For this trip 19 of us, including two on a tandem, came together for a well deserved festive treat. It was fantastic to share the pre-meal ride with with CTC friends from St. Austell, Falmouth, Newquay, Camelford, Launceston, Saltash and, of course, the Liskeard area. David Byfield seemed still not to be quite himself because he announced a route that would be both flat and fairly direct to our destination, The Victoria Inn at Pensilva! But none of us were complaining and we got ourselves under way before he changed his mind.
As it turned out, this short flat ride actually covered just under 30 miles (29.85) but with just 533m of climbing and so many friends to chat with (AND no rain or significant wind) it was a real pleasure.
From Liskeard the route took us up to Dobwalls and on to Doublebois, where we turned right and along to Redgate. Then left down to Golitha Falls and along the Drains Valley through a Bodmin Moor looking remote and beautiful and past the inevitable bullock or two to Jamaica Inn at Bolventor. Here we settled in the festively haunted bars to enjoy our coffees and hot chocolate (and for those like Ian W, who had cycled from Saltash, something a little more substantial). Roger from Camelford, and Martyn and Margaret from Falmouth joined us here.
Then back down the valley (yes, still flat) to Redgate; Sarah punctured but help was readily available (thank you, Mike and Steve!), a left turn up to Common Moor; a right fork along to Darite and Crows Nest and, finally, up to Fore Down, with its views across the hills to Plymouth, and hence through Pensilva to the Victoria Inn.
For anyone thinking that a tandem might be for them, Martyn and Margaret are experts. There, is of course, a great deal to think about, including things like the importance of a third brake; the type of forks and the length of the rear cross bar.
The Victoria Inn offered a cosy atmosphere, complete with upside down Xmas tree, and an amazing quantity of good food served without a great deal of waiting around. The two chefs seemed to take a real pride in what they were preparing and serving – I was impressed and felt this was a great Christmas celebration to share with our cycling friends – many congratulations and thanks to David Byfield for organising it.
The return trip should have been a simple down the hill affair. Of course, it wasn’t – and instead we broke into three groups to try three different routes. My group headed back via Merrymeet and Pengover Green – and amazingly we arrived at Cold Style Road in Trevecca at the same time as Group 2, enabling us all to exchange Christmas Greetings before we bade farewell.
What a lovely day! Merry Christmas then to everyone in CTC Cornwall. Our Liskeard group post Christmas ride, on December 27th, will be along the Camel Trail to Padstow. Full details on Facebook – Liskeard Velo.