Mid-Winter Mid-Cornwall

The ‘permarain’ of the past few weeks eased for a bit on Sunday to leave some much needed spells of sunshine between blustery showers. Rather than just go riding as usual for a few hours on the fixed wheel trainer a friend and I decided to make an all day intimate exploration of the tiny backroads and dirt trails of mid-Cornwall. It was very much a day characterised by steep hills and lush valleys, ancient stone bridges, gnarled old growth forest and mud. Really a lot of mud. It was super. Only 100km but with the short winter days and time for messing around it was about right. I put my Surly Cross Check back in touring trim (it’s been wearing knobby tyres for the last 12 months) and off we went. It’s really a lovely bike for this sort of ‘just riding’. Not particularly quick but comfy and deeply satisfying. I stuffed a 6 year old Panasonic LX3 compact in my pocket – it’s dented from being dropped and doesn’t really work very well any more and so is ideal for days when you want some sort of camera “just in case” and where it’s likely to get wet or dropped (again).. here are a few snaps.

Happy to have some sunshine to play with
Happy to have some sunshine to play with
a very warm, very (very) wet winter so far means Cornwall's fields are super green..
a very warm, very (very) wet winter so far means Cornwall’s fields are super green..
Surly Cross Check. A favourite.
Surly Cross Check. A favourite.
Saddle that's on it at the moment doesn't have bag loops. Luckily a Carradice Zip Roll also makes and appropriately 'beardy' thing on the handlebars.. ideal for rain jacket, food, camera, wallet etc.
Saddle that’s on it at the moment doesn’t have bag loops. Handily a Carradice Zip Roll also makes an appropriately ‘beardy’ thing on the handlebars.. ideal for rain jacket, food, camera, wallet etc.
There is a stone bridge under all this moss. The damp, warm climate in the valleys means stuff just grows on everything. Wouldn't want to sit still for too long in some of these places.
There is a stone bridge under all this moss. The damp, warm climate in the valleys means stuff just grows on everything. Wouldn’t want to sit still for too long in some of these places.
The convergence of two streams. the slightly greeny one is that colour because of run off from the china clay works further north.
The convergence of two streams. the slightly greeny one is that colour because of run off from the china clay works further north.
The tree tunnels are just as spectacular without leaves..
The tree tunnels are just as spectacular without leaves..
I love these old forests.
I love these old forests.
One of many creeks in the Fal estuary. This one leads to Ruan Lanihorne.
One of many creeks in the Fal estuary. This one leads to Ruan Lanihorne.
Cornwall does lonely winter trees very well indeed.
Cornwall does lonely winter trees very well indeed.
Some terrific skies to finish the day off. Just ace.
Some terrific skies to finish the day off. Just ace.

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