Saturday, 29 May 2010

Penultimate day, finished!

I was awake early - as usual - and after breakfast we were off to Sourton. My day off yesterday was quiet and relaxing, Hilary was at work, I had my feet up, but I managed to get some stuff done.

We left home this morning at soon after 8am for the drive up to Sourton where I'd left off on Thursday. Hilary went to do a spot of shopping after leaving me. I pedalled away west towards Land's End, she turned south for Tavistock.

I had already decided to take Trailer on the last couple of legs of the JOGLE, so instead of the panniers being hung on the front rack, I shoved them into the empty trailer. I wondered whether the front of Chopper would stay down on the hills, but it was worth a try. The weather had turned wet - as expected - overnight, and I thought that the panniers would be better under cover. I wasn't wrong. The rain hammered down for a time, so my idea kept camera, maps and flapjacks nice and dry. Chopper was ok without the front weight, but in bottom gear on hills, I had to be careful as the front tyre lost traction on more than one occasion.

My rainlegs came into their own for the first section of the ride. I've had them for some time and never used them in anger, but this morning I put them on. They were ok. I cannot say much more than that, as in heavy rain they are great, but if the rain eases, you are better off without them. Modern fabrics dry out very quickly, and rainlegs seem to trap the damp underneath, so trousers/tights stay damp too. Within 20 miles they were consigned to Trailer for the rest of the trip as although it drizzled for most of the day, the heavy rains had gone.

Just before Launceston as the road crosses the River Tamar
(The border between Cornwall and England)

Launceston came and went, then up the steep hill to St Stephens and out via Egloskerry and Tresmeer on roads I've cycled tons of times. Sourton to Launceston on the Old A30 is one of the best cycling roads I've ever been on. Almost devoid of traffic for most of the time with long rolling hills and straight runs with a superb surface. Absolute Cycling Heaven! After Launceston and Egloskerry, the climbs increase, and by the time you get out onto the A395 and the A39, you get right up to 1000ft. Although the road drops into Camelford, it still holds onto a height above 600ft.

Launceston Castle
The ancient capital of Cornwall

I followed the A39 - dubbed the Atlantic Highway, a term that annoys me as it cannot be next to the Atlantic as the sea between N Cornwall and S Ireland is the Celtic Sea, NOT the Atlantic! The Atlantic doesn't start until way off! I suppose the 'Celtic Sea Highway' doesn't sound so good ......

The A39 down to Wadebridge was ok as a ride. Nothing special and nothing difficult, but after Wadebridge it was hard work. The wind was at last blowing against me, and I found it hard and tiring to climb the windswept and exposed hills. I had to stop quite a few times to stretch my legs and ease the creases out of my body. Hard work - definitely.

The hill out of Wadebridge town was difficult too. I'd decided to take the town route rather than the bypass, but if I was ever to go that way again, I'd stay on the bypass! The town is lovely, but the hill out to the north is vicious. It went on and on and on, and it was steep and very long too.

Taking a rest at the top of the hill out of Wadebridge

Eventually, after struggling against the wind in the latter stages, I made my way down past St Columb Major town, keeping to the main road, and dropped down to the big roundabout where Hilary was waiting for me.

It had only been 50 miles, but it was a hard slog nonetheless.

Tomorrow takes us back to the same roundabout - less than an hour away from here (by car) - and I'll cycle the final 50 miles to Land's End.

Today's stats:
51.36 miles
6:03:00 duration
5:27:11 in the saddle
3787 calories
3352ft Total Ascent - making today the 3rd hardest leg!

Distance from JOG - 843.32 miles !!!!!

Still no punctures, and the tyres are fine. Good eh?

Thanks for reading,
Regards to all,
Mick and Hilary.


  1. Err, hate to tell you this, but Hilary holds the camera steadier than you do ;-) Can't believe this is the penultimate report, it seems like just a few days ago you were in a draughty aircraft hangar unpacking the pallet. Don't suppose you fancy just turning round and going back up again? No, didn't think so! Good report, and the first time you've got wet on the JOGLE if I'm not mistaken? Tomorrow is due to be lovely, so I hope you have a fabulous last day.

  2. Hi Graham,
    When I've been filming, I've usually just climbed off the bike and out of breath. She's obviously not doing enough!

    I had rain from JOG back to Wick, and horizontal rain at that. The forecast for W Cornwall isn't good today. We're off back to St Columb shortly for an 8am start and expect to be driving into the rain clouds.

    I might have a go at wearing shorts though, I think the wind has abated somewhat.

    TTFN, and check in later.

    Also, I intend do a round-up or a review of the whole ride as a final bit.