Seven cyclists were at Lemon Quay for our monthly ACR (Chris F, Chris R, Julian, John B, Gareth, Laura and myself). This was Laura’s first ride with the club after purchasing her new mode of transport a couple of weeks ago. She must have heard how slow I was, so decided to come along.
The destination was planned to be Helston via the Penrose Estate. John B heard about the An-res hellys multi terrain run which was taking part as part of the Cornwall Road Running Grand Prix Series. Not only was it happening today, they will also be running where we will be cycling and they were going to use our coffee stop as their HQ! Didn’t they not know we were coming!
Alternatives were suggested but it was decided to keep to the original plan but stop for coffee earlier at Porthleven away from the crowds.
I had a few moans concerning the route as I planned to go on the normal roads to Blackrock (through the villages of Chacewater, Carharrack and Four Lanes). However, in my defence, I have not taken the ACR on this route for at least a year, secondly, it is one of my favourite routes to the south coast (no steep hills apart from the climb out of Truro!) and finally and most importantly…I am the leader so my decision is final…unless you are called Gareth!
The weather was forecast as overcast but dry, the forecasters correctly predicted the overcast, but I had to wonder where the dry come into it as we faced the damp weather. At Blackrock Chris R departed our company as he rushed home to his loving family (after all it is Mother’s Day!). The rest of us continued cycling south.
We cycled through the hamlets and villages of Releath, Nancegollan, Pollardras, Carleen, Breage and Ashton and then turned onto the two mile decline coastal road into Porthleven. It was time for a coffee stop and fortunately Porthleven has this excellent café named ‘Nault But Ice’ located along the harbour in Porthleven with lovely view out to sea. The café was quite busy but we managed to find a table indoors for six. There was not much room left in the café, so the café had a quite a challenge when Penzance Wheelers appeared for their morning coffee!
At noon we climbed out of Porthleven, and after pulling Chris F back into the flock (as he went the wrong way) we cycled into the Penrose Estate. We cycled through the National Trust estate through the winding path which runs along Loe Bar (the largest freshwater lake in Cornwall) through the Woodland. The race mentioned earlier had cleared from the area so it was a nice ride on the recently resurfaced path. We met the runners as we entered Helston, it surprises me how these people don’t realise how much easier it is to cycle ten miles rather than run.
After a heavy climb out of Helston (on a new road for some) we returned to Releath and headed on the usual route back to Truro through Porkellis. I left the group at Stithians to head back to Camborne. When I left, Laura appeared to have enjoyed her experience with us men and I am sure she welcomed the challenge. It was also nice to have some company at the back of the group! It was a great day with good company, good coffee stop and of course a superb route!
Now for my words of wisdom….avoid white cycling shorts and wet roads (but that’s another story)!
Writer of report: Jeremy Bond