Camel Trail: venturing upstream

Being the original and biggest Bike Hire Shop on probably the premier Trail in the country ie The Camel Trail we are fortunate in attracting many celebrities from Film and TV stars to sporting Heroes. We put a great deal of effort into training youngsters to look after our Customers and they are not allowed under any circumstances to go Autograph or Selfie hunting – these Clients are more often than not with their families and they are on holiday.

I have to say given all that diatribe there have been one or two exceptions – it’s a long time ago so I will recount one – we had a well known Welsh Rugby International hire bikes one day, he was instantly recognised by one of the youngsters who played in the local Camels side. Unbeknown to me he approached him to ask if he could go for a training run after work, like I said I had no knowledge of this approach and laid the youngster off at lunchtime for an early mark – only for Ieuan Evans to turn up at the Depot for said run at 5 pm – missed out there didn’t you Matt?

Moving quickly on to the state of the Trail – the new section now resurfaced in the Grogley Halt region of the Bodmin section is most welcome and that probably gives us 80% sealed surface from Bodmin down to Padstow a great improvement on early years.

With the School holidays the Trail down to Padstow is particularly busy so many more people are venturing upstream where in fairness there are a good many more attractions such as Camel Valley Vineyard and Bodmin Steam Railway to name just two.

Finally an appeal from our Hire Shop to book bikes well ahead please to save any disappointment

Safe Cycling

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Camel Trail: purple phase

What a charming time of the year this is – Tadpoles changing into baby Frogs much to the delight of my Grandchildren. The Camel Trail going through its “purple phase” with foxgloves, Valerian and Campion featuring heavily this is all against a backdrop of Honeysuckle filling the early morning air with a heavy scent. It is very difficult not to wax lyrical about a Camel Trail experience when you have Goldfinches back flitting from bush to bush and to top all that in glorious sunshine if still a little nippy.

The Ranger has contacted me to say that he has provisional plans to give the Trail a light Summer cut from Wadebridge to Padstow starting the 17th of June for 5 days so please be on the lookout for machinery. You will also be pleased to know the post at the entrance to the Wadebridge section has been repaired so no stray vehicles can access the Trail.

Sorry to say there will be no report again next week I’m off on my travels again but in the meantime I do hope you take advantage of what will be a very quiet time on what is a glorious Trail at this time of the season.

Safe Cycling


Visit the Bridge Bike Hire webcam, which looks down the Camel Trail from Wadebridge to Padstow:


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The Trail: wild flowers galore

Such are the vagaries of the weather at the moment that I am writing this short report with rain lashing down. This is in sharp contrast to the spectacular Mackerel sky that greeted me early yesterday morning. The Trail at the moment is a blaze of colour and I have never witnessed so many Orchids as what there is this year. Bluebells, wild Garlic, Primroses, Campion just to name a few of the wild flowers that adorn the banks wherever you look so it’s a great time to venture in either direction. It’s not just the Flora that abounds at the moment – there have been lots of sightings of Roe Deer and it goes without saying that the presence of baby Rabbits scampering along the trail still never fails to enchant me.

Orchids and primrosesOn the news side of the Trail I had a lovely phone call from a Lucy Dove, a teacher up at St Tudy School. You may recall a few seasons ago that St Tudy school sited a really lovely Salmon sculpture up in the car park at Poley’s Bridge. This was sadly subsequently vandalised beyond repair. Lucy phoned to inform me that she had been able to source funding for a school project to replace the damaged sculpture This would be in a different format and the new sculpture should be erected in Poley’s Bridge car park over the next few months.

Speaking of vandalism the security post preventing unauthorized vehicles on the Trail was knocked over this week however as I write this is being repaired so all good, I suppose this could lead on to the recent saga of the missing bench but with the Trail looking so welcoming any other negative news is unnecessary.

Safe cycling,


Visit the Bridge Bike Hire webcam, which looks down the Camel Trail from Wadebridge to Padstow:


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May Day: the Children’s Oss

When I have time away from the Trail getting back and riding just emphasises how privileged I am to live alongside this facility.

The vagaries of the weather obviously influence my riding experience and to say that we are lurching from one extreme to another might sound over the top but one minute I am languishing in hot weather on a bed of bluebells chilling out and the very next week It’s back to being all wrapped up and standing on the peddles to combat a Gale force wind.

In between times Padstow May Day has come and gone and even that weekend was not as busy as usual given unpredictable weather. I have to say I was lucky with this event following my usual early morning start, it was overcast, a little chill but dry. I arrived down in the village about 5.30am having witnessed a Roe Deer on the Trail halfway down (no photo as usual, not quick enough) so that was a bonus. The finishing touches for May Day were being applied to the Institute and nearby lanes, I always admire the crews that do this since a good few of them had probably been night singing till the early hours. Breakfast time for the crews – coffee time for me as I waited for the Grandchildren to arrive for their first experience of the Children’s Oss coming out at 8am.

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We met up at 7am just by the Bandstand and in doing so spotted a couple of Mallard chicks abandoned and in obvious distress, these were duly rescued by my Daughter balancing along the Quayside but unfortunately even a box full of shredded paper and some personal warming up could not revive them and they both died, but at least the Grandchildren  were comforted by the fact that we had tried.

So I am not likely to forget that May Day, the children following the OSS and the beat of the Drums and accordions just made our day complete. The hot drink before setting off back to Wadebridge was most welcome too.

Safe cycling,


Visit the Bridge Bike Hire webcam, which looks down the Camel Trail from Wadebridge to Padstow:


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Weather set fair for the week

Missing my early morning rides at the moment but I guess the store roof takes precedence.

With the weather set fair for the week the roofers will be happy and I guess with a trip to Twickenham lined up for the final England game it would be naughty to bemoan my lack of riding time.

Of course with Easter fast approaching it is all a last-minute scramble. The last of the new bikes being assembled and tested, leaflets to be distributed throughout Cornwall and revamping all our signboards just a few of the jobs to be done.

Very pleased with the new Hire shop entrance, complete with accessory display, and the complimentary coffee machine has had an excellent reception – we will for sure be doing that next  winter. On another positive note we are still getting great feedback from clearing and replanting the road island outside the Depot.  I have to say all the Daffodils look great – very Spring-like.

I know the Trail to be delightful at this time of the year so if you can take the opportunity to witness the explosion of colour, sights and sounds it is highly recommended.

Safe Cycling,


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The Trail: be aware of the Dog Badger

Well for all of five minutes we had a white world after a particularly heavy Hailstorm.

Maybe just as well we did not have this weather last week during Half Term, I have to say I made my way down to Padstow on several occasions and there was no need of lights as the mornings are drawing out.  In fact it was calm, warm and most definitely Spring-like, lots of visitors down and it was also a busy time in the Hire Shop.

The early morning light down by the Harbour always produces a special combination of colours, it is a picture I never tire of taking.  I’m on the lookout for the first Primroses and then I will know Spring is just round the corner.

Given the back-to-Winter weather forecast and the threat of flooding from the predicted highest tides for twenty years I viewed this new week with some trepidation. I guess it is back to multiple layers; it will not stop me from looking for Primroses though.

Just take care, if you venture out, of debris on the Trail down towards Padstow – there is ongoing work being carried out with both cutting back and improvements to draining the Trail surface. Also if you travel early be aware of the Dog Badger who has recently decided to trot down the Trail ignoring all other users, all good fun.

In the meantime,

Safe Cycling


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Bishops Wood on a frosty morning

With high pressure giving us a week of blue skies and sunshine, I decided to supplement my early morning rides by wandering upstream one afternoon. I was soon joined by a Jay (a very pretty bird) flitting just ahead of me, each time I came abreast he would fly a further hundred meters or so. This continued right up to Gaff Woods when I was greeted by the sounds of chain saws and machinery, I parted company with the Jay and rode up to Polbrock to investigate.

I have to say that the mere thought of a logging operation evokes great memories for me as I spent my youth in British Columbia in Logging camps very often in minus 20 degrees with a wind factor of another minus 10 degrees. Subsequently I decided that the next day early I would head back up and take some photos of this logging operation in Bishops Wood.

So it was in very frosty conditions I headed up next day all set to take photos of trees being felled etc. Unfortunately the Contractor had not read my script and all the men and machinery had been relocated deeper into the Forest so that I could hear them but not see them – am I allowed to swear? Bother.

So I thought let’s make the most of a pretty morning with the Sun just appearing I know of a lake up this way that the early morning Sun will just catch, so armed with a very welcome full flask of coffee I spent a wonderful hour or so just taking photos.

Incidentally like the downstream section this Bodmin section of the Trail has been the subject of a lot of winter work, the surface where loose has been graded and a fair bit of ditching has been done, so we have a Trail in real good condition.

If you do get the chance wrap up warm and discover Winter on the Camel Trail, I guarantee you will not be disappointed. Snowdrops are not only a feature of Pencarrow over the next two weeks, the Trail also has a presence.

Safe cycling,


Visit the Bridge Bike Hire webcam, which looks down the Camel Trail from Wadebridge to Padstow:


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