Porthtowan at low tide

OGIL ride report 13th April 2022

Jan needed to get back home early-ish so suggested heading north. After a number of suggestions were bandied around, Porthtowan was settled upon as a suitable destination despite strong support for Portreath. In this game, the loudest voices usually prevail.

We took the route to Longdowns, then past the quarry and the Greek church and past Burley Aquatics. Although the forecast had been favourable, overnight rain and the efforts of Mr Farmer made the road up to Burncoose a nice mixture of mud, gravel and other semi-liquid substances. At least one rider was heard to remark on their dislike for the “slippy-slidy” conditions. Still, we all made it to the main road in a vertical orientation, and safely executed the right-left to head towards Frogpool. But unbeknownst to us, Ian was with us in spirit if not in body and we forsook the normal route to instead hang a left down into Gwennap to then turn in front of Trevince House and along Sunny Corner. I have commented before on the loveliness of this little lane, and today’s excursion did nothing to dispel that opinion. There is also the added advantage at the end of descending Cusgarne Hill to turn into Coombe Lane, rather than negotiating that awkward left up the hill then right which is necessary when approaching from Trehaddle, and which always seems to catch a few riders out who have to scrabble madly for a low enough gear.

From there it was onto auto-pilot for the ride to Twelveheads, Chacewater and Blackwater. Up on the main road, Adrian did a crash stop into a field entrance. Concerned, Simon stopped to help, but once he realised the pause was for a natural break he decided his assistance was probably not needed and carried on. We all took the right before Mount Hawke to enjoy the roller coaster, and then some of us gallantly stopped at the cross roads to wait for Adrian. After some time, during which we amused ourselves with observations of various issues connected with micturition in older men, we decided that perhaps Adrian had failed to notice us turning right off the main road. Nobody fancied doubling back to check, so we pressed on for a high speed approach into Porthtowan. Inevitably, Adrian was there waiting for us.

Blue Bar, Porthtowan
OGIL bikes enjoying a well-earned rest at the Blue Bar, Porthtowan.
Porthtowan beach
A long walk to reach the surf with low tide at Porthtowan.

I am reliably informed that various interesting and intellectually stimulating conversations took place in the Blue Bar over coffee and edibles, but I have to rely on hearsay as it turned out that I was the only one wanting to enjoy the Spring air on the terrace outside, everyone else preferring to enjoy the warmth and comfy chairs inside. I still think I got the better deal (I have to tell myself that).

The ride home involved the lovely climb (or grovel, depending on your point of view) up the valley to Wheal Rose, and then on to Scorrier, Tram Cross Lane and down to Penhalvean. There we stopped for the usual ‘Stithians or causeway’ debate, as well as some general chatter. This week the prize went to the causeway contingent, and so we wended out way homeward along familiar lanes.

A nice Spring day ride (apart from the mud). Just over 71 km for me.

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