Wot, no ice, no rain, no wind? Temperature well above freezing? Is it Spring already? Clearly I wasn’t the only one with these questions in mind as a reasonable crowd assembled at Union Corner. Everyone was in a cheerful mood as they looked forward to a ride that seemed unlikely to result in a drenching and a freezing. The numbers swelled even more when we reached The Other Place to a heady nine. Included was Mike, sporting immaculate black and yellow apparel and confessing to being a self-appointed style icon. Despite the fact that the black and yellow colour scheme brought back anguished memories of a previous wasp-infested visit to the the Wheal Coates tea room, that was indeed the destination suggested by Simon. However, nobody demurred and so we set off up the hill to Halvasso and on to Stithians. Here Mike peeled off to do a circuit of the pond, citing range anxiety, although it was unclear whether this related to his battery or his legs. Fred had also departed to do his own thing, fearing that the period since his last bike outing (the Roastie ride) would slow him, and therefore the rest of the group, down. He vowed to meet up with us at the cafe.
So we proceeded along the tried and tested route to the Burncoose Nursery, then Cusgarne, Twelveheads and Chacewater. On through Blackwater and then the thrill of the big dipper at Mount Hawke, attenuated a little by slow moving traffic on the downhill bit. We soon found ourselves outside the Wheal Coates tea room (a mere two minutes after the 11 o’clock deadline), but were shocked to note that the board outside announced that it was closed on Wednesdays. Indeed, the large double doors into the tea room were closed. The only sign of human presence was the open door to the toilets and the usual banner fluttering in the breeze. Not to be deterred, a bit of door rattling revealed that the place was actually open, just pretending not to be. So we piled in, did a bit of furniture re-arrangement to accommodate our number, and settled in for some nourishment. Fred turned up shortly afterwards and received a round of applause. Danny generously provided us all with coffee and tea to celebrate his birthday.
The ride home was uneventful, proceeding down into St Agnes and along Water Lane. Just before the main road we looked left and could see traffic on the new A30, and the double bridges at the Chiverton interchange. Attractive though this vista was, we pressed on to Skinner’s Bottom and Wheal Rose, then Scorrier and Treskerby and round Redruth to reach the old tramway at the top of Lanner Hill. From there it was down to Penhalvean, where a brief discussion ensured that everyone was agreed not to retrace our steps into Stithians but instead to carry on over the causeway and home that way.
A very enjoyable ride in pleasant conditions for the time of year. About 75 km for me.