Cornwall week - 3rd to 10th September 2016
(Click the photo to see a larger picture in a slide show.)

Photos provided by various members of the team.

Saturday 3rd September
Today we all travelled down to Cornwall and the Monkey Tree Holiday Park. John and Ruth had booked a caravan. Jean and I were also booked into a caravan and shared it with Howard and Carol. the others, Vince, Rob and Terry, all had their motor homes so were pitched on the camping field. I towed Howard's well behaved Lomax on an A frame behind our van. The only downside of the journey was an hours queue through the road works outside Bodmin. The works are to dual the only remaining 3 miles of single lane of the A30. I must say that it was still much in the same state as it was last year, apart from the basic bones of three over-road bridges. I wonder if the job will ever be finished, as there doesn't seem to be any urgency to finish the job. The road is supposed to be open in the spring of 2017, but I won't be holding my breath on that. Anyway, having settled in at Monkey Tree, some of us headed for the camp bar and restaurant for some eats. Afterwards there was an evening get together in the Summer nights bar, when we had a copy of the weeks programme and a few welcome speeches.

Sunday 4th September - West Cornwall run
Assembling for the start of the days run

The weather for the day looked pretty settled, as we set off for the 21 mile morning run to the coffee stop at Hell's Mouth. We ordered our refreshments and were supping away at one of the outside tables just as a Police car arrived in a hurry, then a second, then a third - what was going on? Then an ambulance arrived and someone said that a car had gone over the cliff, which was considered to be the local suicide spot. So a walk up to the edge was called for as the Police began swarming around. I couldn't get to the edge to look over as I suffer a bit from vertigo, so John F took the pictures of the car for me. As we were looking down a helicopter circled and came in low over the water to have a good look at the car. Access to the car was not easy and it was not known if anyone was in it. The helicopter then flew up and over us and landed behind the cafe, only then could I see the writing on it as being from the Cornwall air ambulance. The Police then decided to tape off the cliff face with their "Police do not cross" tape. Not long afterwards a coastguard helicopter arrived along with a coastguard van. We were told that the intention was to abseil down to check the car for occupants.

By this time we needed to get going so left the Coastguard, Police, etc to do their jobs. On we went towards St Ives and easily managed to find the road for through traffic, as our experience from last year was that riding along the quayside was not easy and best avoided due to all the pedestrians milling about. On along the north Cornwall coast we rode, to the lunch stop in St Just. A lovely route, but single track in most places and now frequented by double decker buses. I certainly don't remember any last year. Anyway, we parked up in St Just and had a super Sunday lunch in one of the local pubs - beef was ok, but the pork, tough as old boots.

After lunch we set of on the afternoons ride towards Penzance and a ride along the front through Marazion. From there we rode back up the spine of lower Cornwall to a coffee stop at the cafe at the Stithians reservoir activity centre.

From Stithians it was a mere 18 miles back to camp and an evening spent chilling out.

Monday 5th September - East Cornwall run
Things didn't look too good - weather wise, as we all assembled in the car park before setting off towards Newquay. After riding in drizzle for four miles we turned into Morrisons to tank up and some of us looked at each other and shook our heads. Feeling rather damp and unenthusiastic about the next 43 miles to a coffee stop, most of us headed back to camp. John F continued but was back home by late morning. Not a good day for riding, but a good one for sitting down and reading a book. We decided to eat in the Camp restaurant again that evening,

Tuesday 6th September - Easy ride run
Assembling for the start, with the weather dry but cloudy.

The run headed north along the coast before circling Newquay airport and then heading inland towards Bodmin and the morning coffee stop at the Cardinham woods cafe, just the other side of Bodmin. Distance 28 miles.

From Cardinham Woods the route headed out across Bodmin Moor with a lunch stop at Jamaica Inn. A place that certainly traded on it's notoriety and was well organised to serve more lunches than a motorway services. The food was not bad either at 6.25 for Cornish pasty, chips and peas, even though the chips were pretty luke warm  and tough. Distance covered 32 miles.

After lunch we headed east towards Dozemary pool and a circular run across the moors to Bodmin and back to base. Mileage 38. The evening was spent doing nothing much.

Wednesday 7th September - Leisure day
No rush to get up today as it was a quiet day. We were, however, invited to visit Pete Smith's house and play with his garden railway - whoopee. We arrived at Pete's house to find three 7 1/4 inch gauge locos in steam. What a great afternoon, in the sunshine, playing trains. The layout started at the high level platform, before running down to enter a right hand loop which went through a tunnel and came back to head further down the garden before looping right over a wooden trestle bridge built to the same design as Isambard Kingdom Brunel had used. From there the track went back to rejoin the first loop, where a 'branch line' headed further up the garden with quite a steep climb of 1 in 33. All was computer controlled so as to be able to run the three trains, with Pete ensconced in the signal box controlling the show

What a great afternoon and I must say that I'm quite envious of Pete and his railway. Back at base and we had an invite to a BBQ on the main campsite - twas good although I had to leave early as Jean wasn't feeling too good.

Thursday 8th September - South Cornwall run
Today the sun was shining nicely, as we headed South towards the Lizard and things went quite well until we all became confused by one of the instructions and took the wrong turning. We should have known as the route was one that we rode last year and it was wrong then. This time we found the turning onto Quay road that we had missed last year. Anyway, we eventually arrived at the cafe in Penrhyn, just north of Falmouth for our morning coffee stop. 25 miles plus a few others covered, so far.

After some sustenance we started up and headed towards Falmouth - then it all went wrong again with too many roundabouts that just weren't there. We plodded onwards and soon picked up the route again, heading towards Gweek. Across Goonhilly Downs and on to Lizard for lunch after clocking up 27 miles.

From Lizard we headed back north, skirting Helston and RNAS Culdrose to the afternoon tea stop at Cornwall Gold. We'd stopped there last year and decided to give it a miss this time and continue on to the finish. This afternoon we covered 46 miles. That evening we assembled for one of Ruth's curries and some of John's cakes. All together a pleasant evening.

Friday 9th September - Mid Cornwall run
10am start again for the first leg of 25 miles to the Hawkins car dealership in St Stephen, where they had a collection of motorcycles to view. We were all treated to a cornish pasty and a coffee as we had a good look around the collection. there were a couple of the older bikes that I like in amongst the usual gaggle if BSA, Triumph and Norton twins.

From the Hawkins visit we set off  on by-roads to a lunch stop in Mevagissey. We all parked up right on the end of the harbour wall and walked back into the town. The trick with any touristy place is to head for the back streets and avoid the rather full eating establishments over looking the harbour. That was good idea and we soon found a small cafe that had plenty of free tables. As a Fish and Chip supper was arranged for that evening back at camp, all most of us needed was just a sandwich. No prizes for guessing who had an all-day breakfast - it did look better than my panini, I must say.

The run back to the campsite covered another 45 miles and as the riding was beginning to tell on most of us, we decided to head straight back on a much shorter route involving the main A30. The fish and chip supper was organised for 6pm in the Summer nights bar  and this year it was good. Back at the table and I managed to drop mine on the floor - not once, but three times. Talk about butter fingers, and it landed face down, of course. I did manage to recover some of it and had some chips donated, so didn't go hungry. There were the customary 'thank you' and 'see you next year' speeches to round off the evening, before we retired for the night. The drive home the next day was uneventful, thank goodness. with very little delay through the Bodmin roadworks, would you believe. All in all a great week.