First Day.

Mechanicals, taking the wrong turns, leaving my behind and other enjoyable happenings. 

The day started ok with bacon buns and tea. We set off up the first hill of the day, which was from the front gate of the YHA. 0700 start and the weather was a bit overcast and cold when we stopped.  The destination was the Land’s End visitor centre and a photo call. Formalities done, we set off on our journey. 

It was up and down as expected and Penzance was reached in good time and the next 40 odd miles were a breeze and the sun was out and set for the day . We made our way to the first rest and feed point set up by our driver, Gary, who had the tea on and water for our bison. 

Replenished, we set of on the next leg and our first mistake, we took the cycle path on the wrong side of the road which meant when we reached the end there was two lanes of traffic to get over and reach the roundabout. That task was done but the group split, on reforming we had two missing ! What to do, and as we debated why and hows, the other two turned up .

Onwards and upwards, a lot of nice descents but they always came with big climbs back out of whatever place we had road into !

The next stop was at 70 ish miles but as we went through the town, disaster,  my pedals were spinning but there was no forward traction ! A shout to the others and a stop soon found the problem, the hub was knackered and wasn’t  engaging the cassette.  A call to Gary and the van was on the way with one of the spare wheels. We had our meals and waited. Wheel changed and it was back on riding.

A few wrong turns and doubling back had me trying to engage a gear to go back up a hill but not quite making it, stopping and engaging correct gears had me chasing the group but they had completely disappeared! Nevertheless, I kept going as it was just one lane that went down then up for what seemed for ever.

Still no sign of the group so I stopped climbing and retraced my steps to see if I had missed something. Back at the beginning a phone call had me setting back off upwards the way I’d come because  “we didn’t turn off the lane” suffice to say the end of the lane was a twe junction and no group ! Ring again. Don’t know what went wrong they said but can you ride the 1 miles to the next town and we will meet you just before. Well I did and riding a main A road on your own at a good speed is no fun especially the hills and trucks .

Met up with the guys and exchanged pleasentries and it was off again. We were now making up time with a more direct route, read main A road. So it was that with some trepidation we headed onto the A39 for 13 miles. Cars and vans were very good and loads giving us two bees after some publicity on local radio.

Well we did the miles, had a couple of chains off one seriously jammed and required the split link opening to remove the chain wrapped around  the pedals.

Off the A39 and into the lanes again, forever down and the inevitable up but we were getting closer with each pedal stroke. On and on,a stop in a lay by with Gary, who told us the pub is down the road about six miles. With this news we raced off going at great speed until we came to a roundabout and stopped for the others. No one came, we started ringing round to find the other four but couldn’t locate them. Between Gary and a local who wasn’t too sure, we set off hitting a massive hill through the village, and I mean MASSIVE.

After going up and up we reached horizontal, asked a couple in a car for directions and plodded on. When we saw the first signpost for the village we were spurred on and a couple of hills later we were pulling into the forecourt of the pub and a rece


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