Change of plan

OGIL ride Wednesday 28th February 2024

A dedicated group of us assembled at Union Corner hoping that the weather forecast would turn out to be on the pessimistic side, but a persistent mizzle was already in the air, and the sky looked an unpleasant shade of grey.  It was decided to see how it went, and we set off to The Other Place where a small crowd was huddling in the lee of the trees.  As is now the way, a gpx file of the route for today to Hayle had been (re-)published on the WhatsApp group, but a discussion ensued as to whether this was really the weather to be riding to Hayle in.  Opinion was split about 50/50 on this question, and in the end the ride split in this exact ratio, with five setting off for Hayle, and the wimp (sensible?) contingent of five (Dean the Elder, Paula, Steve, Phil3 and yours truly) setting off for Trevassack lake.  Unfortunately Steve did not last last long, still suffering from low energy and lack of puff, and turned back, leaving four of us (with me on the only remaining human powered bike) to press on in the deteriorating conditions.  The steep descents to Gweek were taken fairly cautiously in view of the wet, poor surface and mud on the road.

As usual we paused at Gweek to regroup, and the temptation to call it a day and pile into the boatyard cafe was almost too great to resist, but resist we did.  Despite the conditions, the ride along Gweek Drive still managed to lift the spirits with the beauty of the woods and the (somewhat swollen) stream cascading through it.  After Mawgan we rode through Trelowarren as usual.  As we emerged from the woods at the top of the climb, it became apparent that we were being followed by what I took from the sound to be an agricultural vehicle.  Being public spirited, be pulled over to let it pass, only to discover that it was just a car with a particularly clattery diesel engine.  Still, the driver was pleased to have his way cleared.

We very soon found ourselves at our destination.  This was my first real visit, my previous attempt having been thwarted by a royal visit.  I must confess to being quite impressed with the facilities, although I think the yoga class was a little startled to see a quartet of soggy cyclists walking their bikes around the veranda.  The cafe itself is compact but (importantly) warm.  The coffee/tea and food (I recommend the mushroom ciabatta) was excellent and the staff friendly.  While we were chatting and staring out at the gloom over the lake, we were approached by a staff member who said that they were keen to attract more cyclists, and what would we advise about bike racks.  We agreed that a simple bar which can have saddles hooked over it (a la Stithians lake cafe) was the best.  It will be interesting to see if it has materialised next time we visit.

Trevassack Lake
View of the gloom from the cafe

We eventually had to tear ourselves away from the comfort of the cafe and brave the elements again.  Fortunately, the wet stuff was considerably reduced by this time, but we nevertheless decided that a main road bash to Garras and then back to Gweek was the quickest way home.  On the basis that we avoid retracing our steps as much as possible, we took the main Falmouth road out of Gweek (we had come down four mile hill on the way out), and then took the right turn to Constantine.  Phil3 seemed determined to go to Port Navas, suggesting that we could then go to Mawnan and home via Maenporth, but the rest of us resisted, knowing full well about the hills involved.  So we carried on up to High Cross, presumably so called because it is high on the top of the hill, and having laboured up the incline one tends to be a little cross.  At this point Phil3 turned off to fulfil his destiny of riding to Port Navas (his excuse is that it is the quickest way home for him – I suppose he has a point).  The rump of the ride then carried on to Lamanva and the old familiar roads home.

A damp and chilly ride, but quite jolly in the end. From the WhatsApp chatter it sounds like the main ride that went to Hayle had a good day, as did the early group, so everyone was happy.  A paltry 47 km for me.


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