Sunday 20th March, 2016 – 42 mile equinox ride to Whitsand and round Rame Head

Our route  68 km and 1200 m climb

Our guest blogger, Megan:   Seven of us headed off from Liskeard to Whitsands and Rame Head, with Ian as our ride leader. There was no need to don any wet weather gear as we had a dry day if slightly on the cool side for cycling, and by the time our first climb was completed to Pengover we were sufficiently warmed up. It was lovely to have Paul Brown who hadn’t been out with the group for a while cycling with us ( the us being Sarah, Amanda, Dave, Mike and yours truly). Apparently his pal is the “Strava” champion at the moment for this particular incline, this mobile app is clearly gaining in popularity and probably ideal if you don’t have a GPS.

We progressed well and made good time, reaching our first pit stop at the Cliff Top Cafe dead on 11.00, where we all enjoyed brunch. Personally I was thinking long and hard about what I should eat way before we got there, craving some carbohydrate, something with a sugar hit but also salty, so my choice was American pancakes, with bacon and maple syrup and it was just the job. At the cafe we had a good 45 mins break where we chatted about Paul’s upcoming charity cycle from John O’Groats to Lands End, discussed tents, the benefit of packing ear plugs when camping and bike panniers. Paul and his friend hope to raise sufficient funds for a piece of equipment relating to treating cancer for our local hospital. Paul’s Justgiving link   also follow their progress on their facebook page.

Dave let everyone know that Lidl’s are having one of their special buys cycling events.

We hit the road again cycling towards the Rame Penisula following the coast road. Cycling on this road you really enjoy the changing colours of the sea and landscape, a favourite for a few of us. We turned off passing Rame Church, which is built of rough slate. Wikipedia states ; the present stone building was consecrated in 1259, and that surprisingly the church is not supplied with electricity, and is lit by candles. The Coastal Guard Station at Rame Head , which was open so we all piled in and had a chat with one of the Coast guard watchers. I had to grin to myself when one of them said that he past us in his car driving to his watch, apparently we didn’t look like the normal groups of cyclists he sees as we weren’t going particularly fast and one of us had even stopped to take photos! Mike took the opportunity to explain that we were all members of the CTC, the ‘T’ standing for touring.

We then cycled off the Penisula, heading towards Cawsands, towards Millbrook, through Crafthole cycling on through Downderry and stopping at Seaton. We headed to the Beach Cafe, for a refuel of hot drinks. More chat on various subjects including our gardens, getting the soil ready for planting and allotments.

The usual route through the Seaton Valley was followed, which in my view is never as flat as you would imagine a valley bottom to be, passing Castle Air at Trebrown. At this point we crossed the A38 to start on the climb up. Here we picked up another cyclist who cycled up with us, I didn’t get his name but he’s an Audax man and knows Saltash Ian.

The last hill of the day was the one that passes Peak’s Incinerator and takes you to the top of Charter Way, I refer to this as the sting in the tail. We were back in Liskeard by 4.00pm. The approximate mileage was around 42 miles possibly more.

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