South Dartmoor CTC

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Sunday 9 November 1986Weekend ride: Maypool Youth Hostel Day 2Wet and windy
9 present: Hunter Brimmacombe, Richard Burge, Paul Deslandes (12, Paignton), John Iles, Michael Jones, Warren Masters, Graham Moates, Luke Rake, Mark Williams
Next morning was distinctly wet. The hostellers descended on Colin Brierly’s house in Paignton for a welcome cup of morning coffee. Meanwhile the duo from Buckfastleigh (John and Luke) made their way to Newton Abbot via Denbury and East Ogwell, arriving at the Keyberry Road pick-up point a matter of seconds before the Maypool hostellers.

Lunch at Mamhead Obelisk was suggested, but inclement weather was forecast and the tea and cakes at the Primrose Café, Lustleigh, seemed a far better idea. On the outskirts of Bovey Tracey we glimpsed the Exeter B Section heading towards Chudleigh Knighton, then took the railway line and lanes to Lustleigh. We hope that a crossing of some sort will be provided to gain access to the railway line once the bypass is completed.

On arrival we espied what appeared to be an orange pixie on the church steps, but closer examination revealed that it was a caped-up Mark Moxham who had made his own way along the main road having fallen by the wayside earlier. The strawberry gateau was delicious, but eventually we dragged ourselves away from the delights of the sweet trolley and headed home in the driving rain.

Tuesday 11 November 1986Social: Slide Show
9 present: David Bitner, Richard Burge, Marc Dolley, Tim Dolley, Steve Hughes, Michael Jones, Mark Morris, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons
Michael’s slide presentation took the membership on a whistle-stop tour of Scotland and then back to the dawn of time for some shots of a very young-looking Kevin Presland and an even younger-looking John Stuart.

Sunday 16 November 1986Day ride: Devon AGM HittisleighWet
6 present: Richard Burge, John Iles, Michael Jones, Mark Morris, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons
The dawn chorus sang of torrential rain, so once more the legendary Volvo 345DL was utilised, ably supported by Morris Marina TC. Using four wheels instead of two meant that we had plenty of time to spare, so for the second successive Sunday the Primrose Café at Lustleigh was graced with our custom.

Sunday 23 November 1986Day ride (With Torbay CTC): Hole CopseSunny
7 present: Gabrielle Bourn, Richard Burge, Michael Jones, Graham Moates, Mark Morris, John Stuart, Mark Williams
There can be few more enjoyable experiences than cycling through the villages on the western bank of the river Dart on a beautiful sunny morning in late autumn. The views along the Dart were spectacular, and lunch by the quay at Dittisham made us feel as though we had journeyed back in time.

In view of the recent bad weather we decided not to chance the track to Hole Copse, instead taking the back lanes into Dartmouth. A group of local children greeted us as we climbed the steps that led to their housing estate and wanted to know if there was a CTC group in Dartmouth. Unfortunately we had to say no, but we did explain that we often cycled to the South Hams area and gave them a Highwayman magazine.

The return route used the Dartmouth ferry and took us through Paignton, which gave Graham Moates the opportunity to invite us all back to his house for light refreshments before we continued on to the Dartmoor hinterland.

Tuesday 25 November 1986Social: Cycle Workshop
8 present: Hunter Brimmacombe, Richard Burge, Tim Dolley, Steve Hughes, Michael Jones, Mark Morris, Andrew Simmons, Suzie Simmons
A discussion about brakes and cables highlighted just how little some of the younger members know about this important topic.

Sunday 30 November 1986Day ride: Bowerman's NoseDry
7 present: Gabrielle Bourn, Richard Burge, Brett Jamieson, Michael Jones, Warren Masters, Vicky Sanders, Andrew Simmons
The track through Greator once again provided entertainment for the youngsters: today they made a fence out of old pieces of driftwood, the idea being to make life difficult for Vicky and Gabrielle!

A number of letter boxes were uncovered near the destination. There then followed what can only be described as an interesting detour through North Bovey – entirely unintentional of course, arising from a missed right turn. Fortunately there was an alternative route to the Primrose Café at Lustleigh.

We know, of course, that Torbay Section often visit this establishment, but we were more than a little surprised to find them there today: they had made a substantial detour from the Exeter area to included it in their route. We stayed long enough to sample the complete range of cakes and teas, then set off along the old railway track for Bovey Tracey and home.

Sunday 7 December 1986Afternoon ride: HarbertonRain
7 present: Gabrielle Bourn, Richard Burge, Tim Dolley, Michael Jones, Warren Masters, Mark Morris, Andrew Simmons
Heavy precipitation precipitated an almost unanimous decision to adjourn to the relative comfort of Crofters where the usual range of homely entertainments were made available.

Tuesday 9 December 1986Social: Summerlands Social
8 present: Richard Burge, Tim Dolley, Michael Jones, Mark Morris, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons, Roger Simmons, Suzie Simmons
Andrew’s well planned music quiz provided plenty of interest. Luke’s team were the eventual victors.

Sunday 14 December 1986Day ride (With Torbay CTC): Newton FerrersSunny
6 present: Richard Burge, Dave Hendy, Michael Jones, Graham Moates, Andrew Simmons, Mark Williams
Today was the day when Graham Moates learned the importance of never cycling alone without a pump. He chose to ride direct from Paignton to the Avonwick pick-up and collected the inevitable puncture at Totnes. The main Five Lanes bunch, who (fortunately) were behind him, were able to provide assistance.

Our route took us past some interesting sights, like the field of chestnut ponies near Ermington and the peculiar set of electric wires with piles of bird droppings on the lane beneath it. Newton Ferrers was looking its best in the clear winter sunshine and we were able to spend a contented hour eating our packed lunches on the quayside. We attracted several admirers – some local children who were interested in the bikes, and some large swans who had spied the sandwiches. Andrew and Richard took great delight in laying a trail of bread right up to where the main group were sitting. Needless to say they were soon selecting a safer spot to enjoy lunch.

Finally we set off for home by way of Holbeton. Mark and Graham’s punctures delayed us considerably, as did Richard’s front bearing seizure on the ‘new’ road from Ermington to Ivybridge. By the time we got to South Brent it was cold and almost dark and we were thinking of hot food and drinks. But what was this? An inviting warm glow from a café called the Copper Kettle – and we hadn’t known of its existence before! Andrew read the last line on the window menu: ‘Our aim is to please’. How could we refuse such an invitation?

Sunday 21 December 1986Day ride (With Torbay CTC): Christmas LunchDryish
11 present: Richard Burge, Paul Deslandes, Brett Jamieson, Michael Jones, Jason Juray (16, Devon), Warren Masters, Martin Olney, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons, John Stuart, Mark Williams
The Ship Inn at Cockwood went out of their way as usual to ensure that our Christmas celebrations got off to a flying start. An excellent range of meals, all served in the cosy Log Cabin children’s room (reserved exclusively for our use) tempted many to spend more than they had intended.

A leisurely wander along the scenic coast path brought us eventually to Dawlish where the afternoon was nicely rounded off with mince pies generously provided by Don and Grace Hassall.

Tuesday 23 December 1986Social: Christmas Social Spectacular
17 present: Hunter Brimmacombe, Richard Burge, Marc Dolley, Tim Dolley, Don Hassall (Adult, Dawlish), Brett Jamieson, Michael Jones, Jason Juray, Graham Moates, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Martin Olney, Luke Rake, John Riley (Junior, Buckfastleigh), Andrew Simmons, Suzie Simmons, John Stuart
The participants in this year’s ‘Spectacular’ seemed less able to generate their own entertainment than previous groups. Perhaps the lack of adult and near-adult contribution was partly to blame. Nevertheless, computer games, videos, synthesisers and vegetarian mince pies seemed more than adequate for many of the youngsters.

Saturday 27 December 1986Day ride (With Torbay CTC): Christmas ExtravaganzaSunny but cold
8 present: Hunter Brimmacombe, Richard Burge, Michael Jones, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons, John Stuart
Many thanks to Kevin and his family for laying on this daytime ‘social with a difference’ at Ilsington. Several awards were presented as follows: Graham Brodie, for the most festively decorated cycle (a miniature Christmas tree on the back complete with working lights); Kevin Presland, for the most impractical dress (a bow tie amongst other things); John Stuart, for the silliest Christmas present (a tyre patch); Dominic Sanders, for the greatest number of seconds spent in Kevin’s outdoor swimming pool (9); and Hunter Brimmacombe, for contributions to the general feeling of adventure (A broken hub spindle).

There were also certificates of commendation for the slide contributors (Graham, Michael, Phil, Kevin and Don).

Sunday 28 December 1986Day ride (With Torbay CTC): HennockMisty and damp
4 present: Richard Burge, Michael Jones, Luke Rake, Mark Williams
This Exchange Ride (Torbay and South Dartmoor meeting at a pick-up for the sole purpose of bringing Torbay riders to the South Dartmoor ride and vice versa) turned into a joint ride in view of the relatively small number of participants. We joined the seven Torbay members on their trip towards Grimspound, although we didn’t intend to follow them up the steep track from Heathercombe which led up into what appeared to be a particularly damp cloud. Instead we preferred the idea of the all-downhill route to Widecombe where we could visualise endless cups of tea and cakes.

The others joined us there much later, wet and bedraggled, having time for only one quick ‘cuppa’ before setting off on the homeward journey via Cold East Cross.

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