South Dartmoor CTC

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Friday 29 August 1986Evening ride: AshburtonSunny
3 present: Graham Burge, Richard Burge, John Iles
This ride was almost a non-event as the Scotland tour was returning and required parental support in terms of transport from Newton Abbot station.

Sunday 31 August 1986Day ride: MansandsSunny
9 present: David Bitner, Gabrielle Bourn, Richard Burge, Steve Hughes, Brett Jamieson, Michael Jones, Vicky Sanders, Ruth Unknown (Adult, Torquay), Paul Vennings
The path gets narrower
The narrow path down to Mansands
The group on Mansands beach
The group on Mansands beach
This leisurely ride started with a new pick-up (at Berry Pomeroy) and continued in a new direction towards Brixham through the quiet lanes near Stoke Gabriel. Mansands turned out to be on the other side of a huge hill and down an overgrown footpath, providing more practice for the mythical Venezuelan tour referred to in one of last month’s reports, but the beautiful sunny beach made it all worthwhile.

Return was via the café at Cockington, which suited Brett and Ruth who both live in Torquay.

Tuesday 2 September 1986Evening ride: StavertonDry
4 present: Michael Jones, Vicky Sanders, Andrew Simmons, Roger Simmons
Once again we were able to sniff out a new route, this time via Bumpston Cross and the track near Fursdon.

Sunday 7 September 1986Afternoon ride: Rolster BridgeSunny
12 present: David Bitner, Richard Burge, Marc Dolley (Junior, Ashburton), Richard Hopper, Steve Hughes, Michael Jones, Warren Masters, Mark Morris, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons, Paul Vennings, Steven Wiggington (Junior, Devon)
This turned out to be one of the most inspiring rides of the summer as we discovered ‘new’ lanes between Diptford and Harbertonford. Mark Morris found a ‘new’ pothole and buckled his wheel, much to the amusement of a local farmer who chatted with us near Stert.

Friday 12 September 1986Evening ride: BroadhempstonClear
10 present: Marc Dolley, Peter Dolley (Adult, Ashburton), Tim Dolley (Junior, Ashburton), Michael Jones, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Richard Palmer, Andrew Simmons, Roger Simmons, Steven Wiggington
The appearance of Jason Morris on the ride brought the usual spate of punctures to the participants, one at Staverton and the other near Landscove – in the dark!

Sunday 14 September 1986Day ride: Graetor RocksSunny
9 present: Richard Burge, Marc Dolley, Tim Dolley, Steve Hughes, Michael Jones, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Andrew Simmons, Steven Wiggington
The open moor is always welcoming. The heather, streams and woodland glades seemed particularly inviting in today’s sunshine, however, and it was with reluctance that we rejoined the roads for our customary tea at Widecombe.

Return was via Spitchwick and Holne Chase, but not before Tim had attempted a U-turn on a cattle grid and Jason a stunt through a muddy stream – both failed of course with amusing results.

Tuesday 16 September 1986Evening ride: AshburtonClear
4 present: Jeremy Ford, Michael Jones, Mark Morris, Roger Simmons
This evening’s ride began with a preliminary viewing of Crofters – Michael’s new home in Buckfastleigh. Unfortunately a load of timber arrived as we were leaving, so the stars were out when we finally set off for Ashburton.

Saturday 20 September 1986Weekend ride: Beer Youth Hostel Day 1Sunny
9 present: David Bitner, Richard Burge, Marc Dolley, Tim Dolley, Michael Jones, Warren Masters, Mark Morris, Mark Moxham, Andrew Simmons
Andrew Simmons, Mark Morris and Richard Burge
Warren Masters disembarks the ferry at Exmouth behind Tim Dolley
Sidmouth viewed from Peak Hill
Mark Morris, Marc Dolley and Mark Moxham start out on the picturesque riverside cycle route from Budleigh Salterton to Otteron
Tim Dolley, Mark Morris and Andrew Simmons outside Branscombe church
A rather expensive but enjoyable ferry crossing from Starcross brought us to our chosen lunch spot on Exmouth Beach. From here the route was to be along the back lanes to Budleigh Salterton, but we hadn’t got much further than the top of the first hill when Andrew discovered that he had a broken rear spindle.

When repairs had been effected in the town we set off once more for the scenic delights of the Otter valley. The promise of an abundance of tea-rooms at Sidmouth, used to entice younger riders over the unfriendly hill between Otterton and the town, proved a little inaccurate inasmuch as every café seemed to be overflowing with tourists. We found one in the end, and some reasonably priced chocolate cakes prepared everyone for the gruelling climb to Salcombe Regis.

Arrival at the hostel was delayed by a final excursion through picturesque Branscombe which looked its best on this beautiful evening. Supper was followed by a walk along the spooky coastal path between Beer and Seaton.

Sunday 21 September 1986Weekend ride: Beer Youth Hostel Day 2Sunny
9 present: David Bitner, Richard Burge, Marc Dolley, Tim Dolley, Michael Jones, Warren Masters, Mark Morris, Mark Moxham, Andrew Simmons
Beer youth hostel
Mark Moxham at Beer youth hostel
A brisk ride along the main road next morning brought us to The Buttered Scone (a café) at Newton Poppleford which boasted some of the most delicious and generously-portioned cakes and puddings we have ever tasted – and all at a reasonable price too. Needless to say, we had to sample them all.

Lunch at Woodbury Castle was followed by an enjoyable descent to Topsham, an interesting ride along the canal path to Alphington and a not so enjoyable climb over Haldon. Still, everyone made it, including the relatively new youngsters who had expected to need parental assistance from Exeter.

Friday 26 September 1986Evening ride: HolneClear
13 present: Graham Burge, Richard Burge, Marc Dolley, Peter Dolley, Tim Dolley, Jeremy Ford, Stan Ford, Michael Jones, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Andrew Simmons, Steven Wiggington, Paul Willard
The ‘easy route’ via Michelcombe brought us to the Church House Inn by 7.45pm where the children’s room had been specially reserved for our use on this last evening ride of the season.

Sunday 28 September 1986Day ride (With Torbay CTC): BanthamSunny
15 present: David Bitner, Gabrielle Bourn, Richard Burge, Matthew Burrows, Dave Hendy (Adult, Loddiswell), Steve Hughes, Michael Jones, Graham Moates, Mark Morris, Martin Olney, Glen Powling (16, Marldon), Andrew Simmons, John Stuart, Steven Wiggington, Mark Williams
Sandwiches with real sand did not make a particularly appetizing lunch but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves in other ways on the beach. Eleven-year-old Mark Morris, who needed a little encouragement on the return through Blackawton in the form of a café stop, set a cracking pace homeward once the cakes had taken effect.

Tuesday 30 September 1986Social: Annual General Meeting
27 present: David Bitner, John Bolton (Adult, Buckfastleigh), Wayne Bolton, Gabrielle Bourn, Colin Brierly, Richard Burge, Matthew Burrows, Marc Dolley, Peter Dolley, Tim Dolley, Grace Dovell, Jeremy Ford, Steve Hughes, John Iles, Michael Jones, Graham Moates, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Martin Olney, Paul Palmer, Richard Palmer, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons, Roger Simmons, Suzie Simmons, Steven Wiggington, Richard Wiseman (Adult, Paignton)
This lively meeting voted to introduce a number of new publicity posts on the Section Committee, each based on a different geographical area. Michael Jones, John Iles and Roger Simmons were re-elected to the posts of Section Secretary, Section Delegate and Social Secretary respectively, with Luke Rake taking on the job of Treasurer.

Sunday 5 October 1986Afternoon ride: Water Oak CornerDry / Misty
7 present: Richard Burge, Tim Dolley, Michael Jones, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons
The long climb onto the moor via Gidleigh Bridge, whilst offering great rewards at the top in the form of quiet isolation and rugged scenery, did not find young Mark Morris in his usual fit form. Like the others he was very grateful to accept Michael's offer of a full cinematic presentation of a video, complete with interval refreshments, after the descent from Cross Furzes.

Sunday 12 October 1986Day ride (With Torbay CTC): Hunters' PathBright
9 present: Richard Burge, Dave Hendy, Brett Jamieson, Michael Jones, Graham Moates, Glen Powling, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons, John Stuart
The election of Matthew as leader provided the group with a suitable target for abuse as the somewhat hilly route from Bovey to Fingle unfolded itself. Spectacular views from the destination contributed to the enjoyment of a late lunch, which in turn provided sustenance for the relatively short trek to Chagford.

The café there made an excellent initial impression when, after an admittedly confused period of ordering, a wide range of good quality, reasonably priced goodies were produced for our delight. The most notable item was Andrew’s £1.50 cream tea which boasted a basket of six scones, a large plate of cucumber sandwiches, three cakes and as much tea, cream and jam as he could wish for. Such was the size of the spread that he had to invite Luke to help him out. It was only when the banquet had been consumed and a bill for £4.50 presented that the poor unfortunates realised the truth: the female proprietor had thought the order was for three cream teas, and she certainly wasn’t going to consider any refunds.

The return journey saw Matthew and Dominic mapping out weird and devious paths through the thick moorland fog as they vied for first place in their latest silly game: the object was to achieve the highest milometer reading of the ride.

Tuesday 14 October 1986Social: Games Evening
11 present: Graham Burge, Richard Burge, Marc Dolley, Tim Dolley, Steve Hughes, Michael Jones, Mark Morris, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons, Roger Simmons, Suzie Simmons
Roger’s new compact disc player sprang to life – with a little help from Michael’s compact disc. Mark Morris and Tim Dolley tied for first place in the indoor bowls championship.

Sunday 19 October 1986Day ride: SlaptonShowery
15 present: David Banforth (13, Devon), David Bitner, Richard Burge, Marc Dolley, Tim Dolley, Steve Hughes, Michael Jones, Daniel Lamb (13, Devon), Warren Masters, Graham Moates, Mark Morris, Martin Olney, Glen Powling, Luke Rake, Mark Williams
This highly successful ride, which followed the usual route through Totnes, Moreleigh, Slapton, Strete and Tuckenhay, was complicated only by the Met Office’s prediction of rain by 5pm. The only time wasted along the way was twenty minutes when Luke, in an attempt to inflate David’s punctured tyre, broke the Presta valve clean in two, and thirty minutes in the Torcross café, where a number of miserly individuals saved 10p by eating their chips outside in the cold.

Sunday 26 October 1986Day ride: BrentorSunny
6 present: Gabrielle Bourn, Richard Hopper, John Iles, Michael Jones, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons
The grade of this ride changed from hard to easy at Hexworthy when, after a unanimous decision, the destination was changed to Laughter Hole. When the three morning-only riders (Richard Hopper, John Iles and Luke Rake) had split off for Dartmeet the remainder enjoyed lunch by the Dart at Dunnabridge before crossing the heather-strewn moor to Bellever and Widecombe. Tea at the Wayside café was supplied complete with live entertainment – provided on this occasion by the staff who repeatedly dashed out to the roadside to wave gaily at passing tourist-laden coaches.

The return journey, via Buckland and Spitchwick, took us through some of the most beautiful autumn woodlands we have yet seen.

Tuesday 28 October 1986Social: Charades
10 present: Wayne Bolton, Richard Burge, Marc Dolley, Tim Dolley, Jeremy Ford, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Andrew Simmons, Di Simmons, Roger Simmons
A last-minute change of venue and content did not affect the enjoyment of this social thanks to the efforts of Di and family.

Sunday 2 November 1986Afternoon ride: Chercombe BridgeDry but cold
9 present: Wayne Bolton, Richard Burge, Dave Hendy, Richard Hopper, Michael Jones, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons
A pleasant meander through the lanes near Broadhempston brought us eventually to Denbury prison and Chercombe Bridge. The eventful part of the journey was yet to come, however, as a number of the group then decided to try the track shortcut to the A383 instead of going around the roads. It was, needless to say, extremely muddy and took them just as long as the roadies. As for the state of their bikes … well, I’m glad I wasn’t anywhere near when their parents got to see them.

Saturday 8 November 1986Weekend ride: Maypool Youth Hostel Day 1Dry
9 present: Hunter Brimmacombe, Richard Burge, Paul Deslandes (12, Paignton), John Iles, Michael Jones, Warren Masters, Graham Moates, Luke Rake, Mark Williams
The Maypool evening was, as usual, very enjoyable, with North Devon and Torbay Sections also in attendance. The wardens had laid on an excellent firework display followed by hot refreshments served outside on the lawns overlooking the river Dart. The spooky pumpkins really couldn’t hold a candle to the lights of Dartmouth.

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