Coast to Clay 2021

It was a hot summers day which promised to become even hotter. Fourteen Falmouth Wheelers met at Prideaux Place, Padstow for the start of the Cornwall Hospice Charity Sportive. Robin was the first to set off as he was doing the 104 mile course,  supported by three of the Mylor boys. Next was the 71 mile brigade, Phil1 , Jan, Damien, Colin, Paul, Dean the elder and yours truly. Dean the younger was also to set off but had a sudden call of nature so set off in a later wave. The 44 mile group consisting of Liz, Christine, Steve and Kath who had opted to do this route as she foresaw a hot day. Jill opted for the 17 mile route for a similar reason. The group I was in proceeded at a reasonable pace but was soon obvious it was going to be a hot long day. Dean the elder dropped off the back suffering from the heat his tale will be added. We went up and down at a monotonous rate whilst faster riders zoomed passed us. We concluded they were all a lot younger than us and possibly fitter. Some of the bikes would would cost more than a small car. After 30 odd miles which felt like 300 we arrived at feed station 1 at Roche, which Jan pronounced in a very French accent! The available snacks, Bananas water energy drinks etc were well received especially the water- it was getting hotter. Wishing to stay longer we saddled up and continued, the course was very scenic and managed to include every hill possible in that locality.
Dean the younger and elder arrived before we set off. We opted not to wait for them as we all feared getting cramps if we hung about too long. So on we went up down up down you get the drift, the next stop was at Summercourt behind Clive Mitchells Shop. Again excellent supplies – water being in great demand, we all set in what shade was available lost in our own thoughts knowing we had the North coast switchback to survive. Dean the younger arrived before we set off suffering from cramp in one thigh, no sign of Dean the elder. The beaches from Porth to Padstow were heaving with semi naked bodies all vying for a bit of sand and sea, Covid distancing out the window; what will happen who knows. Somewhere along this leg we were all suffering from the heat big time, it was a game of survival. Robin passed us with his support team going well but suffering likewise. The finish line arrived i nearly missed it Colin saved the day a welcome blip as we went over the mats and a well done from the organisers who very wisely kept in the shade. The medals were awarded or rather it was help youself Covid rules. After a drink or two and a relax on the grass, conversation eventually started up with the usual senseless banter. Did you enjoy it, I was asked by one of the Hospice team. My reply was enjoyment was not a word foremost in mind at that time. On reflection it was a day of memories so one to put on the tick list. Next year who knows.
Well done to all for a worthwhile cause.


Fearing that Dean the Elder may not, indeed, get any older, he retired 11 miles from the finish. A message was sent via WhatsApp to Phil1, which secured the services of Jan’s van to rescue me and my bike. By the time she had arrived I had recovered enough to stand and speak at the same time but the experience of even driving the remaining hilly road back to Padstow reassured me that I had made the right decision. Dean

One Reply to “Coast to Clay 2021”

  1. It was the toughest Sportive I’ve ever done, because of the heat – the hills would have been a bit easier (still not very easy!) if it had been cooler – the last ten miles seemed to go on for ever. But it was great to be taking part in an event again after so long. The signage was excellent, the views on the north coast were stunning, the food stops were good, everyone was very friendly and the medals were nicely designed. A very good effort, and the Cornwall Hospice Care organising team deserve to to have raised plenty of much-needed funds from this event. Liz

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