Day one – Penzance to Okehampton
Today started early, with breakfast of bacon rolls being cooked well before eight. Bidding goodbye to Okehampton, we started out on the A30.
The A30 is commonly derided as being suicide on a bike, however on a Sunday it’s relatively quiet and the Tarmac is smooth. It’s also the fastest way out of Cornwall, with gentle climbs, fast and straight downhills and good visibility. I personally found it alright, and if you are accustomed to commuting on fast roads with cars buzzing you then you’ll find it fine.
We stopped in Bodmin for lunch, choosing a delightful Wetherspoons pub for a delicious meal. This part might be sarcasm – the beef burgers was bland but at least they were cheap. We had hoped to pick up an inner tube in the bike shop, but it was shut on a Sunday. Leaving Bodmin, we ended up on a horrible climb which was both steep and long. However, stopping at the top I found an abandoned inner tube on the verge and seeing no visible big holes I pocketed it for fixing later. One patch was all it needed – why people choose to throw them is unknown and it annoys me that folk feel the need to litter.
Anyway, we continued towards our destination, meeting a local CTC rider who showed us the alternative route to Okehampton by taking the old A30. This is where the camaraderie of LeJog is apparent, with people offering to fill our bottles at a quick stop we made. We had a good chat with our new friend, who incidentally was also riding a Van Nicholas, and who was also a fan of them, before he dropped away towards his home.
Ten miles to go, and I checked the route. I think it was the action of checking the route that slowed us down considerably. I think it’s when you know you’re nearly done that your motivation drops, so we felt the last few miles as we arrived at our B&B.
Overall, we both feel alright, although tomorrow is ten miles longer so this might be misplaced confidence…