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Day 2 - Lands End to Liskeard            Weather icon, click for today's weather in this location Today's weather in Land's End

Sunday 30 April 2006

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Map of first day of route, click to go to interactive map

Route Description

I will have spent the night at John and Betsy Field's cottage in Sennen - many thanks to them. It is only a short cycle to Land's End from there so that doesn't really count into the trip!

The route I am planning for this first day will take me into Penzance, through Redruth, Truro and St Austell before finishing in Liskeard. Henry will be supporting me on this day and we will be travelling back to Sennen for another night in the cottage.


Route map.

Mileage: 74

Cycling time: 4 hours 20 minutes

Average speed: 16.9 mph

Top speed: 43.5 mph

Start to finish time: 5 hours 10 minutes

Worst hill: Penpillick Hill

High point: 597ft

Mileage to date: 74

Wild flowers and brooding clouds

With porridge and a bacon sandwich inside us, we left for Land's End at 8.15am. 10 minutes later we were to find that this was too early for doing the touristy things at Land's End like taking photos in front of the ubiquitous 'New York 3147, John O'Groats 874' sign - they take it down over night and only open at 10am 'or thereabouts'! Undaunted, we found an alternative sign and, at 8.50am, I set off. The first part of the ride went very quickly and I soon caught two Scots brothers who had started their trip just ahead of me. I also kept crossing motor cyclists on their way to start a LEJOG race later in the morning. Coming into Penzance my enjoyment of the view of St Michael's Mount was marred only by an unexpected nose-bleed! Blood stemmed, I continued on the A30 for only a few more miles before turning off towards Leedstown and Redruth.

This was a beautiful stretch all the way to Truro, with very little traffic and the roads lined with hedges brim full of wild flowers. Wild garlic, bluebells, hawthorn, gorse (and many more) delicately perfumed the light northerly breeze. Also of interest on this route were the chimneys of what I assumed to be abandoned tin smelting works.

This first 40 miles to Truro were a delight and relatively gently rolling hills allowed me to make an average of 19 mph - arriving in Truro at 11am, just as the service finished in the Cathedral. I took a quick look round this stunning building before continuing on my way, joining the A390 for the rest of the route to Liskeard. This is a fast (for cars) and nasty 'A' road - with one hill after the other. It was about 3 miles out of St Austell that I encountered Penpillick hill - at least half a mile of 1 in 10! Horror story!

I decided to grind on but shortly after Lostwithiel I had reason to rename it 'Lostthewherewithall' as another fierce climb nearly beat me. However, fortified by a couple of bananas and, psychologically boosted by a sign annoucing only 6 miles to go I eventually arrived in Liskeard. Not unsurprisingly, it is on top of a hill!

Henry, having spent the morning regaling in the splendor of the coastal path and Nanjizal beach, and sourcing some lamb for our supper, arrived just at the same time as me. We munched on a pork pie, again from the lilac deli and rather better than the fruit pie - 8/10, before setting off back to Sennen. On the way back, we came across the Scots Brothers on the hideously busy and fast A30, still at least 20 miles from Liskeard - also their destination. I didn't envy them at all!

Oh, the Minis.....having thought they were all descending on Lands End to do a LEJOG, we were expecting to be mobbed this morning as we'd seen hundreds on the roads the day before. However, it turned out they were down here for something called the 'Riviera Run' and I didn't see one all day. No cake today.
Henry and I at the missing sign

Me and my t-shirt

Ready for the off - sign does say John O'Groats!

Truro Cathedral

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