The Cornwall week, September 2015.
(Click any photo to see a larger picture - then just follow the slide show.)
Thanks to Rob, John and Terry for their photos.

This was the second year for us all and the weather promised to be good for the whole week. The base was again at the Monkey Tree Holiday Park, between Newquay and Perranporth, where most of the entrants were booked in. Howard and Carol along with Jean and I had booked a static caravan this year, as did John and Ruth. The others were all booked into the touring park with their motorhomes. It was nice to see our good friend Willy from Antwerp, although he was without Mady who was not well and had stayed at home to be near her terminally ill sister.

We all arranged to leave for Cornwall on Saturday and to meet up at the Sedgemoor services on the M5. We were all towing trailers, with my van towing the Lomax on an A frame as we had done last year. Our total section contingent consisted of:

Bruce and Di - 1943 Triumph and 1975 Honda 400/4
Vince and Angela - 1951 Vincent Comet
Rob Jones - 1976 Honda 400/4
Howard and Carol - 1983 Lomax
Terry and Dilys - 1981 Moto Guzzi
Bill and Jean - 1974 Moto Morini
John and Ruth - 1962 BSA and 1968 Triumph

Also at the event were Dewi and Ann Peters from Merthyr, with their Vincent, so South Wales had a good representation.

The first evening saw most of us congregate in the Summer nights bar for the welcome meeting.

Sunday 6th - East Cornwall run
We had 71.6 miles to do today, or so we were told the night before. What we weren't told was that there was a need to reset our mileometers after about 27 miles, so the real distance was nearer 100 for the day. We all assembled in the car park for the 10am start, including Willy de Hoog who had come all the way from Antwerp.

After some 25 miles heading towards St Austell, we were all to ride through the single carriageway 'Great Pinnock Tunnel'. It runs from Fowey to Par docks and was formerly the railway from St Blazey to Fowey. After closure in 1968 the tracks were removed and the track bed converted to a road for lorries loaded with clay to reach Fowey docks. We had permission to ride through the tunnel which is not open to the public and is normally only used by the clay lorries. The tunnel is 1173 yards long, wet and dripping in china clay run-off, which left a splattered finish to the bikes but luckily it came off quite easily. From the tunnel we crossed the River Fowey on the Bodinnick ferry before heading to the morning coffee stop, provided by the Lerryn River Stores, on the banks of the river Lerryn.

From Lerryn we headed through Looe to Seaton and the Beach cafe for lunch.

After leaving Seaton we headed back West towards Looe before turning North to Liskeard and the afternoon tea stop in Lostwithiel at the Community Centre Cafe.

Soon we were heading back to the Monkey Tree park base and we all made it without any problems, apart from Bruce who had all the saddle springs give way on the ex-military Triumph, thus lowering his seat by over four inches. He reckoned that it wasn't too uncomfortable, but it did allow Di to get a good view of where they were going as she was able to easily see over the top of Bruce's head.
The evening should have seen us in the Summer nights bar for a slide show and film of last years run, but most of us were pretty tired so didn't make it. Too much fresh air, I guess. Mileage today - 101.

Monday 7th - South Cornwall run
Today, Bruce had decided to abandon the ex-military Triumph with it's low slung saddle and use his Honda 400/4. After leaving Bruce behind to catch up later, as he had a soft rear tyre to pump up on the Honda, the rest of us eventually set off at 10am. We headed towards Redruth before turning south towards the Lizard. Rob took these action photos out on the road - somewhere:

Early on we went through a ford with Howard in the Lomax taking it in real style with a big bow wave, sorry we haven't a photo of that. I will admit to making a few mistakes when looking for turnings as there were quite a few left and right with 'No Sign'. Not easy to identify when my speedo did not have tenths of a mile on it. One left turn was labelled 'no sign post, pass boat yard'. I did wonder how a boat yard appeared when there was no water within miles. In fact, all the sign said was 'GW Storage', or something like that and we missed it, as we were looking for a boat yard. Eventually, after a short detour, we were back on route and after 36 miles we reached the coffee stop at the Zucchini tea rooms just south of Gweek at the head of the river Helford.

We then headed along some very narrow roads around the Helford river before plunging down into Porthallow and climbing steeply up out the other side. We did that on most of the coastal villages around the edge of East Lizard. The worst was a tight right hand hairpin bend out of Coverack. All every pretty villages etc but nightmares to get into and out of with many hills being 1 in 4. Eventually we made Lizard for lunch after 62 miles of very hard riding.

 After lunch, Bruce and Di decided to head down to the southernmost point of the Lizard to see the sight, whilst the rest of us set off on the afternoon ride back. We skirted RAF Culdrose and went through Helston and on to Redruth. Then it was head for Portreath and the afternoon stop at 'Cornwall gold'. The way in was via the jewellery shop which had frightening prices on their items.

We then had a final 15 or so miles back to base, having covered a 108.9 miles in the day, which was a bit too much for the type of roads used. The evening in the summer nights bar was a talk by a lady who had travelled Europe with her dog in a sidecar outfit. Most of us didn't make it as we were pretty knackered after the days ride. Instead, some of us settled down to one of Ruth's currys. Mileage today - 108.9.

Tuesday 8th - North Cornwall run
Having had enough of narrow roads from the day before, out came the maps. We were to go through Port Isaac, another fishing village with narrow roads, famous for being used in the Doc Martin series of TV programmes. We decided on a main road run to Tintagel, where the lunch stop was, after the morning coffee stop. We all set off and after 28 miles ended up in Polzeath and the Valley Caravan Park for the morning stop. From there we bypassed the Port Isaac loop as planned and headed straight for lunch at the King Arthur's Arms pub in Tintagel.

After a good lunch we set off again with most of us using the main roads, thus skipping the run across Bodmin moor. The afternoon tea stop was in the middle of Padstow, with us being amongst the first to arrive. This time it was an Ice cream rather than a tea stop.

From the Padstow afternoon stop we headed to Newquay and the 18.5 miles back to Monkey Tree. The evening saw us split into teams to tackle a quiz. We won - somehow - and each received a nice prize of a neck warmer, complete with front bib, for wearing on the bike. It's being modelled further on in one of the photos. Official mileage today - 105.0

Wednesday 9th - a day off the bike
'What shall we do today?' was easily sorted. Bruce and Di took Willy off on their bikes to see the Gwennap Pit, which is an open air amphitheatre, near Redruth in Cornwall, made famous by John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. Possibly a hollow created by mining activities, it has remarkable acoustic properties. It became the favourite open air preaching place of John Wesley, who was taken to it in 1762, describing it as "a round green hollow" and as "an amphitheatre". He was to preach there on 18 occasions between 1762 and 1789. From there Bruce moved on to the Lappa Valley railway for a look around before heading for Bodmin and the Bodmin and Wenford steam railway. Bruce was planning to make the 13.50 train, whilst the rest of us forsook the bikes and drove straight to Bodmin to join the 12.30 steam trip. All in all, it was a good day off the bikes for most of us, and as we were all quite rested, and the weather was good, it was decided that we should have a BBQ, especially as there was nothing laid on for the evening.

Thursday 10th - West Cornwall run
10am start again saw us heading west towards Perranporth, St Agnes and Portreath. We then followed the coast road to the Hells Mouth cafe on the B3301 for the morning stop.

From the morning stop we headed into Hayle and on and through St Ives, which was a bit crowded with pedestrians making it difficult to negotiate. Then we were out onto the coast road to St Just and on to Lands End for lunch. From Lands End we rode back through Penzance and on to the tea stop at Stithians Lake.

From Stithians it was a simple ride back to base. Mileage today - 102.3.
The evening was a music quiz in the Summer nights bar. Bruce, Di and Willy came second with their group, whilst the rest of us failed miserably, but it was good fun.

Friday 11th - Roseland run
By this time most of us had really had enough of the narrow lanes, so out came the map again and we plotted a main road route for the first part of the morning to the coffee stop at Griggs country store, just off the A390 at Sticker, a mile or so to the West of St Austell. We luckily missed some very narrow roads that would certainly have proved taxing for Howard in the Lomax. Plenty of steep hills and hairpin bends - we were told.

From the stop we took the main roads and headed straight to St Mawes for the lunch stop. After parking up we soon found the Victoria Inn and settled in on the upstairs verandah after ordering some food. It didn't last long as it started to spit with rain, so we quickly moved inside. However, the rain came to nothing and after eating up (I had a super Crab and Lemon Mayo sandwich) we wandered back to the bikes and set off on the final leg back to the Monkey Tree park, using the provided official straight line route.

The evening was a get together in the Summer Nights bar for the end of event farewells and a Fish and Chip supper. All in all a great week, with big thanks to the Cornwall Section for all their efforts. It would be unfair to mention names as someone would be left out, as it was very much a team effort. Having said that the weather behaved and it didn't rain until Friday evening, by which time the bikes were all packed away. Mileage today - 91.1(well, it would have been if we'd followed the route, as it happens we clocked 64 miles)

Saturday 12th - Home - with smiles and no problems.