Our journey started with me feeling less than great, nothing serious just a cold so we took an easy 4 mile ride to the station armed with our small mountain of tickets for both ourselves and our bikes, we arrived on the platform to find a couple who with bikes who had been refused access to the previous train with their bikes despite like us reserving the limited bike spaces on board, a real shame as they were due to be starting their Lands End to John O'groats a trip I am eager to try myself. To make things worse while we were waiting a fifth cyclist turned up who was also on his way to start an end to end ride, so now we have 5 riders and bikes for only 2 bike spaces, how the train companies manage to mess this up is beyond me and let us not mention the laughable space for cycles on board as it is woefully inadequate for bikes being at least a foot too short to easily fit a bike into. All these issues aside we all managed to get on board and arrived at Bodmin Parkway station ready to begin our ride.
Our ride took us through Lanhydrock Park and up an awful climb that saw us taking many breaks on the way up but soon we were on the flat and stopped for some lunch ready for the decent into Bodmin to pick up the Camel Trail, the steady down gradient made for fast riding down the trail stopping only to see an old steam engine from the Bodmin & Wenford station leaving for Bodmin.
With the rain chasing us we pressed on towards Padstow, stopping for a quick pint in Wadebridge, well cycling is thirsty work, the stretch from Wadebridge to Padstow is my favourite part as it follows the edge of the estuary affording some wonderful views.
We finally arrived in Padstow and made strait for the Roskillys Ice Cream shop right on the waterfront for our fix of their incredibly good ice-cream, I went for Ginger Fairings, Apple Crumble and the incredible Gooseberry flavour while Sam went for Malted Mystery, Ginger Fairings and Gooseberry.
It was about this time that the rain caught us up so we made out way to the bed and breakfast to get warm and changed ready for our evening meal.
The walk back down into the centre was quite welcome as it helped to loosen our legs off from the day riding, by now the rain was falling quite steadily although we stood out quite well in our bright yellow cycling jackets, we arrived earlier than expected so took a wander around the harbour, the weather was not great and it looked quite choppy outside the harbour walls.
Our dinner reservations were at Rojano's in the Square, a small but revery well reviewed Italian restaurant and we were not to be disappointed, the food and wine was incredible so we soaked up the atmosphere for a while before heading to the pub next door for another drink and then back to the B&B for some much needed sleep.
The following morning we woke to sunshine and black clouds outside the window as we tucked into a full english breakfast with extra toast before packing and saying farewell to our gracious hosts and pedalled into the harbour area once more to soak up the sun and pick up a pasty from the Chough Bakery for lunch on the way home.
Leaving Padstow behind we headed out along the sunny trail back towards Bodmin and some fair sized climbs up through the town, the path was now quite wet in places making it quite slippery, but with the sun out and a slight tail wind this was soon forgotten as we pedalled along the tree lined path.
We stopped for a pint at the Bodmin Prison pub for a pre hill climbing pint of beer dreading what we thought would be a terrible slog, instead we spun up the climbs with relative ease, the hardest part of the climb was some idiotic and impatient drivers, sooner than expected we found ourselves back on the bridge to cross the A30 near Bodmin and paused for a quick photo as we were well of time.
With time in hand we stopped for our lunch in Lanhydrock Park and enjoyed the views around us before the final short climb up to the station, while we were here we had tea and cake in the station cafe, it was here we saw the arrival and departure of the steam locomotive we say the day before on the Bodmin Wenford steam railway, this time I managed to get some video of it's departure, shortly after our own train arrived and the too many bikes too little space debacle reared it's head, the regional railways really need to modernise their rolling stock so that more people can make use of the great trails and paths we have here in the south west, but the trains aside we had a wonderful trip, we only covered about 40 miles in total but we met some great characters and saw some wonderful things plus it was great to get out on the bike.
I hoped you enjoyed this entry, I felt I did not take enough photo's and part of me felt I rambled on a lot, I have so much to learn when writing this blog. Part of the reason we did this trip on my birthday was to try out cycle touring and weekend breaks together, even with the inclement weather we both really enjoyed the trip, to be able to interact with the people we met along the paths was wonderful, experiences we would have missed had we simply driven down not to mention the health benefits and cake/beer consumption prospects, so will we be doing this again? Well yes we are, we are starting to plan some long weekends away and even a trip to France in the early planning stages, having a ferry port so close to home makes it easy.
More to come next week if this cold shifts from my chest and lets me ride, but for now thanks for reading.
Si & Sam.