Backwards to Gwithian

Portreath beach

OGIL ride Wednesday 14th October 2020

It was a lovely sunny but chilly morning as the appointed group gathered at Union Corner. The WhatsApp chaos of last week had, for some reason, not recurred, so the group membership had been decided in a fairly orderly manner, overseen by Papa Dean. Everyone was in longs except for Iron Legs Kath, who claims to still be swimming in the sea in just her neoprene bikini. Us wimps were attired in near full winter clothing, including one in a balaclava. As my Garmin was showing a mere 6C on the ride out, I am sure wimpy was the right way to go, although I can sympathise with those who rage against the coming of winter.

The destination for the day had already somehow been decided as Gwithian, and we agreed to the novel idea of reversing the route we would normally take to come back ie out through Stithians, up to Lanner, through Redruth past Jenn’s Diner and hence to Portreath. We then had a good wind-assisted blast along North Cliffs to Gwithian. At the turn to the beach, we met up with the other (?) group, and everyone stopped for a chat and a map exchange. Everyone, that is, except for one who decided to carry on down to the cafe, in total ignorance of the fact that one of the things being chatted about back at the junction was the fact that the cafe was closed, despite earlier intensive interweb research suggesting otherwise. The group decided to retrace their steps back to Portreath. Luckily for the hapless solo rider standing forlornly outside the closed Sunset Surf cafe, Phil(1) heroically rode down to the beach to collect the bemused individual (code name ID-10T) and then paced him all the way to Portreath into a pretty brisk head wind.

So the group was joyfully reunited at the Hub, and we settled down at an outside table to indulge in the excellent food and coffee, basking in the sun. We also discovered that Don was lurking inside the cafe as well.

The Hub at Portreath
Basking in the sun at the Hub Phil wins the prize for Kool, John remains in the shadows

When it became time to contemplate our return ride, there was understandably resistance to the idea of using the ‘usual’ route, as that would be mean further retracing our steps. So we agreed to carry on past Bridge to Cambrose and then turn up the cycle trail. At the point where the tarmac gave way to the rough trail, two of those with a more delicate bike/tyres/disposition decided to stick to the tarmac and rode through Mawla to meet the intrepid off-roaders at Wheal Rose (note for the future – the road route is faster). From there is was up to Blackwater, then the other ‘usual’ route down to Twelveheads and Bissoe, then Suicide Alley and Hangman’s Hill to bring us to Penryn and then home.

Highlights of the day: sun, good food and coffee, sun, attractive horses, smooth tarmac on Hillhead Road, sun, tailwind on North Cliffs.

Downers of the day: cold, traffic, headwind on North Cliffs.

On balance an excellent morning’s ride, just over 81 km for me.

Team Union Corner: Amanda, Dean, John, Kath, Phil1 and me.

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