We had heard good things of the Tintagel Brewery cafe (and also the beer) so since the weekend’s rain has cleared up we thought we’d give it a try. Only 30km away says google – you should do it in a little over an hour and a half.
Well I know better than to trust Google Maps time estimates for a cycle route. I think they are using a fit regular Audax rider on a carbon frame road bike with every gramme of weight agonised over as their baseline. Two hours would be more like it for us.
So if we set off soon after 12 we should be good for a late lunch and time to spare before the kitchen closes at 4pm.
In the event it was well after 1pm when we left, but the weather was fine and Underlane is always a nice start to a ride. The pull up to Pipers Pool from the Egloskerry turn is long but not too bad.
The profile for the route is “interesting” – No4 is at about 50m and the Brewery is at 300m despite being a stones throw from the sea. In between we climb to near 200 at Pipers Pool then drop back to 60 to cross the River Inny, a steep 10+% for the twisty rutted lane up the other side of the valley up to 140m the steadily climbing up to 280 at Davidstow airfield, drop down about 60m round the headwaters of the Camel before a final steady climb to 300. That’s more than 500m of climb over the 30km. 2% average doesn’t sound like much but it was pretty relentless.
As we wound up towards the airfield a headwind got up so that the flat bit across the old runways was just as bad as the long drag up. The kms seemed to be dragging and it was clearly going to be over 2hrs.
Miss OSM did her bit by for no apparent reason sending us round a narrow bumpy loop of lane that was slightly longer than the direct cut and involved an extra twisty descent and climb that we could have done without.
Finally a sign for the brewery sent us up an extra hill so that we could descend again – a perfectly good flat lane ran round the hill to the brewery as we found on the way back.
So we arrived somewhat knackered after 2hrs 15mins rolling time and about 4mins stopped. 30.4km at an average 14km/hr and a top speed of 32km/hr on the descent to the Inny.
But the food looked good, the range of beers tempting, and the sun shinning in the garden with a view to the sea. Unfortunately I didn’t bother to take any photos despite having the camera with me. But my burger was one of the best I’ve ever had (seriously) and the beer – Cornish Gold – was also excellent.
Somewhat recovered, and giving the Brewery café top marks we set off for home around 4:30. A slighly different route using the main road through Hallworthy to avoid the drop and climb over the Inny and thence through Tresmeer and Egloskerry back to Underlane.
Despite slight wobbly legs the ride was much easier, lovely views all the way to the North and East, a tail wind, and the knowledge that the way home must be downhill whatever little ups the road threw at us.
Kms flew by, the first 10 fell in 30 mins and the pace continued. The main road was a little busy but only 4km of it till the Tresmeer lane. On the descent from the hamlet the road was clear and straight so I went for it. GPS says 58.3 km/hr.
The little up kicks joining Underlane and at the Hidden Valley turn were surmounted without difficulty and we made it home in exactly 1hr 30mins at exactly 30km – so a 20km/hr average.
For the whole round trip the total was 60.4km at 16km/hr