The ride set out from Lemon Quay in good spirits due to an outbreak of sunny-ish weather, well at least only a minority of dark threatening clouds at any rate.
The route took the party up Moresk Road, before diving left into the possibly uncertain delights of the Idless valley, only uncertain because the road tends to be either bumpy or muddy or flooded or possibly in places all three. On this occasion it was passably smooth, dry and more or less mud free. Following the road as it curved right a left turn was made at the T junction, uphill along the edge of the new solar farm. A right at the cross roads, took us past the entrance proper with it’s fresh new Llama Land signage.
Here it was mooted that, possibly after a fair bit of training, the llamas had become extremely adept at both carrying solar panels and keeping them facing towards the sun, dependant on the time of day and season. The now combined llama/solar farm was hence judged to both an economic and possibly cultural success story
The ride progressed onwards under the A30 forking right downhill through Zealah, following Henver Lane towards the Goonhavern road, otherwise known as the eponymous B3285. Which was duly crossed, carrying straight on towards the Monkey Puzzle campsite, which, those with longer memories were disappointed to see, no longer has its signature twin trees at the entrance (possibly a slightly misguided result of the race to end animal psychology experiments?)
The ride continued onward buoyed up by a tailwind, but looking to be on a collision course with both the Newquay road, and the infamous “big dipper” AKA Rejerrah. A subtle swerve maybe 50 ft (in old money) from rejoining the busy main road, and the ride instead joined what seemed to be a very narrow farm track heading steeply downhill, but which in truth used to be the old road. Having been warned in advance, more or less at the bottom of the steep descent, the riders were able to negotiate right turn so sharp that they were almost heading back on themselves, which in turn led through a concrete underpass, probably just big enough to jam a decent sized tractor in, beneath the main road.
After a number of hills, partly about which was remarked,
“Did you really just pick all the steepest hills and string them together to make one ride”,
to which the answer was obviously
“No, it’s just NFC”,
“Normal For Cornwall…”
The ride paused at Rose for a photo opportunity with what appeared at first glance to be an taciturn and Uber bucolic local resident, taking his ease at the end of a long bench, but which on second blush it transpired was possibly last season’s winner in the village’s “build your best scarecrow” competition.
Hanging a left in Rose, the ride the joined the previously mentioned, and indeed previously crossed, B3285, which had now metamorphosised into the Perranporth Road,
a brisk downhill sprint past the golf course followed, slowed to an almost reasonably pace, fortunately or unfortunately, by an equally brisk headwind. The delights of a busy Perranporth were highlighted by the sirens and lights of, of all things, a coast guard vehicle, which it sadly transpired later, had been going to attend a 40ft whale, stranded on the beach.
The ride then took the usual route to the right out of Perranporth, up Perran Coombe, and back to rejoin the main road at Mithian School, the riders were given strict instruction at this point, to then NOT follow the usual route, as the Miners Arms’s lay NOT on the steep downhill right turn AT the giant chevrons, but in fact on the turning a few hundred yards before this. Fortunately all of the group were able to assimilate this information and arrived safely, and a few minutes early, at the Miners Arms.
The easier ride arrived a few minutes later, and assorted food, including some lovely cheesy chips, was devoured by all.
15.7 miles, average speed a relaxed 10.6 mph
At this point, well after the aforesaid food at any rate, the riders split into two groups, some of whom wanted to leave early and high tail it back to Truro, possibly this was connected to some sporting event, often associated the consumption of strawberries, cream, and a certain Scottish protagonist.
The other riders were content to amble by a circuitous route back through Bolingey, Perranporth, Perran Coombe, again the pesky chevron turn, back up towards, in some cases the Silverwell turn, and Truro via Shortlanesend and others, Sawmills, Penstraze, Dangerous Crossing and onward…
14.7 miles, average speed a brisk 11 mph