I really wanted a ride yesterday, but it was tipping down. I got soaked through walking Toffee dog in the morning and the weather got progressively worse as the day went on. It stopped raining somewhere about dark but I couldn’t be faffed then, anyway I don’t think my front light is charged up.
Today dawned wet and miserable. The BBC forecast said that it would get out nice in the afternoon but, after a morning of rain, rain and more rain, that seemed very unlikely. However, the BBC was right and as soon as the rain stopped I thought that I’d better check the charge in my Aftershokz and my iPod and then immediately put them on charge and thought that I’d go out after lunch.
I wasn’t planning a long ride, although I did have the fact that I’ve not done my 50km ride this month as yet and we are 2/3 of the way through June already. I checked that I had the correct innertubes in my bag and had a rummage around to make sure that Kenn had put my tyre levers back in the bag (he had), changed and got out of the door. It was dry but I’d put my 3/4 length shorts on, I had contemplated long sleeves but thought I’d risk short sleeves. Right choice for once, as it turned out.
I headed off out of Wadebridge, along the Trail towards Bodmin and caught up with a chap with a Planet X jersey, as I passed him I said “Oooh Snap” and pointed to his bike which was the same as Eric. We rode together for 4 miles, chatting about PX bikes (his has a single front sprocket and an 11 speed SRAM gearset plus hydraulic disc brakes so a newer model than my bike). Chap went off to Bodmin while I headed off towards Wenfordbridge. I had planned to ride to Bodmin but my legs were feeling great so made the decision to kick on a bit.
Looking down at the weir, when I passed it, was interesting. I’ve never seen it after torrential rain for 3 days and it was a lot less clear and white than normal.
It was also, very noisy. There was a lot of water going down there today.
I got to the Snails Pace cafe in well under an hour, I didn’t stop, and carried on over the road and towards Camelford. It’s a heck of a climb out of the valley and I am a rubbish climber. Very quickly, I was in granny gear and muttering a bit. I could see the gable end of a barn and told myself that I’d get to it, then I saw a road opening and told myself I’d get to that and then, a bit after that, I had to stop as I’d have fallen off. I was going that slowly and losing balance. I got off and walked for 50 yards or so, which brought me to a false flat where I got back on and got pedalling.
Once moving again, it was all a lot better and I got to the top of the hill and eventually got to a main road and followed it for a bit. The ‘main road’ was actually a very fast B road and I didn’t want to be on it for too long so took a left hander and got to a dead end. I turned around and took the other turning in the junction (2 left handers in one) and followed the road down the hill to Michaelstow. The road gradient wasn’t too bad and I figured that I could ride back up it without too much of a problem. At the bottom, there was a T junction so I went left and reckoned that I’d probably just do loop and go back to Wenfordbridge so abandoned thoughts of turning around and going back the way I’d come. Anyway, I have a GPS so can’t get very lost, can I?
At Michaelstow I came across a Nursery with huge polytunnels. It really struck me so I took a quick pic. I had to wade through hip height grass to get a decent shot – naturally I only had my phone on me and no proper camera.
After riding past I then rode on a narrow road and had a near miss with some numpties in a (not so) hot hatch. They came screaming down a hill, scattering walkers and me into the bushes. They were really shifting. I was in the wrong gear to get going again so rode down a bit then turned around and rode back up, in a better gear. I had decided that walking twice on one ride today, was not happening. It wasn’t much of a hill anyway. Speeding along narrow, twisty country roads seems to be a local sport here. I’m rapidly going off Cornwall as I don’t want my demise to be at the hands of some plonker who can’t drive, brake or steer. The numpties in the hatchback were really really shifting. The hikers were a bit shaken up, even more so when I said it was pretty normal for these parts. Car was going too fast to get a number.
I carried on along the road and came back to the main road so headed left and back towards the Snails Pace. It didn’t look overly familiar to me so I did wonder if I was on the right road at all but then, on the left, there was a road with a sign for the Cafe so I took it and rode down the hill. Again, it didn’t look familiar. As I rode down a 17% hill that I knew for a fact that I hadn’t ridden up, I did wonder where I would come out and was I going to have to climb up some monster Cornish hill, but it brought me out at Pooley Bridge and at the bit of the Camel Trail with the big fish sculpture on it. Picture taken on a previous ride and on a much sunnier day.
By the time I got back to the trail, both my shoes were wet and Eric and I were very muddy – a sure sign of a good time. I stopped to take a pic of the river in full flow, it was really shifting and doesn’t normally look like this.
It’s normally a lot calmer than this. A lot quieter too. The pic doesn’t really do justice to the flow rate on that curve.
From there on, I just got on with going home, it was well after 6.30pm, the temperature was dropping and I was pretty sure that it was going to rain again – it didn’t – but I wanted to get on with getting home. I got up the little hill with the Strava Segment ‘rattle your fillings out’ and it took a good 10 seconds longer than normal but I still headed left to Bodmin as I needed an extra couple of miles for my metric half century distance. Nothing worse than riding past the house for a mile or so and then back. I might just be weird though.
The Council have resurfaced the track at the edge of the playing field going towards Bodmin Goal and jolly lovely it is to ride along too. At the end of the trail, I turned onto the road and rode back to the carpark that I’d just passed and back on to the trail and home. The trail was lovely and muddy. The state of Eric necessitated him getting the first shower. He’s been drip drying in the shower room. I think that I really needed a shower today 🙂
After my shower, the shower room needed a shower to clean it up. We were pretty muddy. My kit has gone straight in the washing machine, my cycling shoes are on the windowsill along with my trainers which got wet walking this morning. The bedroom windowsill has boots drying on it. It’s been a damp few days. Hopefully something will be dry for dog walking in the morning or I’ll be down to walking in flip-flops.
For anyone who may be interested. 31.4 miles in 2 and a half hours.