Motorcycles

Cycling the Camel Trail

We were hoping to go on some family bike trips (as well as cycling commuting to nursery/school) when we acquired Morgelyn’s bike and FollowMe tandem. The fact that the person from whom we purchased the bike and tandem had taken his children on the Camel Trail seemed to be a lucky coincidence.

Despite the fact that I’d never cycled the Camel Trail before, I’d heard it’s a fantastic route for novices because it’s wide and flat, with pleasant roads. It also had the benefit of being close to my aunt’s house. Another advantage is that bikes can be rented, so we knew my mother would be able to join us.

My mother owns a bike, but it isn’t very comfortable for her to ride, and she has been wanting to test an e-bike, so we thought this would be the perfect occasion. This summer, the Camel Trail’s hire bikes are in such high demand that we had to book over a week in advance. This turned out to be fortunate, as the weather improved dramatically during the second week of our vacation.

Padstow to Wadebridge

We drove up to Wadebridge at 9:15 a.m., ready to begin. While we parked our car, my mother proceeded to the bike rental shop. I went to Lidl to pick up some chewy snacks. M accompanied me and persuaded me to get cinnamon swirls.

The first section of the ride was quite straightforward. The path was tarmac that was wide and flat. There were a lot of inexperienced bikers on the path, since they were weaving all over it. Next year, M might be one of them. Several people were also out cycling with their dogs on long leashes. With bikes approaching us, passing them was really difficult.

The views from the bike trail were breathtaking. For the most part, we could see the Camel River. We came to a halt on a seat in Padstow, where M persuaded us that it was time for each of us to have half a cinnamon swirl. She also stated that her hands hurt and that she required my riding mitts, which I gladly provided.

The Camel River is full of small boats.

Returning to WadebridgeA sign giving information about cycle trails and other tourist attractions around Bodmin.

It was late morning when we returned to Wadebridge. We stopped at Behind the Bike Sheds for some dinner because M stated she was hungry.

M is a happy person. She’s wearing an over-sized pair of mitts and a riding helmet.
M and Mum ordered bacon rolls. M ate all of hers despite the fact that they were large. I had grilled smoked halloumi with roasted garlic aioli, pepperonata, gem lettuce, avocado, and cress, while Stu had a bike shed hotdog. It was just fantastic.

M is standing next to a wacky bike with two extra wheels on the front and back. The extra wheels do not make contact with the ground.
Outside Behind the Bike Sheds, M poses with the bike sculpture.
Bodmin to Wadebridge

We planned to travel east to Bodmin after lunch. This section of the trail differed significantly from the western portion. It was a lot more shady. The path runs beside the Bodmin Wenford railway for the majority of its length. M enjoyed keeping an eye out for the stations. Near Boscarne Junction, there is also a popular cafe called the Camel Trail Tea Garden. Despite the fact that the track had been relatively calm, there were hundreds of bicycles outside of it.

We stopped for a drink once we arrived in Bodmin. Stu examined my bicycle, which appeared to have a gradual puncture.

Four bicycles are parked against a swing structure with no swings. Stuart is repairing a punctured tyre.
I looked over the information signs before taking M to the nearby tiny playground.

A sign directing visitors to cycle routes and other tourism attractions in the Bodmin area.
The Bodmin sign with the steam train on it was very appealing to M. She’s pretending to be a train in the shot!

‘Welcome to Historic Bodmin,’ with a picture of a steam locomotive, is painted on a fence. M is standing near the fence, making a train-like gesture.

Returning to Wadebridge

A cup of coffee with a picture of a bike on it. There is a homemade amaretti biscotti balanced on the lid.

It was all downhill on the way back to Wadebridge. It was wonderful and comfortable. M reported her small legs were really fatigued, so she stopped pedalling for the last couple of miles. She’d ridden for 22 miles by that moment, so I thought she’d done exceptionally well.

We went back to Behind the Bike Sheds for beverages and M’s ice cream.

A cup of coffee with a bike illustration on it. On top of the lid sits a handcrafted amaretti biscotti.

Would I return to the Camel Trail?

This was a fantastic day out. The Camel Trail is a lovely, flat path with only minor inclines. If I were to take the journey again, I suppose I’d go into Padstow for a look around. I’d be tempted to visit some of the other cafés as well. We have relatives who reside just a few miles from the Camel Route Tea Garden, so I believe we would cycle from their house to the trail, stopping for lunch in Padstow before returning.

This trail is a lot less difficult than the Coast to Coast trail. M should be able to ride solo next summer if she has improved her steering and braking skills (without the FollowMe tandem).

We were hoping to go on some family bike trips (as well as cycling commuting to nursery/school) when we acquired Morgelyn’s bike and FollowMe tandem. The fact that the person from whom we purchased the bike and tandem had taken his children on the Camel Trail seemed to be a lucky coincidence.

Despite the fact that I’d never cycled the Camel Trail before, I’d heard it’s a fantastic route for novices because it’s wide and flat, with pleasant roads. It also had the benefit of being close to my aunt’s house. Another advantage is that bikes can be rented, …

Running

It’s been almost a year since I’ve done a 5km buggy run.

 

In more ways than one, this week has been up and down. My cycle commute is clearly ‘up-and-down,’ work feels unrelenting because it’s the start of the academic year, and my running is still in decline. I was happy, though, to accomplish my first 5-kilometer buggy run in over a year.

I’m still not back at work full-time, but I expect to be there at least two days a week very soon. It will be refreshing to have a change of environment and the opportunity to speak with more people in person. Right now, it feels like I’m spending my entire day in online meetings. I enjoy my career, but I miss the chance encounters that occur on a bustling campus.

This week, I was honoured to be named one of Vuelio’s Top 10 UK Running Blogs. This was such a lovely surprise after I had lost my blogging mojo for a few months.

The cycle ride to and from school
I ride my bike to school with M most days. Although there are a handful of short steep uphills where I need M’s pedal force, it’s mostly an easy ride because the vast bulk of the 2.5 miles is downhill. Although one stretch of the trip is on a busy narrow road, the remainder of it is on a shared cycling path/pavement. This gives me more confidence in cycling with a four-year-old.

However, once I’ve dropped M off, I need to get back on the road as soon as possible. My Giant City Escape W is one of my favourite bikes, although it’s about ten years old and not the lightest. The FollowMe tandem and M’s 20-inch bike have also been added, making the back end of my bike a little cumbersome. Embarrassingly, my Garmin often informs me that by the time I get home, I’ll require 19 hours of rest!

I ran my first 5-kilometer buggy run in nearly a year today. I did the majority of The Old Showfield parkrun with M in her running buggy, but Stu picked her up after 2.5 loops because he’d already completed.

We arrived much ahead of schedule. I consented to push M in the buggy because she didn’t want to run. We agreed, however, that she may walk to the start and then return to the car. On the way, we came upon an interesting fungus on a tree that resembled a face.

On a tree, a big orange fungal growth.

A large orange fungal growth on a tree.

Today’s weather forecast was dreadful. M insisted that I put her rain cover on after we’d visited with some friends. Jill and Caro joined me on the first climb. Caro was wonderful for taking the buggy while I removed my running jacket because it was considerably hotter than I’d anticipated!

Because I’m so out of shape these days, I took a couple of walking breaks each time I went up the hill. It was great to be back in Southampton and see so many familiar faces.

What was my score?

I was pleasantly thrilled to discover that I was 3 seconds faster than in The Old Showfield parkrun today! It takes a lot of effort to push 30 kilogrammes!

Tamsyn’s outcome email from parkrun #409 in Southampton. In 35:26, I completed the race.
Tamsyn after her run, up close.
At Southampton parkrun, I’m six runs away from completing my ‘double tonne.’ I’m also eight parkruns away from completing my 350th. I had the third-highest number of runs among females (although 10th overall).

Have you done a parkrun today? Were you at home or on the road? In the near future, I’m planning to do some more parkrun tourism, so stay tuned!

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