Yesterday I had a tough 38 mile ride. I took Trailer of course, and the concrete block. Both of these things will be my constant companions. The training value is superb.
I left at 9.15 into a cloudy and cool morning, knowing that the day would warm up. I took the precaution of taking a light short sleeved top this time and climbed the hill out of the valley further into Cornwall.
I took the Liskeard road out of Callington, and dropped down over the river, then climbed up and up to St Ive (pronounced s'n-eve) turning right at the Butchers Arms to Pensilva. This road climbs to nearly 900ft. Turning right again onto the B3254, I headed out through Upton Cross, Darly Ford and Congdons Shop. Here, the road crosses the B3257 and goes through Slipper Hill, South Petherwin and Daws House before reaching Launceston.
This all sounds like pretty basic stuff, but it was a VERY hilly ride and it was tiring. Some of the hills were quite steep and some of them were quite steep and quite long too! Memorable sections include the long grind to St Ive from New Bridge over the River Lynher, the shorter but steeper hill away from Berrio Bridge (also over the Lynher) up to Congdons Shop, and the steep leg away from Trekelland Bridge up to South Petherwin.
At Launceston I sat on a bench by the main A388 opposite Tesco and ate a couple of cereal bars. I took my time and rested in the sunshine. The day had turned out to be glorious as I had expected and I was glad I was wearing a short light top. I wished I'd brought sunglasses as the sunlight was shining off the roads and making me frown. As it turned out, I also should have taken suncream, as this morning, my arms are sore!
Anyway, off I went down the A388 and crossed over the A30 dual carriageway, turning off onto the unclassified road at Stourscombe. I dropped down the hill past the turning for Lawhitton and turned left onto the B3362 and headed down into the Tamar Valley and crossed into Devon.
The road then climbs and climbs and climbs. The heat of the day was getting to me, and I struggled slowly in bottom gear the 3 miles to the top. I stopped at the top in some shade for a drink, then plodded on through Milton Abbot passing the Edgecumbe Arms with the smell of beer and the sound of laughter and chat coming out of the open door. I would have loved to have propped Chopper up and gone in and sank a few pints, but I knew that it was not the best thing to do - I'd be better employed pedalling home and calling in the Rising Sun only half a mile from home!
Next came Lamerton Cross, and although I was tired, I seemed to be getting my second wind, and I powered my way towards Gulworthy to join the A390 and head home. From Gulworthy it's downhill all the way to the Tamar and cross the bridge back into Cornwall. Then it's uphill again and into Gunnislake village. (The first village in Cornwall!) Turning left, I freewheeled to the Rising Sun and sank "a few" beers. They do a lovely Otter Bitter - I recommend it!
I pushed Chopper home .......
A great ride, reliable machine, superb weather, loads of hills, good excersise, good training, great and welcome beer!