G7 at Portreath

OGIL ride 26 May 2021

I see that Dean the Elder has reported on the exploits of the other OGIL group that ended up in Portreath, so I will restrict myself to filling in the gaps that he accidentally (or intentionally?) left, and adding details of the G7 ride led by Ian.

As I went out one morning, I noticed for a change the weather forecast was not that a hard rain’s a-gonna fall or that there would be buckets of rain.  There was also a nice gentle breeze rather than the usual idiot wind.  Meet me in the morning, the OGILs thought, obviously pleased to be on the road again.  There were in fact a total of 16 riders at the Other Place (despite Lily, Rosemary and the jack of hearts and the girl from the north country not being able to make it – by the way, if you see her say hello).  This made us one over the legal limit (apparently), so a split into at least two groups (or more like a fragmentation) was deemed necessary.  As usual something was happening I don’t know what it is, so I simply rode off when others seemed to be leaving.  I found myself with six other riders, including Ian, waiting up by the weighbridge above Halvasso.  This was the so-called ‘fast’ group – tell me that it isn’t true: I suspect that most of us were there simply because we set off from the Other Place ahead of everyone else, and also because we didn’t see the need to preserve breath on the climb for chatting.  So, we found ourselves in a group of seven (G7 for short).  However, there was no time to think. Ian was in no mind to hang about, and clearly had designs on a route of baffling circularity.  After a curious little detour through Stithians, we more than doubled the distance to Burncoose by going by way of Trethellan Water.  Of note on Ian’s magical mystery tour was the climb (Ian insisted it was a long drag) through Busveal.  It was no consolation to know that it hurts me too, and I’m sure we were all wishing we were forever young.  Still, what goes up must come down and we enjoyed freewheelin’ down Cat Hill to join the Redruth by-pass.  We followed it down the highway, branching right to Scorrier, skirting Mawla and ending up at Cambrose before a high speed run like a rolling stone at ninety miles an hour into Portreath, down along the cove.  I had hoped to win the sprint into town.  Let it be me, I thought, but hesitated and I threw it all away.

Bob Dylan
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At the Atlantic the sign on the window said open, but we fragmented further as the more cautious contingent sat outside whilst the more foolhardy/trusting of our number sat inside.  As we debated whether Air Force One will be parked at Newquay airport or Culdrose for the G7, we noticed a car arrive in the car park with a number plate beginning G7!  Mike had the effrontery to point this amusing fact out to the driver, who seemed a little non-plussed.  Are you a jokerman? he said.  Otherwise it was pleasant sitting in the occasional sun, even though our napkins were sometimes blowin’ in the wind and had to be retrieved from the car park.

Despite us pleading that you’re gonna make me lonesome when you go,  Damien went off with the other group (he needed to get back because he had forgotten to put his car in the garage for its MOT).  The three remaining outsiders decided to leave as those sitting inside were apparently having so much fun that they decided to have one more cup of coffee, and we know that time passes slowly.  Without Ian our guide we were initially worried that there was no direction home.  We better talk this over, we said, but decided that if we stuck to the normal route home and with God on our side all would be well.  Even if we weren’t totally sure of the route, one of us must know.  Don’t think twice it’s all right, we thought, and set off.  It turned out that by a simple twist of fate Paul was on grandchildren duty later, so he set a rather brisker pace than certainly I would normally ride at, and at times I felt like I was fixin’ to die.  By that stage, all I really want to do is get home for a rest.  At the bottom of Halvasso we were tempted to say a restless farewell to the absent Fred, but realised it is better to never say goodbye.  Thanks, Paul, for the tow as I would have got home later if not for you, but you should have seen the shape I’m in when I did arrive.

A nice 74 km for me, and happy birthday Bob.

How many Bobbie references did you spot?  Answers on a postcard, please.

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