OGIL ride report bumper issue

After the critically acclaimed double reports recently, we now have for your delectation a bumper issue containing three, yes three, reports detailing the antics of the OGILs on Wednesday mornings.  Please note that due to the time elapsed between the rides and the writing of the report, there may be some errors of fact that have escaped the editor.

OGIL ride report 20th April 2022

The prospect of dry roads and even some sun sent the OGILs into optimism overdrive, despite a distinctly cool northerly breeze, and more than usual bare flesh was in evidence as we congregated at TOP. The score on the door according to my tally was shorts 1, three-quarters 3, longs 5. Ignoring the goose bumps, a swift decision was made to head for Perranuthnoe as we were reliably informed that it was now open again after being closed for building work.

Off we tootled along the usual route via Halvasso, Carnkie and Porkellis. At the main Helston to Redruth road, however, there was a shock deviation from normality when we turned right instead of carrying straight across to Releath. A short stretch on the main road and we turned left to Black Rock and the lovely (but chilly) descent into Praze. Here we paused a while for convenience. As we chatted, two riders appeared from the rear and looked us over as if sizing us up. They enquired whether we were a riding group. I don’t think they heard the sarcastic comments, only the friendly ones inviting them to join us. The two riders were Christine and Mike, recently moved to Crowntown from Turkey via Burton. Join us they did for a rapid (for us) dash down the main road to Goldsithney, their beshorted forms skewing the clothing ratio further in favour of the optimists. I must confess that I am not totally enamoured by this kind of riding, with fast traffic making it difficult to avoid the dodgy road surfaces in places. The only plus point is that the climb out of Relubbus is easier going this way than when we use this route to return.

Anyway, we all arrived safely at our destination and placed our orders enthusiastically with the rather grumpy lady at the hatch of the Cabin. The inside accommodation looks as if it has been at least doubled in size, and a further addition is still in progress. Unfortunately, the promised bike racks were nowhere to be seen, but perhaps they are part of phase 3 of the development. We commandeered a number of the picnic tables and wondered how it managed to be so chilly when we should have been sheltered from the northerly breeze. Still, the sea was nice and calm.


The Cabin, Perranuthnoe
An artist’s impression of the new interior space at the Cabin, Perranuthnoe. Photo courtesy of Phil3.

Going home used the route we would usually employ to get there, except that at Godolphin Cross we turned right then a bit down the road left to Carleen. This little detour was to deliver Christine and Mike to somewhere close enough to Crowntown that they could find their way home easily. As we bad them farewell, they seemed happy enough, and we ensured that they had all the relevant information to enable them to join us on future rides. We haven’t seen them since – I like to think they found another group closer to home to ride with.

We took a little scenic trip past Trevarno Dave’s old gaff to Prospidnick and thence to Coverack Bridges. From there we rode on full auto-pilot via Wendron school to Retanna, then Hernis and you know the rest.

Mostly an enjoyable ride with glimpses of sun. Round about 75 km for me.

OGIL ride report 27th April 2022

The inexorable march towards summer continued, with more dry and intermittently sunny weather, tempered by a stiff and cooling easterly wind. This meant that most opted to continue wearing jackets and gilets. Once more, a decision on destination was made fairly rapidly at TOP, and so we set off for Porthleven. The route we took was absolutely standard with no deviations either on the outward or return leg, so unfortunately there is little to report. The most noteworthy thing on the way there was the need to pedal constantly on the cliff-top run from Ashton to Porthleven to avoid being brought to a halt by the wind, which was directly in our faces at that point. If it weren’t for the assistance lent by gravity on this particular exposed stretch it would have been quite hard work.

Nevertheless we arrived at our usual haunt, the Harbour View Cafe in Porthleven, ready to bask in the sun and enjoy our refreshments. Both of these things happened, but we did need to wrap up well to avoid the chill factor from the wind whistling around the quay.

The behaviour of the Wheelers being carefully observed
Basking in the sun in Porthleven

All good things must come to an end, and so we departed via the cobbles and along Loe Bar Road. Inexplicably, whoever was at the front decided to take the early left turn up the steepest possible route instead of going round the loop, which has the added advantage of nice views across Porthleven to admire. And so we struggled up the hill in our lowest gears, only to be surprised by a call of ‘coming through’ as Dean the Elder shot past us all at an unbelievable rate of knots. Of course, he had to admit that in an episode of abandon he had dialled the battery on his e-bike up to boost him into hyperdrive, flouting his usual policy of never using more than the lowest setting, and then only in extreme circumstances. I know we are all thinking how long will it be before we succumb to electrical assistance.

We enjoyed a nice leisurely saunter through Penrose before tackling the hill up through Helston and then the unusually dry Muddy Lane. The usual route home from there, achieved without incident.

A pleasant ride along familiar lanes, trying hard to pretend that summer is almost here. Around 66 km for me.

OGIL ride report 4th May 2022

We were greeted by a lovely bright sunny morning with barely a whiff of breeze, tempting several out with shorts and even short sleeve jerseys. Some more conservative among us (who probably also read the weather forecast) hedged their bets by displaying an impressive collection of arm and leg warmers, longs, three-quarters, jackets and gilets. Also of note was new member Trevor, resplendent in a shiny new club jersey. He had made the mistake of turning up at the club meeting last Thursday. Apparently, he was fallen upon and pressed to pay his sub and buy club kit. Which is more than can be said about some other long-standing members.

And so the twelve of us at TOP eventually (after some prompting) engaged in a discussion about destination. Each suggestion was greeted with groans and a comment in the form ‘but we went there X’ where X could be anything from last week, to Sunday, two weeks ago or anything else. Having discovered that every suggested destination was the subject of an objection from somebody, we desperately needed to make compromises. A suggestion that we could go to Portreath, but via Hells Mouth with the added attraction of a nice dash along the North Cliffs, was seized upon with relish.

We rode out to Nine Maidens, but ignored the obvious routes to Bolenowe or Troon and instead carried on south, turning right just before Black Rock to more or less double back on ourselves – an extra few miles I suppose. A pleasant little excursion past Treslothan church ensued, but as we resumed our high speed descent we were surprised to encounter Ian in the road waving his arms and bellowing incomprehensibly. Although we are generally inclined to ignore his antics, we decided to slow down just in case. The cause was apparently a lady leading a pony who was taking refuge from the hoard of bikers in a gap in the hedge. She seemed less exercised than Ian, though. We continued on our way to Barripper and then to Penponds and across the A30. I think we all enjoyed the descent into Coombe, but I doubt whether that same can be said of the climb out towards Hells Mouth. Still, it was over and done with reasonably quickly, completely different from Sa Colabra on which a certain individual of our number gained an accolade which I will refrain from mentioning to spare them blushes. You can read all about it in the forthcoming report on the Mallorca expedition.

Arriving at the junction with North Cliffs we found Ian in conversation with a rather elderly verge strimmer. While we were engaging in light-hearted banter, a cyclist hove into view from the direction of Gwithian, obviously on an e-bike. The squad immediately leapt into action, and in a trice (well, several actually) a few of us managed to catch up with him (for it was a he) and overhaul him. A good job the limiter kicks in at 15½ mph and there are no real uphills before Portreath, though.

At the Atlantic Cafe, our pit stop of choice (the Bike Hub is now persona non grata after committing some grave undefined offence), we split into two groups – the insiders and the outsiders. Being one of the outsiders I have no idea what was discussed in the cafe, but I doubt whether the intellectual temperature was any higher than outside, despite the actual temperature probably being a fair few degrees higher. We listened in fascinated awe as Simon recounted his experience of being a guinea pig at KCL – he underwent a number of tests that apparently included heavy breathing, being electrocuted, having needles inserted into his thigh and wiggled about and samples taken of just about every bodily fluid (and solids) you can imagine. All very scientific, I’m sure.

The squad poses for photos in front of the admiring crowds in Portreath, with Simon trying a bit too hard to look cool

Whilst enjoying our respective repasts (even though they had run out of vegan sausages!), we had a WhatsApp message from Dean the Elder. He had earlier detached himself from the ride as he was on his ‘proper’ bike, the e-bike being at the shop for repairs, and was consequently going a bit on the slow side (this sacrifice also reduced our number to a nice prime eleven). He helpfully informed us that the road into Redruth (the Old Portreath Road) was closed and completely blocked at the A30 overpass. This prevented us from returning using the usual route (phew) and so we rode out to Cambrose, turning right onto the start of the Tram Way but then turning left before we hit the real trail stuff to ride through Mawla, then down to Wheal Rose, Scorrier, Treskerby, etc etc. And so we continued along the familiar roads to arrive at Stithians, where a minor split occurred. Phil3 claimed his bike will only go straight across at the cross roads, whereas most others were intent on turning right. So Phil did indeed go that way, taking a couple of other sympathetic riders with him. We caught up with them at the weighbridge above Halvasso, a little surprised that they had got there before us. And so, reunited, we completed the ride in cheerful spirits.

An interesting ride considering we were covering familiar ground, and better than average weather to boot. About 78 km for me.

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