Upstream: Wadebridge to Wenford

Well by way of a dramatic change I am writing this in warm sunshine and with a forecast promising more of the same over the weekend and into next week I think everyone will breathe a sigh of relief.

 Encouraged by this warmth I set out to do the upstream section. There was soon evidence of the high tides and recent rainfall with the marshlands along Egloshayle well flooded. Lots of wading birds, Shell ducks and the likes scooting around to the sounds of birdsong on the shoreline, Spring in the air? It’s been a long time coming.

Egloshayle marshes in full flood.

Egloshayle marshes in full flood.

 As I worked my way up the Trail, the surface was sticky where not sealed but not too hard on the legs. There has been lots of cutting back in the Marshes alongside the Trail leading up to Polbrock Bridge and the surface up to Nanstallon is much improved. Mike of Camel Trail Tea gardens was full on with preparation to open later this month and is very proud of his new covered in area.

Cutting back on the way to Polbrock.

Cutting back on the way to Polbrock.

 Onwards and upwards past the Borough Arms  Ramp – which looks like it needs some work – there was then much evidence of the recent high winds with a legacy of debris from a fallen tree cut back and lying across the old platform. As I cycled through Dunmere Woods, the river could be heard at a distance tumbling over the falls, they can be clearly seen from the Trail at this time of the year which is a bonus.

 That fallen tree at Dunmere was just an indication of what was to come with at least 10 trees victims of the storms littering the sides of the Trail all the way up to Wenford. I have to say a spell of dry weather will be more than welcome at the top end of the Trail with the surface in places not just sticky but very muddy. The incentive to carry on up to Wenford is of course the newly opened Snails Pace Cafe complete with refreshments and Carrot Cake to die for and of course once fed and watered the trip back down to Bodmin and then Wadebridge was a breeze.

 

 This trip is about 20 miles in total and a grand day out riverside with scenery totally different from downstream which of course makes the Camel Trail all the more special.

 Safe cycling,

 Nigel

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The Camel Trail: dry and clear .. for a moment

Having decided that if I waited for a decent weather forecast it could be an even longer time before I filed a report. Much to my surprise it was dry and clear to the degree that even at 6am there was a hint of Dawn. I did have company as I loaded my bike when a Dawn Chorus well-led by an enthusiastic Blackbird struck up which all made for a very pleasant ride down to Padstow.

 I think the recent run of Storms has played havoc with the regular early morning crew with just one pair of dog walkers on the Trail. Given all the rain the sealed surface and recent ditching has done its job so let us hope the weather improves and I will be shortly writing about Primroses ( just starting to show ) and baby Rabbits which never cease to amuse me.

 It was daylight by the time I settled into my Harbourside shelter and with my first coffee of the day in my hand I sat and watched the sun come up over Padstow.

 

 Predictably it was breakfast at Ben’s then a gentle ride back up to Wadebridge just stopping off to photograph Gorse bushes in full flower and the remnants of a tree that had totally blocked the Trail last week.

 Just as an aside I managed a trip up to the top of the Trail to check out the progress of the new cafe up at Wenford. Pleased to say that Nick and Linzi are opening up this weekend – I have to say it is amazing what can be done with a 40′ Container. They have done a superb job and rumour has it that there is free tea and cakes to launch their new enterprise this Saturday 1st March, so please go along.

 In the meantime with sunshine and showers forecast for this week I hope you can join us for Spring on the Camel Trail.

 Safe Cycling.

 Nigel

Visit the webcam at Bridge Bike Hire http://www.bridgebikehire.co.uk/web-cam/ looking down the Camel Trail towards Padstow from Wadebridge.

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Jekyll and Hyde weather

For me riding on the Trail is all about the wind at the moment. I am more than happy with most weather conditions and we are getting the odd almost Spring-like day but Gale force winds are not something I will tackle having been quite literally blown off my bike in the past.

Snowdrops on their way.

Snowdrops on their way.

Wintery days but spring is in the air.

Wintery days but spring is in the air.

So my regular routine of early morning rides has been replaced with a weather watching exercise where I take off when there is a window in the weather. I have also tried to do some loops and roadwork but I have to be careful as there is a continuous run off from fields onto the road surface and this combined with a rapid deterioration of that surface means you have to be on high alert especially when travelling at speed.

 All that said we are getting glimpses of Snowdrops and the odd Daffodil where it is sheltered, I shall be on Primrose and baby Rabbit watch shortly and the days are drawing out which is a great bonus.

 My thoughts are also turning towards half term and refurbishing the Hire Shop, everything is up and ready to go, new bikes built, the servicing done all we need now is the weather to calm down and get back to my early morning rides.

 Safe Cycling,

 Nigel

Visit the webcam at Bridge Bike Hire http://www.bridgebikehire.co.uk/web-cam/ looking down the Camel Trail towards Padstow from Wadebridge.

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The Camel Trail: avoided the floods

I do hope the New Year has been kind to you all – I have to say the Camel Trail and my Hire shop were a whisker away from being flooded with that combination of wind, exceptionally high tides and endless rain.

 High tides have left the flood planes opposite Eglohayle with lots of water


High tides have left the flood planes opposite Egloshayle with lots of water

 

We have eased up now so out came my lightweight bike which is not ideal at this time of the year but I really do have to get some mileage in if I am to complete this Vancouver to Seattle ride in June.

It was also ideal for trying out my new winter riding gear – I have always promised friends and family that I would never subject them to me in Lycra – not a pretty sight I can assure you but if you are given gear for Christmas I do feel obligated to wear it and I have to say given that it is still showery and somewhat cold it certainly works well so I no longer care what it looks like.

Excellent Trail conditions despite the showers.

Excellent Trail conditions despite the showers.

 

I did manage a return trip along the Trail which, given the sheer volume of rain has drained well, all the ditching work done by the Council pre-Christmas has helped and with the weather forecast not too bad over the next few days a winter ride is a good option.

I am surprised by the number of people venturing out even in the most atrocious conditions – we have traditionally always had bird watchers out on bikes this time of the year but more and more families and groups are discovering the joys of a quieter Trail and of course a warm welcome in Shops, Pubs and Cafes down at Padstow.

We look forward to seeing you dreckly.

Safe cycling,

Nigel

Visit the webcam at Bridge Bike Hire http://www.bridgebikehire.co.uk/web-cam/ looking down the Camel Trail towards Padstow from Wadebridge.

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What a great weekend that was – 100 Santas on bikes was something else – all credit to Rose of Cornwall Hospice Care in conjunction with the Padstow Christmas Festival for a well organised and well run event. I think that put a smile on a lot of people’s faces.

It is a shame that the weather did not do us any favours on the day but I think the newly surfaced sections will have helped prevent the Santas being too mud splattered.

 Writing of the weather it is so unpredictable at the moment – I wandered down to Padstow today in glorious warm sunshine it was a little crisp to start off with but that is the magic of this time of the year – very few people on the Trail and a welcoming hot drink and a mince pie Harbourside – the perfect way to spend the day.

 I guess with the holidays coming up more people will have the opportunity to experience winter on the Camel Trail, now if I can just organise the weather as well that would be good.

 Safe Cycling,

 Nigel

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Works on Padstow section

 

Lots of work going on with the Padstow section of the Trail at the moment:

Work in progress on the Trail at Padstow.

Work in progress on the Trail at Padstow.

Resurfacing across from the Amble Flats at the start of the Trail to the gateway and then another section planned but not identified yet.

Padstow Festival 2013

Padstow Festival 2013

 

I am just hoping that this is clear for Saturday when we have the Cornwall Hospice Santa Cycle and fun run in conjunction with the Padstow 4-day Christmas Festival taking place.

All systems go with the Padstow Christmas Festival

All systems go with the Padstow Christmas Festival

The weather looks set for cold and overcast for the next few days so I plan to hold back my ride so that we can get some photos.

Like everyone else preparations for Christmas are full on, Hire shop decorated and opening times over the Holiday now being organised. I expect the only time we will be closed is from lunch time Christmas Eve and just the Christmas Day opening again Boxing Day on but I will confirm closer to the time.

The reason for the ride, "Egg Bene" and a fresh mug of tea at Bens Crib Box.

The reason for the ride, “Egg Bene” and a fresh mug of tea at Bens Crib Box.

In the meantime I do hope you have more time than me to ride out I am missing Bens Breakfasts and the warm welcome of Padstow in the winter, nothing like a warming drink by the fire after a crisp ride.

Safe Cycling,

Nigel

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Camel Trail: bracing and all very Autumnal

Set out a little later again today in bright sunshine. It was not long before I realised that I should have worn full fingered gloves, it must have been very close to our first Frost last night. The polite word for the conditions was bracing and all very Autumnal with not only the trees looking spectacular but the Ferns alongside the Trail adding a special backdrop to berry laden bushes.

Given the severity of the storms just recently it is surprising just how much colour the Trail has retained, we do have a legacy of surface water though that in places spans the surface so you do need to dress accordingly and bikes most definitely should have mudguards. The other thing to watch out for is the works being undertaken in the main Padstow Car Park, this has effectively blocked the usual route down to the Harbour so you have to divert via the road so please take care.

A hot cup of coffee was most welcome, but as Ben is now closed on Wednesdays for the winter, I headed waterside by the harbour and sat away from that breeze in warm sunshine – delightful.

On the return trip it was hard not to stop every few yards to take photographs this is a truly special time of the year. If I get any time at all I will head up stream where I expect the camera will be working overtime, until then safe cycling.

Nigel

Visit the webcam at Bridge Bike Hire http://www.bridgebikehire.co.uk/web-cam/ looking down the Camel Trail towards Padstow from Wadebridge.

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