After a bright start to the day rain soon set in and continued all day. John and Jennifer Durham sent their apologies and headed back to Tavistock. I was surprised therefore to find Trevor and Andy Prideaux at the start. There's strength in numbers, so the saying goes, so in spite of the continuous rain we headed up the road to Kelly Bray and made our way via Stoke Climsland, Beal Mill and Rezare to Launceston. It was 12:15 when we got to Tesco for a welcome cup of coffee. That bit of the ride was familiar to me since I had dome it many times on the Tamar 100, but in the opposite direction. There were four 'snorts' on the way out (grunts in my case) and the others waited patiently for me at the top of the steeper climbs. Still not having received my electric bike back from the dealers, I realised how unfit I had become over the past year. The return journey was new to me and after a fantastic descent to Lowley Brook, there came the first inevitable ascent. Turning left at Trewarlett Cross we made for Lezant and the next climb to Trekenner. Trevor stopped for a photo-shot by the bridge on the River Inny and there began a mammoth climb to the top of Tremollet Down. Three mega-climbs on the return leg already. Fortunately, after that, the going became easy. We descended to Bray Shop and headed back to Callington via North Hill and Maders. We only had 20 miles on the clock, but we had to fight for each one of those. In spite of the short distance, it had been a very demanding ride and one to repeat in better weather. The view from the top of Tremollet Down is certainly worth the effort of getting there.
'B' Riders: Mike WillacyI arrived by car at the long stay car park just before 9.30 and but the saddle bag on the bike and the rain jacket on me, no one by the pub as yet. I sheltered under the shop canopy for about 10 minutes just in-case someone else decided to brave it, or for Brian to appear round the corner under an umberella to see if anyone has turned out in the rain. Having been in Bracknell again for the last two weekends I have not done any cycling for two weeks and also given the weather forecast, I decided that just a ride to the Farm shop by Endesleigh Garden Centre would be enough for the morning. I went the usual way and soon arrived at the shop cafe and not really that wet but still good to arrive and get inside. They must be running a promotion on full cooked English breakfast's as I had only just sat down and one of the girls can over to ask if I wanted a full breakfast. I was certainly tempted but having had porridge for breakfast I opted for a large latte and a piece of their strawberry slice from their cake selection instead. The chap's full breakfast, who was sitting by the window, then arrived which certainly look very good (I wonder if Andy E will be interested in checking this out I thought as I know he does like a good full English breakfast, like myself really) While I was drinking my coffee, a few other groups of people arrived and also ordered the full English breakfast with toast and various drinks. I finished my most enjoyable strawberry slice and coffee and thought about making a move, but as the rain was now wetting the windows even more I decided that another coffee would be a good idea and see if the rain eased off a little, also resolving to check out the English breakfast situation when next in the shop. Now fully topped up with coffee and having paid the bill etc then a look around the shop produce I finally ventured out to the bike. It was still raining steadily so as well as the jacket I also donned the waterproof trousers and overshoes. Re-tracing over the A38 I went straight across at the roundabout into the edge of the houses then left into/up Woodland Road, up to the shut of section of road, across Cornwood Road, past the small industrial units then back down the hill to Lee Mill past the 24h Tesco. The usual route then back to Plympton to the car park. As I was not really in a rush to get back to do a few jobs in the afternoon (carry on re-furbishing/cleaning my third spare pair of Campagnolo Record pedals, one pair though is for the Claud Butler that I am not re-assembling) and listen to Gardener's Question Time on Radio 4 at 2 o'clock, I called in at one of my cafe stops the Plym Railway station buffett. A mug of tea and a slice of chocolate cake also with some clotted cream on top was duely enjoyed. Even though it was still raining as I was leaving there were still passengers boarding the break van for a trip up the line to near the level crossing and back, one of their diesel shunters being the motive power for these trips which run in between the steam hauled Sundays to Plym Bridge.
All in all, good to be out for the morning or so to enjoy good coffee, tea, cake and blow away the cobwebs (must do more miles next Sunday though).