Racing for the press deadline

OGIL ride report 8th December 2021

As usual, we stopped at the bottom of the hill from Halvasso to bid farewell to our illustrious Chairman, who insisted then on broaching the subject of who was going to write the ride report for today (Sunday). We all agreed that the last person to arrive at the stopping point would draw the short straw, in full knowledge that Martin and Margaret were not there. After a while it dawned on us that they were not coming – they had obviously gone straight on down the main road, no doubt muttering under their breath that no-one had said goodbye. A volunteer was requested, as which point everyone suddenly became very interested in the tarmac by their feet and peculiarly mute. This tactic having failed, some bright spark (who shall remain nameless) suggested that Sarah had yet to experience the joy of having their prose plastered over the website for everyone else to criticise. Despite her protests that she is almost illiterate (it was pointed out that she could simply construct a photo-montage from her voluminous photos taken at strategic points along the route, although these are mostly selfies), the job was hers. At this point, it was realised that the ride report for the previous Wednesday’s OGIL ride (that is, this report) had not yet appeared. Clearly, the race was on, as it is unthinkable that a Sunday ride report should appear before the previous Wednesday’s OGIL report. You can be the judge of who won this particular race.

All of this is preamble to pad out the report, as to be honest not a lot happened on the Wednesday OGIL ride. A total of eight souls gathered in the murk at TOP, with a brisk and cold wind blowing from the northwest. A suggestion of Jenn’s Diner as the destination was gratefully received, being not too far and promising a warm and dry environment, with the added benefit of the ride there being mostly to windward and so with a wind-assisted ride back.

Of course, it goes without saying that we would not ride a direct route there. We were led up to Nine Maidens, then Bolenowe (note the pronunciation please), then Brea and to Tehidy. Despite only being a couple of miles short of the delightful resort of Portreath we turned back to Illogan. At this point, our tour guide became a little uncertain and calls went out for a map as we languished at the double mini-roundabout. None was to be had, and despite the suspicion that the road signposted to Black Country would get us to the crossroads with the Old Portreath Road, it was decided to play safe and head down Bridge Road on the quite reasonable assumption that it would bring us out in Bridge. And it did, so that everyone was now on familiar territory, and to everyone’s relief we followed the Old Portreath Road down to Jenn’s Diner. All were happy to be pedaling along the old familiar roads except for one individual (who shall remain nameless, but is not the same nameless person quoted above) who insisted on pointing out that we seem to have come down a hill into Bridge just to climb another to get out again. Oh well, that’s Cornwall for you.

Jenn’s Diner was quiet when we arrived, and the staff leapt into action to push together two tables to accommodate our eight, except we were now seven as Paul had declined to stop and carried on home solo to attend to some urgent matter or other. Service was rapid and friendly, despite Phil3’s attempts to confuse the waitress. Suitably refreshed, we went outside to resume our ride, but unfortunately certain of our number spontaneously broke into song. I have to confess the result was surprisingly not entirely untuneful, but it still frightened the birds.

Jenn's Diner
Jenn’s Diner OGIL group minus Paul – Phil1 wasn’t as grumpy as he looks.

The route home was undertaken on autopilot through Redruth, right at the top of Lanner Hill and on to Penhalvean. I am not even aware that there was much debate about whether to go through Stithians or over the causeway, or once at Stithians whether to carry straight on to Deaf Cat Alley or turn right, but turn right we did. We were riding as if of one mind, our individuality surrendered to the good of the swarm. Or we might have just been a bit tired and eager to get home.

We survived the day without getting blown off our bikes or getting wet. A jolly fine outing for all, I believe. A modest but nonetheless not easy 60km for me.

Photograph courtesy of photo-journalist Sarah

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