Monday 25 January 2016

Is cycling the Camel trail in Cornwall the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon?

After running my first Park Run of the year on Saturday morning my glutes were certainly feeling it, I have run a few times so far in 2016 but nothing as gruelling as the Lanhydrock Parkrun. A course of fast downhill followed by a gruelling 1.5 miles of uphill across fields and up through sticking slimey steep boggy mud.

On Sunday morning I woke up feeling rather tight across my backside! With my legs feeling fine I thought I would go out for a nice gentle bike ride. I thought about how much my muscles were aching and figured that cycling anywhere straight from my front door was a bad idea as every direction was up hill and I fancied a nice gentle relaxing bike ride to ease my legs back into it this year.

I loaded up my bike into the car and headed on the ten mile drive to reach the famous Camel Trail. The converted disused railway line has nearly 20 miles of cycle paths completely traffic free and completely flat.

Ok, so that's a small lie, the paths aren't completely flat but they are very gradually inclining and once you get yourself going you don't realise there is any uphill at all.

It was the perfect destination for a little, gentle, relaxing blip on my bike to ease the legs after the previous days run...... However it wasn't raining, It wasn't cold and so I just kept on going. I managed to cycle from Wadebridge up to Bodmin then up to Wenfordbridge. Around 24 miles in total!!!

I can't believe I have lived in Cornwall for ten years this year and have never in my life been on the camel trail from Bodmin to Wenfordbride and It is BEAUTIFUL! I have peddled the trail and even run the trail between Padstow and Bodmin many a times but never once been up this section of the trail.

Following the river camel I cycled alongside the river through wooded forests until I reached the end of the trail and the route then joined the small Cornish back roads. Stopping at the Snails Pace Cafe, although closed, I used their benches to rest my weary legs and ate my packed lunch. I had just cycled 12 miles and now was refuelled to cycle back another 12.
The Camel trail Bodmin to Wenfordbridge
This time the gradual gradient was downhill and I managed to get back in a much faster time. I whizzed all the way back to Wadebridge.
Although the day was dry, the weather over the previous few days had been extremely wet and the trail was very wet and VERY muddy. I was lagged in mud. All up the insides of my legs, splattered up my bag and even my face had a few delicate splodges.

Getting the completely soiled wheels off the bike and into the car was interesting to say the least and before I knew it I was covered in even more mud!

I loved my gentle Sunday cycle ride even If I cycled much further than I had intended, but it is so easy to do when your enjoying the day.
Mandi Brooks Cycling the Camel Trail In CornwallCycling the Camel Trail In Cornwall

Making it to Wenfordbridge on the Camel trail, Cornwall

Getting home covered in mud and slightly cold and then having to clean the bike was a slight downside to the day but hopefully the summer is just around the corner and the weather will start to pick up and we will all be able to enjoy the Cornish countryside with maybe slightly less mud!
Wadebridge to Wenfordbridge on the Camel Trail

Check out my progress and the route on my Strava profile here.

Thursday 7 January 2016

New Years Eve Fancy Dress

I can't believe that this time last week I had a drink in my hand and was just a few hours away from seeing in the new year. For a long time New Years Eve means fancy dress, friends, booze and usually a very late night and this year was no different.

With an invite to a hats and wigs party, this year was to be a more mature affair, not full blown fancy dress but simply the addition of a hat or wig to add an element of fun to a house party full of adults. However it is really rather impossible to simply wear a hat or a wig without dressing the rest of your outfit to match the chosen head wear.

I decided to opt for the gorgeous purple curly haired wig from Tickled Pink fancy dress because lets be honest, who doesn't want to have gorgeous long purple curly hair without having to use hair dye or curling tongs!!

With the addition of the feathered headpiece over the top I was soon transformed into a 1920's inspired character. Then it was simply a case of wearing my own clothes to suit the wig and headpiece. One polka dot wiggle skirt and a plain black top and I was ready to go to the party. My partner who likes fancy dress a lot less than me was reluctant to wear a wig and was insisting on wearing a beanie hat! Anyone that knows my partner will know he always wears a beanie hat and that doesn't really count as fancy dress!!!

After a few phone calls we had borrowed a steam punk themed bowling hat that teamed with a smart shirt and trousers worked really well with my 1920's look.

It's great that with a few simple additions to your existing wardrobe you can make a complete fancy dress outfit without breaking the bank.
All I need now is another excuse to wear fancy dress again. I might well have turned 30 but there is no way that I am giving up behaving like a child and getting out the dressing up box and wearing something awesome.

Here's to 2016 a year filled with fun times with my wonderful friends, lots of running and surfing and lots more adventures with my camera in Cornwall.