Summer has arrived so taking the opportunity to ride before Winter sets in

It started off a gorgeous day and got more gorgous as the morning went on. We have chores to do but walking the dogs and then going for a ride took precidence.

We decided to ride up to the Snails Pace Cafe. We love it there, it’s totally off grid and powered by solar panels and has a composting loo. Brilliant place, if you are in the area, I heartily recommend a visit. Today we couldn’t decide between Pistachio cake and Carrot cake so we had both. Just one slice of each and then cut each slice in half.

We’d already nibbled when I remembered to take the pic. Sorry about that. The coffee there, is always great and comes in the caffetiere thing with a big mug.

Anyway, running ahead of myself as per.
The sun was shining, there was only a slight breeze and we were really keen to get out for a ride. Had a bit of home ‘admin’ to sort first. Voting, popping to LBS for new innertube, glue-less patches and a couple of Co2 canisters. We also blagged an old chain from his bin as we have a bit of a project requiring old bike chains. Watch this space over the next few blogs and all will be revealed. Finally, sorted for the bikes and got out and riding. 1st ride in shorts too, proper shorts, not the 3/4 ones.

Once we were past the turning for Wenfordbridge, there is a gorgeous bit of trail where you can see the river in the valley. Today we stopped and went down and took some pics. Kenn has been down but I was in my MTB boots which are not conducive for walking down banks in, without breaking your neck. We took the bikes with us and had a nice chat with a couple down there playing with their dogs, and took a couple of pictures while we were at it.

The Spaniel was having a fantastic time, swimming about. The Yorkie cross was barking it’s head off and having a blast. Over to the right was a nice quiet Lab chasing his ball about, and not making a sound. Lovely dogs all.

After 5 mins or so, we plodded back up to the track and rode to the Cafe – see above. I did ask them if they had any seasonal work. They took name and contact details and asked what catering experience I have. I don’t have much but I’ve worked in a Bingo Hall Cafe, Norwich Union kitchens and have pub experience as well as a burger/hot dog place. None of it recent, which I was absolutely honest about. On the plus side, I can change a puncture, fettle gears and know about bikes generally. I’d really love to work there.

On the way back, we stopped to watch the cows, in a field. On the way there, they were tucked up the top end of the field but, on the way back, they were closer. Munching and mooing away, we noticed a spotty cow so took a pic of her.


Heading back and close to home, I could see that I’d ridden 23.6 miles. As usual, I think that’s a daft place to stop (is my OCD showing?) so rode over the river – Actually I got off and walked as riding over the footbridge is frowned upon – and rode along to Egloshayle and then road back into Wadebridge from that side of the river. I still needed a quick ride past ours and back to make up the 25 miles, so I’ll go a bit further along the track at Egloshayle next time.

If anyone is interested, I have a Strava thing:
I’m up on my monthly target by 20 miles or so but down on my annual target by 380 or so. Still, summer is here and long may it last. Riding in Norfolk this weekend. I’ll get a few miles in, on the flat. Can’t wait:) and really looking forward to seeing my friends.

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Bank Holiday lazy pootling about

I really wanted to ride today but then, I really couldn’t be bothered. A bout of depression has just not been funny. Riding generally helps but I seem to have the weight of the world on my shoulders at the moment. This new job malarkey, missing Norfolk a lot more than I thought I would and still feeling awful after having to give Billy-dog up. It’s been over 8 weeks now and I’m still getting weepy every time I think about it. Billy immediately went to a super new home, but that’s not the point. I miss him a lot.

This week I got a couple of 10 milers in and a 2 miler – yes really, it was windy!

Tuesday it was blowing a hooley so we rode a mile, thought ‘bugger this for a game of onions’ and turned back for a cuppa. Saturday we got a quick 10 miles up the trail towards Bodmin, and back. Sunday a quick 10 miles towards Padstow and back and today, Kenn was dialysing and I was at home, feeling sorry for myself.

I got the CX off the wall and decided to ride up towards Camelford. Nice sort of day, the BBC were right, it howled it down with rain all morning and lunch time but got nice about 3pm so I changed and got myself out of the door.

I had a nice ride and once on the trail, drafted an electric bike who had overtaken me, for a couple of miles, until his battery went flat and he had to do some pedalling.  I looked at the cows, as I passed them. Stopped and watched a buzzard for a while and then headed on again. At about 7.5 miles in to the ride, I got a visit from the puncture fairy so I hopped off and headed to a nearby seat and got the wheel off, noticed how filthy Eric had got,  and started fixing. It was a pretty area at least.

I was just swearing about my tyres – tricky to seat as they are the folding type and have a mind of their own most of the time – when a chap on a very nice Norco CX came along and helped me. I didn’t ask him, in fact I told him that I was fine, but he helped anyway. Once tyre had been inflated with my Co2 canister thing he dashed off (he seemed in a big hurry yet determined to help). That tyre went straight down again as his speed might have attributed to the pinch puncture.
I patched the original innertube, then changed the tube out again (alone and quite competently without rushing), then inflated with my pump – that counts as a workout, right? – patched the pinch punture. While I was packing away, a lady rode up and asked if I was OK and we got chatting. I decided to head back to Wadebridge and ride along with her for a while. She protested that she was very slow, but it was nice to have the company for a couple of miles. She headed towards Bodmin at the junction and I came home.

Only 15.25 miles today but better than nothing. It was a nice ride. I need some more patches and a couple of new innertubes. I’ll grab some in the bike shop in Truro tomorrow. I’ll get a price on some new Co2 canisters too. I’m planning on a trip home to Norwich at the weekend, I’ll take the roadie as he’s been sadly ignored since being here, and get a 40+ ride in.

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Who thought it was a good idea to ride to Newquay then?

Firstly this morning, I changed my tyres on Eric, the CX. It’s near enough summer so he can have his knobblies off and some Vittoria Pave tyres on, until Autumn. He looks fab IMO. I’m very fond of Eric.

With the route we had chosen, we felt that there would be a lot of hills and probably a fair bit of walking so recessed SPDs would be the way to go. We were not wrong.

The first bit, Camel Trail to Padstow, was nice and easy then we followed the cycleroute signs to the top of the hill. What a faff, it would have been easier to have gone the way with did last time. Up lots off faffy hills instead of one decent one. Heigh ho. We bobbed in at Tesco, at the top of the hill, to grab some cash for tea and cake, should some present itself en route.
We just followed the road along watching for signs for Newquay. We should have stayed off the coast road. Kenn had braking problems, which he discovered half way down a 16% hill. We stopped at the bottom and sorted them out. Some sort of fishing lake, with seats, so not too terrible.

Naturally, being at the bottom of a hill, it was mostly impossible to get back up the other side so we got off and walked. A bunch of roadies shot past, seemingly unfussed with the gradient. You can go off people. The picture of the hill does not do it justice. It was steep and long. My knee had a bit of a whinge about it. Sometimes I am reminded that I’m not getting any younger.

The hill down to Mawganporth was steep, the way up worse and lots of getting off and walking occured there. A couple more horrible hills and we were rewarded with a nice beach view, near the back of Newquay Airport.

We chatted with a couple of holidaymakers there. They suggested Electric bikes. I suggested that I was 52 and not dead. It was a lovely veiw though. We stayed put there a while, the beach was nice to look at.
The last bit into Newquay itself was not too shoddy. We had hoped for a pasty or something but the Par train was in the station and we had 2 minutes to check that bikes were allowed on and to ask if we could get a ticket on the train. We could and sat on the train all the way to Roche. That 25 minutes of sitting down was lovely.

Roche Station is nice, little and we took a couple of shots while the GPS loaded up a route to Nanstallon. It said 4 miles. Kenn’s GPS lies.

The road to Nanstallon was nice, not too busy with a couple of climbs but they were just 1% long drags. A bit like Norfolk or Suffolk in that respect. We stopped a couple of times and looked at streams, waited for sheep to cross etc.

There were some nice views as we made our way downwards (mostly) to where we knew we could join the Camel Trail and ride the last 4.5 miles home on the flat. We were very happy to see the Camel. We stopped once on the trail as there was cattle in the field. Not seen them there before. They seemed quite curious about us too. One did, the others wandered off soon enough.

2 Stravas as I can’t find a pause on my Garmin, so I turned it off and on again. Something flatter tomorrow I reckon. Up to the Snails Pace and back, cake in the middle maybe?

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There was sunshine and there was cake.

I call that a good day. I don’t know about you.

Today is my last day of freedom before rejoining the rat-race tomorrow with my new job for a large, international company. I won’t bore you with the details, but having jumped through hoops, I thought I’d take it and see what a j.o.b. is like, for the first time in 13 years or so.

Don’t get me wrong, running my own business is actual work but it’s not like being a wage slave. If I want an afternoon off, I have one. If I want to knock off early, start late, have an extended lunch or whatever, I can do that. Now I’m going to have to let someone dictate when I start, when I leave, when I can go to the loo, when I can have dinner etc. Oh dear Lord, having typed that out, I’m not sure that I’ll bother and I’ll crack on, knuckle down and make jewellery. I’ve depressed myself now.

It appeared that Kenn’s GPS was as flat as a pancake, so while he charged the poor thing up, we mucked out the shed. We also put the plants outside, we’ve grown then from seed and this is their first day outside. I’ll bring them in again tonight as I reckon that there will be a frost and they are too little to cope with it as yet. The plant sorting led to bird feeding which led to ‘oh my goodness, look at the state of the shed’ so I dragged everything out, gave the thing a sweep and had a bit of a re-organise. Having our Mark’s sack-barrow and ladder taking up a lot of space does not help but we’ve got everything back in and there is room for the recycling bags too, so they don’t make my mini front garden look such a tip.

Finally, Kenn’s GPS filled itself up and we got on the roadies and went up the the Snails Pace Cafe at Wenfordbridge. I can highly recommend their carrot cake, it’s lovely.IMG_0593
In case you are wondering about the cleat cover, my right shoe was just touching my crank from time to time and it was really annoying so Kenn just budged it up a bit. Only about 1mm but it was a lot better. The touching the crank thing wasn’t starting to get annoying after 12 miles of it at all. Noooo.

Having had a nice chat with a couple on nice MTBs a lady with a huge Northern Inuit dog, and a JRT. Nice wee thing. I thought it was just a huge white GSD but she said ‘no, a Northern Inuit’ Nice to be educated. I’ve never heard of one, let alone seen one. After 30+ years of being a dog groomer too. Bloody glad I didn’t have one of those on my table, the fluff vortex would have been epic.

Downhill all the way home, we stopped a couple of times to fuss Lurchers, wait for small children on trikes and whatnot to come by. Only one horse today, very surprised on such a nice afternoon. We got to the Ironbridge, about a mile and a half from home, and saw canoeists bobbing about in the water. The chap at the back had his dog with him. Dog had little life jacket on and everything.

OK so you can’t see the chap at the back,  with his dog, but he was there. The 2nd pic is pointing in the other direction. I thought it pretty with the light dancing about on the water. I took a pic of Kenn as well, as he was there and handy.

Quite like that pic. Those shoes are nearly fit for the bin. We are praying that Lidl or Aldi are going to have a bike even soon. Might have to shop on fleabay at this rate.

We passed our flat and headed off to Lidl, Kenn said we were out of milk. Horror of horrors, my tea would have be be black tea and nobody wants that! He seemed to find hobnobs and tiger bread while he was at it. Yum. I did a quick loop around the little block as stopping at 24.89 miles was just daft. Is my OCD showing? Surely not.


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New route today

Firstly, let me say, not that new. We still rode to Padstow on the Camel Trail, as that’s the way Kenn wanted to go. He suggested, that with my new pedals, a nice easy ride would be the way to break them in.

It’s true, I have new pedals. My old (not very old) pedals were Speedplay Zero pedals. Very very sexy things but a bugger to clip in to in a hurry. Despite copious amounts of dry lube and a fair bit of wiggling to losen the clip, they are still very hard work to clip into. My friend Simon, from the Tealandia Cycle Club – the club that I belong to – had sent the Zeros in the first place but said he had some light action jobs so he sent them along and they are a revelation. They click in, first time every time. Easy to clip out of too – the Zeros a doddle to clip out of but that spring needs more work for clipping in and, with the hills around here, I need all the help that I can get. I rode up a 12% today and had I been faffing with my pedal, I’d have been walking up a lot more of it than I did.

Anyway. The Camel Trail was heaving, as befits a nice sunny Saturday afternoon. People on hire bikes wobbling all over the road, folks with dogs on those extending flexi lead things (which I hate with a passion) all over the place, plus a few locals just trying to get somewhere, whether it’s work or just out of Wadebridge for a bit.

I stopped and took a pic of the sea, as it was several shades of blue but I don’t think my phone did it justice at all. Sorry, it’s on the huh a little. I was coughing and trying to get a shot inbetween grockles.



View of Rock from the Padstow side of the Camel Trail

Into Padstow and we decided to come back by road. Hillier but probably safer, in the grand scheme of things. Off I went up the hill to the junction to the road to take us to Wadebridge and waited and waited. I took a pic while I was up there.IMG_0587


Not a great pic but you can see the sea. After a bit, when I could see that Kenn wasn’t coming up the hill, I rode back down to find him fixing his innertube. I handed over a pump and my Co2 canister and we were soon back on the road and up this hill again. We carried on climbing and climbing until we levelled off and came to a nice junction where we could go left to Wadebridge or straight on (route for busses, lorries etc) which I reckoned would be wider roads and probably a little flatter. I used the term ‘flatter’ in a general sort of way, this being Cornwall and all. Kenn chose left. I checked to see if he was sure, he was, so off we went towards St Izzy.

Quite narrow roads and some long climbs. I took a pic of the different bits of vegetation in the bush, for no other reason than I was waiting for Kenn to come along. One bit was steep and I overtook Kenn, who was stopping to walk and I was determined to make it to the road sign and then the next road sign, then my knee protested a lot, so I stopped and walked the 30 yards or so to a nice false flat and waited for Kenn. Managed to get up the rest of the hill without too much drama.
Got a nice pic of the wind farm with the dark clouds above. I must make more of an effort to take a decent camera out. My phone is all well and good but I do miss taking an SLR out with me from time to time. Nowhere really to put it on a roadie as I hate a rucksack with a passion.IMG_0590

Eventually, we joined the A39 – a bit busy for my likes but there you go – and rode down the hill to Wadebridge. I got on the cyclepath as Beemers with numpties in them, seeing how close that they can pass, is not my idea of a fun time really. Cyclepath, much safer and I could trunk into the showground to see what was going on at the car boot sale. I could see down the hill to Wadebridge too. The sun came out again, just at the right moment so you can see Bodmin Moor stretching out in the distance.


Only a 14 mile ride, 348m of climing so Kenn was unhappy about the odd 340m of it:) Bless him. I have suggested shifting a stone and getting some more rides in.

All in all, a nice ride. Maybe over to Rock, on the ferry and then ride home on the other side of the camel tomorrow. If I can get Kenn to agree to that. Those new pedals and cleats are epic and I just adore them. Kenn planning to take over the Zeros when he gets new shoes. He didn’t get on with the single sidedness of the Keo Looks he had (I loved them) and he has a bit more leg strength for clipping in – although I suspect, I have done all the hard work with them – but I think that he will really like them and I think that his tatty old knees will like them too.


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Nice poddle about on the Camel Trail

Riding. Alone again. Naturally

Kenn at dialysis so there will be no evening riding today, anyway he has to go to the docs about his meds. I doubt I’ll ride tomorrow, as Kenn has the dentist but I had hoped to go to Bude and check out the ride along by the canal there. I’ll suggest it to him anyway. He can go to the dentist, I’ll go for a ride.

We did get out the other day for a short 8 and a bit miles. I suppose a pants ride is better than no ride. Kenn says he doesn’t want to ride as he is not very fit. He’s not fit because he doesn’t want to ride. When he does get fit he stops riding and then we are back to the start again and he’s whinging like anything about not liking riding as he’s not fit. I suggested that we sell his sexy carbon fibre Boardman and put the money towards a new Strat for me but he wasn’t keen. I fancy one of these:
This is an Eric Johnson Signature Stratocaster. In a sensible sort of colour too. How gorgeous is that! Not cheap, more than my roadie and my CX put together for a new one of those.
I could try selling Kenn on ebay. HmmmFender-American-Artist-Eric-Johnson-Stratocaster-Dakota-New-02_900_5t6qd1yx

I looked at various routes and then decided that I might head to Camelford and back. I had a nice ride, having found the track pump and put a decent amount of air in my tyres, out to Wenfordbridge and then carried on for about a mile up the road. It was about there, you see, my knee started screaming. Not audibly, that would be daft, but internally it was definitely yelling in protest.

I looked down at my knee and I was actually surprised not to see small Elven folk shoving red hot spears into my knee, because that’s what it felt like. I am not being a drama queen, it really hurt.
I wondered if pushing on to Camelford was worth the effort as there was bound to be a whole lot more ‘up’ to do. I decided that descretion was the better part of valour and did an about turn and had a lovely ‘wheeeeee’ down the hill and back past the Snail’s Pace Cafe and on to a garden I think is really pretty.

The pic probably (definitely) doesn’t do it justice. It’s really nice and sounds nice and watery too. That stream calms right down and is just about flat by the time it comes out on the other side of the trail.

Just after there, I bumped into my neighbour and we had a nice chat for 15 minutes or so, then I carried on and came across a lovely couple with their gorgeous Harlequin Great Dane. I should have taken a snap of her, as she was rather beautiful. It was this nice couple with the Dane, who told me about the Canal at Bude. Other rides around there are available. We have a car, about time we hauled the bikes about in it.

Carrying on back home the usual route – along the flat bit of Cornwall, wondering if I might have made a massive mistake coming here. I have to climb, within half a mile of leaving my front door, which ever way I leave the town – unless I go up the Egloshayle Road and then to a very fast A road. I’m not right in to this hill climbing malarkey. My knees are not keen either. Bound to be flat bits. Having to give up my Greyhound to come here, has really upset me too. It’s been 5 weeks now and I miss him so much. We’ll carry on a while longer though. Only just landed.

I passed my home and decided to do the extra 4 and a bit mile to complete a 50km ride. Trying to do one a month and, as the weather was good, I thought that now was as good a time as any. I rode though the town and onto the Camel pointing towards Padstow, rode 2 miles to the old bridge that goes over and turned about to come home. The clouds were black and very threatening, I was expecting a drenching that never came. Thankfully.

I was nearly totalled, just after turning,  by a bunch of giggling 20 somethings who were wobbling all over the trail coming towards me. I could see that they were paying no attention to anything but themselves, so I stopped and put my foot down. When the inevitable collision came, naturally it was me who was going to fast and all my fault, even though I was stationary at the time. The ‘lady’, and I say this in inverted commas, picked herself up and put her face to mine and used language that I hadn’t been subjected to since dumping my British Armed Forces ex husband.
Happily, a chap on a very sexy Trek – can’t remember what he looked like but the bike was gorgeous – came to my aid and got hold of the seatstem of the offensive girly and asked me, very pointedly, if my bike was OK. Girly didn’t like this. She was all “what about me, SHE was going too fast” – I’ve left out the expletives for brevity – Nice chap explained that I was stationary and that he had been trying to pass for over half a mile and had at least one of them not had their MP3 player earplugs in they would have heard him dinging and calling over the noise of their music and their cackling. I’m paraphrasing, of course, but that was the gyst.
Nice man was abrupt with girly and suggested that my bike probably cost more than her parents spent on her entire upbringing going by her language and probable level of education. Once chap was happy that neither I nor Eric the bike were damaged, he let go of the seatpost. Interestingly, her so called friends, cycled a way down the trail and left her to it. Nice folks.
Trek man and I had a short chat, he was curious as to what Eric is. He’s seen me bombing up and down the trail of late but generally on my roadie. He recognised my, quite distinctive bike jacket.
Off he went home to Padstow, while I headed back home. I stopped and took a pic, as I thought it looked nice.

A bit dramatic in the sky department. If you squint, you can make out the hull of an old boat just on the right behind the tree. I’ll go and explore that another day.
It was about here that I realised that I couldn’t remember if 50km was 31.2 miles or 32.1 miles. I didn’t want to be a few hundred yards out so I rode over the Bridge on Wool, once I hit town and then headed right up the Egloshayle road to past the sports club buildings and got onto the track to head back to home.

I stopped an took another pic of our end of town from the other side of the river, for a change. You can’t see my house from here, in case you are wondering. I followed the path to the right, past the dog poo bin you can see towards the right of the pic, over the bridge and then to the right again as I discovered that I coudn’t unclip my left foot from my pedal. I’d have needed to stop for a couple of teenagers had I gone left. I carried on to the Co-op car park, unclipped my right foot again and gingerly rode along to the junction to turn left for home. Very very weird unclipping my right foot. I really ought to practice this a bit, I think
I got home at exactly 32.14 miles. When I checked, I could have come straight home as 50km is 31.2 miles. Heigh ho. Then I would have thought that my cleat was OK and wouldn’t have sorted it and would have had a grotty ride another day.

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Lovely spin out to Lanhydrock for cake

We didn’t mean to go to Lanhydrock. We meant to go to Cardinham Woods and we will do, at some point. We went the wrong way, following the somewhat circuitous route, that Kenn’s gps decided to take us on. Garmins really do like to take you where they want to go. I no longer put routes in my Garmin, the bloody thing is posessed. I’ve called it Christine. Tried to take me up the A47 last year. It can record data and that is all I trust it with. Seems that Kenn’s trusty Garmin, is now starting to have a sense of humour.

We started off along the Camel Trail to Bodmin, uphill and down dale at Bodmin and Kenn was knocked off his bike by some twat in a blue Beemer. Twat missed me by millimeters. Neither of us got the reg number, beemer bloke was really shifting. Sadly, the burned out wreck of a car because he’d failed to get round the tight lefthander at the top of the hill turned out to be a pipe dream. He must know the road. Shame.

We didn’t go around the tight left hander but went straight on, up the NC3 road which took us along a lovely trail after a nice downhill, and over a bouncy bridge.

Nice pic of the trail that we’d just ridden up. I seem to recall that it was steeper than that pic looks. I must be hideously unfit! That bouncy bridge was a bit strange. It has that rubber matting  that they have in kids playgrounds, as surfacing. We stopped in the middle to look at the view (A30) and a lorry went underneath and it made the bridge wobble. We decided to get off the bridge.
We stayed following NC3, through the nice trail and then turned off to Lanhydrock, a NT place which is rather lovely.
IMG_0555 Here is Eric at the sign. Quite a clean Eric, you should see the state of him now. I’ll go and clean in a min.
By now, Kenn was getting peeved right off with the climbing, so I suggested a pootle around a trail here instead of going to Cardinham Woods. This seemed agreeable so we set off, had a quick explore of a Blue Route trail, decided against it as it might be fine for MTBs but not much of a laugh on CXs. My poor fillings nearly rattled out of my head.
We went down towards Bodmin Parkway rail station, then turned back up towards Lanhydrock House and Cafe.
Nice little stream to sit and watch while Kenn caught me up, after hooning down the hill. 21mph probably not really hooning but, I thought it was pretty hoony, on trails that I don’t know.
We then followed the path along and up the hill.

The pic without the people is looking back to where I’d just ridden up. I waited for Kenn there. It’s a long old drag up there. Kenn got off and pushed. The pic with the people is looking towards the house and, most importantly, cafe.
We stopped at the cafe. Kenn was feeling the bravest, so he went in for 2 slices of lemon drizzle and a cup of coffee. I was expecting him to return ashen faced and considering a wonga loan to pay for it, but it was very reasonable. Next time we go, we’ll take flapjack and just grab a coffee. I forgot to get any flapjack (very cheap at Tesco) to take with us.

From there, we just retraced our wheel tracks back home again. We stayed on the NC3 for a bit longer, thus missing the road with the lunatic BMW driver. The gps didn’t route us up the NC in the first place for some reason. The hill was much shorter, but way steeper. I might have had to walk that!

Glad to get home, walk the dogs and put the kettle on. 440m oc climbing. Kenn isn’t speaking to me. Teehee.

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