South Dartmoor CTC

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Thursday 25 August 1988Tour: Scotland Day 8 Applecross to Torridon (34 mi)
14 present: Graham Beever (14, Eastbourne), Andrew Brush (14, Malvern), Darrel Gough (14, Malvern), Chris Hall, Michael Hall, Philip Humphreys, Brett Jamieson, Michael Jones, Philip Mills, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Andrew Simmons, Jeremy Weston, Stephen Wilson (13, Berwick-Upon-Tweed)
Graham looks on as one of our members prepares for a warm afternoon
Starting out on the coastal road from Applecross, with the village in the distance
Andrew Brush
Michael Hall
Graham, Andrew & Jeremy, more than half way around the coast road
Jeremy Weston
Graham takes a refreshment stop near the coast road
Pausing for a rest at Fearnmore
Loch Torridon
Rounding the headland towards Loch Torridon
Torridon
The morning was mostly spent lazing about in respective b&bs as the wet, windy weather outside did not look too inviting. For Darrel, Chris and Jeremy's entertainment a vide of the '87 Tour de France was provided by their host's son Donald, a London cycle courier himself.

However, once all the groups had gathered and conversation was exchanged about everyone's respective nights, the group slowly set out of Applecross, along the road for one mile, only to stop at the cafe/shop for lunch and it was not until 1.45pm that the group had all departed.

For once, sunny weather had made an appearance, and thus the coastal scenery looked more spectacular than usual. Passing abandoned fishing villages, the group stopped at a quiet, sandy beach, next to a very secretive naval base, for dune hopping, and departed a little later in sunshine. The road continued to follow the coast, with some exciting descents making an enjoyable day's ride. A quick pause for some of the group at a weaver's shop along the route, and then on towards Torridon.

A final long and very fast descent brought the group to Torridon, a modern hostel, resembling KEVICS at Totnes (as Michael was keen to point out). Most of the group rushed in to see Top of the Pops, and the evening was spent in the hostel, persuaded, perhaps, by the vicious midges outside.

Friday 26 August 1988Tour: Scotland Day 9 Torridon to Carn Dearg (35 mi)
14 present: Graham Beever (14, Eastbourne), Andrew Brush (14, Malvern), Darrel Gough (14, Malvern), Chris Hall, Michael Hall, Philip Humphreys, Brett Jamieson, Michael Jones, Philip Mills, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Andrew Simmons, Jeremy Weston, Stephen Wilson (13, Berwick-Upon-Tweed)
Torridon YH
Just as the group were ready to leave, much later than planned due to wheel truing, Michael spotted the laundry, hidden away in the foyer. Thus, he proceeded to empty the entire contents of his panniers and saddlebag (or so it seemed) to wash them, and by the time the machines were vacant and they had consequently finished their never-ending washing and drying cycles it was very late. Then further time was wasted at the shop down the road buying food, and then waiting around further up the road at a National Trust (for Scotland) building.

Finally the group began to ride up a lane for several miles, which being quiet and undulating meant that the miles went by with ease, but arriving in Kinlochewe, the inevitable prolonged cafe stop came around, and it was not until 1pm that the group got going. Further delay was created when Mark's rear axle gave up the ghost. Jason considerately gave up his bike and walked with Mark's bike towards Carn Dearg, whilst the group stopped at a hotel up the road to arrange for a taxi - phoning up almost every taxi firm in Scotland for the time it took.

However, with considerable expertise and overcoming of daunting logistics, it was also arranged for a cro-moly replacement rear axle to be transported by various means from Perth to Carn Dearg. Thus, after a comparatively normal ride to Carn Dearg, that evening Mark's bike received a major overhaul, whilst Steve's mechanical "expertise" was applied to Jason's wheels, with undesired results. The night was spent with Andrew's "Gingerbread Man", his own modernised version of the book that had provided the entertainment on the hospital on Skye, as well as much laughter over the female warden beckoning Michael into her little shop.

Friday 26 August 1988Evening ride: HolneThreatening
6 present: Nathan Arecco, Graham Burge, Richard Burge, Paul Hamlyn-White, Simon Hopper, Toby Hopper
What with Michael being away and the mist getting lower by the minute, there was reason enough to make it a short ride. Taking the flattish route to Holne and back the group got back to Buckfastleigh as night fell.

Saturday 27 August 1988Tour: Scotland Day 10 Carn Dearg to Ullapool (39 mi)
14 present: Graham Beever (14, Eastbourne), Andrew Brush (14, Malvern), Darrel Gough (14, Malvern), Chris Hall, Michael Hall, Philip Humphreys, Brett Jamieson, Michael Jones, Philip Mills, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Andrew Simmons, Jeremy Weston, Stephen Wilson (13, Berwick-Upon-Tweed)
Chris Hall at Dundonnell, the start of the short-cut track to Ullapool
Heading northwards on the west coast near Gruinard Bay
Crossing the footbridge near Dundonnell
Stephen Wilson on the track near Dundonnell
Disembarking at Ullapool
The ferry to Ullapool, looking back at the track descent to the Altnaharrie Inn
Another late start was caused by further repairs (on Friday night's repairs), and by the time Gairloch was reached further along the road, a cafe stop had inevitably begun. At 12.30 the group left into the wet and very windy weather. Michael, worried about catching a ferry, sent a group of Chris and Michael Hall, Philip and Andrew S ahead to catch the first ferry. All went fairly well along the road despite windy conditions, but it was not until the road began to go along the actual coast that the full force of the wind was felt, with it virtually stopping progress at times, and blowing people off course.

Passing Michael Hall, stopped by a puncture, it was both Darrel and Philip M's turn to experience the wind in more painful terms - the ....

[The remainder of this report is currently missing from our archives. Please let us know if you have a copy.]

Sunday 28 August 1988Tour: Scotland Day 11 Ullapool to Achmelvich
14 present: Graham Beever (14, Eastbourne), Andrew Brush (14, Malvern), Darrel Gough (14, Malvern), Chris Hall, Michael Hall, Philip Humphreys, Brett Jamieson, Michael Jones, Philip Mills, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Andrew Simmons, Jeremy Weston, Stephen Wilson (13, Berwick-Upon-Tweed)
Michael Hall admires the view of Loch Lurgainn
Preparing to leave Ullapool YH
Andrew Brush
The Mad Little Road to Wester Ross
The Mad Little Road to Wester Ross
The Mad Little Road to Wester Ross
Location of the crash on our 1986 tour
The Mad Little Road to Wester Ross
Beaches near Achmelvich YH
Enjoying the magnificent silver sand beaches near Achmelvich YH
[The report for this ride is currently missing from our archives. Please let us know if you have a copy.]

Sunday 28 August 1988Day ride: MansandsSunny
5 present: Richard Burge, Mark Lakeman, Paul Lakeman, Jenny Quick (Adult, Totnes), Eugene Tollemache (10, Totnes)
Having cycled from Buckfastleigh alone, Richard was pleased to be met by two new members and two not so new at the Marldon pick-up. As the QE2 was in Torbay the roads were very busy, so Man Sands was abandoned as a destination and nearby Elberry Cove was chosen instead.

Mark Lakeman directed us through to the cove via Cockington and the sea front. When lunch had been consumed (disturbed part-way through by the passing of Concorde) we returned to the Lakeman's for afternoon tea, eventually continuing homewards via Totnes once goodbyes and thankyous had been said.

Monday 29 August 1988Tour: Scotland Day 12 Achmelvich to Carbisdale Castle
14 present: Graham Beever (14, Eastbourne), Andrew Brush (14, Malvern), Darrel Gough (14, Malvern), Chris Hall, Michael Hall, Philip Humphreys, Brett Jamieson, Michael Jones, Philip Mills, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Andrew Simmons, Jeremy Weston, Stephen Wilson (13, Berwick-Upon-Tweed)
The group outside Achmelvich YH
[The report for this ride is currently missing from our archives. Please let us know if you have a copy.]

Tuesday 30 August 1988Tour: Scotland Day 13 Carbisdale Castle to Perth
14 present: Graham Beever (14, Eastbourne), Andrew Brush (14, Malvern), Darrel Gough (14, Malvern), Chris Hall, Michael Hall, Philip Humphreys, Brett Jamieson, Michael Jones, Philip Mills, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Andrew Simmons, Jeremy Weston, Stephen Wilson (13, Berwick-Upon-Tweed)
Carbisdale Castle YH
Graham Beever at Carbisdale Castle YH
The group at the entrance to Carbisdale Castle YH
[The report for this ride is currently missing from our archives. Please let us know if you have a copy.]

Tuesday 30 August 1988Evening ride: PridhamsleighDry / threatening
4 present: Richard Hopper, Simon Hopper, Toby Hopper, Paul Ledingham
The Family Hopper and young Paul Ledingham had reached only Pridhamsleigh when Toby damaged himself on his pedal.

He seems to change either his whole bike or some part of it every month, so maybe the problem is in getting used to the particular size and orientation of the various parts of his machine.

Wednesday 31 August 1988Tour: Scotland Day 14 Perth to Home
14 present: Graham Beever (14, Eastbourne), Andrew Brush (14, Malvern), Darrel Gough (14, Malvern), Chris Hall, Michael Hall, Philip Humphreys, Brett Jamieson, Michael Jones, Philip Mills, Jason Morris, Mark Morris, Andrew Simmons, Jeremy Weston, Stephen Wilson (13, Berwick-Upon-Tweed)
Perth rail station: Jeremy Weston, Andrew Brush, Chris Hall, Andrew Simmons, Michael Hall, Brett Jamieson, Philip Mills, Graham Beever, Darrel Gough, Philip Humphreys, Michael Jones, Jason Morris, Stephen Wilson, Mark Morris
Part of the group at Perth rail station
[The report for this ride is currently missing from our archives. Please let us know if you have a copy.]

Sunday 4 September 1988Day ride: 130km Reliability RideDry but cool
6 present: Nick Buchanan, Richard Burge, Richard Hopper, Graham Moates, Andrew Simmons, Jeremy Weston
The four of us from Buckfastleigh headed out to Bovey a little shaken by the nine o'clock start. There we met Nick and Graham who had set out from Marldon. We made our way up the Teign Valley, then down Longdown into the outskirts of Exeter. As we neared Thorverton the milometer read more than our map estimate, so we didn't need the extra loop through the village we had planned just in case.

We stopped in Crediton for lunch - a ghost town out of season. Thus rested we tackled the long but steady climb up through Hittisleigh and on to Whiddon Down. Now we knew it was mainly downhill and made good speed to Moretonhampstead, stopping for tea, and on to Bovey. A few extra miles turned out to be necessary after all to make up the official distance, but we were satisfied to have completed a moderately easy route on a pleasant late summer's day.

Sunday 4 September 1988Afternoon ride: Shipley BridgeSunny
8 present: Toby Hopper, Michael Jones, Jenny Quick, Unknown Rider 1, Unknown Rider 2, Nicholas Scott-Maddocks, Mark Slater, Martyn Williams
Having been surprised by the appearance of Paignton's Jenny Quick at the Buckfastleigh start we commenced the laborious climb through Dean and Nurston, being delayed only by a couple of motorists who had become completely lost in their attempts to find the dam.

Young Nicholas had chain problems on arrival at Shipley. When he rejoined us he looked rather like a garage mechanic, his previously spotless clothes now covered with oily fingermarks. We continued to the dam, which was full to overflowing, and then returned across the moor in the usual tradition. As if to try to outdo Nicholas, Toby and Martyn rode through several peaty bogs and Luke fell off whilst negotiating a deep furrow in the field. The refreshments at Crofters were certainly welcome, as were the hot baths when everyone finally got home.

Friday 9 September 1988Evening ride: TotnesSunny
6 present: Dayle Guy, Paul Hamlyn-White, Michael Jones, Mark Slater, Richard Voisey (16, Totnes), Jeremy Weston
Poor Jeremy. Michael had conned him into coming on the ride and now he found himself blundering along a riverside track near Totnes in the semi-darkness, surrounded by maniacs who thought it was "fun". He had been stung and scratched by the encroaching vegetation and at one point just missed a tree trunk that suddenly loomed up out of the wood, right in the middle of the path. As the last of his "friends" disappeared somewhere ahead of him he managed to blurt out "Jones - you'll be hearing from my solicitors .." before he encountered yet another step in the path.

By way of compensation we agreed to call in at the chip shop at Totnes - only to find it had just stopped serving. All we got was the smell. Michael had another idea, and led the group homewards past Dartington Youth Hostel. The warden there was pleased to sell us a few items of food at 10% discount, although some of the youngsters thought it looked a bit "dodgy".

We eventually arrived home a good deal later than usual, but everyone had assured Michael that it would be OK on this occasion. Meanwhile Jeremy set off for Harbourneford, nursing his wounds and cursing the darkness.

Saturday 10 September 1988Weekend ride: Salcombe Youth Hostel Day 1Sunny
8 present: Richard Burge, Luke Hatherly, Michael Jones, Mark Lakeman, Paul Lakeman, Mark Slater, Mark Williams, Martyn Williams
Confusion over whether or not Steven Hills was coming on the ride led to some delays at Totnes, but eventually the group set off through the peaceful South Hams lanes, spotting a buzzard and a flying cricket ball along the way. Two punctures and a chain problem delayed us even more, but a quick telephone call from Woodleigh secured the hostel meals (much to everyone's relief).

A final tough climb to the hostel brought us into the dining room at 7.30, just as supper was being served. By the time the washing up had been done it was dark outside, but we were determined not to be done out of our planned walk. Armed with numerous bike lights of various colours we set off into the darkness, walking all the way to Starehole Bay and even down to the rocky seashore itself. None of those brave youngsters would have dared do the walk on their own, but as part of a group it was quite an adventure. And much to everyone's surprise, there was quite a lot to be seen.

Sunday 11 September 1988Weekend ride: Salcombe Youth Hostel Day 2Sunny spells
8 present: Richard Burge, Luke Hatherly, Michael Jones, Mark Lakeman, Paul Lakeman, Mark Slater, Mark Williams, Martyn Williams
The view from the hostel gardens
The group outside Salcombe YH
Martyn Williams and Luke Hatherly on South Sands beach near Salcombe
Salcombe YH
Taking the ferry from Salcombe to East Portlemouth
Martyn Williams, doing his best to corrode his bike!
Enjoying the pebble beach at Slapton
Mark Lakeman climbing the track from Beesands to Slapton
The threatened rising bell didn't wake us next morning, but a speedboat and a flotilla of yachts did just as well. Members who haven't been to this hostel may find it difficult to picture the fabulous sea and coastal views that greeted us as we drew back the curtains - suffice it to say that we would have been happy to stay in bed all morning.

The first puncture of the day came from Paul as we reached the beach below the hostel. Michael suggested that people should amuse themselves on the beach, but he didn't expect Martyn and Luke to ride across it on their bikes - and everyone was watching when they actually cycled through the sea up to their hubs. OK, they had ATBs, but salt water isn't good for any bike.

Watching the ferryman at Salcombe as we enjoyed a hot drink from the outdoor cafe at East Portlemouthñ was quite enlightening. We reckoned that he must have been taking more than £30 an hour from the various passengers he was transporting. No doubt there are quieter times, but it still seemed quite an easy way to make a living.

There was more action when Michael left his wallet and camera at the cafe and rode all the way to Chivelstone before realising what he had done. The extra ride probably did him good, but it delayed the group just long enough to find the Torcross cafe full up. The weather was perfect, however, so we were happy to eat outside and fool around on the beach for an hour.

Returning via Strete the leading group arrived at Forces Cross cafe just in time to find the proprietress stuck in her car at some temporary traffic lights - she had run out of petrol. Our lads immediately came to her rescue of course, and were later rewarded with a broad smile and a free packet of biscuits. Michael was most envious when he arrived with the stragglers.

This had turned out to be one of our best weekends ever, made possible by a pleasant bunch of youngsters who helped to create a tremendous atmosphere throughout.

Tuesday 13 September 1988Evening ride: Hembury WoodsCool
7 present: Chris Bailey, Dayle Guy, Paul Hamlyn-White, Toby Hopper, Michael Jones, Mark Slater, Richard Voisey
This action-packed ride started with a visit to the Anaconda Run at the River Dart Country Park, which as usual provided a good deal of entertainment. New rider Richard wasn't at all happy about the prospect of climbing Holne Chase, though Toby and Chris relished the thought, and later did their best to prove that small does not necessarily mean slow.

The amusement of water fights turned quickly to disaster for Toby when he slipped yet again on some loose gravel near Holne. Fortunately he was able to cycle home, but Paul couldn't when his tyre exploded at Gallant Le Bower. It was pitch dark, and he wasn't looking forward to walking home on his own.

Two of the older lads stayed with him while Michael took the youngsters home and collected his car. All three lads were pleased to see him when he returned, as they were halfway down Hembury Woods and shaking in their respective trainers.

Sunday 18 September 1988Day ride: DartmeetSunny
10 present: Richard Burge, Luke Hatherly, Philip Humphreys, Brett Jamieson, Michael Jones, John Stuart, Gary Taylor, Steven Taylor, Richard Voisey, Jeremy Weston
The Bovey Tracey pick-up was more like a workshop once everyone had arrived. New cables and brakes had to be fitted to one bike and major gear adjustments made to another before we could set off for Lustleigh. John Stuart's new mountain bike needed no repairs, but he had to admit defeat after attempting an alternative field route to Lustleigh which turned rapidly into a bog after the first few hundred metres.

Today we had lunch at Lustleigh, embarrassed somewhat by Luke who had torn his jeans up to the knee and was now covered in oil from head to foot. He almost deserved the comment that he looked like the Cinderella of the male world. There was no time to reach the destination, but we enjoyed the climb past Parson's Loaf and ended up at Widecombe for ice creams, now a good deal quieter than it had been during Widecombe Fare.

Friday 23 September 1988Evening ride: Hembury WoodsDry
11 present: Chris Bailey, Graham Burge, Richard Burge, Dayle Guy, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Paul Hamlyn-White, Simon Hopper, Michael Jones, Mark Morris, Andrew Simmons, Mark Slater
Our last evening ride of the season consisted of a short excursion around the Hembury Woods track before returning to Crofters for a special selection of refreshments at 8.30pm - a useful introduction to the new social season which commences in two weeks.

Sunday 25 September 1988Day ride: Plym ValleyMisty
7 present: Richard Burge, Steven Hills, Richard Hopper, Simon Hopper, Michael Jones, Mark Moxham, Eugene Tollemache
The most amazing thing about this excellent ride was that young Eugene managed to complete it at all. He turned up unexpectedly at the Totnes start and completed the ride without assistance - one of our toughest rides of the year.

Progress to Plympton was somewhat slow, with a headwind and occasional spells of drizzle. Things quickly improved once we were on the cycle track, however, and we were soon tucking into our packed lunches at our usual lunch spot.

The viaducts and woods offered plenty of variety along the way, but it was the tunnel beyond Bickleigh that really caused havoc. Everyone enjoyed it, but it was definitely more fun for those without lights.

After a series of steep climbs to Burrator reservoir we began the long ascent to Princetown. We couldn't help noticing what appeared to be authorised Sheep Crossings along the route, each consisting of some metal ridges across the road resembling a cattle grid or pedestrian crossing. In the place where one might have expected to find flashing lights there were warning signs with pictures of sheep in the triangles. They really had us baffled, and we had to wait until we were enjoying our refreshments in the Fox Tor Cafe before we discovered the correct explanation. Yes, they were sheep crossings. The signs had been placed where the sheep had been observed as most likely to cross, and the ridges were to slow cars down at the most dangerous crossing points. Simple really.

After a long rest in the cafe we made our fastest ever return to Buckfastleigh, blown along by a powerful tailwind all the way.

Wednesday 28 September 1988Social: Annual General Meeting
8 present: Richard Burge, Dayle Guy, Paul Hamlyn-White, Luke Hatherly, Michael Jones, Mark Lakeman, Paul Lakeman, Jeremy Weston
[There were 27 members present this evening but I am still trying to find the complete list]

It really was rewarding to see so many members and parents attending our AGM this year. In fact they weren't just attending, but also volunteering to help with the running of the club and taking an active part in the discussions. The new Committee are listed on the front page of the newsletter, but the following were elected as publicity reps:

Totnes town and school - Luke Hatherly
South Brent - Jeremy Weston
Buckfastleigh - Paul Hamlyn-White
Ashburton & Newton Abbot - Richard Burge
South Dartmoor School - Dayle Guy
Paignton and Torquay - Mark Lakeman

So what important decisions were made at the meeting? There will be weekly evening rides from Marldon starting next April, following the same format as the very successful Buckfastleigh rides. And evening rides at Buckfastleigh will always be on Fridays next year instead of alternating between Tuesdays and Fridays. Surplus funds will be used to purchase books and catalogues on cycling which will be available for loan to members. And the Section newsletter has been expanded to include reports on previous Section activities - as you can see. The Committee intend to publish a compilation of Section activities from January to June 1988 in a special booklet, priced at about 60p and available on request.

Finally, members are invited to think up designs for a logo for some new cycle clothing and badges which will be offered to members later in the year. The logo should be obviously South Dartmoor Section and obviously cycling, and it may be as simple or complex as you like. A design from several years ago showed some cyclists on Postbridge clapper bridge, so that's what you've got to beat. Please send in your ideas as soon as possible, for judging by the Section Committee near Christmas.

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