The principle behind our Liskeard Ladies Saturday rides is that they are inclusive, confidence building and sociable, allowing us to have a chat as we go along. Our aim is therefore normally to set a ride to a destination for tea and cake about ten miles away with transport home. This ensures the ride is doable by everyone but also allows those who would like to do more to cycle home again if they would like to.
This week we thought we would aim for Lerryn, normally about 8 or 9 miles away, with its pretty riverside views and a shop that sells coffee and cake. However, the normal route would involve a short ride on the A390 which can feel quite intimidating to new cyclists – so Ann WB kindly put together a quieter roads route. Using these roads inevitably made the ride longer, 15 miles, and also meant that we would have a couple of proper hills but we were all up for it and agreed we would take our time over those hills.
Our group this week included new members, Carol and Cindy, as well as a strong contingent from East Cornwall Harriers – so lots of stamina but some anxieties about cycling in traffic and about going too quickly down our Cornish steep hills (I personally found it took me about a year to feel more comfortable about going down those hills).
So, 9 am start for eight of us at The Parade in Liskeard, down through Old Park and Lady Park and up the cycle track with a couple of stops to Dobwalls. Then a left turn onto the pleasant Duloe road and a right turn into the steep lane down into Herodsfoot – a very good test for all our brakes. The good thing about brake pads is that they cost very little to replace and, of course, they are essential in Cornwall.
A rest and a chat in the village, which is so pretty and striking with its Church up on the hill. Ann gave us a demo of our new cycle Jersey, which looks great. Then we slowly made our way up the hill the other side. The hill is only steep for the first 200 metres but continues with a mild incline out to the B3359. The montbretia hedges still very evident at this time of year. A bit of traffic practice along the B335, mainly tractors at this time of the year, and then right onto some pretty lanes down to Couch’s Mill and along he river into Lerryn.
Geoff was waiting there by the green with the horse lorry. The shop made us coffee and tea to take out onto the picnic tables by the river and we bought a selection of cakes topped up with Connie’s flap jacks – lovely. Finally, bikes on the lorry for seven of us, (Connie, we hope your knee is improving) leaving Ann to cycle back to Duchy Nurseries where she had her van.
And, yes, we had managed 15 miles! A very pretty route – thank you, Ann!