We have found over the last two years that however bad the weather generally, yes, it will be dry on Wednesday evenings – giving us no excuse for not continuing our pub rides through the autumn and winter. Dave Bale is off doing more interesting things for two or three weeks but it was lovely to have Megan join us. Five of us set off from The Parade to meet Ann B up at Dobwalls. The nights are drawing in so lights on fully from then on. One of the good things about our new Liskeard Velo jerseys is that they have effective fluorescent strips at the back for maximum visibility. Three of us had taken advantage of Aldi’s latest cycle gear offer to buy flashing lights and strips at very reasonable prices (under £5) and these now came into their own.
Right at Dobwalls, over the A30 and first left at Burnt House. Down the fairly steep hill to cross the River Fowey and up the long hill to Wenmouth Cross just before St Neot. Here we had a welcome breather before turning right and heading along to the south edge of Colliford Lake. Right here and then up along the eastern edge of Colliford. This time last year I did wonder if I was mad cycling over Bodmin Moor in the dark but actually I have to admit the lake looked beautiful – so still and just gleaming in the starlight – no moon and sadly,no Northern Lights – just starlight – but the lake did look beautiful. Then on to Bolventor. Here Megan linked up with her husband for a lift back (thank you, Nigel). The rest of us donned warmer jackets and set off down the Draynes Valley back to Red Gates. This is obviously a flat and easy cycling route and some of us made a note to start wearing winter cycling gloves from next week.
The Draynes Valley is, of course, an official area of outstanding natural beauty and although it is harder in the dark to appreciate the wealth of unusual plants, birds and mammals that it supports, you never know what you might come across – last year we disturbed a very large fox and, on a drizzly night, a whole lot of toads crossing the road.
Another breather at Redgates and then on to St. Cleer and The Stag Inn. We really liked the prices here, much cheaper, for instance, than The Jubilee at Pelynt, or Jamaica Inn. Also, because they have such a wide range of beers they were quite happy to offer a range of samples before we purchased – very nice!
Once we were seated the conversation ranged, for no obvious reason, from the pros and cons of having an older parent to the merits of housekeeping and cooking. Interestingly, we found that Connie and Geoff were born and grew up in the same part of North Kent and Connie told us how she had grown up opposite a girl that she only recently met properly and got to know better – small world!
Finally, we enjoyed the downhill back into Liskeard – probably about 22 miles completed in total and well on the way to being fully exercised for another week.