Tuesday, 11 July 2017

A Little Marinated.

The Marin continues to impress as bike and rider get to know each other. The squeak from the DMR V6 pedals has thankfully been banished after taking them off and drizzling chain lube down past the spindle. They were then left on their ends in the hot afternoon sun to aid penetration. Fingers crossed that has done the trick and the infuriating noise doesn't return.

Other than that life with the Pine Mountain is proving to be very good indeed.

Sunday morning saw me heading off with some off roading at Newlyn Downs the target for the day's activities, and boy was it grey and stickily, clammily, humid out. Air you could chew almost. All was also eerily quiet for just after nine on a Sunday morning - not a breath of wind nor much traffic about, unusually little traffic even for a Sunday morning. Times like that always make me wonder if I've missed something big, like the end of the world or someone really important going toes up, so I was wishing I'd gone online and checked the news before venturing out. It turns out nobody famous carked it and there was no reason I'm aware of for the lack of cars on the road.

Passing through Mitchell. This used to be the route of the A30, back when you could open your bedroom window here, stick your tongue out and lick a stripe down the side of a passing truck. Heavy traffic used to thunder through here constantly, but now, like in many other villages, all is quiet, and also clean. These villages often seemed bleak places to own a house when strung along the road, but once by-passed and cleaned up, they once again become attractive places to live.

Anyway, it was a straightforward ride down to Mitchell, and on to the road towards St Newlyn East, where my wave was blanked by a couple of passing roadies. Most roadies are fine I've found, just one or two (and it's always blokes) give the rest a snobbish reputation.

Just as I was nearing the point where I exit the road, a thick drizzle started. I wasn't wearing, nor carrying, a jacket, so was going to get a bit wet, but that isn't a problem. I was more frustrated at the limits drizzle or rain impose on taking photos. 


Weather Update: He's a bit clisty out. 
What locals down here also sometimes refer to a bit of coastal weather. Well I am getting near to the North Coast here, so it probably was coming in off the Atlantic, but I'm a manly mountain biker and laugh in the face of such testing adversity.

Access to Newlyn Downs is via a stile and footpath ahem... a path leading to the Public Access land. Here was another occasion where the Marin shone, as it is lighter than Fatso my Fatbike, and easier to grab hold of too, making negotiating the stile a lot easier.

 A quick lift over a stile and onto a secluded path that leads out onto Newlyn Downs.


Part of the Daisy family I gather, and rather splendid they are too.

Newlyn Downs is the site of the Cargoll Lead, Silver, Copper and Zinc mine. Underground operations ceased in 1870 but stockpiles and burrows continued to be worked for some time after.

Most of the site now is dominated by vast areas of spoil where nothing much grows, and belts of Heather and Gorse with a few narrow tracks threading through them. The skyline all around though is populated by the turbines of the Carland Cross windfarm, and all in all, it can be a strange place, but a good one for mooching about and having a bit of a play on a bike. 

 Newlyn Downs is home to the Carland Cross Windfarm spinny things.

The bright yellow of the Gorse has been replaced by the slightly less bright but still vibrant Heather.

The Marin proved perfectly adept at handling all I could throw at it, which let's be fair, isn't a lot, but still. A little more care is needed than on Fatso, that is for sure, but those 3 inch tyres and gert wide bars make for good, capable, off road fun.

The drizzle kept coming and going though, and here the Marin shone once more, by not howling its brakes. All my other bikes, particularly Fatso, can detect the slightest hint of moisture in the air long before any rain falls. Touch the brakes and you get a noise akin to someone grabbing a Wolf by its plums. Not so on the Pine Mountain though, at least so far anyway - the Shimano brakes remained quiet throughout. 

 Old giffer mooching about the mining spoil.

 Fence guards a mine shaft, behind are probably the circular remains of an engine house chimney.

I kept an eye on the bruising looking sky as you really don't want to caught out here in a thunder storm. Thankfully, despite the humid weather, I copped nothing but a thick drizzle.

I tend to stick to the main tracks around this site, which sees a lot of dog walkers too, as the place is riddled with mine shafts, and knowing how things are down here in Cornwall, not all of them are known about and capped. I'm a bit wary of going off piste round there in case I suddenly find myself plummeting down an old mine shaft. Cattle and dogs regularly fall down newly opened up shafts on sites such as this, so I'm not being all that paranoid really.

 You have to know it's there, but this easily missed exit off one of the main tracks leads to an exit on the West side of the site.

Time for some bush busting! A few weeks ago this was a sea of yellow but now the Gorse has lost its flowers it's all a bit drab green. A bit prickly too, but crack on lad, this is great fun!

 Whuu... whooo...

Man Down!
Those wide bars and the thick Gorse snagging them resulted in a light collision with the scenery. Thankfully this is as far from the vertical as I got, due to the timely deployment of my right foot, and I didn't actually fall off, not that I'd have fallen far as the bushes here are so thick.
I did give my back a good tweak, but a few minutes of deep breaths and relaxing everything saw things calm down after the initial streak of pain and I was able to carry on. 
Good job n'all!
There is always a risk I'll hurt my back while on a ride by coming off (in fact the worst I've hurt it was turning the bike over onto its wheels after fishing a shed chain out from the BB area) but I'd rather take that risk and enjoy myself in the meantime than stay home or only ride on the roads.

After a good old ride around, I left via another stile and thence onto an access road used by wind farmery folk, and people visiting the rather mysterious silos that also occupy part of the site.

 Having decided discretion is the better part of valour, I resorted to pushing whenever the track got narrow.

 The bushes aren't all Gorse, but in the drizzle, they were all wet, and I got very wet sleeves navigating this track.

No hardship getting the bike over that low fence, even after giving my back a minor tweak. 

The local Liquorice farmer has been busy again... ahem.
The access road that leads out to the main road near Fiddlers Green.

Awww... never mind mate...

A good old ride about then, and the drizzle didn't spoil the day at all, it was too warm for it to have any negative effects really. Getting wet is so much better when you don't also get cold.

So that was Sunday's chooch, and a most enjoyable one it was too. The Marin was introduced to my pressure washer once home to rid its shiny flanks of all the grit and gravel that accumulates on visits to the site, and now it is sat gleaming once again in my living room having since also received its first polishing with the Pledge.

Time to get Fatso out for a ride again I think, otherwise he'll be getting jealous!

Crapmungous map of the chooch. The more informative version can be had HERE

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