Looking out of my window on Tuesday it was as black as four in the morning outside, which is probably because that was exactly the time, and being unable to sleep, I decided to get out of the house and go for a ride.
In fact it was five o'clock when I wheeled the Jamis out onto the road, having had to have a coffee first, a check on the net of course, then get dressed and load up the bike with lights and stove and whatnot. Right away I knew I was over dressed even without a jacket, having been expecting an early morning chill in the air, but no, it was very warm out already and with a sunny day forecast, it was only going to get hotter.
Threading my way out of the village I was struck by the sight of three cats, positioned with military like precision about twenty yards apart, all sat staring into the hedge on the left side of the road. It was as if they'd agreed to co operate on the task at hand, and cover the area thoroughly. One by one they looked up as I approached and darted across the road in front of me, only to stroll back to their posts again as I watched in the mirror.
Getting out from under the dribble of light from the village street lights (a couple of years ago they turned them down to save power, might as well turned them off altogether really) I really appreciated my cheap Chinese front lights. Both are single LED jobbies bought from traders on Amazon, and together, they light up an otherwise pitch black road well enough for my modest needs, without even resorting to the high setting. These are the style of lights that have a reputation for burning your house down when charging them up, which could be a bit inconvenient I must admit, (I always charge them up outside using an extension lead with a safety cut out on it, just in case they decide to misbehave) but so far, both my lights and their chargers have performed faultlessly, although they don't get used too much admittedly.
Still short of the official sunrise time of 05.30ish, but already some light was appearing as I headed towards Probus.
This is an in camera HDR shot using the tripod, and it hasn't made a bad job of it at all, with none of the overblown look one tends to associate with HDR images. The camera fires three shots off at differing exposures (Jpegs only, no RAW captures) then merges them into one Jpeg.
This on the other hand, was a normal shot taken using Aperture Priority, ISO 100 and then letting the camera sort the shutter speed, and again with the camera on the tripod, as even on a bright day it's gloomy under those trees.
The aim for the morning's bimble was to just repeat the ride I did on Good Friday this year, a loop taking in coffee by the river at Ruan Lanihorne and then round the lanes of St Michael Penkevil.
Early morning really is a special time to be out and about in the world. Everywhere is just so quiet and there is (usually) a freshness in the air that is often lacking in the late evening. There is also the chance of some encounters with wildlife too, and as I made my way along the lanes, I saw quite a few Rabbits or Hares go bobbing into the undergrowth ahead of me, and also caught fleeting glances of several Deer in different locations, one stood in the road ahead as I rounded a bend, two more in trees at the side of the road among other sightings. Unfortunately, all beggared off before I got close enough for a properly good look at them.
Quietness you can hear.
Oi! Mooey... yes you! Here I am trying to appreciate the magic and beauty of the still, quiet, landscape, and you come along chompin' and fartin' and stompin' about, scaring the crap out of me as I was wondering what ghastly beast was creeping up the hedge behind me! A bit of hush and respect for the moment please...
Well, it being an early ride, there had been various near encounters with fuzzy bummed beasts and critters such as Rabbits and Deer, but they all scarpered before I got close. This little chap however was completely oblivious to my presence as he busily furtled about in the hedge. Thankfully, being miles from anywhere, there weren't any hedge staring cats waiting to pounce.
As it was getting light, so it was also getting misty, and progress was slow as I kept stopping at gateways to look at the view out across the fields, or just at the road behind me. Having passed Tregony I eventually reached Ruan Lanihorne and had a brief nose around before deciding I needed my second coffee of the day and made for my favourite spot when over this way, a bench on an old quay beside the river, a short way up the lane towards Lamorran. This is a rather splendid spot to just sit and relax a while, the peace only being disturbed by low flying Geese. Gert feathery long necked things flying in formation, they were making some racket, not just squawking but the noise of their wings beating through the air too.
Ruan Lanihorne Church Lych Gate. One of the better appointed gates this, what with a roof to keep the rain off and benches for the pall bearers to rest while waiting for the Devil Dodger in chief to come and conduct the funeral. The building in the background is The King's Head pub, so if the vicar was a long time coming, then refreshment was close at hand. That coffin rest looks rather unconvincing though, the base being fairly modern looking brick. Presumably the original was removed for some reason, or fell apart and the stones removed for 'repurposing'.
The Church in Ruan Lanihorne was dedicated to St Rumon in 1321, who apparently, was possibly, maybe, perhaps, an Irish Missionary, but it seems, not a lot is known about the geezer.
Fuzzy photo time by the look of it. Coffee this time was a Latte Caramel - very nice too, and ten sachets for a quid in the Pound Shop.
Chinese Lanterns, the Jamis and the Ruan River.
After about an hour or so I packed up and moved on again, riding slowly and taking in my surroundings as I went. Past Lamorran and riding alongside and above the river, I looked down through the trees to see a line of Ducks all sat in a row on a semi submerged log. From my vantage point up on the road I thought they'd make a great photo and accompanying caption – Ducks in a row, a metaphor for how a ride in the countryside sorts out the head and gets everything back on an even keel. From their vantage point down on the log, the Ducks thought otherwise and beggared off smartish, just as I was taking the camera out - my fancy analogy ruined by Fowl play.
Sat on Sett Bridge taking in the view of the road and woodland ahead, and the river to the sides.
Sett Bridge looking back towards Ruan Lanihorne.
Passing through Lamorran Wood.
This hill knackers me if I attack it, so the best plan for me is to get into the winching gear right from the start and sit back, dig in, and just enjoy plodding my way up. Bar ends I find are really comfortable when climbing.
Abandoned looking chapel near Fentongollan Farm, just up from Merther Lane.
The lanes in this area of the Roseland are nothing but an absolute treat to ride, passing beside the rivers, and through woodland, and almost entirely devoid of other traffic. Passing through those woods I didn't realise just how warm the morning was getting but I soon found out as I dug in up the hill towards Tregonian where the road is more open and I started to top up the tan on my face and neck. What goes up must come down, and after slogging up one hill, I was soon hurtling modestly down another past Merther Lane, while also pondering on which way to head home. Stay on the road I was on, which would be shorter but would also involve walking up the ugly hill out of Tresillian, or go a longer way round to Probus, then Ladock, which also involves a couple of vertiginous slogs, but rideable ones. Despite being rather over dressed for the heat of the day, I opted for the latter, using my local knowledge to take a short cut along Wagg Lane and up into Probus. Unfortunately for the Jamis, that meant negotiating a farmyard awash with smelly slurry and slop, so it is now in need of a wash, which is fair enough as I can't actually remember when I last cleaned this bike, as it hasn't really needed it.
2 miles from Tregothnan.
This lane is a rarity in Cornwall - it's straight and flat!
Whoa!... What the hell is going on now? I've tried deleting and reloading that huge image but it won't resize to normal for some reason. Fuzzy uploads, random super size photos... Wish I knew what was going on.
Wagg Lane into Probus is now declassified and listed under 'other route with public access' on OS maps, but back along, was probably the main road from Probus to Tregony.
Flippin' fuzzy uploads again. Grrrr...
Anyway, downtown Ladock looks a bit underwhelming, but with tea, coffee and most importantly, pasties, available, the place has everything you could want. (oh and that is the pub, last building on the right).
Splendid and aromatic display outside a house in Ladock. Glare of the Daisies in the sun mullered the meter's attempts at getting a balanced exposure, (no good me trying manually either...) so some heavy lifting was required in post processing (not entirely successfully either).
Drifting along lanes like these in the warm sunshine is nothing but absolute pleasure.
For a bike costing just £325 a few years ago, the Jamis does a pretty fair job I reckon and once again I arrived home promising to ride it more often. The trouble with that is I've three other bikes I enjoy riding equally as much, if not more depending on the terrain/mood, so maybe I should try and do more longer road rides which is where Battersby, the Jamis (you need to be a Coronation Street fan to understand why the bike has been given that name), is more at home.
Map of the Bimblage, and the full version along with other info like graphs n'stuff can be found HERE