This took the form of an expedition to verify the myth that it’s always raining at Four Lanes. If the famous yomp across the Falklands by the Marines in 1982 had been done on bicycles, it would have felt like our so-called leisure ride.
Already cloudy and damp as we left Truro by the Greenway, the weather deteriorated and soon we were heading into a chilly wind towards Threemilestone, where we stopped to don wet-weather gear. We rode along the Kea Downs road, over the A30,zoomed down into Blackwater, laboured up past Smokey Joe’s and then went left towards Twelveheads. At Bissoe we took to the trail for a short stretch, thankful for the relative shelter. Then, eyes full of tears and rain,, I became a bit confused after we left Perranwell Station, and had to consult John and Hugo about directions.
Slogging through mud and rain up towards Penhalvean, we met the intermediate group coming down, minus Niq. Through gritted teeth we exchanged a bit of desultory gossip before carrying on to the Golden Lion, where Niq was waiting to see us arrive safely, which was most charitable of him, I thought. In the snug, we shed layers of wet clothing, huddled by the fire and eventually enjoyed a good lunch in this most welcoming of venues. (Note: the Polkerris pub, our advertised destination, claimed, on hearing we were a cycling club, to be fully booked.)
Over lunch, Jude caused a sensation by stating she’d made up her mind to buy an electric bike, this ride being the absolute last straw.
Rode back to Truro very quickly, downhill until Carnon Downs and with a following wind. There was some conversation, mostly barbed, and considering the definition of ‘leisure’ in the context of today’s experience, about the recent decision to re-label the easy ride as a ‘leisure ride’. All the same, we did it, and in good company.
Distance 30 miles.
Average speed 9.4mph.
Riders: Ian Cook, John Gilbert, Paul and Roz Delderfield, Peter Hargreaves, Hugo Whitlock, Jude Lawrence, John Flowers and Ride Leader and Reporter Rod Tinson.