Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Sunday's Not So Bimbly Bimble. Caution - Contains Grumpiness and Ranting.

Well here we are, the middle of the night and unable to sleep. So I'm going to try and ease the turmoil by posting about yesterday's (erm, Sunday's now it's actually Tuesday) ride.

In my last post I moaned about how we here in Cornwall were having a spell of 'non weather.' Well on Sunday something was happening outside at last - it was pretty choppy out to put it mildly, with a gustysome wind blowing, but still with utterly dismal flat light and skies.

But it could be worse, as I read today that near-to-me Truro is the fifth wettest city in Britain. Apparently Truro cops an average 106 cm of rain over an average 150 days a year. This probably gives rise to the Truronian's weather forecasting method of "If you can't see the railway viaduct, he's bleddy rennin'. If you can see the viaduct, he's about to bleddy renn..."

For the record, Manchester, often derided as being wetter than an Otter's pocket, didn't feature in the top five. Top of the slops is actually Cardiff with a sloshing 115 cm of rain a year. The poor old Welsh really cop it as St Davids is second on 114 cm. Glasgow is third on 112 cm, while just beating Truro to fourth place by 4 cm, it's back to Wales and Bangor. 

But enough of that, the weather was once again dull and flat. Just a tad breezy with it.

I wasn't in the best of moods either, and I really needed to get out of the house again and work off some pent up frustrations, anger and anxieties. This inner turbulence meant the ride started in a very ugly manner as I thrashed away at the pedals and blitzed down the hill to Trevella Stream with not a thought for the possibility of meeting a vehicle coming up as I speared through the blind bends. I've heard depression being described jokingly as anger without enthusiasm, well I had plenty of anger in me and I was really taking it out on the Voodoo as well as myself as I attacked the hill up to Four Turnings like a drug fuelled Pro going for the finish line. If I knackered my back, gave myself a heart attack or rode slap bang into a car then so be it. This is what being on the receiving end of a Government department (the DWP) does for you. The way that department goes about its business is an utter disgrace in this day and age. If the individuals who make decisions were held to account, if they had to possibly face consequences in the way of court appearances, or even charges of gross misconduct, abuse of position or whatever, then they may actually show some consideration for the people they 'serve', and put some thought into what they do, and the effects and impacts they have. 

Right, rant over, even though I am still riotously angry with the complete contempt they show for people they are supposed to offer support.

So anyway, Sunday's ride started off rather violently, but that behaviour was brought to a halt by the steep hill I found myself climbing as somewhere in the blur of thrashing legs and bursting lungs, I'd taken the lane towards Probus. That's a steep bugger in any mood, and with my legs burning from all the effort as well, I had to bail out. Getting my breath back saw me rid myself of the initial burst of anger and frustration, and the ride continued in a more orderly manner, if still a little bad tempered and lacking in best safety practice at times.

Getting my breath, and a degree of composure, back at the top of the gert big hill on the lane to Probus.

I still took some photos of course as the mood lightened the further I rode and I started becoming more aware of my surroundings again. 

I'd not just set off with a massive cob on, I'd also set off with no route or destination in mind, so it became a make it up as I go along ride. 

Old originals on the left, new builds on the right. At least these new builds sort of suit the location, unlike many identikit homes they throw up all over the place with no thought given to local building styles/fashions or location environment etc.

 The Square, Probus. (Looks more triangular to me but still...) Oddness dead ahead is a photo of old Probus printed on the bus shelter walls.

I like some of the 'small' cars that are around these days, and if given the choice between these two, I'd get in touch with my more feminine side and plump for the Fiat. The Mini thingy might be better made, but by crikey they are fugly lumps, especially from behind. You'd never believe mere tail lights could embody the word 'gormless' but the designer who penned those nailed it. Calling them 'Mini' is a bit of a misnomer too. I learned to drive in a Mini, a proper Mini that is, and these new funky chunkies go against the entire philosophy of the original. But that's progress I suppose, and Minis sell like half time pasties at the rugby, so it must just be me that is less than enamoured with 'em!

Ignoring aching back and legs from my explosive start, I rode through Probus and out the other side, then taking to a Bridleway that initially runs parallel to the A390 Probus bypass. A short bash along the main road found me at the gates to the Trewithen Estate. 

The three photos up there ^^ are the first section of Bridleway alongside the A390 where it bypasses Probus.

 Lots of barbed and normal wire, shouty notice... someone else is a bit tetchy too... This sign is on Trewithen Estate land.

 Here this is posh, least as Bridleway entries go anyway, It has even got its own post box look.

 The Trewithen Estate's sign maker must be busy as a dog digging for daylight. Signs and notices everywhere.

The Bridleway is as indicated on their map by the dotted line running parallel to the 'St Auzell' road.

I wasn't going in to marvel at the gardens or gawp at the socking great house though, I was going to have me a ride along another Bridleway I've had my eye on for some time but had not yet ridden. This new'un travels through the estate grounds to start with, before crossing a country lane and heading down into the village of Grampound. 

 At the end of the grassy bit of the Bridleway, and looking back the way I'd come. Looks plush but was rather soggy and puddly, as the tyres show.

The last section on Trewithen land is tarmac and gravel and much easier to negotiate.

As you might expect of such a path in a posh estate, this Bridleway started off in a most splendid manner, with a flat, grassy and wide track to follow. It wasn't all peachy though, as that grass soon turned rather wet and squelchy, but still perfectly rideable. The Voodoo's narrower tyres might've left their mark in that plush grass mind you, more than Fatso would've done for sure, but hey ho, crack on!
After crossing the lane on the exit from the estate, the Bridleway becomes more like what is to be expected of a Cornish Bridleway - full of mud, puddles and tractor tracks. Hard work at times on the Voodoo making me wonder how I coped for so long before being spoiled by the Fatbike's 'go anywhere with ease' abilities.

 The second half of the Bridleway from the estate gates down to Grampound.

 Bang goes the clean bike...

Big fan thing was going like the clappers in the stroppy wind, and making quite some noise too.

Oh hayup... another moan incoming! You buy a picturesque little cottage, then pave over the garden so you can park your socking great Strange Rover outside, blocking all the light and almost dwarfing the house. Just look at the size of that thing compared to the house it's parked outside!
This is a bit of a thing of mine though, even more so after someone bought a lovely house in the village I live in and promptly ripped out the garden and its walls and railings, and paved it all over so they can park their Porsche outside their front door, despite them having a yard to the side of the house, and two old barns too that they could use. Their house, they can do what they like, but by crikey it really twists my knackers when folk ruin these places in such a manner.

Grampound is a village, with a town hall, something that has always puzzled me - I must find out what has gone on as calling it a town is pushing things a bit. Grampound folk must be a boastful lot, prone to exaggeration.

Grampound. The town hall is that building with the clock tower behind the two blokes fighting that ladder. 

I didn't look around the tow... village other than having a mosey up Mill Lane, and finding, well, an old mill at the end of it. Who'd have thought it eh? 

Access to the old mill buildings isn't possible, but outside the gates is this old building and digging thing.

Back out from the dead end Mill Lane to the main road and my on board navigation system was consulted, and having figured out where I was, I quickly decided on an interesting route home, avoiding the main road in the process. This meant climbing another socking great hill, and saw another bail out, but eventually I found myself once again on familiar territory, and a lane that boasts a roadside collection of old tractors and a spectacular brute of an old truck to poke around. 

 Now let's see, I'm opposite the lime green place and I want to go home which is... erm... well... erm... oh sod it...

 Ah the delights of a Cornish lane - old cottages, Daffodils in flower, Dracaena Palms and...

Gnarly old tractors lining the roadside - superb!

I've been to see these old warriors before, but only from the other direction. There were also a couple of old Bedford HA vans, and another truck (a Karrier rigid drop side) present on my first visit, but these have now gone. All these oldies belong to a local farmer, and I hope they stay there too, as I love finding such old vehicles lying about the place, something that is seen a lot less these days I think. Time was when any trip into the countryside would find some sort of old vehicle or other quietly decaying away under a tree or in an old tumble down shed. They were everywhere it seems, but not any more.

 Old Fordson. Bit of T-Cut and she'll be proper.

 Fordson bonnet badge.

 It's not just old tractors beside this lane though, check this brute out. A 1950, ex RAF, AEC Matador.

Fuzzy upload again. Right click and open in another tab to see this old beast showing off its tackle in all its glory.

Angst and anger may have subsided, but by now tiredness, aches and despair were setting in, and I was heading home right into that flipping rumbustious wind. Those final few miles were a face creasing struggle despite me being in the usually sheltered lanes. Whichever way the lane turned, that tenacious wind turned with it to hit me full on in the mush and sap the energy out of my legs until I was almost in the lowest winching gear, on the flat! You know you're in trouble when you're in the granny gears on the flat, that's for sure.

 Quick stop while sparring with the headwind.

 Passing through Ladock.

Not anger fuelling this speed but gravity, and a couldn't give a stuff approach to personal safety.

But I made it home in the end, but did I feel any better for the ride? Well yes and no really. Normally a good ride in the countryside can prove therapeutic and can calm whatever turmoil I am suffering that particular day fairly comprehensively. But I was just in too much of a state to relax properly, and it all came back once I was home anyway.

To top it all off, today (no, it's yesterday now, it was Monday) I got another letter from the DWP making things a thousand times worse than they had been before the weekend. (Polite) words fail me, they really do... oh to hell with it,  I'll stick a few more family friendly in that spring to mind anyway - incompetent, intransigent and criminally bereft of common courtesy and decency. An utter disgrace of an organisation.

My apologies for the tone of this post, but there we go, it's the way the cookie crumbles, time to kick some DWP backside! Fingers crossed normal service on this blog, and life in general will be resumed soon!