Tuesday, 20 April 2010

I had a fantastic ride yesterday out to Camelford and back - just short of 60miles of varied terrain in beautiful weather.

Chopper and me with Trailer and Concrete left home at just after 9 yesterday morning into chilly mist and headed into Devon over Gunnislake Newbridge and plodded up the hill. Before leaving, I'd uploaded my route into my Garmin Edge 705 - I know the way easily to Camelford, but I wanted to check out my Garmin with a "course" to follow. This system shows you how long you've been cycling, how far you have yet to go, and gives you all the info including a highlighted map and directions to follow. It worked well.

At Gulworthy, I turned off onto the Lamerton road and turned left onto the B3362 for Launceston via Milton Abbot and dropped down over Greystones Bridge to enter Cornwall again.

At Launceston, I skirted the town centre and climbed the long hill up to St Stephens and headed west on the Egloskerry road. It was then that I spied a lone cyclist dressed in red heading towards me. As we passed, I greeted him with a cheery, "Good Morning!" only to receive the reply of, "Mick F?"

I shouted YES! and did a U turn to meet up. It was a chap called Rob on his way from Land's End to his home in Leicester, where he will head out to John O'Groats later in the summer. He reads the CTC Forum where I am a major contributor, and Rob had received advice about his trip and train services from the Midlands to Penzance. His train journey was a success and he was well into his second day heading to JOG. He looked fit and well, and eager to ride.

We chatted for a good ten minutes, and we parted with a smile and a wave. It's good to know that I'm part of a great community of End to End cyclists.

Through the little village of Egloskerry, up through Tresmeer and out onto the busy A395 and heading for Davidstow into the warm sunshine. I say warm, but in the shade and whizzing downhill it was chilly enough. I had stripped off my long warm top off and rode in a thin short-sleeved top. I was hot and sweaty at times, and cold and shivery at others. I couldn't win, so I stuck with the short top!

At Davidstow, I turned left onto the A39 - Atlantic Highway - for the two or three miles into Camelford. By now it was after 1pm and I was hungry. I know a small cafe in Camelford and a debated whether to have the 'Ham Egg and Chips' or the 'Tuna Mayo Baked Potato and Salad'. One thing that needed no debate was a pot of tea! and in the end, I went for the baked potato.

I leant Chopper on its stand by the front and walked in and ate! I was stuffed by the time I left at 2pm - perhaps I shouldn't have eaten so much - but I was hungry.

Camelford is in a valley and although I'd come down the long hill into the town, I had to climb out again, but this time not as far as the top as I turned off to return home by a different and slightly short route. I had programed Garmin for this route as well.

I passed over Davidstow Moor, a short way off Bodmin Moor where Rough Tor and Brown Willy (Cornwall's highest point) can be seen over on the right. On Davidstow Moor is an old WW2 aerodrome - RAF Davidstow Moor - where all the old runways are still in existence. One or two runways are in use for light aircraft and microlights in the good weather. In the 1950s they even hosted the British Grand Prix there around the perimeter roads!

The "main" road goes straight across the site now and scales an elevation of just short of 1000ft making Davidstow airfield the highest airfield in Britain.

It was windy up there, but thankfully it was behind me, and me and Chopper flew along and down down down off the moor to Altarnun. There I rested on a bench by the stream before the long slog back up hill through Fivelanes and towards the busy A30 dual carriageway.

Years ago, I found a good route to by-pass the A30 to get south to Callington. The trouble is, Altarnun and Fivelanes are all but cut off by the A30, but if you study the maps, there is a way to miss it out. It's not that I don't like major roads, but the trouble with this leg, it that you have to get over to the other side by crossing two lanes of traffic, pausing in the centre reservation, and get over another two lanes before making the B3257. This is not good on a bicycle - it's bad enough in a car.

I went under the A30 and took a tiny lane off a roundabout and weaved in and out of narrow bends and bumpy surfaces and eventually came out on the B3257 about half a mile south of the A30. Great stuff!

From there, it's plain sailing all the way home. I timed it perfectly, as just on the stoke of 5pm, I propped up Chopper and walked into the Rising Sun for a few well-earned beers. Hilary met me there soon after and at about 7, we walked the short way home.

A great day out, I feel fine and strong, and the 60 miles is enough to give me confidence that my JOGLE ride can be done.

Here's a map of my route:

Stats for the ride:
Active Cycling 6hrs 20m
Average Moving Speed 9.1mph
Total climbing 4,552ft
Average Heart Rate 136bpm
Calories Expended 5,484cals (No wonder I was hungry!)

Thanks for checking in,

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like a great day in the saddle. 60 miles in that terrain must easily be harder than the 80 milers on stretches on the JOGLE. I am brimming with confidence that you'll get that Chopper from end to end with no problem at all. I never had too many doubts in your ability to do it, but now I'm a hundred percent convinced. Great ride and great report. I'm getting quite excited, and I'm not even going!