For some strange reason I had it in my mind that we were leaving from Callington, so I made it there by car on what was a rather grey and drizzly day. When no one had turned up by 10:00 am, I had already worked out other plans for the day. It was then that Trevor Bradshaw rang me to say that five eager riders were waiting for me to make an appearance at Tamar Bridge. As Trevor later quipped, "I should have a word with the guy who draws up the runs list in future."
We hastily made arrangements for me to meet the crew at Hatt roundabout. I discovered a convenient lay-by in the village very close by and all I had to do was wait for the others. So fortunately not much cycling time was lost.
From Hatt we were soon back on route again. We made for Botus Flemming and thence to Landulph. We chose the more adventurous route from Cargreen along the coast which was swathed with low grey mist and very picturesque. The first malheur of the day was a puncture to Trevor's tyre - probably the result of the hedge cutting along the road. At Paynter's Cross Dave Newman took the helm and took us up the cycle path into Callington and to TESCO, where we were looking forward to a warming cup of tea or coffee. But TESCO in Callington does not have a café! On leaving to get my bike, I discovered that Graham Black had put a lock around it without checking if he had a key to undo the thing. Fortunately he hadn't put the lock around anything else but I was now irrevocably encumbered by the additional weight of Graham's redundant lock for the rest of the ride.
We had our coffee at the COOP where they were offering two muffins for 35p - an offer not to be missed by several of us. Replenished, we headed off for Saltash via Frogwell, Newbridge, Cadsonbury and Pillaton. It must be said that the lanes were treacherous today with mud, slimy leaves and a ubiquitous greasy veneer of glistening drizzle on the road surface. In an effort to avoid an oncoming car, Dave Newman suddenly swerved into this potentially fatal conglomerate and ended up dazed and wondering on the floor. No harm to the bike, but, shaken, Dave soldiered back to Saltash with a very painful shoulder. I hope it's not too serious.
At Hatt I rejoined my car and said goodbye to the crew. It had been a very convivial day if not exactly risk-free. “Roll on the drier, warmer days of Spring and Summer,” is what I would say. I guess we must have done about 30 miles - enough for this time of the year.