Autumn comes early

OGIL ride report 20th July 2022

Fresh from reading about record-breaking temperatures across the UK (though not, apparently, in Cornwall), everyone turned up at UC in shorts and short-sleeved jerseys and sporting double water bottles to avert the risk of dehydration. That is, everyone except Ian, who warned us that we were all dressed for 30C when the forecast was for 18C, feeling like 15C after taking into account the wind chill. Of course, nobody listened to him (they rarely do, except when navigation is concerned), and in any case it was too late to return home to retrieve woolly jumpers and gloves. As it turned out, Ian’s prediction was a little optimistic – my Garmin (actually a Wahoo, but you know the argument about generic hoovers) recorded a low of 12C and an average for the ride of 13C.

At ToP, the appetite for a reasonably long ride was somewhat muted, with several explaining that they had to get back early for various unspecified reasons. So it was agreed that we would ride to the Stithians water sport centre, supposedly the long way round so that our ride wouldn’t look too pathetic on Strava. So ten of us embarked on this gruelling trek (excluding Damien who arrived in his car with his bike on the roof, but after a brief exchange drove off again). Once we had left the relative comfort of ToP, the reason for the low temperature became apparent – a thick, damp mist that got worse the further inland we rode and the higher we climbed. Most donned jackets, but the (fool)hardy amongst us refused to believe this weather could occur in mid-July and carried on regardless, whilst others had even come out without a jacket (note: this is Cornwall, always be prepared!). So we wended our way via Longdowns, the Greek church and Burley Aquatics to take the delightful lane along the Kennal valley to Penhalvean and thence to our destination.

The staff at Wild Vibes were not the least bit phased by the arrival of a bunch of extremely soggy cyclists (I suppose water sports generally involve getting a bit soggy, so no real surprise there), and we piled in to enjoy coffee and cake courtesy of Mike (of electric bike conversion fame), who was celebrating his birthday (number unspecified). Even though some tried it on a bit and ordered full breakfasts, Mike good-humouredly insisted on paying for everything. Chapeau.

Riding in the rain
An artist’s impression of the OGIL ride near Stithians

The weather improved as we rode back to Penarth, then Porkellis and across the Helston road to Seworgan and then Brill. I think the intention was then to ride to Constantine, on the grounds that the hills that way are a bit more manageable, but Ian had already carried on, no doubt keen not to lose any momentum on his single speed before tackling the hill after Slice, and we felt compelled to follow. The rest of the ride was predictable and uneventful.

A shortish ride, and a bit miserable at the start, but things improved as the morning progressed (especially after the free coffee and cake) – about 45 km for me.

NB: no photo today – low light conditions

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