Friday 26 May 2023

Cornwall 2023

 valley view

It's been a year since I was last in Cornwall; for part of my long ride week. This time I drove down with Marcia. We stayed in the same place as our last visit.

cornwall holiday home


It's a quiet place with the same setup that we have at home so it works well for Marcia.

Along the lanes to the nearest village was a nice walk.

cottage across the valley

With impressive views.

Just managed to catch sight of a deer.


Regular readers may remember that I sold much of my camera gear to fund my new bike. These pictures were taken by the only camera I have left; the Kodak CX7430. Bought for me by Marcia it was responsible for my return to photography. Boasting a massive 4 mega pixel sensor and 3 times zoom, I'd forgetten how good it was. Very basic controls and customisation, but these pictures prove it's still got a lot to offer.

Kodak CX7430

Taking advantage of the great weather we met my sister Sheila for a walk along the Camel Trail. I hired a bike and rode to Padstow. In a departure from my last experience it was mostly flat. Marcia and Sheila completed a shorter route and joined me at a cafe. My phone took the following images.

camel trail sign
 I headed off to Padstow for my first ride of the year that required sun cream. Happy days

The trail was fairly busy, Padstow more so. I rode and then walked up a hill to overlook the bay.

Then continued a bit further through Harlyn bay. This was not so flat; each inlet on the route required a climb out.

Harlyn bay

Back through Padstow and then I got a move on to meet at the cafe for food.

 Looking up at the trail.

Whilst I was away Sheila took some pictures using the Kodak.


When I only needed a few bits I walked to the nearest village; Probus.

probus history

A lot of the buildings date back to before the 1700's; a monastery, maybe the first habitation pre-dates the Norman conquest.

It's around 1.5 miles from where we were staying and took me about an hour to walk there and back. I like to walk every day, even if I don't need to visit the shop.

Since we honeymooned over two decades ago we've been to Cornwall numerous times. Deciding on places to see is becoming harder. On Thursday we headed to Penrose water garden near Truro. It appeared on the website to be much bigger than it actually was.

penrose water garden lilly pond

penrose water garden lilly pond

In reality there were ten or so tightly packed ponds. The narrow paths that separated them were uneven and very slippery. Not good for Marcia in her wheelchair. Again the website suggested food would be available. 

The restaurant wasn't open, closing at 13:30, and we would have needed to book a table. All-in-all a disapppointment.

We moved on to Mevagissey; a village near St Austall; sitting on the harbour wall to eat Cornish pasties.

mevagissey harbour

mevagissey harbour

The end of the week arrived, and it was nearly time to go home.

cornwall valley view

One last walk looking for a new view. Controversial opinion: the windmills don't destroy it as much as some would argue. Especially when you consider power and phone lines criss-cross many vistas.

Tuesday 9 May 2023


chipstead cycling at the bank holiday

The weather has improved, so I'm riding more. I've got plans for adventures on my bike. So why am I unsure about my motives?

Let me explain.

I love riding my bike, both on my own and with others. I enjoy the feeling of achievement when I push myself. Chatting to others. The look of amazement when I tell non cyclists how far I've gone. Keeping fit. I can forget my worries for a while.


I worry it's too big a part of who I am, how I see myself. That it defines me. 

Am I forcing myself to ride further, faster, everyday because I don't have anything else?

I know I have great family and friends and that they allow me to by who I want. And to ride as much as I need.

Lately though I have been questioning how much time I devote to it.

I'm conflicted; every ride seems to need a purpose. Whereas it use to be enough just to get out. I didn't really think about how far or how long.

Part of me says go for a few hours, another counters with "that's too far" or "that's not far enough". 

Yesterday was a case in point; a bank holiday. Where to go, should I stop at a cafe, another big ride or keep it short?

In the end I settled for 36 miles, with a stop at a new to me cafe. It's part of a winey/brewery. It was nice to sit and relax. 

coffee and cycling

The clouds looked threatening, but it wasn't cold so all was almost right with the world. Unfortunately the coffee was dreadful. It tasted like a bad instant, which was disappointing because it came from a proper machine.

I think from now on I'll just be more relaxed about the whole thing. I will be slower too, I do very quickly fall into a habit of pressing hard on the pedals too much of the time. I have to remind myself to do this as I ride. I don't need to feel exhausted everytime I get home.

Wednesday 3 May 2023

TT time again

TT Time trial

TT bars

It's finally time to see if my new bike has improved my TT results. Link to blogs about it. Link to 2022 TTs.

Times from last year:

02/08/2022 28.59
16/08/2022 28.42
23/08/2022 28.50

And this ride:
02/05/2023 29:28

Since taking delivery in December I've covered 1,204.6 miles on the Le Vita. Right from the start it felt faster. That feeling improved again when I removed the mudguards. The club rides have given me a good idea about the potential boost. There are many variables for each TT, hopefully I'll see an upward trend.
tt bars

I wrote about what I thought might be helping me go faster. Link
In the end I didn't use the TT bars. The test ride didn't build my confidence. I'll come back to them; a work in progress.
I was slower, which is disappointing.  Compared with last year's fastest time I lost out on the second lap. I did encounter horse riders on the first, but looking at the two events in Strava I didn't appear to loose much time on that section. It was very windy and I had ridden over 60 miles the previous day. A combination that may have caused me to tire as I hit the long back straight for the second time.
All being well, I'll be back next Tuesday. I'll take it easier the day before and try to push harder towards the end.  

I'll need to schedule some more time with the TT bars, and investigate how I might train differently.