Cornwall week - 2nd to 9th September 2017
(Click the photo to see a larger picture in a slide show.)

Report and photos from the Cornish week from Rob and John.

It was a smaller than usual group that headed off to Monkey Tree Holiday Park near Newquay for the fourth Cornwall Riding Week. John took his caravan and his and Robís bikes in his van, Stuart and Lesley took their motorhome, while Terry and Rob hired mobile homes on site as they went with their respective families, quoting it as a bit of a holiday. Bikes involved were Johnís BSA A10, Stuartís Norton, Terryís Honda and Robís í59 Velocette MAC. Normally Rob would have taken his Honda 400/4 but on the Friday, whilst riding it down to Johnís for loading into the van, it broke down! (Shock and horror!!!) Completely dead electrics even after being charged in Johnís van. Luckily John was kind enough to take the Honda back to Aberdare where it was quickly swapped for a Velo.

Back to Cornwall and the weather forecast for the week showed sunshine and a lot of showers and in fact the rain was so bad on the Sunday that the run was cancelled, as some roads over the moors were felt to be too bad. Rob and his family spent the day in a damp Newquay where a seal was spotted in the harbour and there was a competitive rowing event to watch.

Monday: West Cornwall Run.
The weather was overcast and damp to start with, but it promised to brighten up by lunchtime. We all met in the usual car park and were joined by Stuartís friend and wife on a BSA, Gareth and Terry from Swansea, on a Guzzi and Matchless and a few others.

Rob led the happy band and kept the speed down so we could see the countryside through the slight drizzle. We rode on roads used last year through Penpol Quay on the south coast, to just outside Falmouth for the tea stop at Penrhyn, where the weather was now dry.

From here we ran through the lanes to Gweek, across the Helford River to the lunch stop by the sea at Coverrack. Here Stuartís Norton refused to start and was diagnosed with a faulty magneto and loaded into the recovery van.

After lunch we struck off northwards and inland through Helston and Redruth before returning to the camp after a run of some 85 miles. Luckily, some of the local lads knew of a mag specialist so Stuartís mag was taken to him. He checked it, replaced the armature with a second hand spare, remagnetised it and Stuart refitted it on the Tuesday morning. 

Tuesday: North Cornwall Run
Again the morning was damp as the usual group set off on the coast road out of Newquay to Mawgan Porth. Here we turned inland, through lanes and after crossing the River Camel at Wadebridge had a tea stop at Blisland. We were rather wet and so decided to make for lunch, at Tintagel, by a more direct route rather than looping north to Boscastle.

John set up his sat nav and led us, by listening to instructions through his Bluetooth headset. The sun soon began to shine and we were dry by the time we pulled into the car park at the King Arthurís Arms. As we rode in we spotted Stuart and Lesley who had ridden there directly after refitting the mag on the Norton.

The afternoon route was a lovely run along the coast to the lifeboat station at Trevose Head where we had ice cream under a now blue sky.

The lifeboat had been called out the previous evening to rescue the crew of a trawler that had gone aground on rocks near Padstow and was out, when we were there, trying to refloat the boat. The sunshine and blue skies continued on our way through the coastal bays of Mawgan Porth and Tregurrian and back to camp after completeing 100 miles. 

This was a free day. Rob and family went off to Tintagel to visit the castle. A very interesting place but an awful lot of steps.

John visited Peterís railway in the afternoon and ended up working as a guard on the steam trains. We all met up in the evening for a good chat at the bbq and Cornish cream tea.

Thursday: South Cornwall Run

There was a much brighter start to the day as we set off on a reverse of a route we did last year, but with a few new lanes added. We did have warnings that the usual ford was running quite quickly and was about four inches deep and there was some mud in the lanes. The ford was negotiated with no trouble although the back wheel of the Velo stepped out on mud in one lane, after Chasewater, causing me to put my foot down to regain balance. Our mid morning stop was the cafe at Stithians lakes where the waitress came out to admire the bikes, sit on my Velo and take photos for their website.

Unfortunately the rebuilt mag on Stuartís bike failed again and so he was loaded up in to the recovery van. From here we headed on a new route that eventually brought us out on a hill at Marazion with a great view of the bay and St. Michaelís Mount. We rode along the bay before turning inland and across country to St Just for lunch. Terry, John and myself were the last to leave after lunch and we were able to hustle the bikes along the winding north coast road with great views of the sea, St Ives, Portreath and on to Hellís Mouth for a tea stop.

Some of the group were being interviewed by Cornwall radio but we decided to push on. The final leg was along the coast, through the narrow streets of St Agnes and Perranporth before reaching the campsite after 94 enjoyable miles.

The weather forecast was heavy rain and thunder and lightning so we decided not to ride. John and I loaded the BSA and Velo into the van on the Thursday evening and John decided to leave early on Friday. On the Friday morning I decided to leave as well, although Terry was staying and thinking of doing the run in the car. Although rather wet it was still a great few days riding on bikes with friends.

Rob J