Voting in the EU referendum today and I really wanted to avoid all the campaigners banging on doors and bunnying on and on and on and on. I went, voted, came back and grabbed a coffee and then took Eric out for a spin. Kenn came too, on his Whyte Kings Cross (roadies have been hanging on the wall pretty much since we’ve been here and we’ve done less than 100 miles on them since moving). We planned to ride to the Snails Pace Cafe and back, nothing much really. Neither of us could face anything that didn’t involve being on the flat.
We made good time to the Cafe and had a coffee there and a chat about Garmins, CX bikes and North Wales with some folks. I suggested to Kenn that we rode up to Michaelstow and he could have a go at that hill. I said this in the full knowledge that he would tell me to poke right off and, on the off chance that he would agree, that he’d get half way up the hill and want to head back. I don’t like that hill, it’s horrid. At least the steep, horrid bit is at the beginning so zapps your legs straight off and doesn’t go up gently, lull you in to a false sense of security and then ramp up the gradient when you are not looking.
He said ‘OK, lets do it then’. I was a bit taken aback but not daft enough to ask if he was sure. We rode up the hill. I got past the bit where I had to get off and walk last time and actually got all the way up to the top. I waited for Kenn and then rode back down a bit to see where he had got to. He was still on his bike, muttering a bit but pedaling along. I rode back up to the top with him. We rode along the B road and turned to Michaelstow again but at the junction where the big polytunnels are, we decided to go right, instead of left.
I quite like an adventure but it’s always nicer to adventch with someone else. We followed the signs to St Teath and then followed a little road, that looked nice, and ended up at the A39 and a load of roadworks. We sat about 5 minutes there, waiting for the convoy man to arrive to lead us down the road. The workmen said that we could clear off down the inside of the cones, as the road is all freshly topcoated with that loose gritting stuff that really hurts when you fall off on it. I know this from experience.
We got right through the roadworks and around the left hand bend before the first convoy car caught us up. The lovely workmen had given us a cracker of a head start. This meant that we weren’t close passed on the thin bit. Thank you lovely workmen.
We really got on with riding on the A39, we didn’t want to be on there for a minute longer than necessary. It was a gentle climb but, after getting out of the Camel Valley, it was a doddle. We were spinning up there at a good pace and we pulled into the bus stop layby at the top. I suggested going back via St Tudy and the Camel Trail. Kenn was all for 8 miles on one of the busiest, twistiest road in Cornwall. I told him that he was welcome but I’m going the pretty route and staying alive. I started heading for the left hand turning, some 100 yards up the road when we were very very close passed by a 4×4 towing a big caravan, followed by a camper van with bikes on the back that dived in so sharply, he nearly took Kenn’s front wheel off. Kenn decided that he was riding via St Tudy with me. He said that he preferred hills to death. Good choice.
We rode along a gorgeous bit of road for the best part of 200 yards before it started climbing. I got well over half way up and then ran out of legs and thought that I would enjoy the view and wait for Kenn. It was a lot more uppy than the picture looks, let me tell you.
Once Kenn had reached me, we got back on our bikes and kept right on pedalling. I hate hills. Have I mentioned this in the past, loathe them, with a passion. There is absolutely no actual need for the dang things. Hate, hate, hate, hate hills. My legs are not right keen on them either.
I got to the top first and the view was great. While I was waiting a BMW arrived and waited for Kenn to ride that last 30 yards or so and didn’t just drive down and batter him out of the way. We were mightily impressed with him. It made a real change from being forced into hedges.
Once at the top, I thought that I might not hate hills as much as I thought that I did. Kenn made it up and we stood for a while, looking at the view and letting our bikes have a breather. We took a pic of the hill sign. We’d got past the difficult bit when I got off and walked. Kenn had decided to walk at the steep bit. It was on a tight bend so not my idea of a laugh to ride along.
We followed the signs to St Tudy and rode through the village, following a downhill route. Kenn reckoned that downhill was the way to go, back to the Camel. We should have asked. We rode around in a big circle and ended up back at St Tudy. We rode up more bloody hills and I got back to hating them. Especially after..
I got off and walked again. After that hill, I asked for directions from a chap who we think had a small holding, guessing by the couple of cows, couple of pigs and lots of chickens scratching about. Lovely black lurcher who was woofing and wagging like a big daftie. It wasn’t scary barking, he sounded far to high pitched and giggly for that. The chap was telling us what a cracker of a rabbitting dog he is but there is no money in rabbits now. Nobody wants to buy rabbits for the pot nowadays. Kenn likes rabbit but I don’t. However, the dogs love some nice raw bunny for dinner.
We followed the chap’s directions, back to St Tudy, followed the sign to Michaelstow which took us up a road, over a crossroads at a B road and I regognised the turning immediately. I waited there for Kenn as I’ve got a faster climbing cadence than Kenn has. We followed the road along, straight over the next crossroads and down the hill that I’d ridden down just the other day and to Pooley’s Bridge.
From there, it was straight home along the Camel Trail. No more climbing for us. Yay. I did a quick lap of the park, on the way back, as I reckoned that I’d be getting home at around 34.85 miles and that’s just not on. Looping the park just gives me an extra little bit so I came home to 35.13 on the GPS.
My disc brakes have started ringing so I need new pads. Kenn is going to have a look at them in the morning, he says. Hope so anyway. If we can’t change the pads, I’ll take the bike to the LBS and get him to do it.