Poughill (Nr Bude) – Crantock
4090 feet climbed
2355 calories burnt
Cumulative miles cycled = 2,783.01 miles
Cumulative feet climbed = 145,126 feet
Cumulative calories burnt = 123,701 calories
Overall, we had another morning of dreary, windy, non-cycle friendly weather. Thankfully it rained heavily overnight, although it was still drizzling when we woke up it seemed like the worst was over. Over the past couple of days we have definitely felt a turn in the weather, the kit we wear on the morning stint has vastly changed from when we set off. I now kit up with a base layer, then bib shorts and a cycling jersey. On top of that I put my full leg warmers on, waterproof jacket and overshoes, all of which usually keeps me nice and toasty. The only thing I wish I had bought that I actually don’t own, is a gilet shell as sometimes it’s a tad too warm with a jacket on, but hey – you can’t win them all!
From the wonderful Wooda Holiday Campsite, Dad and I followed country lanes directly south to reach the A39. It was the usual story of an A-road, churning along, not speaking and just getting the miles done. We had about 9 miles on the A39 before our turning on to the B3263 towards Boscastle. The A39 wasn’t too bad in terms of traffic, but it’s never pleasant cycling on arterial roads that are narrow and lined with hedgerows. You’re constantly looking over your shoulder to make sure none of the cars/van/lorries etc overtake you when another car is coming round a bend! Other than that, all you have is a view of the road ahead, fields and hedgerow to the sides and peering over the top of the hedgerow a view of the Atlantic.
When we turned off the A39 on to the B3263 we had a quick pit stop, we spotted the Motorhome whizzing past us but they couldn’t see us hidden away in a bush. As we were cycling down the narrow country lanes I realised just how different Cornwall was to Scotland, the last place we had cycled some monstrous climbs. Most people told us that there would be hills down here and that they were really bad, but I didn’t appreciate just how bad they would be. At least in Scotland you’d have long fairly do-able climbs, be rewarded with spectacular views at the top of a mountain, then enjoy a sweeping descent to the bottom. In between the mountains you’d have a nice period of relative flat to recover from the experience. Here, in Cornwall and Devon, we have huge undulations whilst on main roads, then when we head off to the country lanes, we have to contend with the river valleys where the roads dip down from the high cliff tops in to bottomless valleys! Once you’re at the bottom of the gloomy valley you’re then stuck with the arduous sharp ascents to climb out of, there’s just no rest what so ever.
Never better was this seen than in Boscastle, the village that got struck by flash floods in August 2004. We hit the top of a hill and could see the valley so started to descend, I can never get over just how steep these downhill’s can get. Once it had bottomed out in Boscastle we had the length of the village high street to recover before churning into the pedals to get ourselves out of the valley. We hit a junction where we were meant to cross straight over, but it was that steep a car coming down was skidding so we decided to take a huge detour of about 3 miles to avoid it (yes – it truly was that bad!). Although we avoided the sharp hill, we essentially climbed for about 2 miles to get out of the darn valley!
We followed the B3314 all the way down to St Minver before turning off to get us down to the town of Rock. When we reached Rock, Dad took over navigating because I’d forgotten to plot the route that would take us to the ferry. It also meant thankfully that we could cut about 6 miles from our route, and not have to go to Wadebridge to cross the River Camel – BONUS!
The ferry was amazing, you basically rocked up to the sandy beach, stood next to a big flag that said ‘Ferry’ and waited for a small pedestrian boat to come and collect you. It was a busy day for some reason, even though it was off season, there were about 40 people, 10 dogs and Dad and I with our cycle’s crammed on to three benches. We paid £3.00 each for the journey, not bad when it should have cost us £6.00 each.
Our lunch stop was in Padstow, Harry and Mum had visited Rick Stein’s deli to buy dinner supplies. Mum had parked up against the Camel Trail, a cycle path created from a disused railway. We had tuna sandwiches and then Harry, Mum and Dad all went for a walk with Jasper whilst I was meant to ring my potential employer again about the possible job opening. It was an awkward time, because we’d taken so long in the morning we finished lunch around 2:30pm so I had to wait until 4:00pm to ring them, cutting in to our cycling time. Unfortunately he had to cancel the appointment, meaning we had lost two hours of vital cycling time.
In the afternoon, due to my non-existent phone call we decided to cycle to Newquay. Instead of taking the route that I had plotted (which would have taken in 7 over 20% hills) we took the A389 towards Little Petherick and then the B3274 to join back on to the dreaded A39. Once on the A39 we counted down the miles to the roundabout for the A3059 to Newquay and found the Motorhome parked for our overnight stop just outside Newquay at Crantock.
The only highlight of the afternoon was passing Newquay airport as a plane was approaching to land. Other than that, it was quite a pleasurable ride really, even with us cycling for some time on the A39. The only bad part of the afternoon ride was the turn from Newquay to Crantock, where I indicated to turn right MILES before a car was approaching me. He was revving behind me and being incredibly aggressive and as he passed me, he had his fist in the air and his passenger was one finger saluting me. Quite why I had annoyed them so much I do not know, but it amazes me how aggressive they can get – what damage can I do to their tin can car when I’m on a poxy little bike!
Mum and Harry found a WONDERFUL campsite, Trevella Park, (www.trevella.co.uk – 01637 830308) where they received amazing generosity and fantastic hospitality. The facilities were incredible and there was even a zip wire in front of our Motorhome. Harry and Dad had their haircut by the mobile barber that is my Mum and then Harry cooked us up our FAVOURITE – BOILED CHICKEN!
Looks like the weather will be good tomorrow, so it will be an early rise for us!
Please remember that Kirsty Medlock and her Dad, Stephen are cycling the 4,400 miles round the coast of Britain to raise £10,000 for Clifton’s Children Society (CCS) Adoption, the agency that facilitated an adoption for family friends. Please follow this link to donate as much as you can http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/cycling4adoption
Many, many thanks in advance!