South Dartmoor CTC

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Sunday 4 January 1987Afternoon ride: Puper's HillRain
10 present: Wayne Bolton, Richard Burge, Marc Dolley, Tim Dolley, Michael Jones, Warren Masters, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons
The light drizzle we had experienced at Buckfastleigh became steadily heavier and colder as we progressed up Wallaford road towards Cross Furzes. Having confirmed the relationship between rainfall and altitude to everyone's satisfaction we made a hasty U-turn to Crofters - a little too hasty in Tim's case, as he rode into the hedge during the descent!

Tuesday 6 January 1987Social: Video Evening
8 present: Wayne Bolton, Marc Dolley, Tim Dolley, Michael Jones, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons
Escape to Witch Mountain provided suitable entertainment for the youngsters at this enjoyable social.

Sunday 11 January 1987Day ride: RedlakeCold / dry
6 present: Hunter Brimmacombe, Richard Burge, John Iles, Michael Jones, Mark Morris, Luke Rake
A number of factors conspired to ensure that no-one was available to lead the scheduled ride to Redlake, so a brief excursion through the lanes of Landscove and Staverton weas undertaken instead.

Sunday 18 January 1987Day ride: TorcrossCold
10 present: Richard Burge, Paul Deslandes, Marc Dolley, Tim Dolley, Michael Jones, Graham Moates, Mark Morris, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons, Mark Williams
Saturday's trip to Salcombe youth hostel had been cancelled by the warden, much to the disappointment of the youngsters who had booked, because his water pipes had been frozen by snow. There was no way we were going to be done out of a ride through the snow today, however, so off we set towards Slapton Sands, stopping frequently for the inevitable snowball fights.

It was near East Allington that Marc fell into the snow and made the fatal mistake of lying there asking for help. He quickly became soaking wet and cold, in that order, and was more than grateful to settle into the warm dining room at Torcross.

With lots of encouragement he managed the return journey as far as the Forces cafe, where a kind father was waiting to transport both him and his brother back to Ashburton. The rest of the group completed this otherwise excellent ride as winter darkness fell.

Tuesday 20 January 1987Social: Summerlands Video Evening
7 present: Richard Burge, Tim Dolley, Michael Jones, Mark Morris, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons, Roger Simmons
D.A.R.Y.L. was the subject matter for this evening's social by popular request.

Sunday 25 January 1987Day ride: Lustleigh CleaveCloudy
11 present: Gabrielle Bourn, Colin Brierly, Richard Burge, Michael Jones, Jason Juray, Graham Moates, Mark Moxham, Martin Olney, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons, John Stuart
Jason Juray poses for the camera outside the Lustleigh Cleave cave
Lunch at the cave in Lustleigh Cleave: Jason drops dead leaves on Luke while Martin, Graha, Gabrielle & John look on. Mark shows no interest!
Progress towards the Primrose cafe was impeded somewhat by the Bovey bypass roadworks which had cut across the old railway track, but eventually we arrived to enjoy a superb spread of tea and cakes.

When the 'exchange' (with Torbay Section) had taken place we set off up the steep wooded little lanes near Rudge for the thirty minutes journey to the destination. Colin was able to guide us to an interesting little cave up in the woods which boasted a boy-sized exit at the rear, providing endless opportunities for lunch-time amusements. One amusement which wasn't cave-related - covering Michael's bicycle with huge dead branches - did not amuse Michael at all!

The afternoon involved riding through North Bovey and Jay's Grave to Widecombe, the remaining snow providing fuel for occasional snowball fights along the way. There was, of course, time for a visit to the Wayside cafe before making our various ways homeward.

Sunday 1 February 1987Afternoon ride: WidecombeRain
7 present: Richard Burge, Gary Johnson (14, Buckfastleigh), Michael Jones, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons
A repeat of the January Afternoon Run's weather conditions led to an unprecedented mutiny as every last man voted to turn for home near Ausewell!

Tuesday 3 February 1987Social: Map Quiz (Crofters)
8 present: Hunter Brimmacombe, Richard Burge, Marc Dolley, Tim Dolley, Michael Jones, Mark Morris, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons
There were three teams for this 'treasure hunt' style map quiz. Everyone seemed to enjoy it despite the cryptic clues - 'Extra Weighty Meaty Place' turned out to be the Moretonhampstead, much to everyone's disbelief.

Sunday 8 February 1987Day ride: DittishamWet start
7 present: Hunter Brimmacombe, Richard Burge, Brett Jamieson, Gary Johnson, Michael Jones, Jason Morris, Mark Morris
We made it to the Totnes pick-up despite Jason's attempts to slow us down along Colston road: riding at the front he shouted at several farm dogs, leaving them in a fine temper for the rest of us! On arrival, however, the weather was uninspiring so a return route was selected which included some secluded lanes between Dartington and Rattery, bringing us back to Crofters for lunch.

Sunday 15 February 1987Day ride: Babbacombe BaySunny
11 present: Gabrielle Bourn, Richard Burge, Paul Deslandes, Brett Jamieson, Gary Johnson, Michael Jones, Graham Moates, Martin Olney, Luke Rake, Vicky Sanders, Andrew Simmons
Bright sunshine and a good group helped to make this one of the best rides of the month. We met Vicky and Gabrielle at Maidencombe beach a little later than planned owing to the presence of Gary on his first full ride. He felt better after a good lunch, however, as could be seen from the way he joined in with the mad antics of the other youngsters on the shore.

Our return route took us through Stoke-in-Teignhead where we made an earth-shattering discovery: here was a contender for our 'Best Cafe in Devon' award! Included with the excellent refreshments were a real log fire and a tiny silver bell, the latter to be rung whenever we needed anything! Why had we not heard of this cafe before?

Tuesday 17 February 1987Social: Cycle Workshop (Crofters)
6 present: Richard Burge, Tim Dolley, Michael Jones, Mark Morris, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons
This evening's social turned out more like a maths workshop than a cycle workshop - the subject was gear ratios.

Sunday 22 February 1987Day ride: BelleverCloudy / dry
9 present: Hunter Brimmacombe, Richard Burge, Philip Humphreys (12, Paignton), Gary Johnson, Michael Jones, Warren Masters, Kevin Presland, Luke Rake, Jeremy Weston (15, Harbourneford)
Our two new lads coped remarkably well today considering the hilly nature of the route. An indication of how well they did is provided by the fact that we reached the destination by lunch-time despite a somewhat gruelling push across the open moor near Laughter Tor against an unfriendly headwind.

The main event of the afternoon, apart from the hiding and relocation of Michael's mini-roll, was unfortunately a spectacular somersault by young Philip, caused in part by the cyclist in front who stopped without warning. He was not seriously hurt, but the incident highlights the need for members to ride predictably at all times.

The Wayside cafe at Widecombe entertained us once again before we returned to Crofters via Bone Hill, enjoying the panoramic beauty of the National Park all the way.

Sunday 1 March 1987Afternoon ride: OwleyRain
8 present: Richard Burge, Marc Dolley, Richard Hopper, Gary Johnson, Michael Jones, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, John Stuart
In view of the poor weather, the Copper Kettle cafe at South Brent seemed like a good place to spend the afternoon! Any idea of reaching the destination was quickly abandoned, return being by way of Rattery.

Tuesday 3 March 1987Social: Crofters Social
7 present: Richard Burge, Tim Dolley, Gary Johnson, Michael Jones, Mark Morris, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons
The main confusion surrounding this social was the venue, changed from Summerlands to Crofters at the last minute. After some experimentation we managed to get Andrew's new Byka electronic dynamo unit to operate satisfactorily, and there was of course no shortage of volunteers to try it out around Michael's house.

Saturday 7 March 1987Weekend ride: Maypool Youth Hostel Day 1Dry
7 present: Richard Burge, Marc Dolley, Philip Humphreys, Gary Johnson, Michael Jones, Mark Morris, Mark Moxham
This year's Spring games evening attracted around seventeen DA members from South Dartmoor, North Devon and Torbay Sections. Many thanks to the wardens for their hospitality, to Colin and Richard for their slide presentation and to Michael for the Crazy Post game - it is always amusing to see everyone running madly around the hostel balconies in search of a postbox bearing the name of some obscure town!

Sunday 8 March 1987Weekend ride: Maypool Youth Hostel Day 2Dry
7 present: Richard Burge, Marc Dolley, Philip Humphreys, Gary Johnson, Michael Jones, Mark Morris, Mark Moxham
This morning we joined the day ride at Totnes at 10.45.

Sunday 8 March 1987Day ride: Blackpool SandsDry
14 present: Colin Brierly, Richard Burge, Paul Deslandes, Marc Dolley, Philip Humphreys, John Iles, Gary Johnson, Michael Jones, Warren Masters, Mark Morris, Mark Moxham, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons, Mark Williams
Rectification of defective wiring led to a belated departure from Buckfastleigh, but those waiting at Totnes were used to taking our 10.45 pick-ups with a (large) pinch of salt, and were not unduly worried by the delay. We ambled through Tuckenhay, with its imposing old factory dominating the village, and having joined the main Dartmouth road at Forces Cross, followed it as far as Hemborough Post, where we took the lanes once more for the last few miles to the coast.

On arrival there was no sign of tower or trams, just a few cold looking cyclists - the hostellers - who got even colder waiting while the day riders ate their lunches. A brief nterlude was provided by a sprightly gentleman who astounded us all by not only going into the sea but actually staying there for a good ten minutes! The most comical aspect to the event was the sight of Mark Moxham watching the gentleman with the sure conviction that he was watching Colin Brierly: 'I never knew Colin had so much stamina!' he was heard to say, before Andrew pointed out that Colin was in fact behind a nearby tree, reading his paper!

Once comestibles had been consumed, we re-mounted for the fairly short run back to Forces Cross, passing the splendid ruin of Oldstone Manor on the way.

The merry throng adjourned to the Pine Lodge cafe, where "the Headmistress" dispensed tea, cakes and good cheer (and discipline to the younger, more unruly element). The final leg of the homeward journey included the descent of 'corkey', though one of the 'mountaineers' disappointed all by opting for the road instead. Mind you, he was probably thinking of the ribbing he'd have received had he fallen off, which he almost certainly would have done.

Sunday 15 March 1987Day ride: GrimspoundSunny
11 present: Richard Burge, Steve Hughes, Gary Johnson, Michael Jones, Graham Moates, Mark Morris, Mark Moxham, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons, John Stuart, Mark Williams
Having completed the exhausting climb from Bickington to Haytor, the track from Jay's Grave provided a welcome stretch of sheltered grassy bank for lunch and its associated activities. On this occasion, Gary provided the entertainment by climbing an overhanging tree like a chimp and dropping dead sticks onto Luke and Andrew.

The ascent of Hamel Down, whilst proving somewhat tiring, did provide us with some spectacular views across Dartmoor and beyond. Grimspound was but a short excursion away from the Cairn near Hameldown Tor, adn then we could lie back and enjoy the spectacular trackwise descent to Widecombe, which took nearly half an hour.

Tea at the Wayside cafe was followed by some splashing around in the river at Spitchwick before returning homeward via Hembury.

Tuesday 17 March 1987Social: Cycle Workshop (Summerlands)
8 present: Richard Burge, Gary Johnson, Michael Jones, Julian Juste (10, Scoriton), Mr Juste (Adult, Scoriton), Mark Morris, Andrew Simmons, Roger Simmons
Michael entertained the few members who attended this Summerlands social with a short chat about cycle wheels and their construction.

Sunday 22 March 1987Day ride: Canonteign FallsWet
11 present: Chris Blight (13, Devon), Richard Burge, Paul Deslandes, Philip Humphreys, Gary Johnson, Michael Jones, Gareth Lee (13, Devon), Graham Moates, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Martin Olney
The early morning weather forecast was for showers, dying out by afternoon - which is why we all set out bravely at 10.00 despite the rain. Either the forecast was wrong or the showers were very long, as it was still raining when we arrived home at 5pm!

The falls were certainly worth the visit. Admission was virtually free at this time of year, and there was of course plenty of water in the stream. Unfortunately, Graham attempted to cycle the footpath and fell onto a sharp tree stump. HIs leg was bruised so badly that he had to get a lift home to Paignton, leaving the rest of us to continue towards the Primrose cafe at Lustleigh in the now torrential rain.

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