South Dartmoor CTC

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Friday 23 October 1987Social: Games Evening (Crofters)
10 present: Richard Burge, Glen Dowty (12, Paignton), Gary Johnson, Michael Jones, Mark Lakeman (14, Paignton), Paul Lakeman (13, Paignton), Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons
Our new lads from Paignton had a job finding Crofters in the dark, but were still able to join in with some of the games despite their 8pm arrival. Activities included Trivial Pursuit, computer drawing, computer games, synthesiser and video.

Sunday 25 October 1987Day ride: DartmouthSunny / cold
9 present: Noel Armstrong, Richard Burge, Gary Johnson, Michael Jones, Warren Masters, Mark Morris, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons, Jeremy Weston
View back to Dittisham church from the Bozomzeal road
Noel impressed us all by cycling from Bovey to meet us at Buckfastleigh this morning, and Warren, who had recently broken one of his fingers, was today sufficiently recovered to meet us at the Totnes pick-up, full of the joys of autumn. Noel had brake problems on the hill out of Totnes, giving us all a rare chance to enjoy the views of Totnes, then his bell fell off on the way down Bow hill!

We had almost forgotten the beauty of the lower reaches of the Dart. Today there was time to admire it as we walked up Corky (collecting chestnuts along the way) and cycled along the delightful lanes to Dittisham. There was a little confusion at Bozomzeal as we tried to find the correct route through the fields. A cleverly-disguised gateway eventually revealed itself, and lunch was enjoyed on the sunny banks of a steep meadow near Hole Copse amid BMX-style cycling antics.

The final section of the track was a bit muddy, and not at all to Noel's liking as he was riding a new bike which he was testing 'on approval'. When we emerged at Old Mill Creek he decided to wash his wheels off, but sadly got stuck in the creek and succeeded only in washing his feet!

Once we had struggled up the hill against an almost unbelievably large crowd of walkers that had suddenly appeared from nowhere, we discovered plenty of action in Dartmouth. There was some sort of boat race or regatta taking place on the quay, commentary about which was being provided over a public address system. To our amusement the commentator seemed to know as little about the event as we did, referring to the winning boats as 'the green thing' and 'the galleon' right up to the winning post! We quickly despaired and retired to a nearby cafe.

The ferry crossing, far from being our last hurdle, heralded the start of a new set of disasters for our happy gang. Luke stopped at the bottom of the hill to fix a slow puncture that had turned somewhat faster during the crossing. Jeremy stopped half-way up with another puncture and the rest of us waited at the top for half an hour for them to catch up. Luke had sadly had a second puncture on the way up, and now everyone was well frozen.

We managed to make good speed though Marldon, Red Post and Staverton despite the darkness and lowering fog, but when Andrew punctured near Riverford at 6pm we decided that it was time to send people homewards. We finally reached Buckfastleigh by 6.30.

Sunday 1 November 1987Afternoon ride: DenburySunny / cold
10 present: Noel Armstrong, Richard Burge, Simon Hopper, Toby Hopper, Gary Johnson, Michael Jones, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons
We regret to inform readers that two of our younger members declined to ride the Torbryan track towards Denbury, even though one of them had a mountain bike! The track, incidentally, did not turn out to be as muddy as might have been expected.

The groups rejoined alongside Denbury's huge rubbish pile, presumably the accumulation of many weeks' collections in aid of the Bonfire Night appeal. It even had a couple of guys for a few minutes before we set off once more for our puncture-riddled return.

Friday 6 November 1987Social: Cycle Workshop (Crofters)
10 present: Richard Burge, Glen Dowty, Gary Johnson, Michael Jones, Mark Lakeman, Paul Lakeman, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Andrew Simmons, John Stuart
There was good support from Paignton once again for our special look into the world of cycle wheels.

Saturday 7 November 1987Weekend ride: Maypool Youth Hostel Day 1Grey / cold
18 present: Richard Burge, Marc Dolley, Glen Dowty, Richard Hopper, Simon Hopper, Toby Hopper, Philip Humphreys, Brett Jamieson, Gary Johnson, Glen Johnson, Michael Jones, Warren Masters, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Mark Moxham, Andrew Simmons, John Stuart, Edwin Webber (Junior, Devon)
Our most popular hostel weekend began with a certain amount of amusement. Brett had been entrusted to obtain the box of fireworks from Torquay and was waiting at Totnes with said fireworks stowed away in his rucksack when the eleven arrived from Buckfastleigh. There was then a three-pronged hunt through the town's fruit shops in search of some pumpkins for the 'Pumpkin Carving Competition'. Sadly there were none available and so a couple of medium-sized swedes were obtain instead.

The ride to Maypool was punctuated with a number of mechanical problems, providing some some degree of variety on this rather grey afternoon. Dodo's saddle persistently refused to remain attached to the bike, and his handlebars seemed similarly discontented with life awheel. Then there was Jason's slow puncture and Warren's chain .. so it was well dark when we finally arrived at the hostel!

Last year's display, organised by the wardens, was undoubtedly excellent, but sadly it made a big loss for the hostel. This year they were under strict instructions to take no risks, so we were asked to buy our own fireworks. A £20 box could not hope to compete with last year's £100 box, but the evening was entertaining and no-one had to pay more than 50p.

The evening was nicely rounded off with hot dogs, drinks and the famous pumpkin competition, this year attracting two teams. The warden (who was our judge this year) felt that one swede had better artistic quality whilst the other looked more professional, and so declared joint winners.

Sunday 8 November 1987Weekend ride: Maypool Youth Hostel Day 2
18 present: Richard Burge, Marc Dolley, Glen Dowty, Richard Hopper, Simon Hopper, Toby Hopper, Philip Humphreys, Brett Jamieson, Gary Johnson, Glen Johnson, Michael Jones, Warren Masters, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Mark Moxham, Andrew Simmons, John Stuart, Edwin Webber (Junior, Devon)
The self-caterers soon learned the benefits of claiming their milk on arrival at the hostel as they waited patiently outside reception until 8.30am. At Maypool the shop doesn't open until hostel breakfasts have been served and completed!
During the prolonged preparations for departure there was some consternation at Mark's efforts to pump his tyre to the state pressure with the assistance of his new pressure gauge. We had travelled not more than a few hundred metres when a loud explosion shattered the tranquillity of the Galmpton lanes!

A few souls left us at Paignton as we set off along the sea front route to Brett's house, where refreshments were enjoyed. We then proceeded to the Newton Abbot pick-up, arriving one hour late and just a few moments before the two Johns had given us up for lost.

Sunday 8 November 1987Day ride: Mamhead ObeliskGrey / cold
20 present: Richard Burge, Marc Dolley, Glen Dowty, Richard Hopper, Simon Hopper, Toby Hopper, Philip Humphreys, John Iles, Brett Jamieson, Gary Johnson, Glen Johnson, Michael Jones, Warren Masters, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Mark Moxham, Andrew Simmons, John Stuart, Edwin Webber, Mark Williams
In line with our new policy of finding some 'new' lanes on every ride, we rode through Humber to Ideford after enjoying a somewhat brief lunch part-way up the golf course road from Kingsteignton. The autumn leaves were looking at their very best today, particularly around Ugbrooke House where numerous pheasants also adorned the picture-book scenery.

Brookside tearooms provided a very comfortable resting place at Bovey Tracey, but when apple pies had been consumed it was time to hit the road once again. It was a leaf-strewn road, and led to the inevitable leaf fights before the drizzle set in and thoughts turned quickly homewards.

Sunday 15 November 1987Day ride: Topsham BridgeWet
4 present: Richard Burge, Gary Johnson, Michael Jones, Mark Morris
Poor Gary! As he prepared his bike for the ride he discovered that his derailleur spring was broken. He was forced to abandon the ride while the rest of us explored a new set of interesting lanes from Harberton to Rattery, arriving back at Crofters in time for a well-earned lunch and dry-out.

Friday 20 November 1987Social: Highway Code Quiz (Paignton)
13 present: Richard Burge, Glen Dowty, Richard Hopper, Simon Hopper, Toby Hopper, Philip Humphreys, Gary Johnson, Michael Jones, Mark Lakeman, Paul Lakeman, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Andrew Simmons
Our first ever social outside Buckfastleigh took place at Philip's house in Paignton and attracted a record turnout for the current season. Results of the quiz seem to indicate that whilst a few members have some catching up to do, most have reasonably good knowledge of the way they should behave on the road. It just remains for them to put it into practice.

Sunday 22 November 1987Day ride: Devon DA AGM HittisleighDamp
4 present: Noel Armstrong, Richard Burge, Gary Johnson, Michael Jones
The DA AGM rarely generates much excitement amongst our youngsters, and this year was no exception. Budgie's desire to cycle meant that two members, who would have been pleased to ride via Lustleigh in the car, stayed home, and so our attendance was down to just four.

We made good use of the morning by exploring a new route through Dunsford and Cheriton Bishop, passing some refreshingly different scenery along the way. Return was somewhat later, darker and wetter than anticipated and so a cafe at Moretonhampstead provided excellent date cakes for our delight.

Sunday 29 November 1987Day ride: Hansel MillDamp
6 present: Richard Burge, Richard Hopper, Philip Humphreys, Gary Johnson, Michael Jones, Mark Morris
The abysmal weather forecast did not deter a few brave souls from venturing out to the Totnes pick-up, despite the rather ominous sky. We managed to explore another new lane, this time between Moreleigh and Blackawton, before the heavens opened. A conveniently-situated evergreen near picturesque Millcombe provided shelter during lunch. With the Forces Cross cafe being only a few miles distant there seemed to be only one direction to be considered. The chosen route through Dallacombe, however, did not turn out to be as 'yellow' as the map had indicated, the central portion being overgrown with grass and the side being deeply pitted with holes and overhung with untrimmed headges.

When our host at the cafe had entertained us in her usual flamboyant manner, we departed for the usual return through Corky, Tuckenhay and Totnes, the youngsters amusing themselves along the way by decorating the rear portions of their bikes with huge plant stalks. No doubt passers-by thought that they were all equipped with the latest in radio communications technology.

Friday 4 December 1987Social: Monopoly Knock-Out (Ashburton)
7 present: Richard Burge, Jeremy Ford, Gary Johnson, Michael Jones, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Andrew Simmons
Games of Monopoly definitely took second place to Richard's two chinchillas, who couldn't keep still for more than a second!

Sunday 6 December 1987Afternoon ride: Rolster BridgeDry
6 present: Richard Hopper, Toby Hopper, Gary Johnson, Michael Jones, Warren Masters, Mark Moxham
The Copper Kettle cafe at South Brent always provides a warm welcome, so we decided to sample some of their drinks and cakes before diverting homeward via Avonwick and Rattery. Toby, who at eight years old is one of our youngest members, seemed to sail up the hills on his 'new' bike.

Sunday 13 December 1987Day ride: Clifford BridgeDry
5 present: Richard Burge, Richard Hopper, Gary Johnson, Michael Jones, Mark Morris
Our 'new lanes on every ride' policy continued on today's ride when we tried the steep hill past Bovey hospital on our route past Hennock reservoirs. There were complaints of course, notably from Mark and Gary, but the views made it all worth the effort. A short excursion along a footpath brought us to a pleasant lunch spot on the banks of the Trenchford reservoir.

Blackingstone Rock was the next stop. The stiff wind threatened to blow Mark off the top of the rock, but proved useful in propelling armfulls of dead leaves towards their human targets. When the entertainments were concluded, a 'new' tearoom at Moretonhampstead provided us not only with excellent refreshments in pleasant surroundings but also a vast art gallery which Gary found particularly interesting.

The return was via North Bovey and Jay's Grave, the ford at the former providing the usual watery fun.

Friday 18 December 1987Social: 1987 Slide Show (Crofters)
9 present: Richard Burge, Richard Hopper, Simon Hopper, Toby Hopper, Gary Johnson, Michael Jones, Mark Morris, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons
Seeing the slides of the year's tours and rides brought back happy memories for some and encouraged everyone to look forward to their summer's activities.

Sunday 20 December 1987Day ride: Christmas Lunch (Leusdon)Dry
19 present: Nick Buchanan, Richard Burge, Catherine Hopper, Margaret Hopper, Richard Hopper, Simon Hopper, Toby Hopper, John Iles, Brett Jamieson, Gary Johnson, Glen Johnson, Michael Jones, Warren Masters, Graham Moates, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons, Jeremy Weston
Our venue for Christmas Lunch rides has always been the Ship Inn at Starcross, until this year that is. Today we were going somewhere different - the very special Leusdon Lodge guest house on Dartmoor. Everyone had chosen their meals in advance from the menu and paid their deposits, so when we finally arrived (after exploring further new roads from Cold East Cross to Ponsworthy) everything was ready.

A huge long table occupied the mahogany-panelled dining room, and numerous staff were buzzing around the hall as we took our seats. Immediately the steaming soups were brought in, quickly followed by the excellent main courses and finally the Christmas puddings and other sweets. The atmosphere was perfect, and it seems certain that we will return again next year.

The descent to Spitchwick hardly provided sufficient exercise, but silly games on the common made up the deficit before we finally set off for home.

Sunday 27 December 1987Day ride: Warren PointCloudy, then wet
7 present: Richard Burge, Richard Hopper, Simon Hopper, Philip Humphreys, Michael Jones, Mark Moxham, John Stuart
John Stuart was able to join us for this one ride, which happened to coincide with his all-too-brief Christmas holiday. The outward journey was memorable for our lack of success in finding an open cafe, the one at Erme Mill being closed for this week only. Nevertheless, the ride was enjoyable.

We were pleased to reach Bigbury: the fresh sea air and rough waves made lunch on Burgh Island all the more enjoyable. (We have heard, incidentally, that Bigbury youth hostel is due to close, so we will now never be able to find out what it was like!)

Having cycled back across the sandy beach, struggling to find ways of stopping the wheels from sinking into the wet sand, we set off up the hill for the return route, knowing that rain was forecast for the afternoon. Sadly it arrived almost immediately, but once we were drenched we were able to enjoy the ride once again.

Tuesday 29 December 1987Social: Christmas Social (Crofters)
11 present: Richard Burge, Richard Hopper, Simon Hopper, Toby Hopper, Gary Johnson, Michael Jones, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons, Jeremy Weston
This year's mix of games, mince pies, computers and music proved very popular with the members. Perhaps the most amusing event of the afternoon was when Andrew upset the Risk board halfway through a two-hour game. He was not too popular.

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