We set out from Lemon Quay, shedding riders left, right and centre. A splinter group of Peter Hargreaves, Richard Moore, Christine Rogers and Ian Clark headed west, like dissident members of the Parliamentary Labour Party, and were not seen again that day. Was it something I said? My views on Trident? On Syria? My voting record?
The five remaining loyalists turn to the east and make it as far as the first bench on the Piazza. There we rest while Ian fixes a puncture. Off again, Debbie fighting back pain.
Through the town, up Mitchell Hill, along Tregurra and, a new experience for some, across the Newquay Road and a roller-coaster ride through the new park-and-ride development. It’s generally agreed that this is a better way to go than the traditional slog up Union Hill, although the route of the cycle track through the car park is not obvious. It brings us out onto the new traffic lights, which obligingly turn green, so we glide down into Tresilian, keeping an eye on the unfinished cycle track on the other side of the road. A new cycle track, yes, but one thing is obvious to all- it’s dangerously narrow.
We cross the river, turn right and climb up to Carharthen. As we pause at the top, I point out an impressive fog-bank way over west in the Bissoe valley and, as she turns to look at it, Debbie tweaks her back. She decides to return. Sorry, Debbie.
A pleasant ride through the rolling Roseland landscape towards St. Michael Penkivel, pausing to inspect the old plague cross, where Dave fossicks around to see if there are any fossilised provisions left over from the Middle Ages. After a glance at the river in full flood tide down in the valley, we turn left towards Ruan Lanihorne. It’s quite a slog up the hill into the woods, and then it’s up and down and on to Sett Bridge, where we stop to enjoy the view past Trelonk and Ardevora, where (literary effusion warning) the venerable trees of the ancient oak forests dip the tips of their gnarled fingers into the quiet waters.
Through Ruan Lanihorne, where Paul is delighted to discover clues to the whereabouts of the vanished castle he’s been reading about. Then a challenging slog up towards Ruanhighlanes and along the main road to St. Mawes. We take the near-vertical descent past the butcher’s shop and retreat into the Rising Sun just as the rain comes.
Lunch over, the rain stops and we climb out of St. Mawes past the castle, with great views across the Carrick Roads to Falmouth. In St.Just, Ian leaves us to head home through Tregony, while we ride on towards King Harry Ferry. Paul stops to pick up a nice blue Leatherman multi-tool off the road. Unfortunately for him, it’s mine and has popped out of my largely useless Carradice saddlebag. I’m very grateful; it is of great sentimental value.
Lunch is on me next time, Paul.
We miss the ferry by less than a minute, but the wait by the river’s edge is always pleasant, and soon we’re across and climbing the hill towards Trelissick, where Ros andPaul leave to visit the gallery and Dave and I return to Truro.
28 miles. Ian Cook, Ros and Paul Delderfield, Dave Bennett, Debbie Barnett, Rod Tinson