Double OGIL ride report 25th August and 1st September 2021
Working on the precedent set by our illustrious leader, I humbly submit reports covering the last two OGIL outings – the first to Idless Woods, the second to Wheal Coates.
The general opinion amongst the OGILs gathering at TOP was that we should continue our current strategy of exercising caution by avoiding any of the tourist (and COVID) hotspots, which effectively means staying inland. A suggestion of the Woodman’s Cabin at Idless Woods was enthusiastically adopted, although it wasn’t immediately clear who was leading. A few accusations were made about who knew the route, but nobody admitted to having a clear idea of the best way to go once we got to Truro Aerodrome, so inevitably we simply followed Ian. Having got this far, even he was not able to inject any additional hills into the ride.
We had a pleasant enough and uneventful outwards ride. Ian made friends with a gentleman in the car park of the Methodist Church in Shortlanesend, although the conversation appeared to be more about the forthcoming Tour of Britain than theology, although the two are obviously related.
We arrived at the Woodman’s Cabin, which was not too busy and we managed to commandeer sufficient picnic benches to accommodate us all after evicting a lady who was occupying a bench in a prime position overlooking the River Allen (more like a stream here). Our food and drink arrived remarkably promptly, including impressive doorstop sandwiches.
The side was let down by John who had to admit defeat (both in terms of eating technique and quantity) with his breakfast stick, but we forgave him when it was revealed that said stick was inspired by a bunch of builders back in the Smoke – nobody can compete with that. As I surveyed the scene of consumption around me, it occurred to me that it was probably inappropriate for the OGILs to be in Idless. As everyone familiar with Freud’s personality theory knows, the id is the instinctive part of the psyche that responds directly and immediately to basic urges and desires. This seems to sum up the attitude of the OGILs when they descend on a cafe, intent only on satisfying their craving for food and hot beverages. For this reason, id-less seems the last place for them to be.
Anyway, we eventually bad a fond farewell to our friendly hosts and wended our way southwards, direction Truro. After a short while we encountered another of those road closed signs. Despite coming unstuck recently when we ignored a similar instruction and had to double back, we pressed on regardless. Luckily there was room to squeeze past the obstruction, and we continued into Truro, exiting by way of Chapel Hill, and thence to Bissoe. By this time the hills were beginning to take their toll and the group was becoming increasingly fragmented. This was made worse by some opting to head up to Perranwell to avoid the dreaded Suicide Alley, but most of us gritted our teeth and put our heads down and just went for it. Hangman’s Hill was the last straw and the separation was complete, but I am assured everyone got home.
A lovely setting for a refreshment stop and interesting roads. Another modest ride of 62 km for me, but still over 1,000m of ascent.
This turned out to be yet another occasion when a destination was agreed with very little dissent – are the OGILs becoming increasingly compliant, or do they just not realise what is going on? In any event, it was decided to head for the Wheal Coates Tea Room at the foot of St Agnes Beacon. Unsurprisingly, we went up to Halvasso and then Stithians, but as we are now coming to expect Ian (who was up front to make sure we didn’t follow the usual roads) engineered an excursion through Trethellan Water and then down to the outskirts of Lanner. This would have been fine (apart from the climbs), but the ride was interrupted by a herd of cows crossing the road shortly before Trethellan Water. Mysteriously, they seemed to be doing this without supervision, although I presume a human must have opened the gates either side of the road (or did they?). This is the second consecutive ride when we have had to pause to allow cattle to pass on the road – a similar thing happened on Sunday’s ride near Cury. At least they weren’t camels.
Having ridden the unwelcome deposits off our tyres, we made the white knuckle descent of Chapel Hill and then on to Carharrack and Blackwater. Just to keep things interesting, we hung a right at the ATV crossroads and then took the direct route into St Agnes to circle anticlockwise of all things round the Beacon to reach the Wheal Coates Tea Room. I don’t think I was the only one of the party never to have ridden this way round – it all felt a bit backwards.
Wheal Coates was not exactly overrun, but we got in just in the nick of time as a minibus of people from the Phillipines (but resident in Guildford, apparently) arrived. Although the menu is fairly restricted, they do quite a good line in paninis (I know, that is a double plural for you Italian purists) and slabs of cake, and we all ate our fill, as is our wont.
Despite the establishment displaying a notice about a wasp problem, we all managed to escape unscathed, and headed back by reversing the usual route in, except that we veered off towards Wheal Rose and Scorrier for the usual drag home to Penhalvean and Stithians. As usual, we shed riders on the way as they peeled off to make their individual ways home by the most direct route.
An interesting ride, despite many of us being slightly discombobulated by having to round St Agnes Beacon the wrong way. A respectable 74 km for me.