The Elm Tree Saga Part II (The cafe, Penstraze) (August 31st)
Having rung the Elm Tree Tea rooms, suitably in advance, the staff vouchsafed, that
“They could probably just about cope with (the proposed) 8 cyclists”
But they also added “You’ll have to order your food in advance, so we can get on with it”
Consequently on a (not unexpectedly, it was a bank holiday weekend after all) dismal Sunday,
at ten o’clock in the morning, I found myself clutching a hard to read, soggy, black and white printout,
of a colour menu, and an equally soggy list of food, and attempting to communicate via an electronic tin can and string, the requirements of the group to the tea room, which was when it emerged that their machine could only toast 3 paninis at once,
(Ah!, technology, don’t you just love it)
In fact from the point of view of the Tea Rooms, the rain was a blessing, for it meant that only 9 cyclists were headed in their direction, one of whom wasn’t staying for food, and it was definitely a relief not to have expand the owners of the tea rooms consciousness, by insisting that they would be able to cope with more than 8 people at once…
As the crow flies, Penstraze, our destination, is not that far from Truro, so with this in mind the rather damp group of 9 set of through Truro, past the bowling alley (famed for its club social nights), a short pull up Moresk Road, and a right down through Idless Valley.
A short pause to admire the, now solar powered, Llama farm, a right turn and across the road all the way to the main road at Allet.
Another right turn, and then a few yards along the main road, followed by another right, heading towards the A30…
The fact that it was a bank holiday weekend, became immediately apparent when it took us 5 minutes to negotiate the constant stream of traffic, and successfully cross the A30…
Then onwards to Callestick, where instead of taking the more direct and extremely steep route, via Healey’s, to the main road, we branched right and took the more gentle incline towards Penhallow, with the intention of emerging onto the main road, at the Plume of Feathers, which when we espied it appeared to be closed down, even to the extent that, the very large pub sign, which used to occupy the side of the building, had gone AWOL.
Surprised, but unperturbed, as this was not our intended destination, we cycled up hill, along the main road,
that was both mysteriously and fortuitously completely free of traffic, for a few hundred yards,
before turning right, opposite the Healey’s sign, following the directions for Mithian.
Of course this did lead up and down some quite steep hills, which as usual memory had omitted, when composing the route, straight across the Perranporth road, down to the bottom of the hill at Mithian, slog up the short rise,
wave to the Miners Arms, and turn right following the road in the general direction of Chiverton Cross.
A swift right and left across the infamous Teagle Crossing (aka the B3277), straight across the Blackwater road,
over the A30 bridge and a blast straight down to the sawmills, followed by a sharp right, just prior to actually arriving at dangerous crossing, and just a few hundred yards, down the road, over the hump backed bridge, there was The Elm Trea Tee rooms, (presumably anxiously) awaiting our arrival.
Which was beautifully timed at 2 minutes to 12, having completed around 14 miles,
at some point during which, much to our surprise, it had actually stopped raining…
A veritable feast of assorted paninis, wraps, home made cake, pots of tea and coffee awaited our attention…
(lovingly prepared by the staff, without it seemed, recourse to any nervous breakdowns, or at least none that we were witness to)
Having more or less dried out over a very pleasant lunch, the group, realising that the delights of Truro (and even Mount Hawke for that matter), were but a mere stone’s throw away, elected to disperse in all its variety of homeward directions…
I must confess that I had failed to take a “Truro Cycling Likes it here” sticker with me,
which was just as well, as writing in underneath “But the staff aren’t so sure about the Cyclists”
probably wouldn’t had gone down to well…
Riders: Nigel Andrews, Debbie Barnett, Tom Bennett, Jude Lawrence, John Flowers, Pete Hargreaves, John Gilbert, Hugh Bryson and ride leader Niq Carter-Rowe.