Celtic Coastal – The view from behind

Leaving Apple Tree Cafe control - view from behind Our ride started early, with about 25K to put in to get to Connor Downs for 9 o’clock. We were pleased with progress after several weeks off the tandem and with the captain still in recovery from LEL, and arrived in good time for once to find the hall buzzing in anticipation of a good ride and a sunny day.

The long hill out of Connor Downs to the A30 crossing is reasonably tandem-friendly and all was going along very cheerily until what would normally be an easy front mech change turned into a nasty snarl up and a fight with a greasy chain. This, luckily, is men’s work – the Butlers stopped to lend a hand and eventually we were back in business and pushing hard to catch the field at the Coombe checkpoint. A bit of faffing here and a couple of poorly coordinated starts saw us off the back again, and we enjoyed most of the rest of the ride in glorious isolation and at a very modest pace.

The route into West Penwith did not disappoint with perfect weather to take in the views both out to sea and up to the boulder-strewn slopes. There always seem to be more hills than I remember on this section, and the arc of travel starts to seem disorientatingly endless even without the usual mist. Apple Tree Cafe Control SignSo despite steady grazing of malt flapjacks from the captain’s back pocket I was more than ready for the stop at the Apple Tree CafĂ© control where we once more found ourselves with plenty of company.

We set off with renewed vigour for Mousehole (how nice to be descending from Paul, and not climbing up to it) and on to the commercial control at the Longrock Supply Stores where we were able to refuel again with home-made goodies and to compare chocolate milk drinks (the Audaxers’ calorie-laden favourite Frijji winning hands down).

A final run back to Connor Downs, more refreshments and a good natter, and we were ready for the final 25K home. Not our fastest speed for sure, but a great day out. Many thanks to Peter and helpers for organising, and to Chris Rayne for the photos.

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