there are many more walkers out than usual, including some very large families and when they’re spread across the road it’s not always easy maintaining the social distancing!

By now I feel fully warmed up and ready to tackle Carclew – the reason why I do “ the challenge” in this order. Down to the Norway and back up. The reduced amount of traffic allows a difficult climb to be almost enjoyable so spinning up in a small gear listening to the birds sing doesn’t feel so bad. Well, not as daunting as tackling it at the end of a very long Sunday ride!

Nearly done now. Back down to the A30 once more and up via Hangman’s Hill and along to Penryn. Down Truro Hill to the main road, before turning around for the final climb back up to as far as the Enys Estate – by now you will have completed over two and a half thousand feet of climb! To get back to St Gluvias descend as far as the turning left to Round Ring and carry on through the No Through Road and between the bollards at the bottom before descending past Gluvias Church. Do watch this section if you ever attempt the “Sa Copatatos Challenge” as there are a lot of leaves and small branches strewn across it so it could get very slippery in the wet.

5 Replies to “2,500 feet of climb but only 16.5 miles

  1. But you lost your way after the first hill, Bissom then left for Flushing, shouldn’t that be Right for Flushing?
    When we lived in Flushing I could do some reasonable rides without hitting the main roads, one advantage of living on what is virtually on island.

  2. Passage hill should be counted, it’s the same height as Pandora just an easier gradient. There are a couple more you could include, Pillars road from Six Turnings is an obvious one, also after Hangmans you could go down to Stockdale and then go up to Enys. You’ll be doing over 3,000 ft soon with out repeating any hills. Some times it’s good to see what we have close to home.

    1. Yes, plenty of opportunity to add more ascent. Teresa mentioned Greatwood – which I’d avoided because it gets a bit sketchy at the bottom. I’ll work on a max climb route for the summer!

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