This is what I was up to this morning, while the rest of you were gobbling about up at Tricky Dickies. It’s a fun little 50km Audax event organised by one of my Audax Kernow pals, Eddie Angell. Only about 15 of the 56 people who had entered turned up – some loose talk of an unfavourable weather forecast may have been to blame …
The fearless few set out from Connor Downs at 9:30am, heading first of all to Gwithian, then back into the wind towards Hayle before cutting across on quiet lanes through Joppa to St Erth. The first checkpoint was at St Hilary Church, and as we drew near that locus the sky turned blacker than Ricky Hatton’s left eye. Before you could say: “Incoming!!!”, hailstones the size of marbles were zinging down, accompanied by thunderclaps and lightning. Lycra/Goretex proved scant protection against the icy onslaught, so we were forced to dismount and duck behind a drystone wall until the storm eased a little.
The next section took us through Sithney via Millpool and Godolphin Cross in driving rain, and then a lumpy leaf-strewn lane led to the next control at Penventon Farm, between Helston and Porthleven. We took refuge from the wind and rain in the farmhouse kitchen, and were treated to a huge spread of home made quiches and cakes, courtesy of the farm’s owners Wendy and Hayden Wallis. Wendy, a keen cyclist herself, managed to resist the temptation to ride today – well, she did have all those cakes to bake!
Prising ourselves away with some difficulty, we set out on the homeward leg to Connor Downs, following an unfamiliar lane that brought us out near Hilltop Garage. Calling in at Sithney again, the route then headed for Nancegollan before a welcome return to the quieter back roads through Drym and Carnhell Green to the finish. Here I rested my weary carcass for a while, and had a blether with the other early finishers while the Mince Pies and Mulled Wine that Ed had laid on nudged the needle out of the red zone, and provided some fuel for the headwind-hampered slog back to PZ.
Don “AikenDrum” H