OGIL ride report 15th September 2021
As we congregated at Union Corner, we were surprised by the arrival of a new face, who introduced himself as Bruce. He claimed to be a friend of Councillor Dean, but he also admitted that his name was an alias, so we will have to wait for Dean to reappear to confirm this. Dean wasn’t the only absentee – none of the Welsh ride contingent turned up. I suppose they were either recovering or had important domestic chores to catch up on. When we got to TOP it was reassuring to see that we numbered eleven in total, a nice and comforting prime number. However, this didn’t last long as Sarah mysteriously materialised, as she does, to make a round dozen. It was sunny, warmish and with hardly a breeze, so Poldhu was proposed as the obvious choice, but there was dissent in the ranks and we eventually compromised on Gwithian.
Off we went up to Halvasso and up to Nine Maidens. At some point, Bruce decided he had had enough of our inane conversation and decided to peel off for a solo ride. We were sorry to see our newest arrival go, but on the other hand it restored our ranks to a nice prime eleven. Phil1 seemed to have assumed the role of leader for the day, and we followed him to Black Rock, then down into Praze, through Leedstown and Fraddon before turning right to take us to the Hayle Lidl and thence onto the coast road. Somehow Phil1’s route seemed to have more downhill than up, which obviously couldn’t actually be the case, but the illusion was a pleasant indulgence.
As we laboured up the hill towards Gwithian we had a rather alarming encounter with a rubbish truck. Having committed himself to an overtake, he discovered that he was unable to complete the manoeuvre before the oncoming traffic became a bit too close for comfort. His solution was simply to drift in towards the kerb, despite still being alongside several of our party. Jan came quite close to being forced onto the verge, but luckily we all escaped unscathed. So much for professional drivers!
Arriving at Gwithian Beach we split into two groups, one favouring the Sunset Surf café and the other the Jam Pot. I’m unclear whether this was a deliberate strategy to spread the lurv or whether it was to do with the quality of the respective coffee and food offerings. Whichever, I found myself in the Sunset Surf café with four others, making a reassuring five in total, another nice prime number.
I can only speak for my group, but the service and victuals were quite satisfactory, despite the limited vegan options. When we were finished and thinking of moving on, a quick WhatsApp to the other group revealed that they were still waiting for food, so we elected to return without them. I assume one of their number knew the way back. It was also rumoured that Sarah had gone for a swim, but this is hearsay and inadmissible in proceedings.
The return was into Gwithian itself and right up Prosper Hill. Nobody was particularly worried about this vertical challenge until Phil1 helpfully pointed out that there is a cemetery at the top for those who found the climb a bit too much.
But we all managed it (it’s not actually that bad) and carried on to Connor Downs, Carnhell Green and Barripper. Here, Amanda accidentally (I presume) swallowed a fly, but for some reason refused the remedy offered of swallowing a spider. Perhaps she thought it was the start of a culinary slippery slope. All extra protein, though. We carried on to Troon, Bolenowe (note the pronunciation, please), Four Lanes and Penhalvean. Here Jan bade us farewell, which messed up our prime number run, but we couldn’t really ask her to ride to Falmouth then back out again just to maintain our mathematical predilection. So the gang of four continued through Stithians and thence home by the usual route.
Fantastic weather for a bike ride, and a nice spot for refreshments. 76 km for me.