South Dartmoor CTC

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Sunday 19 March 1989Day ride: Ashcombe TowerDry
15 present: David Cutts, Michael Giles, Dayle Guy, Paul Hamlyn-White, Peter Hern, Richard Hopper, Michael Jones, Mark Moxham, Shane Powell, David Robinson, Philip Robinson, John Stuart, Gary Taylor, Ken Twydell, Marc West (Junior, Paignton)
Despite the ominous clouds and a pessimistic weather forecast, there was a good turnout to the final pick-up point at Gappah. From there, the steep hill caused some difficulties but fat Dave showed the benefits of his diet by coping admirably - still a long way to go yet though Dave!

At Luton John surprised Ken (but not those who knew him) by falling into a ford even though it was not on our route. Apparently he makes a habit of this.

After a long climb, assisted by a tailwind, we arrived at the area of our destination. Despite going up and down a very steep section of hill a few times, Ashcombe Tower just could not be found. Sensing a slight undercurrent of mutiny Michael very wisely declared a lunch spot at a pleasant wooded verge where the younger members of the group amused themselves with a game that was a cross between Rambo and Tag.

After lunch the weather was looking decidedly worse, so we took a direct route towards home. This was into the wind which by then had freshened considerably and proved hard work to pedal against, especially for mountain bikes.

By the time we got to Kingsteignton it was still early, so a further excursion to Bradley Woods was suggested. On the way Michael went to the hospital to have some grit removed from his eye. He caught us up at the river crossing, just after all the hard work of lifting bikes over a series of gates by the bridge had been carried out. There was a ford there, but it was so deep that even John wouldn't have a go, despite all of our encouragement in the hope of seeing another show.

We then set off through the lanes towards Pick and Park for a coffee stop. However, just after a particularly manure-covered stretch of road Ken got a puncture - the fourth in a Beltguard tyre in less than a year. This was much to the delight of Michael as, being technically an adult, Ken had to mend it himself.

The cafe at Pick and Park pleasantly surprised everyone by its high quality and it made a delightful end to a very enjoyable day. For John Stuart, however, the day had not quite ended. During the return to Buckfastleigh a majority of those present (including Richard Hopper who should have known better) voted to take the Beaston track near Broadhempston. It was even muddier and wetter than Michael had feared, with large lakes of muddy water completely blocking progress at several points.

It was John, of course, who managed to fall off in the middle of the largest and muddiest of them all, in full view of everyone. He was filthy, but was able to see the funny side of the situation. Paul HW, who had laughed loudest at John's predicament, soon found himself clinging to a gate in the middle of another lake - sadly the gate was not fastened properly …

Friday 24 March 1989
1900-2200
Social: Games Evening
11 present: Richard Burge, Chris Giles, Luke Hatherly, Catherine Hopper, Richard Hopper, Simon Hopper, Toby Hopper, Roger Johnson (12, Dartington), Michael Jones, Mark Morris, Shane Powell
Four members played Risk, and Simon was decisively beaten on this occasion.

Monday 27 March 1989Day ride: Slapton SandsSunny
12 present: Michael Banks, Richard Burge, Dayle Guy, Paul Hamlyn-White, Luke Hatherly, Steven Hills, Richard Hopper, Simon Hopper, Michael Jones, Trevor Piper, Shane Powell, Martin Rushworth
Another fabulous ride in glorious sunshine. There was nothing especially new about the route, but a very lazy and enjoyable two hours were spent on the beach, and later in and around the Sea Shanty restaurant.

Wednesday 29 March 1989Tour: Quantock Hills Day 1 Devon to HolfordSunny
21 present: Kenneth Allan (15, Alton), Neil Allan (12, Alton), Patrick Bolster (14, Bristol), Russell Bond (14, Glastonbury), Tamsin Bond (12, Glastonbury), Ian Gibbs (12, Rochdale), Luke Hatherly, Simon Hopper, Michael Jones, Warren Masters, Trevor Piper, Shane Powell, Martin Rushworth, Peter Rushworth, Mark Sloman, Andrew Thompson (11, Warwick), Heather Thompson (15, Warwick), Jennifer Thompson (Adult, Warwick), Benjamin Ward (14, Bristol), Kris White, Martyn Williams
The track along the Quantocks from Crowcombe Park Gate
The tough climb onto the Quantock Hills from Crowcombe
The track along the Quantocks from Crowcombe Park Gate
The detailed report on this tour was published in our 1989 Tours Special newsletter. So far we have been unable to find a copy. If you think you may have a copy, please take the time to look for it and let us know if you find it.

Thursday 30 March 1989Tour: Quantock Hills Day 2 Holford to Exford
21 present: Kenneth Allan (15, Alton), Neil Allan (12, Alton), Patrick Bolster (14, Bristol), Russell Bond (14, Glastonbury), Tamsin Bond (12, Glastonbury), Ian Gibbs (12, Rochdale), Luke Hatherly, Simon Hopper, Michael Jones, Warren Masters, Trevor Piper, Shane Powell, Martin Rushworth, Peter Rushworth, Mark Sloman, Andrew Thompson (11, Warwick), Heather Thompson (15, Warwick), Jennifer Thompson (Adult, Warwick), Benjamin Ward (14, Bristol), Kris White, Martyn Williams
The group outside Holford YH
Simon Hopper, Trevor Piper & Mark Sloman enjoying the morning sunshine at Holford YH
Warren Masters & Simon Hopper by the pond at East Quantoxhead
The group outside Holford YH
Contemplating the ford at Allerford
The track descent to Selworthy
Simon Hopper at the moment of failure!
Mark Sloman fails!
The detailed report on this tour was published in our 1989 Tours Special newsletter. So far we have been unable to find a copy. If you think you may have a copy, please take the time to look for it and let us know if you find it.

Friday 31 March 1989Tour: Quantock Hills Day 3 Exford to LyntonSunny
21 present: Kenneth Allan (15, Alton), Neil Allan (12, Alton), Patrick Bolster (14, Bristol), Russell Bond (14, Glastonbury), Tamsin Bond (12, Glastonbury), Ian Gibbs (12, Rochdale), Luke Hatherly, Simon Hopper, Michael Jones, Warren Masters, Trevor Piper, Shane Powell, Martin Rushworth, Peter Rushworth, Mark Sloman, Andrew Thompson (11, Warwick), Heather Thompson (15, Warwick), Jennifer Thompson (Adult, Warwick), Benjamin Ward (14, Bristol), Kris White, Martyn Williams
Lunch opposite the shop at Challacombe
Preparing to leave Exford YH, with Neil & Kris at the front
Sunbathing at lunchtime
Andrew & Jennifer Thompson
Luke Hatherly and Peter Rushworth
A well-earned rest after the steep climb out of Parracombe
Mark Sloman on the lane to Hunters Inn
Mark Sloman on the lane to Hunters Inn
Starting out along the coast path from Hunters Inn, with Simon & Neil taking the rear
Ian Gibbs admiring the peacock at Hunters Inn
Beach near Valley of the Rocks
Valley of the Rocks, with Tamsin Bond, Russell Bond & Shane Powell
Martyn Williams & Peter Rushworth lead along the cost path to Lynton
Martyn Williams & Peter Rushworth lead along the cost path to Lynton
The detailed report on this tour was published in our 1989 Tours Special newsletter. So far we have been unable to find a copy. If you think you may have a copy, please take the time to look for it and let us know if you find it.

Saturday 1 April 1989Tour: Quantock Hills Day 4 Lynton to Instow
21 present: Kenneth Allan (15, Alton), Neil Allan (12, Alton), Patrick Bolster (14, Bristol), Russell Bond (14, Glastonbury), Tamsin Bond (12, Glastonbury), Ian Gibbs (12, Rochdale), Luke Hatherly, Simon Hopper, Michael Jones, Warren Masters, Trevor Piper, Shane Powell, Martin Rushworth, Peter Rushworth, Mark Sloman, Andrew Thompson (11, Warwick), Heather Thompson (15, Warwick), Jennifer Thompson (Adult, Warwick), Benjamin Ward (14, Bristol), Kris White, Martyn Williams
Testing the Lynton-Lynmouth cliff railway
Assembling outside Lynton YH
The detailed report on this tour was published in our 1989 Tours Special newsletter. So far we have been unable to find a copy. If you think you may have a copy, please take the time to look for it and let us know if you find it.

Sunday 2 April 1989Tour: Quantock Hills Day 5 Instow to Hartland
21 present: Kenneth Allan (15, Alton), Neil Allan (12, Alton), Patrick Bolster (14, Bristol), Russell Bond (14, Glastonbury), Tamsin Bond (12, Glastonbury), Ian Gibbs (12, Rochdale), Luke Hatherly, Simon Hopper, Michael Jones, Warren Masters, Trevor Piper, Shane Powell, Martin Rushworth, Peter Rushworth, Mark Sloman, Andrew Thompson (11, Warwick), Heather Thompson (15, Warwick), Jennifer Thompson (Adult, Warwick), Benjamin Ward (14, Bristol), Kris White, Martyn Williams
Neil & Ken Allen by the beach at Instow
Neil Allen beside the beach at Instow
On the road between Instow & Clovelly, Mark Sloman leading the pack
On the road between Instow and Clovelly
Clovelly from the A39
On the road between Instow & Clovelly, Warren Masters leading the pack
Clovelly harbour
The coast from near Clovelly
Clovelly beach
Clovelly beach
Martin Rushworth sets up shop at Hartland YH to raise some much-needed funds, by selling his unwanted posessions!
Clovelly
The detailed report on this tour was published in our 1989 Tours Special newsletter. So far we have been unable to find a copy. If you think you may have a copy, please take the time to look for it and let us know if you find it.

Sunday 2 April 1989Afternoon ride: Bow CrossDry / sunny / cool
18 present: Richard Burge, Mary Creedy (Adult, Paignton), Stephen Denham (16, Paignton), Michael Giles, Steven Hills, Richard Hopper, Toby Hopper, Dave Humphreys, Nicholas Hydon, Rohan Kilty, Paul Lakeman, Ian Luke, Peter Madge (13, Marldon), Matthew Paine (13, Paignton), Philip Roberts (14, Paignton), Alan Skinner, Gary Taylor, Steven Taylor

Numbers were depleted by the Easter tour, but the five of us who set out from Buckfastleigh enjoyed a pleasant, almost summery ride to the meeting point near Broadhempston. Arriving on the dot of 3.15 we found the Totnes and Paignton groups waiting, and the Newton Abbot contingent coming in on our tail. We all rode together to Littlehempston, and then split, Steven, Ian and Nicholas coming back with us.

At Broadhempston Alan and Rohan opted for the Beaston track, dragging Richard H with them. The swampy conditions of a fortnight earlier had abated somewhat, but we still had enough to make us anxious. The saner riders had gone through Forder Green. They were waiting for us at the end of the track, and here we split again, leaving four to return to Buckfastleigh via Pridhamsleigh (which looks a lot better without a Texaco service area).

Monday 3 April 1989Tour: Quantock Hills Day 6 Hartland to Home
21 present: Kenneth Allan (15, Alton), Neil Allan (12, Alton), Patrick Bolster (14, Bristol), Russell Bond (14, Glastonbury), Tamsin Bond (12, Glastonbury), Ian Gibbs (12, Rochdale), Luke Hatherly, Simon Hopper, Michael Jones, Warren Masters, Trevor Piper, Shane Powell, Martin Rushworth, Peter Rushworth, Mark Sloman, Andrew Thompson (11, Warwick), Heather Thompson (15, Warwick), Jennifer Thompson (Adult, Warwick), Benjamin Ward (14, Bristol), Kris White, Martyn Williams
Hartland YH
Preparing to leave Hartland YH
Lunch by the road en route to the station
Lunch by the road en route to the station
The detailed report on this tour was published in our 1989 Tours Special newsletter. So far we have been unable to find a copy. If you think you may have a copy, please take the time to look for it and let us know if you find it.

Wednesday 5 April 1989Evening ride (Paignton): HaccombeCold
5 present: Michael Jones, Paul Lakeman, David Robinson, Gary Taylor, Steven Taylor
The first ever Marldon evening ride under the direction of South Dartmoor Section took members through North Wilborough and Coffinswell to the Haccombe track - a really "lush" spot according to young Steven and great fun in the semi-darkness. Paul, who was terrified of the darkness anyway, didn't wait to investigate the cause of the ghostly light in Haccombe church. The group made excellent speed homeward via Kingskerswell and Stoneycombe!

Friday 7 April 1989Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): StavertonSunny
11 present: Dayle Guy, Paul Hamlyn-White, Richard Hopper, Simon Hopper, Toby Hopper, Roger Johnson, Michael Jones, Mark Morris, Luke Rake, Alan Skinner, John Stuart
Luke had to earn the use of Michael's Romany for once this evening when Michael slyly transferred his pannier between the two bikes at the top of Luscombe hill. The ride continued to the riverside path from Staverton Bridge, now neatly trimmed. There were still delays, however, as Paul and others played on fallen tree-trunks overhanging the Dart.

Sunday 9 April 1989Day ride: Holcombe BurnellSunny
16 present: David Cutts, Michael Giles, Dayle Guy, Paul Hamlyn-White, Richard Hopper, Simon Hopper, Nicholas Hydon, Roger Johnson, Michael Jones, Ian Luke, Shane Powell, Philip Roberts, Gary Taylor, Steven Taylor, Ken Twydell, Martyn Williams
Ken and Paul Twydell at Canonteign Falls café
Roger Johnson & Philip Roberts at Canonteign Falls café
The path through the woodland near Holcombe Burnell
Shane helps Paul over the plank at Holcombe Burnell
The path through the woodland near Holcombe Burnell
Ken & Paul making adjustments
Paul leads the way along the woodland path
The cafe at Canonteign Falls was the first official stop after departure from the Chudleigh Bridge pick-up. The rest was longer than anticipated, however, as Nicholas had to deal with a puncture just as we were ready to set off.

Delightful lanes soon brought us to Cotley Wood, where a well-deserved lunch was enjoyed at the top of the hill near the castle ruins. The profusion of large ants didn't encourage us to linger, however, and we were soon descending the cul-de-sac which led to the destination.

The church was interesting but the path leading on from the road provided the most entertainment. No-one present had explored it before, and the element of risk which this added to the excursion made it all the more enjoyable. The first obstacle after the herd of cows and the gate was a boggy area with a narrow plank laid across it. Little Paul quickly got muddy feet so Shane rescued him and carried him across.

The footpath continued along a fairly level and picturesque section of woodland, progress hampered (especially for Ken and his child extension) only by a number of stiles and streams. Eventually we rejoined the road, although not at the place Michael and Richard had hoped.

We were soon back at the Leigh Cross bridge, where entertainments were provided by the two Pauls. Paul HW was determined to use his spare socks and trainers, so he walked into the river. Meanwhile little Paul Twydell kept us amused with an excellent Michael Jackson impression.

As we still had time in hand we decided to take the steep Bridford road, continuing past the reservoirs at maximum speed in our attempts to reach the Bovey cafe before 5.30. We finally arrived at 5.35, only to find that it didn't close until 6pm. After a welcome rest our component groups went their separate ways for a rather late return.

Wednesday 12 April 1989Evening ride (Paignton): AftonSunny & clear
6 present: Heather Daniels, Dave Humphreys, Philip Humphreys, Philip Roberts, Gary Taylor, Steven Taylor
This smashing ride took us through Combe Fishacre and behind Ipplepen to the pretty lanes of Torbryan. Returning towards Compton and Blagdon we were blessed with a delightful sunset but only two Double Deckers between six of us!

Friday 14 April 1989Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): HolneDry / cold
12 present: Brett Easterbrook (10, Buckfastleigh), Chris Giles, Dayle Guy, Paul Hamlyn-White, Richard Hopper, Toby Hopper, Michael Jones, Julian Juste, Rohan Kilty, Shane Powell, Luke Rake, Andrew Simmons
Some members took the extremely muddy track through Burchetts Wood, arriving at the Holne rendezvous with legs caked in mud from the knees down. Meanwhile the saner riders had ridden via Scorriton, collecting Julian Juste along the way and taking the easier climb through Michelcombe.

We took the direct route home, but those without gloves were definitely suffering by the time they returned at 9pm. Toby summed up the feelings of the muddy riders when he said how much he was looking forward to a hot bath!

Sunday 16 April 1989Day ride: Dartmoor Wildlife ParkWet
6 present: Richard Hopper, Simon Hopper, Nicholas Hydon, Michael Jones, Mark Moxham, Shane Powell
Steady drizzle and a poor forecast guaranteed a low turnout today. Those who made the effort were rewarded with an interesting ride via Lutton to Sparkwell, where the entrance to the Park was quickly discovered. One glance at the ticket prices reminded us why we had decided not to enter on previous visits, but we hadn't gone all that way in the rain to miss out again. An entry fee of £2-50 per person was negotiated - expensive for 1½ hours in the rain, but it did allow us access to the warm, dry restaurant with its very pleasant interior.

The park itself was well stocked with a wide variety of animals and birds, from lions, pumas and bears to otters, owls and birds of prey. In nicer weather we could imagine a good day's entertainment for a family.

With the rain still falling we were now in no mood for detours. We took the easiest route to the Erme Mill cafe at Ermington for very welcome refreshments and returned swiftly via Avonwick and Rattery/Totnes.

Wednesday 19 April 1989Evening ride (Paignton): Stoke GabrielSunny
3 present: Michael Jones, Shane Powell, Philip Roberts
Michael spent an enjoyable evening finding all the tracks and paths that he used to know in the Westerland valley and near Stoke Gabriel. The lane to Duncannon was particularly pleasant, although Shane and Philip had a few problems with the undergrowth on one of the paths.

Friday 21 April 1989Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): LandscoveDry / cold
20 present: Brett Easterbrook, Chris Giles, Dayle Guy, Paul Hamlyn-White, Mark Hedges (13, South Brent), Martin Hills (14, Buckfastleigh), Catherine Hopper, Richard Hopper, Simon Hopper, Toby Hopper, Roger Johnson, Michael Jones, Julian Juste, Elsa Kelly, Ian Luke, Luke Rake, Martin Rushworth, Peter Rushworth, Andrew Simmons, John Stuart
This well-attended ride took us through Pridhamsleigh and Five Lanes to Baddaford, where John managed a puncture. The track across the fields to Landscove brought mixed reactions from the group, with young Mark reserving judgement on the idea of track routes until he had tried a few more.

During the loop back around Gullaford Paul HW told his friends to go on and then got a puncture. He had to fix it in the dark, all alone, which seemed a just reward.

Andrew and Luke took the steep track descent from Five Lanes while the others returned via Green Lane. It was here that Chris Giles rode into the hedge in the semi-darkness - fortunately he was not seriously hurt. The only remaining problem was that Michael, who had agreed to meet Andrew and Luke by the flyover, then forgot all about them and returned via Austin's Bridge! They gave up waiting after a while and sensibly patronised the Little Chef cafe.

Young Julian from Scorriton only just caught us today, passing us on Dart Bridge road at 7.15. He'd better arrive a little earlier if he wants to be sure not to miss us!

Sunday 23 April 1989Day ride: Blackingstone RockSunny
17 present: David Cutts, Dayle Guy, Paul Hamlyn-White, Luke Hatherly, Peter Hern, Steven Hills, Richard Hopper, Toby Hopper, Nicholas Hydon, Michael Jones, Ian Luke, Shane Powell, Philip Roberts, Andrew Simmons, Gary Taylor, Ken Twydell, Paul Twydell
David Cutts rides through the ford at North Bovey with Paul H-W looking on
Philip Roberts & Paul Twydell on Blackingstone Rock
Toby Hopper after riding the muddy track at North Bovey
David Cutts makes it through the ford while Richard Hopper helps Paul Twydell
Although Bovey Tracey was the designated final pick-up for this ride, Drum Bridges served as the unofficial rendezvous with just a brief stop in Bovey itself. The outward route involved a stiff climb to Trenchford and Tottiford reservoirs, where Ken Twydell's Rann trailer, for his son Paul, attracted attention from a passing motorist.

At the base of Blackingstone Rock the weather conditions were ideal for lunch, but as carrot missiles rained down upon Michael from on high he could well have been thinking of that classic Spencer Tracey film "Bad Day at Black Rock". After lunch several members climbed the shallow steps to the top and lived to tell the tale.

A refreshment stop was made early in the afternoon at the Mearsdon Manor in Moretonhampstead, where the quality and price of the ice cream earned much praise. And Luke Hatherly, who had toiled throughout his lunch break on the removal of his mudguard, devoured a gargantuan portion of toast and jam - richly deserved.

Paul HW's day was made when he heard that we would be passing through North Bovey's ford. By the time the rest of the group arrived he was already wading through the icy water and it was Paul who contributed the almost obligatory puncture on the track which followed.

Return was by way of Hemsworthy and Cold East Cross. Congratulations must go to Toby Hopper for completing his first full-day ride at the age of nine years with energy to spare. Young Paul Twydell also did well of course, but members couldn't help noticing how cool and collected he looked at the top of each hill - in marked contrast to his poor father who had been pulling him of course.

We are most grateful to the Lakeman family for assisting with the CTC stand at the Torbay Sports Fair while the rest of us were out enjoying the sunshine. There was a great deal of interest at the stand, which we hope will show itself with even more new members over the coming weeks.

Wednesday 26 April 1989Evening ride (Paignton): CancelledWet
4 present: Dave Humphreys, Philip Humphreys, Philip Roberts, Gary Taylor
The rain showed no sign of abating after a considerable wait in the bus shelter, so those present decided to abandon the ride for this week.

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