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.
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.
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.
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.
5:27:11 in the saddle
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.