Monday, 2 June 2008

Day 1: Land's End to Camelford (75 miles)

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We awoke to find West Cornwall enveloped in mist: quite a difference from the previous evening's sunshine. We started the day with another visit to Land's End, with all six of us this time posing for the obligatory photo. Then we zeroed our odometers and set off for Scotland.

It stayed cool and overcast all day, but it remained dry with virtually no wind. After leaving Land's End we followed the A30 as far as Penzance and then took a series of minor roads, first to Marazion (fine view of St Michael's Mount) and then the tiny B3280 via the wonderfully-named village of Praze-en-Beeble to Redruth.

After coffee in Redruth we pressed on, taking the A3075 to Newquay where we stopped for lunch. Newquay is Britain's capital of surf, and we really did see blond young things wandering around with surfboards under their arm.

Three miles out of Newquay, mechanical disaster struck Geoff's bike. The screw that held his rear derailleur to the frame snapped in two, causing the derailleur to fall off and leaving the remains of the screw in the frame.

It looked like Geoff's End to End had come to an end, especially as it looked like only a skilled frame repairer could fix it. After discussing various options, Geoff shortened his chain so he could ride it on a single gear and limped back to Newquay.

The rest of us carried along the A3059 to St Columb Major (where a passing Sustrans ranger guided us through the village) and then along the busy but not-too-bad A39 "Atlantic Highway" to Wadebridge and then Camelford, where we found a B&B for the night.

Somewhere along the way I received a voicemail from Geoff. He was on the M5 near Taunton; he had hired a van or car in Newquay and was on the way back to Cambridge. He is going to pick up his other bike and rejoin us in a few days, perhaps as soon as tomorrow evening. We are all looking forward to having his company again soon.

Geoff's mechanical failure marred an otherwise excellent day of cycling.

Vital statistics: Distance 75.3 miles. Average speed 12.2mph. Maximum speed 36.6 mph.

Tomorrow: Day 2 Camelford to Bampton

1 comment:

  1. Haven't seen you for a while during the training but GOOD LUCK on the ride.
    Happy cycling