No Coates for the Whealers

OGIL ride report 23rd March 2022

Although the day started fresh, so that most opted for gilets and jackets, these were discarded as the day progressed to reveal a glorious display of Wheelers club jerseys, the like of which has not been seen since, well, last summer. I say most opted for some form of protective clothing, but this was not the case for BA Steve who turned up sporting flashy Gore shorts (but disappointingly in long sleeves). His explanation was that he overheats easily, such is his impressive thermal output, equivalent to a moderately sized domestic radiator. Whereas most of the Zwift junkies measure their output in watts, Steve apparently gauges his output in Btu. The clement weather also drew out an increasing number of summer bikes, with and without clip-on mudguards.

So it was that a decision was relatively easily made to head for Wheal Coates by St Agnes Beacon. This was despite accusations of the food being inadequate, the main fare apparently being limp paninis (for all you Italian speakers I realise this is a double plural, but I will continue with the normal English usage to avoid confusion amongst the limp brained). Off to Halvasso we went, then right and left at Longdowns past the quarry and then left at the Greek church. At the bottom of Tubbon Hill we turned off towards Burley Aquatics and carried straight on along the course of the Kennal (such a delightful lane), then turned right up to Trethellan Water, where we took a left followed by a right to follow our normal return route towards Redruth. Before we got to Lanner Hill, though, we took a right which totally discombobulated quite a few of our number to such an extent that the OGIL rule of making sure the person following was in fact following round the turn was temporarily suspended. This meant that a few became disconnected from the group, never to be seen again (at least for the time being).

After a short pause to see if anyone retraced their steps and receiving a dressing down from the leader, we turned right onto Lanner Hill then immediately left to follow Pennance Road to Carharrack. Here we forked left towards Crofthandy, taking the lane going directly northwards to gain the road we normally use from Chacewater just before the A30 and Blackwater. From here it was the usual route, turning right just before Mount Hawke to negotiate the roller coaster. We became a little strung out after this, and there was momentary confusion when some seemed to forget where we were going and took the left turn towards Porthtowan, but we managed to re-group at the layby further on before turning left towards the Beacon. Riding round the Beacon revealed fantastic views down to Godrevy and St Ives, and everyone soft-pedalled to take in the vista. It was so clear you could see as far as the eye could see, if not further.

Arriving at the Wheal Coates Tea Room we discovered Simon already there, having become disconnected at some point earlier and either ridden very fast or taken a short cut, or both. The cafe was very quiet and they dealt with our orders admirably promptly. Our earlier concerns about the food being inadequate were dispelled when we discovered that they have started a breakfast menu with eggs and all, and even the paninis turned out to be quite rigid. The cake was also good, but it is in the nature of the OGILs to find something to complain about, and in this case it was the coffee. Admittedly it was a bit on the watery side, but surely it’s all about taking on fluid.

Wheal Coates Tea Room
OGILs eagerly anticipate their breakfasts and cake, whilst complaining about the coffee

On leaving, most of us took our time heading for St Agnes, taking one last opportunity to soak up the scenery and take the odd photo (believe me, some of them are very odd [not yours, Sarah, of course]). The return route was pretty conventional, skirting St Agnes, down past the ATV centre to Skinners Bottom, Wheal Rose and Scorrier to Penhalvean and Stithians. Here there was a difference of opinion, and some of us went straight on at the crossroads to negotiate Deaf Cat Alley rather than going right to suffer the long drag. I’m still not convinced that it is an easier ride, but we were nearly home so we gritted our teeth and got on with it.

A superb destination in such amazing weather. A longer than usual OGIL ride – just about 80 km for me.

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