At 5 pm we lit our fire and settled down to watch feedback on George Osbourne’s spending review . It sounded windy outside; certainly dark and colder than indoors. Did I really want to go out cycling? I didn’t think so.
However, I had felt the same a couple of days previously when Geoff and I had forced ourselves on a little cycle jaunt up to Jamaica Inn for a hot chocolate by their big open fire. It had in fact been great – in no way difficult – just great to be out in the fresh air and taking some gentle exercise.
So, yes, of course, last night we clambered into our high viz cycle gear, switched on our lights and tootled down to the Parade to meet the others for this week’s pub ride. En route we passed the three running groups setting off from Lux Park so we were not the only ones out in the dark.
At the Parade the men had put up the town Christmas tree and were just testing the Christmas lights. Wooo! To be fair, it was on quite a wonky tree which was probably not going to withstand our Southwesterly winds for long but the spirit was there – and with Liskeard FM, our seasonal community radio, contributing to the festive feel, this was just what we needed to get us started. The workmen all had excuses for why they could not join us – but it was great to have Megan, our new Cornwall CTC Chair, with us – so off we set .
Down to Pengover Green and a left turn towards Merrymeet. Megan commented on the different feel that you have when cycling at night. I agreed with her. Am fine now and no longer notice it, but for my first few attempts I felt the dark affected my balance. The group had encouraged me to keep going all through last winter and, as I say, I no longer notice any difference between night and day cycling.
Megan had invested in a good front light but it did seem less powerful than the lights the rest of us had – and this does make a difference to how you feel about night riding. Steve told us the theory behind effective night cycling in dark countryside was that a light should produce 1000 lumens – and the light specification should give you this information .
Across the A390 at Merrymeet and along to the cross roads; straight on and a gentle climb up to the B 3254 at Fore Down (a good route, I thought). We all felt the head wind as we rode along the edge of Fore Down towards Pensilva but then felt the benefit of the wind when we turned left and headed down through Crows Nest to Darite. Left and left again and down over the cattle grid to Trecarne; right into Well Street and up the hill to St. Cleer. This always looks like a steep hill when we are on the horses but it seems fairly easy to cycle up.
And here we were at The Market Inn with a warm welcome from Tom, the bar person. A lovely open fire, a drink and some crisps. Some of our group had signed up for the Breakfast in Bampton Audax ride on 28th November. Will be good to hear their reports when we see them next. For the rest of us our next outing is on Sunday when Ian leads the Cornwall CTC ride to Halton Quay via Loui’s café at Kit Hill.
Just what we needed before a quick spin down the hill back to Liskeard.
Geoff and I went home to supper and to give the horses their night time hay very pleased we had made the effort to go out