Thankfully the rain held off, the snoring was non existent and yesterdays late night was a far gone memory. Time for a clear and easy day enjoying the saddle. First stop, bike repairs, then off to find the hills.
Meet me behind the bike sheds
After we discovered Jules broken spokes we’d arranged to meet a man in a trading estate in Porthleven. Normally when you meet a man in a trading estate it’s to get a dodgy video or a miserable ending. In this case it was to get a spoke key and adjust some gearing.
We got there. It rained. We waited. It rained. We went and got a great breakfast in the Twisted Currant. It rained. We eventually discovered that the ‘bike guy’ had a family emergency so left us a spoke key and his best wishes. Jules set about the task of fixing it. Bikepacking is about adapting and overcoming so you can imagine our joy as we sat in a bus stop in the rain whilst he tinkered. In fairness it was made somewhat more manageable knowing that Rix had lost use of the granny gears and was now solo riding to Helston to a proper bike shop for a fix.
Once we’d watched Jules fix his wheel we mounted up and hit the road in pursuit of Rix, soaring up the hill out of Porthleven like a louse riddled salmon before screaming down the hill at break neck speeds into Helston. And by screaming I mean tentatively watching my co riders disappear as my brakes had the stopping power of KSI’s last opponent. (Who says I can’t do relevance).
3 hours of maintenance and we decided that perhaps cutting the day short would be a good idea. Jules had a desperate desire to get to Mullion as he’s been on a cricket tour there so we agreed we’d hit that then target the campsite. I should add at this point Rix’s bike was beyond repair so he had to hire a gravel bike to finish the tour. I’ll admit some level of jealousy as his now lighter steed left him sailing ahead on the hills. It’s also important to remember that he’s on a hire bike as we hit day 4.
Two things stand out on that trip to Mullion. Firstly the gorgeous Dollar Cove. Jules had rolled ahead and as we got to the bottom we couldn’t see him. Eventually there he was, a speck pedalling up the brutal exit path back to the top of the hill. We waved and whistled frantically and eventually he stopped and turned.
At that point Jules appeared from the beach and we realised that we’d flagged down a complete stranger. We regrouped and took the gravel track up through the golf club to regain the height we’d so joyfully cruised down. At the top of the lung busting climb passing through a few golfers rounds we topped up and rode on to hit Mullion for a quick photo opp at the cricket club and pushed on toward Magwan.
After a gentle ride up from Mullion toward Magwan we started to get hungry and a minor miscommunication led to some shorter tempers as we dived into the valley near Gweek. We pulled up at the ford and Jules and Martin produced two pasties they’d bought that morning in Porthleven. I dread to know why, 5 hours later, they were still piping hot and like to think they were well wrapped and not simply inches from their sweating backs for hours, but they tasted amazing. A quick chat to some local doggers and we creaked up the hills and onward toward our night spot.
Dinner and Dance
We arrived at the site in Stithians in the late afternoon and soon had a pint in hand. Putting the tents up whilst listening to Newcastle challenge Man City on the radio it felt like a good days work. There’s something soothing about football on the radio, even more so with no deadlines and pint of ice cold cider to pass the time. The adjoining pub was soon the target and meeting up with Martin’s family rounded the night off. The fact we were last orders for the roast meant the owner took pity on us and brought out everything that was left over, most of which got eaten. Another recommendation – The Golden Lion. Great food, great camping, great owner.
It’s as we staggered back to the tents we realised Jules had set up under a sensor light. Every time someone walked past his tent was lit up like Colditz. I giggled myself to sleep and woke in the morning to find he’d draped clothes all over the sensor in an attempt to turn off the light.
Day 3 in the bag.