Whoever said England wasn't warm or hilly...
Trip Start Jul 08, 2008
16Trip End Jul 25, 2008
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Since the beginning everyone had been telling us that Devon and Cornwall were going to be hilly but we thought we knew better having seen all sorts of hills in Scotland...how wrong we were...Cornwall is the hilliest place I have ever cycled by far. There just never seems to be a stretch of flat at all, you just go up hills and then back down them and it just keeps going like that all day. This day was definitely the worst (or maybe better termed, the hardest day) day we have had since the beginning. Carl wants it officially stated at this point that he 'hates hills'
Not only was it hilly but it was hot as well; hotter than 30oC all afternoon anyway. Our bodies are a right picture with all sorts of funny tan lines from helmets, gloves and cycling shorts.
Anyway, back to the day. I set off powering up the 1st hill in the morning determined to try and get to Tavistock without a break and before the lads got there so I could chill for a bit at my mate Dave's house. So off I powered and was going top dollar till I hit Oakhampton where Devon's useless signposting through me off track to start with (there is a real problem in Devon pointing you in the right direction and obviously this is made much worse by the fact that everything is hilly so even the smallest mistake causes pain). Just as I was powering up the 'any routes' direction that turned out to be wrong the chain jammed between the two smallest cogs as I was changing down into a suitable granny gear. Half an hour it took me to free the chain, covered from head to toe in oil I was not a happy bunny. In fact this was the lowest point of the whole trip for me and I went into a right mood with myself
Dave's house was right on the route over the River Tamar so we climbed up the hill out of Tavistock (this was where things started to get seriously hilly, every town sits in the base of a valley so that as you descend into the town you can see from miles off the hill you have to climb to get back out again) and dropped into Gunnislake where he lives. After looking round his 'Grand Designs' project of buying a derelict house and barn we had some cream tea and set off again. It was then that we encountered what has to be the worst hill of the entire trip. It just went on and on and on. I only just managed to get to the top without pushing the bike. There was a fat workman at the top of the hill who said 'hello' to me, 'keep going' to Phil and 'I dread to see what the next one is like' to Carl. Over the top there were some great views of Plymouth and the Falmouth.
The plan was to push hard to get to St Austell before the close of play to give us an easier cycle the day after and push we had to do
Hours on bike 6.29
Max speed 41.6
Total distance 977.6