Late start today, as I knew I had a relatively short day ahead. Breakfast at 8.30, and then an interview with Radio Oxford before setting off at 9.25.
This was a tough day, partly because I had chosen the scenic but very up-and-down coastal route. A series of steep downhills into little cove villages followed by a climb back up to the top. Over the whole day I averaged just over 100 feet ascent per mile travelled - a very high rate. I had to walk up a number of steep hills. But it was worth it. The sun shone most of the day, and the views out to sea from this Cornish north coast were fabulous.
Mid morning I was in Tintagel, but I didn't fancy the long walk down to the remains of King Arthur's (reputedly) castle. Then a series of ups and downs to Boscastle, Crackington Haven, Millook, and eventually to Bude. I had had some mild mechanical trouble with my rear mech, so I sought out a bike shop in Bude and the man there quickly fixed it. I gave him the full works about the charities I was supporting, but he still charged me 3 quid! Money well spent though, as my bike was then back to its best. No other mechanical problems, no punctures so far, although I feared for my inner tubes on these steep downhills where I had to use brakes all the time, generating enormous heat on the wheel rims.
At one point, as I crawled up a hill, I passed two ladies walking their dogs. 'Where are you going?' they asked cheerily as I inched past them. 'John O'Groats', I replied. 'Best of British to you,' they said.
After Bude, I abandoned my idea of using back roads inland, as I had had enough hills for one day, and did the last 11 miles to Clovelly on the A39. I made good time on this stretch, bumping my average speed for the day up to 9.4 mph. The traffic was not as bad as I thought it would be. I crossed into Devon, having cycled 113 miles in Cornwall (11.75 hours riding) - a long county!
Arrived safely at the home of my old friends James and Dron Hore-Ruthven, at about 5.20.