Blow the man down


Non-OGIL ride Wednesday 11th November 2020.

Wednesday is OGIL day, even if we are in lockdown, so I bravely declared on WhatsApp my intention to be at Union Corner should anyone wish to brave the elements for a two-up to a destination in a south-ish direction. Consulting the weather forecast later had me wondering whether I had been premature in my declaration: it promised 23 knot winds (that’s nudging into a force 6 for you sailing folk), with gusts of 33 knots (a near gale!). Before I could change my mind, Phil1 offered to meet for a ride to Porthleven, thus committing me to a day out. I noticed that the WhatsApp chatter was mysteriously lacking, possibly suggesting that others had read the weather forecast and made a different decision.

Still, although blustery, the morning turned out to be grey but not wet. There was nobody at the Other Place when we passed, but other brave souls may have already been and gone. We took the usual route through Releath to Nancegollan, but having experienced the odd scary side wind side step passing gaps in the hedge we decided that discretion was the better part of valour and took the short route heading towards Carleen and Breage. We expected our turn to the south to give us a bit of a battering, but it must have been relatively sheltered as it was mostly not too bad. It was a different matter when we turned onto the cliff road for the final couple of kilometres into Porthleven – I was pedalling in places where I would normally either spin out in my biggest gear or bottle out, and in places I needed more of the road than normal.

Porthleven was reasonably quiet. Phil got his tea from the Philps pasty shop, and I got my coffee fix from the Harbour Head coffee shop, which had an astonishing selection of vegan cakes. Naturally in the current circumstances I felt I had to support local businesses as best I could and succumbed. It was not the weather to be sitting around by the harbour for too long though, so we set off again as soon as we finished out drinks. Not fancying the Roubaix section and the exposed Loe Bar Road way out, we went for Salt Cellar Hill, Peverell Terrace and Shrubberies Hill for a change. A bit of a grunt, but the only way is up from Porthleven. Riding through Penrose provided the usual entertainment provided by dogs and children, but no horses today. Through Helston, Muddy Lanes etc etc took us homewards. All was well until we got to the zig zags between the Halvasso turn and Treverva, where Phil had a visit from the P fairy. Unperturbed, after donning surgical gloves and a stoical expression, he put in a new tube in quite a respectable time, probably betraying long experience of dealing with such incidents. Apart from nearly being blown off the bike at Union Corner, we made it home in one piece and, miraculously, dry.

A harder than necessary ride over a relatively short distance, but still a good day out. 62 km for me.

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