OGIL ride report 15th December 2021
Rumours had been circulating for some time that Dean the Elder had invested in a new electric bike, and we were keen with anticipation as he rode up to us at Union Corner with his bike bristling with technology. We were disappointed, though, to find that he was in fact riding his trusty old steed, but with a front light and a camera attached to his handlebars. He assured us that the camera was only £35 and that we shouldn’t hold our breath about seeing ourselves in glorious technicolour, especially as he had yet to read the manual and wasn’t sure whether it was actually on or not. We nevertheless rode off towards TOP making sure that our best sides were oriented towards Dean, just in case.
At TOP, as we were standing around chatting, Dean the Younger turned up to bring our number to a not very wholesome but at least prime thirteen. The Lizard was declared to be the winner of the suggest-a-destination competition, and we dutifully set off in dribs and drabs in the direction of Gweek. Unfortunately, Fred was not feeling on top form and decided to ride into his drive as we passed his house, bringing us down to twelve. We followed the usual route through Trelowarren, and when we reached Goonhilly Downs the usual madness seized certain of our number (most of them, in fact) and the nice leisurely ride turned into a high speed chain gang. The racers waited at Kuggar for the laggards to catch up, and we carried on a little more sensibly. Steve peeled off just as we approached the Helston/Lizard main road to get back to see his father, who unfortunately is in hospital. This returned us to a prime eleven riders.
We arrived in Lizard to find both the Regency Cafe and Fat Jacks closed. Despite some suggestions of continuing down to Lizard Point, we ended up in the Coast Coffee Bar, or rather outside as everyone had decided that it was mild enough not to risk exposing themselves to possible Covid in a hot and steamy cafe (which was actually almost empty). Apart from being a little inflexible in responding to requests to vary menu items, and getting the orders a bit mixed up, the food and coffee were acceptable.
Our stop was followed by a heads down main road dash back to Helston. We split into at least two groups, mainly by virtue of the lead group deciding to ride off from their rest spot at first sight of the next group appearing over the horizon. Still, if one must ride on the main road it is probably safer in small groups anyway.
In reaching Helston, Phil3 seemed to be amused for some reason by a sign for the hospital and insisted on being photographed next to it. Perhaps there is some hidden message (humorous or otherwise) which escapes everyone else.
We continued round the by-pass and, as is our wont, paused at the beginning of Muddy Lane to do a count to ensure we hadn’t lost anyone. We spent some time observing the building site there. The build has been proceeding at a snail’s pace for as long as anyone can remember, and we spotted a possible reason. One worker was busy dismantling a wall, while a short distance away a team was building another wall. It might have been a clever job creation scheme, mind. Muddy Lane lived up to its reputation, but I have seen it worse.
After Wendron school we took the usual route, splitting into two groups for the stretch of A394 up to Retanna. This section provided additional interest in the form of road works, with the near-side lane coned off. To keep out of the traffic we of course rode down the closed lane, but soon came across a chap walking along adjusting the cones. This would have been fine if he had kept to a straight line, but there was enough doubt about which side of him to pass to cause consternation. I went outside, but everyone behind me apparently went inside. It is not known whether the chap in question made any comments about this behaviour.
At the junction past Wendron football ground we encountered two from the front group, who claimed they were waiting to see if the rest of their group, which had taken the Redruth road from Helston and then past the Poldark Mine to Porkellis, would appear. A likely story knowing who was in the rest of the that group – the chances of them riding past the Star on the way home without stopping for refreshment are pretty negligible (this is all supposition, of course). The rest of the ride home was without incident other than having to stop for oncoming traffic on the road down from Halvasso – this is becoming the norm these days.
A nice day for a ride, but it would be nice to visit the Lizard one day without spending a large proportion of the ride on the main roads. A nice round 80km for me.