Things were not looking great when we last checked in midway through our Cornwall ride. Wounded, wet and worn out, there was every reason to pull stumps early.
However, the sun came out as we arrived in Newquay, the roads dried, the hills seemed to get kind of smaller (well I kept telling Ruth that they look much higher when the tops are in the clouds) and we found most places that we needed to get too. It was getting so good that I started to imagine Ruth talking about extending the ride all the way to John-O-Groats or possibly toying with the idea that maybe we should ride all the way back to New Zealand. I decided that the swelling from my arm was causing a little delirium.
On Thursday morning Ruth lept out of bed and yelled “let’s hit the road” so I tested her new found love for the bike and she clarified that she only meant that she was eager to get down to breakfast.
From Newquay, the riding conditions just got better, the hills that came along were mainly ridden up and after a slowish and steady climb for most of Thursday morning, we reached a point where most of North Cornwall was laid out below us. Ruth was ecstatic, it had to be ALL down hill to Padstow and it was (mainly).
Rick Stein had invited all of the UK to Padstow and they were all eating his fish and chips, following that up with Cornish ice cream and a chaser of really expensive Cornish pasties. Well it seemed like that.
We were staying in the Old Custom House Inn right on the waterfront and somehow managed to score a room overlooking the harbour. It probably had something to do with the fact that we actually arrived in Padstow in the early afternoon. It is amazing how much time is consumed by walking up hills and being lost.
We had a little time to kill so popped into the bar at the “inn”. It appeared that every dog in the UK had taken their owners to the public house for a drink, I don’t understand why the dogs don’t just tie them up outside and then they could have an even better time inside without being told shush, or lie under the table or; “you cannot do that in here”.
Our last ride, back to Bodmin, was what Ruth had been dreaming of for the whole trip. It was along an old railway bed so was FLAT. There was no holding Ruth back and as a result we arrived in Bodmin before noon.
We saw more cyclists in the first five minutes than we had seen on all of the other days. As an aside, on the other days we did not even bother to lock the bikes because we knew nobody would be silly enough to want to steal a bicycle.
Coming into the town (Bodmin) there was a very small hill, all the other cyclists in front of us dismounted and walked, we just peddled past, it felt great.
I have to say that Ruth showed the most enthusiasm of the entire trip as she cleared her gear off the bike today. She skipped into the Hotel (the same one we stayed in on Sunday night) like an 8 year old.
Well that is the cylcing for a while, we are heading off to rural Devon for four days to rest up before our 164km walk through the Cotswolds.