OGIL ride report 15th June 2022
It was lovely and warm and sunny, with only a gentle breeze blowing from the north to cool things down a little, so the eleven of us congregating at TOP were looking forward to a nice ride, probably to the seaside. On the way there we were bemused to see a stationery car half way across the Argal crossroads. Apparently Ian, who was ahead of us, had to bellow at the driver who had not seen him and was about to run him down. Ian was once again saved by his lung capacity! At TOP there was the usual dithering over choosing a destination, but it wasn’t long before we settled on Gwithian, with a choice of the Jam Pot or the Sunset Surf cafe depending on how busy it was when we got there. What we completely failed to settle on was a leader for the day, so we set off in vaguely the correct direction, hoping for the best. What this meant was that at each junction we had to stop and have a debate about the next section of route – a strategy that didn’t exactly lend itself to maintaining a sensible level of progress. At some point Dean the Younger had had enough and sped off into the distance muttering something about road rage and riding two abreast. This neatly combines the two main issues that the club needs to debate – leading rides and riding discipline (with courtesy to other road users). I am reliably informed that plans are in the pipeline to debate this soon.
And so the remaining ten continued our somewhat chaotic meandering towards the north coast, through Praze and Carnhell Green. Here, Phil3 took control by suggesting that we turn left and head towards Fraddon to save having to retrace our steps on the return journey. Nobody objected, and so our route was set (at last). This had the dubious advantage of enabling Dean the Elder to crack his joke about the last Audax, and being able to lean one’s bike against the Wall hall wall. Perhaps we should have gone straight on after all.
The lovely descent to the Copperhouse Lidl double roundabout was marred a little by motor vehicles slowing us down, and of course the nightmare double roundabout was characteristically, well, a nightmare. But once across we enjoyed the long drag up to the turning down to Gwithian beach. The road down to the beach has now been resurfaced, and is now probably the smoothest stretch of tarmac in the whole of Cornwall (bar the annoying speed bumps, of course). On arrival we commandeered three tables outside the Sunset Surf Cafe and enjoyed our drinks and nosh. As far as I could make out, everyone managed to avoid dribbling egg down their chins, so result. One of the cafe staff was impressed that we had come all the way from Falmouth, but despite our outlining our route seemed to think we must have to have come via Scorrier. This just goes to show how one’s understanding of geography varies by one’s mode of transportation (he confessed to driving to work from Falmouth). The only drawback of our stay was the realisation that coffee was being charged at £3.10! We put this down to the fact the 80% of the world’s coffee comes from Ukraine (or is it China?).
All good things have to come to an end, so we departed our refuge and headed up the hill to regain the main road. On the way up we were surprised to notice that there were several fields of purple scattered around. It looked like lavender from a distance, but didn’t smell like lavender. Our curiosity had been aroused. We rode into Gwithian and turned right up Prosper Hill. Half way up several of us stopped to examine this mystery purple crop at closer quarters. With the aid of a smartphone and the interweb of knowledge, it was identified as borage. This turns out to be an oil crop (the oil used in health products and cosmetics) commonly used as a break crop in arable rotations. Well, you learn something useful every day.
When the botanical phalanx got to Connor Downs, we were informed that Damien had decided he needed to get home quickly, but not knowing where he was needed Ian to accompany him as a guide. Adrian had latched on, presumably because he naturally rides faster than the usual OGIL dawdle. We were now down to seven as we continued to Carnhell Green and then Barripper. Here we discovered that Phil3 had experienced another of his heart rate spikes, and so understandably was going to stop for a while. Trevarno Dave stayed with him until Phil’s wife picked him up in their car, and so presumably then had to ride home solo (Phil has made a full recovery). That meant we were down to five. No spectacular route finding took place from here, and we stuck to the tried and tested lanes down to Ramsgate, Troon and Bolenowe. At Nine Maidens Jan and Simon carried on to Four Lanes, leaving the rump of three to retrace our outward route. As usual, Amanda turned off at the Argal crossroads leaving just Dean the Elder and myself to carry on down into Falmouth and home.
A jolly nice ride once we got ourselves organised – about 76 km for me.