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South Dartmoor CTC

Sunday 19 November 2017
Morning ride: Decided on the Day
0 present:
Report to follow

Friday 17 November 2017
Social: Decided on the Day
0 present:
Report to follow

Sunday 12 November 2017
Morning ride: South Brent (10 mi)Breezy with sunny spells & occasional showers
3 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris
Jude and Dillan at Gidley Bridge (12:34)
A squally shower catches us out on the hill between Bloody Pool and Gidley Bridge (12:27)
The lanes at Deancombe (12:49)
The River Harbourne at Gidley Bridge (12:37)
The Dean Burn river near Upper Dean (12:53)
The lanes at Deancombe (12:51)
With showers in the air and mocks to revise for tomorrow we decided on a morning ride to South Brent, riding out via Zempson Bridge. The Co-op provided shelter from a shower as well as some Danish Pastries and, for Jude, a luxury full-size caramel cake reduced to just 75p.

Conditions were pleasant again on the climb through Lutton, but Michael's plan to stop to admire the view at the top of the hill past Bloody Pool did not turn out to be such a good idea when a squally shower came out of nowhere, driving raindrops into our faces like bullets. We pulled ourselves together and got down the hill to Gidley Bridge where conditions were altogether different.

After examining the peculiar stone structure that divided the river Harbourne after going under the bridge and failing to establish its purpose we proceeded down the hill to Deancombe and along the attractive autumnal lanes back to Buckfastleigh.

Today's ride included a total climb of 333m.

Friday 10 November 2017
Social: Badminton
6 present: Harry Back, Will Bastow, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris, George Rogers
Will and Harry didn't have transport this evening so Michael collected them from Bovey and Jude's Mum took them back afterwards on her way home. Everyone managed to play everyone else at some point during the evening, giving us all a wide variety of gameplay.

Sunday 5 November 2017
Social: Bonfire NightDry and clear
3 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris
We started our special Bonfire Night social with a visit to Pizza Hut at the Barbican, Plymouth. The walk to The Hoe for the firework display should have been fairly short, except today the swing bridge over the water was closed. The detour around Sutton Harbour amounted to over a mile of walking, but the fireworks were well worth the walk when they eventually got going at 8.05.

Sunday 5 November 2017
Morning ride: Holne (12 mi)Mainly dry with sunny spells & a chilly breeze
4 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris, John Rogers
Starting down the track through Holne Woods (13:01)
Leaving Holne café (12:46)
River Dart Country Park (13:11)
John on the track through Holne Woods (13:06)
River Dart Country Park (13:11)
John had to get back for 2.30 again so we rode all the way up Wallaford Road to Cross Furzes and then down the hill to Coombe. Leo the farm dog was presumably indoors by the fire today as he was not in the courtyard at Scoriton as we rode past. We took the Michelcombe road for a change and arrived, surprisingly, at Holne café at the same time as a shower.

The chef had prepared Pumpkin Soup today which was certainly very seasonal and actually very tasty. After a nice long chat the rain had stopped but it felt very cold as we returned to our bikes. Being autumn we took the track through Holne Woods to River Dart Country Park. Michael did get some good pictures, but autumn came early this year and most of the leaves had already fallen. We rode home through the park and along the old Ashburton road, returning to Buckfastleigh by 2.10.

Jude had earned the right to come on the Bonfire Night social, so he stayed at Crofters to play computer games until we left.

Today's ride included a total climb of 377m.

Friday 3 November 2017
Social: Badminton
6 present: Harry Back, Will Bastow, Tom Batten, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris
Dillan uses a sparkler burning in two places to create a unique long-exposure photograph (19:39)
Jude plays with fire (19:34)
Jude and later Tom joined Dillan and Michael for a family bonfire and fireworks evening from 7pm, then at 8 we headed off for Ashmoor to join Harry and Will for some more challenging games of badminton.

Sunday 22 October 2017
Morning ride: Dartington (12 mi)Sunny spells then showers
3 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, John Rogers
Michael and Dillan at Staverton Bridge (12:51)
Dillan and John at Staverton Bridge (12:51)
A steam train blocks the way at Staverton Station (12:52)
John was feeling a little under the weather today, and since showers were forecast for the afternoon we decided on a morning-only ride to Dartington. We took Colston Road to the Dartington cycle path on the way out and then called in to Baynard's Kitchen, the new restaurant that has replaced Cranks.

Cranks served up vegetarian meals for thirty years before it closed last November, and whilst Baynard's Kitchen had some excellent meals available the prices were sky high, the range was far more limited and there were a number of meat dishes on the menu. We all ordered soup but were told we had to wait five minutes for the lunch menu to start. When it finally arrived it was not properly heated, but once that had been sorted it was generally a good meal.

With showers in the air we headed back to Staverton, arriving at the station just as a steam train was leaving for Totnes. A good pace through the lanes past Riverford brought us back to Buckfastleigh for around 1.40.

Today's ride included a total climb of 217m.

Friday 20 October 2017
Social: BadmintonHeavy rain
6 present: Harry Back (15, Bovey Tracey), Will Bastow (15, Bovey Tracey), Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris, George Rogers
Will and Harry, joining us for the first time, demonstrated a superb mastery of badminton during our many games this evening. Everybody won at least one game, so we can perhaps look forward to some more challenging contests in the future.

Sunday 15 October 2017
Day ride: Widecombe (19 mi)Dry and warm
4 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris, John Rogers
Widecombe Hill (12:32)
Dillan and John at the top of Widecombe Hill (12:31)
The pond at Newbridge Marsh (13:54)
Leaving the Wayside Café, Widecombe (13:08)
Our planned ride to the track from Haytor to the ruins of Graetor Village had to be changed since George, who enjoys off-road, did not turn up but his father, who dislikes it, came in his place. Additionally John needed to be back for 2.30, so our options were somewhat limited. We wanted a Dartmoor ride so we headed up Ausewell Hill to Cold East Cross, a climb that took us over an hour today for some reason.

We had just reached the start of the interesting part of the ride at Hemsworthy Gate, with plans for an easy track to Natsworthy, when Jude announced that he thought he had better ride home now (he lives at Ilsington). We all thought he was joking and waved merrily as he set off towards Haytor. When he continued into the distance, however, we began to suspect he was not joking after all. Text message communications proved very difficult up on the moor, but we eventually discovered that his Mum had suggested he could ride home today if he was ever close enough. We were pretty sure she hadn't intended him to go home an hour into the ride, but there was no way to discuss alternatives now so we pressed on to Widecombe for lunch.

We haven't visited the Wayside Café for a long time, so today we called in for omelettes and other tasty snacks. It was very quiet today, with just two other customers - very different from the busy days of the 1990s when all the staff would run outside to wave happily at passing coaches. The prices were a little more than they used to be but we were happy with what we had.

We left Widecombe at 1.20 and it took us over an hour and a quarter to ride back through Ponsworthy. We rode the recently-discovered lane back to New Bridge, stopping at Newbridge Marsh for photos along the way. We were all tired when we finally got home at 2.45 but unfortunately John had to get to work immediately to make over a hundred portions of fish and chips for the steam train!

Today's ride included a total climb of 638m.

Friday 13 October 2017
Social: Badminton
4 present: Tom Batten, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers
Tom joined us for our badminton social this week, invited by George to replace Jude who was visiting a relative. As usual the court was not available until 8.30 so we had some fun games of Disc Jam on the PS4 before heading to Ashmoor for many challenging badminton games.

Sunday 8 October 2017
Day ride: Ermington (24 mi)Sunny spells
3 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris
The River Erme, from Erme Bridge (12:25)
Jude and Dillan at Erme Bridge, Ermington (12:25)
Lunch by the Erme at Ivybridge Leisure Centre (13:06)
Jude had been baking carrot cake over the weekend and we all got a slice this morning before we finally set off at 11am. The rough plan was to head to Loddiswell and the Avon Mill café, but by the time we had reached The Sign Of The Owl pet store near Wrangaton Michael had a new suggestion. All was agreed so we took the very long downhill road to Ermington, stopping for photos at Ermington Bridge.

Dillan liked the idea of an extended ride to Mothecombe with the traditional wading of the river that we haven't done for many years, but out late start and the darkening evenings meant that was a ride to be arranged for another day. We contented ourselves with a ride back to Ivybridge where we bought hot food from the Subway and ate it by the river next to the Leisure Centre.

Next stop was the Co-op for a coffee and a pastry, consumed on a table in the courtyard opposite until the gentleman locked the gates. We then headed back at good speed along the cycle route through Bittaford and South Brent, leaving us all feeling quite tired.

Friday 6 October 2017
Social: Badminton
4 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris, George Rogers
Our first social of the season involved the now customary computer games at Crofters followed by badminton at Ashmoor. Everyone in the club loves badminton so much that I think we'll be doing it most Fridays for the forseeable future.

Sunday 1 October 2017
Morning ride: Converted to SocialRain
4 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris, George Rogers
There was drizzle turning to rain at the start of the ride. It was really too wet for an enjoyable ride so we did yet another session of badminton at Ashmoor from 11:40 where everyone was showing just how much they have improved over the last month.

We enjoyed computer games at Crofters after the badminton until 3pm, hoping for better weather next week.

Friday 29 September 2017
Evening ride: Salmon Leap Café (5 mi)Dry but quite chilly
4 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris, George Rogers
Dillan, Jude and George at the Salmon Leap Café (20:10)
The Salmon Leap Café (20:07)
Our final evening ride of the season needed something a little different, so we decided to try to do both a ride and a badminton session. Michael's first ride back on the bike needed to be short, so we rode up halfway up Wallaford Road, turned down to Rocky Lane and then rode around Austin's Bridge to the Salmon Leap café at Dart Bridge. Here we enjoyed large hot drinks and cakes before racing back to Crofters via Buckfast.

Within five minutes we were off again by car to Ashmoor at Ashburton where we played some excellent badminton games from 9.00 to 10.00. And somehow we still got back to Crofters by the usual 10:15 finish time!

Socials start from next Friday but we will be returning to evening rides in April.

Sunday 24 September 2017
Morning ride: Holne (8 mi)Dry start, rain later
5 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris, George Rogers, John Rogers
Rain was forecast again from mid-morning but everyone was up for a morning ride so we set off around 10:40 and rode up to Holne via Hawson Court and Scoriton. Michael ran the support car again, although he should be OK for cycling from next week.

The drizzle began as we arrived at the café so we were pleased to go inside for hot refreshments. Simon, the previous chef at the café, was there with his family so we chatted over some rather interesting Tuscan Bean soup.

The rain was falling in earnest as we left so we headed straight back to Crofters for 12:58 and played computer games in the clubroom until 3.30.

Friday 22 September 2017
Evening ride: Converted to SocialRain
4 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris, George Rogers
Rain all evening forced us to another session of badminton from 8.25, made somewhat more interesting this evening by Dillan losing the rackets and a bag of refreshments within minutes of arriving. After returning to Buckfastleigh on a fruitless attempt to find the missing items we eventually found them half way along the side of the sports hall - they had previously been temporarily concealed by a storage door that had been opened for the purpose of putting away the hockey equipment!

Sunday 17 September 2017
Morning ride: Totnes Food Market (16 mi)Dry with sunny spells
3 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris
Totnes Food Market (12:38)
Jude and Dillan try Tulumba - a special kind of doughnut - at Totnes Food Market (12:34)
Returning along Culver Lane, Rattery (13:16)
Jude, Dillan and Michael at Totnes Food Market (12:41)
Culver Lane, Rattery (13:18)
The youngsters wanted to ride to Totnes Food Market as it was the third Sunday of the month, so Michael accompanied them by car as he was still recovering from some minor surgery. We rode along Colston Road and took the cycle path to Dartington and Totnes. The Food Market was very busy and had some new ranges of food available, including Falafel wraps and Tulumba, a kind of long doughnut dipped in liquid chocolate that proved to be particularly tasty.

We returned via Plymouth Road, Tigley and Rattery, noting that Google Maps has now learned not to direct cyclists down the A38 to Buckfastleigh. The last two hours of the day were spent on computer games at Crofters.

Today's ride included a total climb of 274m.

Friday 15 September 2017
Evening ride: Converted to SocialDry
4 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris, George Rogers
George and Dillan at Ashmoor Leisure Centre (20:46)
With Michael recovering from some minor surgery we ran a games social at Crofters followed by the inevitable badminton at Ashmoor from 8.30.

Sunday 10 September 2017
Morning ride: Converted to SocialRain from mid-morning
4 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris, George Rogers
Heavy rain from mid morning meant another session of badminton at Ashmoor from 11:45. If there weather in the UK was this bad while we were in Norway, we did pretty well over there.

After the badminton session and some computer games we set up a massive game of Risk on the table and whiled away a happy hour trying to dominate the world.