Thursday 17th May – Sunday 20th May, 2018 – 100 miles of sunny flat Brittany roads for Liskeard Ladies on their first visit to France

For our three routes click here and here and here.

Seven Liskeard Ladies, efficiently organised by Megan, took the Brittany ferry  last Thursday evening and crossed the Channel on a calm sea to arrive in Roscoff.  We  awoke refreshed after a good night’s sleep in our two cabins, a quick cup of coffee and ready for our adventure.

Breakfast was the priority, in a café in Roscoff village overlooking the sea – and then a delightful journey, wending our way along the coast (amazing that it is so much flatter than Cornwall) taking in incredible views, white sandy beaches and a scattering of incredible artefacts.  Lunch at Plouescat and then on again until we arrived mid afternoon at our destination of Brignogan-plages, a pretty seaside village.  (narrative continues after pics, which are in no particular order,  below).

 

Our home for the next two nights would be un gite d’etape (a small hostel used by walkers on the coast path) and managed by Guy, who also runs a successful cycle hire business in the village.  That first evening we walked along the beach for pre supper drinks and then ate at the village Italian restaurant.  Next day, after checking our legs were still working, we agreed we would attempt a 40 mile circular route, heading further west along the coast.  Cycling without our luggage made this day a real delight with frequent stops for coffee  (and a peak at the royal wedding on the café TV); a beach picnic with a lovely swim for those in the group brave enough; and an ice cream break. That evening our supper was at a delightful French restaurant down near the beach. (narrative continues below next block of pics).

 

The next morning, after another of Guy’s breakfasts, including his homemade jam, we set off back towards Roskoff, this time taking a more inland route with our coffee break allowing us to have a good look round a Sunday market at Plouescat.  Then a wonderful lunch break at Saint Pol de Leon before heading back to a very comfortable and almost empty ferry for our six hour journey back to Plymouth.  An idyllic break – huge thanks to Megan – and already looking forward to the next!

 

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Saturday 31st March, 2018 – Our first spring training ride – and Liskeard Easy Riders make the most of the dryer weather.

So while Susie is sunning herself in Spain and pretending to get some serious training  on those Spanish hills, Liskeard Parade saw twelve (yes, twelve!) cyclists assemble for the first two of their Easter week end rides.

Liskeard Easy Riders, led by Dave Ball, had an enjoyable social outing to Darite Village Hall for their warming coffee and bacon butties – while six of us tackled the first of our spring training rides.

This ride was ably led by Amanda.  The aim was to cycle close to 30 miles without stopping for a coffee break.  I had been more nervous about joining this ride than about taking part in most of the other things I do.  This was only the fourth time this year I had been on a bicycle and knew I would find it difficult to keep up.  However,  although I found I was bringing up the rear all the time, I was proud I managed the whole ride without a stop (drinking as I went along and having a gel on the hoof too).  Amanda slowed the ride after each hill to allow me to catch up which meant that we did all arrive back in Liskeard at the same time.  Much as this was a very different sort of cycling for me I did feel, even as we went round that this was making me fitter and that it was well worth while.

And then, when we arrived back at The Parade, we all agreed at that stage we had earnt a coffee and snack (yes!).  We went down to try Crumbs (used to be Seasons) where the manager kindly allowed us to put our bicycles in her courtyard.  The food was very good – a whole range of cakes and savouries – I had egg and bacon; others had poached egg on toast, etc.  It wasn’t long before our cycle group was joined by another three cyclists from Plymouth – meaning the café was accommodating ten cycles – excellent!

All in all, I would encourage anyone who is wanting to improve their speed and endurance a little this spring to have a go at one of these training rides.  The next is 7th April, led by Neil.

 

Tuesday 20th March, 2017 – Geoff and Ann manage first of slightly longer rides this spring – the annual trip to Truro!

For our route click here  Approx 30 miles; 360 m climbed

Am posting this to promote the ride as a very easy way to get your cycle training for the year under way – and at the same time to have a really enjoyable day out.

Geoff  and I purchased return tickets to Truro for approximately £6 each.  We put the bikes on the train from Liskeard to Bodmin Parkway  (no need to book for the 8.57 train this morning).  In the paper timetable the trains you need to book are marked in green.  At Liskeard station we did book our bicycles on the 14.41 train back from Truro.  This gave us the option of three trains in the afternoon, depending on how long the cycle ride and stops would take.

From Bodmin Parkway we cycled down through the Lanhydrock Estate and then up past the house – just about the only hilly bit of this 30 mile route.  After this, the route is nearly all flat and empty roads all the way to Truro – mostly the roads are those which used to be the A30.  I have included a lot of boring pics to illustrate just how flat and empty the roads are!  The only stretch of main road is the last three miles into Truro and this has a cycle way nearly all the way.

Geoff and I chose to stop at Cornwall Services, where we bought the Big Breakfast from The Cornish Kitchetn (£5.50); and then at Ladock PO for a cup of tea.  When we arrived at Truro we went to the Arts Café and shared a meat roll and salad before popping into Clive Mitchell for a few bits and then getting the 14.41 train home to Liskeard.

Such an easy ride but it does allow your legs to do 30 miles without any pressure on knees, etc.  Later we will build the distance up by cycling from Liskeard to Truro (40 miles) or Liskeard to Truro and then back to Bodmin Parkway (70 miles).

 

Saturday 17th March – Liskeard Ladies’ St. Patrick’s Day ride round the lanes and lake to Siblyback Cafe

For our route please click here.  13.43 miles; 298 m climbed

This turned out to be a fantastic little ride on a cold and windy day with snow threatening – so pleased we managed to get out there and do it – and just the best company, girls!

It was also the event at which our CTC Cornwall BANNER (yes, our banner!) made its debut – and we did manage to attract the attention of one  cyclist – who kindly came over to chat with us.  (Thank you to Ian for passing by at exactly the right time to take the banner back to Megan’s so we didn’t have to carry it round with us!).

The other exciting thing was Gail’s e bike – a Carrera Crossfire.  Gail purchased this initially because issues with one of her knees made riding a traditional bicycle impossible.  Her Crossfire however allows her to switch on the motor for uphill stretches and, of course, she zoomed along, putting us all to shame but she still gets plenty of exercise herself.  At under £1,000 it seems like great value.

Monday 5th February, 2017 – Ann and Geoff anniversary ride along cycle trail from Newton Abbot to Bovey Tracey (possible summer outing for ladies group?)

In an attempt to celebrate our wedding anniversary,  Geoff and I booked our hybrids onto the 9.15 am train to Newton Abbot (£8.20 return each).  On arrival – coffee time, of course.  We chose Coffee 1 in the main shopping street but there are lots of other choices.

Then straight onto the newish and completely flat cycle trail to Bovey Tracey.  The trail is about 7 miles and a mixture of trail and ‘no traffic’ lanes through very pretty countryside.  (I am posting some of the pics I took following Geoff so that you can get a proper flavour of this ride, in case you would like to try it).

Once in  Bovey we cycled down to the river to try the newly opened cycle cafe 3 Sixty – which was an absolute delight in every sense.  And you can take your bicycles in with you and just hang them on the rail provided before going over to sit by the wood burner should you need to warm up.

After a good look round Bovey (and the craft fair), for a bit of variety, Geoff and I came back over the hill via Brimley and Liverton arriving back in Newton Abbot in time to pop our bikes on the 2.50 train  back to Liskeard (no need to book for this one).

Sunday 7th January, 2018 – Liskeard Velo brave very cold conditions on their ride through Pensilva to Seaton – but enjoy the clear blue skies and amazing views.

With most of the group now forced into their beds with coughs and colds (and for some of us, horse-related injuries), Dave Ball was kind enough to lead a small but courageous band through the biting and very cold winds up to Pensilva, down to Seaton and back.  Megan says, “Two pairs of socks and over boots and I still ended up with frozen toes!”  Well done to the four of you for completing the ride.

 

Saturday 6th January, 2018 – nine Liskeard Ladies get 2018 off to great start – clear blue skies, coping with slippery roads, new cafe stop in Looe (loo being the key word) AND … our first E biker!

(Thank you to Megan for providing this blog – more pics below the narrative)  With the two Anns who organise our ladies’ group rides  unfortunately unable to join our first group cycle of 2018 due to injury and illness,  yours truly was asked to fill the gap.   Ann Wendik-Byfield talked me through her route on Friday night so,  well versed, I was happy we weren’t going to get lost.  I am more used to enjoying the position of back marker, partly because I’m not super fast and I can shout loudly “Car back”.

Nine of us met at our usual meeting point an hour later than usual, to allow some of the frost and ice to melt after a very cold Friday night. We were pleased to welcome Gail on her first cycle with the group on her new bike (I shall mention about in more in detail later) and welcome back to Ann-Marie after a break of 3 months from cycling.

Having received a text from one of the chaps from our mixed Velo group, warning about icy patches down Old Road, and with a few already having experienced lack of traction on their various routes in to town, I decided that might have to change the route slightly. So instead on going down Old Road Hill we cycled through town taking the road out of town but turning right, hopping off our bikes to push them down the footpath which leads to the steps at the bottom of Old Road hill.  We then cycled both up Dobwalls Hill turning left past the Spar shop following the Duloe Road, another slight detour from Ann’s route.

 After a quick chat at Duloe some of the group decided that they would prefer not to cycle to Looe via Tredinnick believing the road to be rough.  As we all ride different bikes (hybrids, mountain, racing, tourers) with different tyres with varying tred and width sizes, it’s good that folk understand the capabilities of their trusty steads. So four of us cycled the” proper” route, having the bikes to handle a bit of debris and road condition with Carol leading the way on her mountain bike. The others taking the main road route.

The route from Tredinnick down to Looe Valley, was virtually traffic free, and being on the sunnyside it was notably frost free with only some minor debris, any which had been must have been washed away from all the recent deluges of rain.  The views from this road are stunning looking down into the river valley and toward Morval estate.

 All the cyclists met up and were joined by the “Two Anns” and a few of the male supporters at our coffee stop.  Again this wasn’t the café as planned. We ended up at a newly opened cafe, Pier One – interestingly in the former loo block!

 After enjoying  CTC (Coffee, Tea and Cake), and a catch up with each other,  we set off for our return journey.  This followed usual route the Looe Valley route, climbing up the hill which passes the Well House nr St Keyne.   Here I return to the subject of Gail’s new bike, which is a Carrera Crossfire Electric Bike.  At the point  I was huffing and puffing up the hill,  I watched her zip up it with some ease.  I can’t deny a moment of envy fell upon me.   This bike  is a pedal assist bike which means you do have to put some effort/ pedal power in,  but it certainly does help with climbing, and is ideal for those who want to go further and who perhaps have a long term injury, or are yet to build up necessary strength and stamina for our Cornish Hills.  A few more hills and we all made it back to our various homes in and around Liskeard.

 So for those of you who may follow our group on Facebook or our website and who haven’t been for a cycle with the group, take the plunge, dust off your E Bike, Hybrid, Tourer etc – it doesn’t matter what it is as long as it’s road worthy and make 2018 your start of regular cycling.  Remember our mantra “no one gets left behind”.

Happy New Year to All, Meg 😊