Let’s Get Out There
For any bike rider who has spent time in London will appreciate the monotony of lapping Regents and Richmond park, along with the excitement that sells up inside you at the mere prospect of being able to get out into the countryside…New countryside no less! One catch, London to Cornwall drive on a Friday after work. Uh oh.
“We’ll leave straight after work,” she said.
“Have you not seen Michael Macintryre stand up – it’ll be a nightmare!!” I reply with the appropriate head wobble.
So off we went (after the rush hour) and after a relatively uneventful journey and a decent kip I find myself with some spare time, an entire county of country roads and no shorts (see the Nanoflex review for details on that).
Growing up on the seaside ensures you have a very close affinity to shorelines and none and more thought provoking than the Cornish coast.
Cornwall has a mystique to it that most places in the UK doesn’t. Riding along the south coast on the top of a cliff with the sun in your eyes and wind to your side, you’re taken back to your childhood days of pirate stories, smugglers coves, forts and cannons etc. All good fun. It might have been due to having Robinson Crusoe in my ear curtesy of Audible and my phone, it might be my childlike imagination, who knows…
The route today was a relatively short roll from our base down to and then along the coast and looping back when I ran out of road. About a 40km ride to the west of Plymouth as I was on a time limit.
One thing to consider when planning routes in Cornwall if you live in a city; a small road is a REALLY small road, an ‘A road’ is what you think is a quite street in the likes of London and elsewhere (with a couple of exceptions). ‘B roads’ are what your looking for, and those little unlabelled roads on Garmin when you’re planning your route are in fact lanes, genuine lanes, I mean, mud covered tractor tracks with high hedgerows and the only traffic your likely to come across are tractors or errant sheep! Or a curious alpaca in a field wondering how a two wheel tractor works.
The Geography Lesson
After a quick detour due to the lack of a cyclocross bike, I find myself in a true smugglers cove type village which was a maze of surprisingly steep streets and paths. All very nice indeed.
A final thing to consider – Cornwall is coastal and some of the first landmass that the Gulf Stream hits on its journey from the equator (and other side of the Altantic), what is he getting at I hear you ask? It means it’s always windy. Something I didn’t realise until I turned for home!
The Cornwall Low-Down
So overall a great place, a great solo ride and some roads which will certainly be explored some more in the future. If only to keep up the scone intake…
(Disclaimer: before everyone starts hurling abuse about using heads phone while riding, I use one headphone at a low volume with an open backed headphone so I can hear my surroundings so please can I request the ‘headphone police’ focus on those running red lights while wearing massive DJ headphones, thanks).