Intermediate ride to Lost Gardens of Heligan 18 September 2016


The intermediate ride although low in numbers set out in good weather and spirits, not the least because the Garmin had behaved itself and dutifully regurgitated the route it had been fed the night before, for the riders to follow, taking one of the few, more or less sensible, routes out of Truro, up the Kenwyn Road, along the Idless valley, turning left at the solar powered Llama farm.
It was more or less at this point the sanity of the Garmin was called into question, prior to passing through St Allen, on what would have had been assumed to be its most sensible course, its suggested track had abruptly veered off to the right.  Why its, or possibly the ride leader’s judgement was called into question was that the route proposed, had been identified on a previous ride, by one of the more sage of the club members as one of those “Yes you could go up there to St Erme, but you probably wouldn’t do it more than once” flavour of routes.
However with a touching, if possibly, as it transpired later, uncalled for faith in technology, the ride followed the Garmin’s suggestion. They were mildly comforted by the phrase previously uttered to a struggling club member, passing by a little old Cornish couple walking up that same hill, “The good thing about the hills in Cornwall” the man had remarked, in deep Cornish, “is that half of them go downhill”.
Having not actually cycled the route before the riders were confronted with what seemed like an endless switchback of steep winding descents, but fortunately not so steep ascents, before crossing the A39 to arrive at St Erme, jinking through the village, and again up and down a series of not inconsiderable hills, before pelting downwards into Ladock.   Crossing more or less straight across the Ladock valley, up another, this time previously ridden, and thus historically known, steep hill, a very sharp right along Tor Mill, into Grampound Road, a left down towards Grampound, watch out for the debris on the road, a swift left and right up Creed Lane.
It was at this point the Garmin illustrated its true colours, by coughing up a fur-ball in the shape of “route calculation error” on the screen and a failure to display any more instructions. However all was not lost, due to what turned out to be for two reasons, one expected, the other not so much.
Number one, the ride leader had also taken the precaution, on the previous night, of loading an alternate route that was scheduled to start at a left turn some way up the Creed Lane, in fact at the top of the hill they were now on.
Number two, the “not so much” reason, was that the intermediate ride, encountered, just as they arrived at the top of said hill, the “easy” ride contingent, who for reasons of gear spaghetti-itus, on the part of one of their number, were in fact all walking to the brow of the hill.
The whole group was thus able to complete the last couple of miles, which was more or less a straight line and make a united arrival at the now, no longer lost, gardens.
Distance 18.7 miles, average speed 10.3 mph, ( heart rate bpm, average 98, max 137 )
The return which encompassed both the “intermediate” and “easy” rides set of on what turned out, in the latter stages, to be a hair raising ride across the Roseland, back to Truro via the King Harry Ferry.  In order to forgo unnecessary suspense it should be stated now that, aside from the previously alluded to, up-ended hair, no one was injured by the near miss whilst en-route back.
The ride set out from The Lost Gardens on a fairly conventional route, passing through the village of Pengrugla, possibly named after a designer Italian coffee machine, before heading steeply downhill though Tregony, and turning left on what seemed likely to be the simplest route, along the A3078, although it should also be added that as “A” roads go the A3078 is in the “occasionally barely wide enough to let two sheep pass at once” category
The nearly catastrophic incident that occurred shortly thereafter, caused by being inappropriately overtaken by a car towing a caravan, that the driver seemed to have forgotten was still attached, was luckily not the cause of injury, other than to the mental well being of the riders.  Still none the less, this was would what be termed in aviation circles as a “very near miss” and at the very least would have been logged with the Civil Aviation Authority.
Consequent to this incident it was somewhat of a relief to turn off the main road, in the direction of Philleigh, at Ruan High Lanes, although the number of hills to be climbed were not so welcome,  however flying down to the KHF was a pleasant finale to that leg of the ride.
After which water based interlude the riders stopped to recover their equanimity with a welcome “Tea and Buns” break at Tresilick, before continue their various routes back to Truro
Diaspora, back to in the direction of Truro, ( or at least as far as the King Harry Ferry )
Distance 13.5 miles, average speed 11.5 mph ( heart rate bpm, average 97, max 125 )

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