The usual cycle continues – a few days off the bikes thanks to the usual ailments and then once mind and body have recovered and some sort of equilibrium is restored, off I go a bimbling again.
Waking up rudely early and being unable to get back to sleep saw me mounting the Jamis, and chooching off into the embryonic Thursday sunshine this week, intent on a big old ride, but also a rather mundane one, it has to be said.
This Cornish Stile is in my home port of St Erme. The footpath this gives access to runs along the edge of a field that has just been sold for development. I hope then, that both the footpath and this stile remain unmolested and don't disappear in the course of building whatever will go in there.
Random woody shot.
I was headed for a place that even today, the merest mention of which, still sends shivers down the spines of any local driver, and many an up country one too. A notorious single carriageway bottleneck on the then A30 that would suck the joy, schedule and life out of even the most cheerful and optimistic soul, and catastrophically peel open more than few high sided vehicles as well. I was heading for Goss Moor, the area between Indian Queens and Bodmin where many a radiator, and temper too, boiled terminally over, and a bit of road I hated with a passion.
The worst feature of the A30 across the moor – the low railway bridge and the bewildering inaction on behalf of the authorities to sort it, could be the subject of a long and vituperative post all on its own, but we'll save that for another day. Happy thoughts, must think happy thoughts...
Power lines near Carland Cross. I'd be seeing more of these two tracks later on.
A brief pause in the pedaling at St Enoder church.
But of course, I wouldn't be heading for this horror of a road on a bicycle unless something big had changed, and that change happened in 2007 when the new section of the A30 running to the North of the Moor was opened, and the bottleneck was gone. What was left of most of the old road was quickly turned into part of the Goss Moor Trail, which opened a year later, and jolly good it all should be too.
Target for the day, not the Owl Sanctuary, although I'm sure that is a hoot, but the Goss Moor Trail.
This is the new section of the usually hectic A30 that took out the old bottleneck across Goss Moor - a long over due improvement to the road.
The trail is a seven mile loop around the boggy, marshy, gloopy, Nature Reserve, and it, and much of my ride to reach it, is flat and easy wheeling. It is a good old ride around, but the trail itself, well, it's probably just me, but... well, I find it a little boring. It's pleasant enough I suppose, especially that early on a sunny morning, but it's also a bit featureless, unless you have a Pylon and power line fetish that is, in which case you'll be in fizzing heaven on this trail. I've ridden it a few times before, and no doubt will do again, it is somewhere to go after all, but it just doesn't put fruit in my pudding in the way other rides do.
This time though I did add a little interest by seeking out a feature in Indian Queens that I hadn't known was there until relatively recently – the old Preaching Pit. And if that wasn't enough, there was also the possibility of procuring some culinary splendour on the way home, some self inflicted bribery perhaps, to make up for the effort involved in riding all that way just to be a bit bored.
The trail is well publicised around the county in various information centres, as well as on the trail itself.
And here we are on part of the old main road, where once traffic
roared shuffled along whisking shunting people and freight East and West.
Not all of the old route of the A30 is closed to traffic, indeed the most notorious section, where many a truck twatted that bridge and created even more chaos, is still open to all comers. Thankfully though, you don't need to ride up this road to follow the trail, as you can turn right over a level crossing before getting this far.
Ah now, this is interesting, sort of. This here is the River Fal no less. The river pops up out of the ground on Goss Moor and wends its way down to Falmouth, becoming rather wider, and one hell of a lot deeper in the course of its comparatively short journey.
Remember those power lines earlier? Well here's one of 'em. Its neighbour is just out of shot. These lines fizz all the time, in any weather, and caught me out the first time I rode up here, as I thought I'd copped a leaf or an old crisp packet in the back wheel or something, so stopped to check the bike over. Doh...
I spy with my little eye something beginning with P...
Once off the old main road, this is what you get - miles of this. All very nice to ride on, don't get me wrong, but... just a little lacking in features and excitement.
The day though, despite a very energetic omni directional wind, was turning out to be a belter - the hottest of the year so far, and having divested myself of my jacket, I could feel my neck quickly ripening in the sun. Soon be time for the factor 50.
Fuzzy upload of the fizzing power lines.
Whoa... uh.... oh ....clangggg!!! Choochus interuptus.
Width restrictors are to keep motorbikes off the trail, but don't play well with wide barred pushies either. Thankfully getting through is just a matter of lifting and turning the front wheel of course.
The trail isn't all bland looking scrub, towards the end it does flirt briefly with some rag bag woodland.
What the hell is going on here? Well that's a proper mess and I'm not sure how to fix it to be honest as I can only see the proper, normal sized photo in the editing bit.
Oh well, carry on and pretend it never happened...
Back off the trail and heading back the way I'd come, it was high time I checked out the old Preaching Pit at Indian Queens. I've visited a similar feature at Newlyn East, and there are a couple of others dotted about too, but they are by no means common.
The pit is an old open mine working converted by the Methodists into a Preaching Pit in 1850.
Slightly wonky, and also fuzzy, pano of the Indian Queens Preaching Pit.
The pit was in use for various functions until 1970 when it became overgrown. In 1976 local volunteers decided to restore the pit - an effort that took two years, but secured its future and the pit is back in use for community events once again.
Indian Queens is a village next to Fraddon (you can hardly see the join...) and both are strung out along what was the A30. How Indian Queens came to be so named is open to debate. The name was originally found on an inn that stood locally, and one story has it that a Princess arrived by boat in Falmouth, and made her way by road to London, stopping the night at the inn, and her appearance was that of an Indian woman, so the inn (and later the whole village) was renamed to reflect this.
Some folk say that the Princess in question was in fact the American Indian, Pocahontas, but that seems a tad far fetched. However, that still hasn't stopped the road leading up to the Preaching Pit being named Pocahontas Crescent.
So the Preaching Pit is one feature of Indian Queens. Another is the road to St Columb, because just up that road is found a small shack that draws folk in from miles around, for AJ's is a pasty monger, par excellence, as they'd say in France. Or a proper 'ansum pasty shop as they say in Cornwall. AJ's pasties are top scoffery and no mistake.
So as I was in the area, it would've been rude not to go and procure a juicy pasty for when I made it home, and I duly hung a right in Indian Queens by the mini roundabout, and made my way towards the little shack of pasty rapture. The only issue was, it was still early, just before ten o'clock in fact, too early for them to have any pasties in yet? After all, they are a bit of a lunchtime thing for the majority of folk. These were nervous moments as I pulled up and parked the Jamis outside, as I'd built myself up to this treat by now, and to go without would be hugely disappointing. There are pasties available in the shop here in my village, but they just don't butter my toast, being rather small and a tad pricey.
Don't be fooled by the unassuming facade, this little shack is home to some very fine Pasties.
Nervously I entered the shop and looked warily at the hot cabinets for signs of pasties waiting to be snapped up... would there be any there, or would the shelves be gut wrenchingly bare? Success!
They had plenty as it happened, and the mere smell of them got my juices flowing. I paid up and made off quickly with my precious cargo, tired legs were mercilessly flogged as I mashed the pedals towards home, and I was giving my back some serious grief as well with all the effort I was putting in, but once smelled and once held, a pasty has got you good and proper and eating it is all that you can think of. I could've scoffed it at the roadside of course, or back in the Methodist's pit perhaps, but nothing beats having a pasty in the comfort of one's home, so I was on a mission to get back as quickly as I could before it got cold. A pasty can be resuscitated in the oven, but there is always a risk of drying it out when doing that, always best to consume it at its natural temperature I find.
I made it home in just under an hour from AJ's, and thanks to careful wrapping and insulating in old carrier bags, my bounty was still feeling nicely hot, and boy did it taste good!
Makes me feel hungry just to look at this photo...
So as I said earlier, a good reward for all the effort put in and on the whole, an enjoyable ride out, despite my rather negative view of the trail's excitement value. You can always rely on a good pasty to save the day!
Now this map really is crap. But if you click Here you should be able to zoom in and read graphs of elevation n' stuff.