No doom but plenty of gloom

OGIL ride 9th June 2021

Three of us (Steve, Phil1 and myself) gathered in the murk and damp of Union Corner, wondering whether we would be the sum total of today’s outing as the weather was looking so bad, although to be fair we are still nearly two weeks away from midsummer. Dean turned up at precisely one minute to departure time, citing as his excuse that he had almost been Hobgoblined by one of their lorries at the Bickland Hill junction, emphasising the current theme of cyclist vulnerability. Just as we prepared to set off, we were visited by recent new member Steve N, looking a bit like a prop forward on wheels. He warned us that the visibility on the top was extremely poor. He rebuffed Dean’s cajoling to join us with the flimsy excuse of having to go to work, and seemed to suddenly become deaf when Dean continued his efforts with explaining the Sunday arrangements. Perhaps we will see him on a ride sometime.

We eventually set off, and on the way to TOP we mysteriously gained another rider, Paul, who joined us like a wraith out of the gloom. We were also passed at great speed by a youngster (ie probably under 50) in full black Castelli kit, riding without lights or other visibility aids, and who rapidly disappeared into the murk.  This was in stark contrast to our varied collection of day-glo rain jackets and lights.  At TOP were another five – Amanda, Damien, Dave, Jan and Phil3, giving us a respectable-for-the-conditions total of ten. Deciding on a destination was tricky. Bearing in mind the damp, we obviously needed somewhere with inside seating. We needed to avoid any route than involved a bridge crossing the A30, and also any of the tourist hot spots. We also didn’t want to go too far as the forecast was for the weather to deteriorate further. We hit upon the old favourite of the Harbour View cafe in Porthleven, and set off eagerly via the usual route (Porkellis, Godolphin Cross, Ashton). This road is popular on account of the views and scenery, which we had to imagine today as the gloom hid everything from sight bar the hedges and the next 75 metres of road in front of us.

Foggy ride

Arriving at the cafe (after negotiating the closed road down to the harbour side), we ensconced ourselves on two tables, one of six and one of four. We were not disappointed by the quality of the grub, although Amanda was rather dismissive of the coffee. The conversation was similarly of the highest quality, focusing on the new electric hire bikes which have appeared at the Moor. But all good things come to an end, and we set off over the cobbles and out to Penrose for a relaxed ride along the cycle path, hardly bothered by dogs at all. As we stopped to re-group at the start of Muddy Lane, Dean was almost beside himself with excitement at the prospect of discovering that the lane had been swept by the Council. Unfortunately he was to be disappointed, and the lane fully lived up to its reputation. We resisted the temptation to stop at the Crate (not difficult as it only has outside seating, apparently), and couldn’t quite figure out how it works when there is no signage to say it is there apart from a notice on the open gate.

As usual, we split into smaller groups for the brief stretch of A394 to Retanna, but much to Amanda’s dismay our group splintered into even smaller groups and singles, leading to a call for more group riding discipline. I thing the D word is not in the Wheelers’ lexicon, though. We said goodbye to the Mawnan crew at the Argal crossroads, where Dean took the opportunity to photograph a car on the verge that had obviously been involved in what looked like a nasty collision. More evidence for his campaign for a flyover or something at this particularly dangerous spot.

We managed to get home without getting caught in the expected downpour. A damp but fun morning out – 65 km for me.

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