Twenty one Leisure riders set off from Tamar View Industrial Estate at Saltash (some having already cycled over from Plymouth), travelled a short distance on the A388 before turning right towards Botus Fleming and then onto Hatt roundabout. Quite a few of us were on roads that we have never been on before and looking forward to our trip into ‘proper’ Cornwall.
It was straight across the roundabout and on to and through Pillaton. We regrouped at the top of a hill and again before turning right towards St Mellion where everyone was admiring Clive’s pink handle bar tape (actually I think I was the only one admiring it whilst the others partook in a bit of micky taking!). It was then onwards and upwards past the Golf and Leisure Club to the roundabout and straight over towards St Dominic.
As we headed towards the village it attempted to rain, but I think our good moods soon put a stop to that and the sun came out instead. I was now on roads that I knew (for a change) and from the Who’d Thought It I lead the way down through Bohetherick and to Cotehele with fantastic views of the river Tamar to the right of us. When we got to the bottom of the descent my bike slowed downed and tried to turn right into Cotehele quay for an ice cream as it has done many times in the past! This gave the group chance to whizz by me, but I managed to stay with Lee and annoy him with my clicking pedal… well why should I suffer alone!
It was on the climb to Harrowbarrow that we met with Kevin who had stopped to wait for the group to catch up and we realised that there were about 5 still behind us. Lee carried on to inform the front group and I waited with Kevin for a bit (and a chance to eat my banana) until I decided that as I was slower than the rest I would get going and it wouldn’t be long before they would catch up with me again. As I was coming out the other side of Harrowbarrow I met Alex and Lee heading back towards me unsure of the route the others had taken. This is where my local knowledge came in handy as I was able to lead them back to the ‘pack’.
We waited for a while and then Simon decided he would go back and find out what had happened to the others as there were rumours of a puncture and / or a mechanical. Just as he was about to set off Helen, Sharon and Trevor came into view and informed us that Charles had had a puncture and him and Justin were not far behind.
It was then onto St Ann’s Chapel and a slight change to the route (at my suggestion) in order to avoid the main road. We turned right and then took the first left to Delaware and passed the quarry; a nice flat road with two slight climbs in which Clay was very pleased to hear about, that brought us out onto the road towards Kit Hill. At the junction I decided to come clean and tell everyone that coming at Kit Hill from this route meant that we were hitting it on the steeper side and now had a sharp climb to take us to the café stop (opposite to the usual YOGi way!!). Poor Clay hit the hill in his big front ring – but hats off to him, he kept going and got to the top – no doubt with burning legs!
Our café stop was at the Louis Tearooms and fortunately they had plenty of space for us and it made a nice change to have table service. Mark left us at this point and headed off home. Dave decided to give the cakes a miss this week and had a fish finger sandwich instead, accompanied by a banana milkshake!
Once fed and watered, we now had the chance to go down the hill we had just been up, turn left and have a fast blast into Kelly Bray. A right turn past the Swingletree pub and we were soon on the A39 time trial route and zipping along at a good pace (by the way there is a 16 mile time trial on this road on 17th April being held by St Budeaux CC – ask Greg Mack for details if interested).
We followed the road as it forked left towards Bodmin. A left turn at Bray Shop took us along the road which turns into a lane towards South Hill. Here I was able to give Sharon and Clay running commentary about the twists and turns in the road and where the mud was likely to be – Sharon said I was like a cycling SatNav!
At South Hill we turned left and headed back towards Kelly Bray through Maders and past Colin’s scrapyard. Here Clay left us to head back to Menheniot which was brave as he didn’t really know where he was going – we hope you got back safe and sound. The rest of the group headed round the back of Callington and then down the back lane towards Dupath House and regrouped at the top before turning left onto the A388.
A short blast up the road before we turned right into Amy Tree and I was back on unfamiliar territory. Here I got chance to catch up with Trevor and discuss our upcoming trip to the Maratona. At this point I hadn’t a clue where we only for Trevor to inform me that we were on the road we came along this morning! I blame Paul for my lack of observation skills for distracting me with time trial talk on the route in!
It wasn’t long before we had arrived at Hatt. Poor Charles was struggling a bit due to lack of food intake and was being helped back by a few others. Those who had cycled in from Plymouth decided to head back to Saltash with Justin – Lee and Sharon kindly offered their cake and fig roll to give to Charles before setting off and leaving me and Sarah to wait for the others. It wasn’t long before they were with us and we headed back to Saltash in time to catch the rest of the group and rib Dave about his bright green socks with their “sex on legs” logo and to thank Sarah and Justin for a great route before we headed off home. I was also privy to Dave and Clive’s conversation about their cookers – not something I ever imagined I would hear two men would discuss!
It was nice for me to be able to catch up with some of the regulars as I haven’t been out for a while – how nice to know I’d been missed! It was also nice to see some new faces to the group and I look forward to seeing you again.
The route distance was 39 miles and the average pace was 13.4mph – this is higher than normal due to lovely flat stretches of road and everyone trying to drop me and my clicking pedal! It is now fixed.
Riders this week were: Alex (and his new wheels), Charles, Clay, Clive, Dave, Hamish, Helen B, Jackie, James, Justin, Kevin, Lee K, Mark R, Mark, Paul, Sarah, Sharon, Simon Rooke, Simon Rose, Steve R and Trevor.