South Dartmoor CTC

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Saturday 6 January 1990Weekend ride: Litton Cheney Youth Hostel Day 1Wet
11 present: Neil Ault (13, Buckfastleigh), Paul Hamlyn-White, Philip Harler, Mark Hedges, Steven Hills, Simon Hopper, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Mark Moxham, Philip Robinson, Alan Skinner
South Dartmoor Section's first excursion into Dorset got off to a wet and miserable start. The rain, which was falling even as we arrived at Newton Abbot station, lashed the side of the train all the way to Axminster. As we disembarked at 1145 the prospect of a dry afternoon appeared remote to say the least.

Our worst fears were realised. Having consumed our lunch under the frontage of an Axminster supermarket we settled into the only cafe for a prolonged refreshment stop. When we could stay there no longer we browsed through the shops. There was some amusement here: we watched in amazement as Phillip Harler purchased a £3.50 Dandy Annual in the newsagents and then asked Mark Moxham to carry it for the rest of the weekend. Even more amusing was the fact that Mark agreed!

Decision time had, unfortunately, arrived. We needed to allow 3½ hours for the 18-mile journey to Litton Cheney. The rain was forecast to stop during the afternoon, but at 1330 we could wait no longer. Steven and Mark, who knew the way without checking the map, set off when no-one was looking, and the rest of us spent the next twenty minutes riding around Axminster trying to second guess where they might have gone. When we finally found the right road we were nicely wetted. The weekend was not looking promising!

We didn't find Mark and Steven until we had climbed an interestingly steep hill to the B3165, followed the latter along the ridge and descended into Marshwood. Fortunately we had agreed a route on the train, and this was the spot where they felt sure they would meet us.

The lane route through Broadoak to Bradpole was, thankfully, mainly flat or downhill. Progress was hindered only by the presence of some unusually deep and wide lakes on the road, but as we were already wet these just presented opportunities for entertainment - provided mainly by the mountain bikers of course. Neil wasn't quiet so amused when his "puncture-resistant" tyre went flat after riding through the lake near Shave Cross. Neither was Michael, as he had to repair it! An elderly gentleman looked on as the repair proceeded, and finally suggested an alternative route which would avoid the lake. Michael thanked him kindly, informing him that his advice was a little too late.

Steven got the next puncture, near Bradpole, but decided it was slow enough to pump. However, after passing the pretty village of Loders and the strange fortress ridges of Uploders, Mark Moxham picked up two punctures at once - a large piece of flint and a thorn - just when we didn't need them.

Darkness fell as repairs were effected. Taking the level, southern route to the hostel through Shipton Gorge we proceeded at maximum warp. And just as we arrived, the rain finally stopped! Still, we didn't mind. We were wet through, but the thought of a warm, dry hostel, hot showers, comfortable beds and good meals had kept us going.

We were about to be disappointed. The dormitories were cramped, cold and poorly lit (just two dim bulbs, the light of which didn't extend far beyond the bunks immediately beneath them). There was no hot water in the taps or showers. The toilets were in a shed across the back yard. And to complete the disillusionment, the bike shed was full of building materials so our precious machines had to spend the night under the stars (or rather, clouds). This was a very basic hostel. On the positive side, there was some warmth in the common room: two pieces of glowing coal were huddled together in the open fireplace. Unfortunately, there was already a crowd of hostellers around the fire, so even this luxury was denied to us.

Once we were in dry clothes things began to look a little better. There was a good drying room, even if it was a little on the small side. Many of us spent happy periods in this little room, just enjoying the luxury of warmth. And the meals were home made and first rate, with as many helpings as you needed. The rest of the evening was spent playing table football, monopoly and Philip's role-playing adventure game, book-style. Simple hostels nearly always have the best atmosphere (and this one is no exception), but we'd recommend Litton Cheney for summer visits only.

Sunday 7 January 1990Weekend ride: Litton Cheney Youth Hostel Day 2Sunny spells
11 present: Neil Ault (13, Buckfastleigh), Paul Hamlyn-White, Philip Harler, Mark Hedges, Steven Hills, Simon Hopper, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Mark Moxham, Philip Robinson, Alan Skinner
Next morning was bright and sunny as forecast, although the sky looked a bit watery. We could now see that the hostel (which was originally a dutch barn and later a cheese and milk factory) was located in a delightful setting, just outside the equally delightful village of Litton Cheney.

We made the most of the conditions by setting off early, as we were expecting further rain by late morning. The easy lanes brought us to Burton Bradstock and West Bay, where we stopped briefly to buy refreshments. We then skirted Bridport, tackled the big hill out of Chideock and eventually reached our planned lunch spot - the coastal track high between Morcombelake and Charmouth. Here there was plenty of grassy space for the younger members to practice jumps and other stunts.

Following the steep descent to Charmouth it was Simon's turn for a puncture. Eventually we set off again through the pretty lanes near Wootton Fitzpaine, hoping that the additional delay wouldn't result in us getting wet again. Today, however, the forecast was wrong in our favour. We even had time to fix Steven's puncture whilst waiting for Simon's gang to return (they had gone past the selected turning). We had a 1½ hour wait at Axminster station for the train, but at least we didn't get wet again.

And so, the end of an interesting weekend. Some people don't like the idea of winter hostelling, but it can certainly be an adventure.

Sunday 7 January 1990Afternoon ride: TorbryanDry but cloudy
8 present: Michael Banks, Richard Burge, Michael Giles, Tom Giles (Junior, Staverton), Matthew Jago, Philip Roberts, David Robinson, Eliot Thomas-Wright
While Michael and associated members were exploring the Dorset wilderness, a rather depleted number of members (2) set forth from Buckfastleigh towards Torbryan via the notorious Green Lane, Landscove, Halswell and Broadhempston.

Once a rendezvous had occurred with the other groups it was decided to take the track that ended near Tornewton: the track was characterised by masses of mud and an over friendly goat. A return to Broadhempston marked the Paignton/Torquay contingent's departure, which left the rest of the group to meander to Staverton. Totnes contingent returned homewards from here while the Buckfastleigh contingent returned via Charlie's Cross and the main road, reaching home shortly after dark.

Friday 12 January 1990
1900-2200
Social: Bicycle Workshop 3
8 present: Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Julian Duquemin, Chris Giles, Martin Hills, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, David Robinson
Gears and wheels was the subject of this evening's social, held at Richard Burge's house near Ashburton. As usual, his chinchillas attracted plenty of attention.

Sunday 14 January 1990Day ride: LukeslandDry / sunny
31 present: Neil Ault, Andrew Banks (12, Abbotskerswell), Richard Burge, Robert Crabbe, Dayle Guy, Philip Harler, Luke Hatherly, Martin Hills, Ben Hobday, Karina Hobday, Roxanne Hobday, Dave Humphreys, Matthew Jago, Lee Jelfs (13, Newton Abbot), Roger Johnson, Michael Jones, Luke Kudliskis, Marcus Kudliskis, Stephen Larkin, Martin Luke, Philip Roberts, David Robinson, Philip Robinson, Alan Skinner, Gary Taylor, Eliot Thomas-Wright, Debbie Twydell, Ken Twydell, Paul Twydell, Julie Twydell-Hobday, Mark Zacchia (13, Paignton)
Refreshments from Ken's van
Lunch outside Harford church
Alan performs a stunt
Lee, Eliot and Phillip
From Avonwick we took the muddy lane past Cannamore Farm. Luke Hatherly, who had just been informed that it was now unfashionable for mountain bikers to be seen with a "skunk stripe" during the winter months, remained undeterred: he rode through all the mud he could find and refused to accept that mudguards could serve him any useful purpose.

Plans to continue directly to Hillhead Cross had to be revised when a number of impetuous youngsters missed the right turn. They didn't stop until they had descended the long hill to Ugborough, so the rest thought it would probably be quicker to change the route. There was an extra hill to climb, but on the whole the detour added variety to the ride.

There was a further delay at Ivybridge when the majority accepted Martin Hills' offer to buy refreshments at his family's video shop in the town. Eventually, however, we returned to the Harford road to commence the long climb past Stowford House: everyone wanted lunch, of course, so the effort wasn't given without complaint.

Lukesland is a large house which afforded few opportunities for such a large group to enjoy lunch. The Twydell family had joined us in their van and suggested that Harford was the most suitable spot. A mile or two later we were settled on the grass outside Harford church, relaxing in the warmth of the sun and enjoying the peaceful setting. This really was a perfect spot for lunch.

From Harford a lane leads up to a small car park on the open moor, and this is where Ken, Julie and family had settled for lunch. We quickly joined them, and spent an enjoyable half an hour riding around with the youngsters on their BMX bikes, and enjoying Julie's delicious hot chocolate, served from their VW camper van. There was time for a few repairs before we set off once again towards Hangershell Rock, across the open moor.

The moor wasn't quite as open as we had remembered. Michael was delayed with some repairs, and when he had ascended the first ridge he was met with the sight of numerous cyclists picking their way across a bog. He remembered that the stream started from a spring a little distance to the north east and, judging that they were by now all wet, took his single charge around the dry route. Dave Humphreys moaned "like a big girl's blouse" because his cycling shoes, being riddled with holes, had let all the water in. He pointed to his brown socks, which could be seen through the holes, and stated that they had been white when he left home. Someone mentioned that the holes would at least assist the drying process, but he was not amused.

When Andrew's puncture had been fixed, courtesy of Stephen Larkin who loaned him a tube, there was yet another delay when Martin Hills led half the group too far along the track - partly due to unclear directions from Michael, it must be said. Having recalled them to Spurrells Cross we set about the descent to Owley, which nearly everyone found great fun. There were some obstacles to avoid, however, in the form of rocks: Dave reckoned they were cruising around under the bracken looking for cyclists to dismount.

The track led us to the lanes at Owley, from where it was but a short ride to South Brent. Totnes/Paignton and Buckfastleigh/Newton Abbot groups separated here, without refreshments on this occasion as the Copper Kettle cafe at South Brent was closed until February. Congratulations to all the new riders who once again performed admirably.

Sunday 21 January 1990Day ride: Lustleigh CleaveWet
23 present: Neil Ault, Andrew Banks, Hazel Brown, Jamie Davey, Dayle Guy, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Paul Hamlyn-White, Philip Harler, Luke Hatherly, Mark Hedges, Martin Hills, Lee Jelfs, Michael Jones, Luke Kudliskis, Martin Luke, David Robinson, Philip Robinson, Alan Skinner, Gary Taylor, Eliot Thomas-Wright, David Waldron (13, Dawlish), Martyn Williams, Mark Zacchia
We trusted the weather forecast when it promised light showers of drizzle giving way to a dry afternoon, with heavy rain following by early evening. What a mistake that turned out to be. We had got distinctly damp by the time we reached Bovey Tracey. The usual track to Lustleigh provided plenty of amusement (although some were sure it was uphill), and eventually we arrived at the Primrose cafe, which had opened the previous day after the customary Christmas break. Surprisingly there was space for all of us.

As we left we were reasonably confident of finding that the first sunny periods would be evident. Instead we were dismayed to see that the drizzle had changed to steady, driving rain, whipped up by the strengthening winds. Dave Robinson tried a nearby friend to see if we could lunch in his garage, but sadly he was out. Michael then had the bright idea of asking the cafe proprietor about hiring the village hall for an hour. After a few telephone calls we were given the go-ahead - and the keys - and everyone bundled into the hall with considerable relief. It wasn't over-warm, but nobody minded that. The cost was 25p each.

When we were ready to leave, the rain was even denser than before. There was nothing for it but to abandon the ride and head for home. Well, at least we had enjoyed the morning, and reached the destination area. We took a different route back to Bovey, where the two contingents separated. I would be lying if I said the final hours were enjoyable. Many of the youngsters were cold, wet, tired and hungry when they finally reached home. Michael was also slightly angry: he takes a lot of trouble to ensure that members never find themselves so far from home in bad weather, but on this occasion the Met Office let him down badly.

Friday 26 January 1990
1900-2200
Social: Give us a Clue
15 present: Neil Ault, Julian Duquemin, Chris Giles, Martin Hills, Ben Hobday, Simon Hopper, Lee Jelfs, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, David Robinson, Dominic Robinson (13, Marldon), Philip Robinson, Ken Twydell, Paul Twydell, Julie Twydell-Hobday
There was plenty of fun for this team game. Even the younger members of the Twydell household took part. Many thanks to the Robinsons for their generous hospitality.

Sunday 28 January 1990Day ride: Topsham BridgeShowers
15 present: Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Paul Hamlyn-White, Philip Harler, Luke Hatherly, Dave Humphreys, Lee Jelfs, Michael Jones, Stephen Larkin, Martin Luke, David Robinson, Philip Robinson, Alan Skinner, Eliot Thomas-Wright
This was certainly an eventful ride. First off, Elliot collected three punctures all at once within ten minutes of leaving Buckfastleigh. And as Michael repaired them, one of the early showers did its best to drench them both. All this made us late at Totnes, but at least the showers stopped as we arrived. When we had chatted with Eugene at the Plains we set off up the High Street, deciding for once to go outwards via Bow Bridge and Tuckenhay - even to the extent of climbing Corky, which didn't amuse Paul HW. Lunch was taken at the top in a stiff and cold wind, whereupon Paul commenced selling his chocolate bars.

Continuing the climb, the next incident was Luke Hatherly's explosive puncture, caused by a split in his Farmer John tyre's sidewall. To make matters worse, he didn't have a spare tube! There was consequently a slight delay while the puncture and tyre were repaired, and then again while Luke went back in search of a metal dust cap which apparently had sentimental value.

Next stop was the Forces Cross cafe - which for once was closed. We weren't too disappointed as we had recently had lunch, so we then continued through to Blackawton. Here there were more problems, as Stephen Larkin collected another puncture near the church. This was quickly repaired with some assistance from Paul, but he then got another one along the track to Millcombe, this time in the rear wheel. What fun we have in the CTC!

There are some delightful lanes alongside the river Gara, but eventually one has to climb up to the main road again. This took a while, but we were soon speeding towards Moreleigh, on course for a reasonable return time (having decided to skip Topsham Bridge in view of the delays).

It was at Moreleigh that both Elliot and Alan Skinner, both under eleven and both without cycling proficiency training, failed to look or signal on a tricky right-turn manoeuvre. Elliot narrowly missed one vehicle, Alan was hit by another. Fortunately he was unharmed: the car was travelling slowly on the corner and only caught Alan's rear wheel. His pedal crank was bent so as to make the bike unrideable, however, so his father was called to collect him. Michael stayed with him while the rest continued homewards in the capable hands of the two Daves.

This is one of the most serious incidents in the Section's history, even though there were no injuries. One of the boys could easily have been seriously injured. We are reminded of the fact that no matter what precautions are taken by the club, a cyclist can still be seriously injured if he or she makes a mistake.

Parents can feel more confident in their child's safety if they have taken part in a cycling proficiency scheme, but this training is only the first step, and does not mean a child is safe on the road: they feel safe, but have not had sufficient practice to guarantee their safety in all circumstances. Many later forget the procedures they have learned, and look or signal only when they feel it necessary, relying on sound to tell them if a car is coming.

The thought of a serious injury to any of our members, young or old, is intolerable. This is why we are now providing short training sessions on grade 2 rides. The aim is to remind all members of the importance of using "The System" (Think, Look, Is it Safe, Signal, Move) for every manoeuvre, on every single ride. We hope that members will take the sessions seriously and never forget the real dangers of undisciplined cycling.

Sunday 4 February 1990Afternoon ride (Buckfastleigh): North HuishDry / gales
13 present: Neil Ault, Andrew Guy, Dayle Guy, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Paul Hamlyn-White, Philip Harler, Martin Hills, Michael Jones, Luke Kudliskis, Marcus Kudliskis, Shane Powell, Eliot Thomas-Wright, Martyn Williams
A strong headwind made the climb towards Rattery even harder than usual. Then confusion struck when the leading riders were asked to stop near the junction with the big trees: several of the trees had blown down in the recent storms, so the enthusiastic cyclists could hardly be blamed for going past them.

An important decision had to be made at this junction: should we go for the planned destination or make a diversion? The high winds, coupled with the likelihood of rain, suggested a negative reply so the ride diverted to Dartington via Billany Farm lane.

When Paul had sold some chocolate and various gloves had been donned (it was getting quite cold by this time) we proceeded to Dartington church and Staverton station. Here the rough riders were satisfied with an excursion along the riverside track to the village. Dayle became concerned near the railway crossing when he discovered his pump was missing. He spent some time looking for it, riding back and forth along the track to the station, but eventually concluded, reluctantly, that the pump was lost.

Careful choice of route enabled Michael, Shane and Elliot to avoid getting wet, muddy feet when the group encountered a boggy ditch along the way. There were some, of course, who rode through the muddiest part several times (some would call them foolish, Martin), and who had to be called away from another large lake lying in a nearby field.

Returning once again to Staverton station (location shot for the BBC drama "Little Sir Nicholas") we continued homewards via Abham and Caddaford. And when Dayle got home, what was the first thing he saw? His pump!

Sunday 4 February 1990Afternoon ride (Paignton): Stoke-in-TeignheadWindy
8 present: Nick Buchanan, Derek Fields (13, Newton Abbot), Lee Jelfs, Stephen Larkin, Martin Luke, Gary Taylor, Ken Twydell, Paul Twydell
Despite the large quantities of mud and debris on the roads (in the wake of the recent storms), Marldon and Newton Abbot contingents met at Coffinswell church as planned. Newsletters, brought out by Martin Luke, were duly distributed by Sir Kenneth, but that was the last duty he performed on the ride. A few minutes later, after climbing the steep hill through Daccombe, his hub spindle broke and he had to retire from the ride.

Nick led the remaining riders down the twisty and interesting lane towards Combeinteignhead. He avoided Netherton, knowing that there were a number of fallen trees in that region, and returned through Newton Abbot to Paignton.

Friday 9 February 1990
1900-2200
Social: Video Evening
15 present: Neil Ault, Joseph Bellows, Chris Giles, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Paul Hamlyn-White, Luke Hatherly, Martin Hills, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Chris Platt, David Platt, Shane Powell, Martin Rushworth, Peter Rushworth, Martyn Williams
We were fortunate enough to have Martin Hills' video suite available as the venue for our viewing of the pilot episode of Star Trek - The Next Generation, entitled "Encounter at Farpoint". This high quality science fiction series, which will begin showing on BBC television later this year, has just started its third season in the States, so members have at least another 77 episodes to look forward to.

We were amazed and extremely grateful to Mrs Hills for the generous range of refreshments, which resembled a buffet meal rather than a light snack. No doubt we will be returning again next season for another social.

Sunday 11 February 1990Day ride: Powderham CastleWet
14 present: Neil Ault, Joseph Bellows, Jamie Davey, Jeremy Ford, Philip Harler, Richard Harler (Junior, Buckfastleigh), Luke Hatherly, Martin Hills, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Chris Platt, David Platt, David Waldron, Martyn Williams
Torrential rain and a bad forecast led to the cancellation of today's ride and its replacement with a social at Crofters. All start points were covered, of course, but only Jamie and David from Dawlish ventured out - it hadn't been raining when they left home! Michael gave them a lift back to Newton Abbot in his car, and then returned to Buckfastleigh to supervise the invasion of his house!

Sunday 18 February 1990Day ride: Pixie's CaveSunny
17 present: Neil Ault, Joseph Bellows, Richard Burge, Jamie Davey, Philip Harler, Dave Humphreys, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Shane Powell, Peter Riggs, Martin Rushworth, Peter Rushworth, John Stuart, Gary Taylor, Eliot Thomas-Wright, David Waldron, Martyn Williams
David Waldron surprises Neil
Lunch at Pudsham Down
Fun around the cave
Making the most of the weather we rode from Bickington to Cold East Cross, enjoying a delightful lunch beside the river near Pudsham Down. Continuing through Cockingford and Ponsworthy (where David, Jamie, Phillip and others demonstrated their ATB skills over some steep humps) we were soon at Dartmeet. Sadly the cafe was closed, but we thoroughly enjoyed the walk up to Pixie's cave - especially the boggy section in the field!

The return to Buckfastleigh via Hexworthy didn't impress Eliot ("Too many hills"), but the rest of us enjoyed it. Phillip kept complaining that he was hungry and had no food left, but he refused everything he was offered on the grounds that he didn't like it! Some said he couldn't have been very hungry! Joseph's puncture near Hawson Court delayed us because he didn't have the right size of spare tube, but when everyone finally got home there were refreshments at Crofters.

Friday 23 February 1990
1900-2200
Social: Slide Show
14 present: Joseph Bellows, Richard Burge, Julian Duquemin, Chris Giles, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Paul Hamlyn-White, Philip Harler, Catherine Hopper, Simon Hopper, Michael Jones, Luke Kudliskis, Marcus Kudliskis, Martin Luke, Shane Powell
Section slides from the previous twelve months were shown together with some compromising shots of Budgie, John Stuart and Simon Hopper from 1986/87.

Sunday 25 February 1990Day ride: OwleyWet
3 present: Michael Jones, Unknown Rider 1, Unknown Rider 2
Today's ride was abandoned owing to the bad weather.

Sunday 4 March 1990
1415
Afternoon ride (Buckfastleigh): Shipley BridgeDry
25 present: Neil Ault, Joseph Bellows, Hazel Brown, Richard Burge, Shaun Donald (13, Newton Abbot), Julian Duquemin, Andrew Guy, Dayle Guy, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Paul Hamlyn-White, Martin Hills, Richard Hopper, Matthew Jeffery, Luke Kudliskis, Marcus Kudliskis, Andrew Makepiece (13, Buckfastleigh), Ben Mitchell, Shane Powell, Martin Rushworth, Peter Rushworth, Alan Skinner, Charles Staniland (Adult, Buckland-in-the-moor), Erin Staniland, Gavin Taylor (10, Buckfastleigh), Eliot Thomas-Wright
A delightful, well-attended ride which took us up to the Avon Dam and over the moor to Cross Furzes. As usual, the new riders performed well.

Sunday 4 March 1990
1415-1700
Afternoon ride (Paignton): Berry Head ParkDry
13 present: David Cutts, Michael Giles, Tom Giles, Luke Hatherly, Matthew Jago, Martin Luke, Philip Roberts, David Robinson, Philip Robinson, Gary Taylor, Debbie Twydell, Ken Twydell, Paul Twydell
We were soon speeding through the lanes via Westerland to the Blagdon road and thence over the Totnes road and on towards Stoke Gabriel. Ken had broken the habits of a lifetime and actually prepared a route! This was meant to run parallel with the main Stoke Gabriel road through a track - despite Gary's protestations that it might get his bike dirty! In the event we shot past the Long Lane turnoff (was Gary leading at that point?) and stayed on the roads.

After Galmpton we had a delightful LEVEL ride along Buscombe Lane and then on down into Brixham. From there we took the coast road to Berry Head where a few enthusiasts cycled right down to the bottom of the cliffs whilst most of us shivered in the high winds.

As Mike and Tom Giles and Luke had a fairly long return journey to Totnes we soon set off again taking the back route out of Brixham via North Boundary Road and Buscombe Road to Windy Corner. There we bid our farewells - not the most adventurous ride ever but a very pleasant excursion for us all.

Friday 9 March 1990
1900-2200
Social: Cycling Proficiency
7 present: Neil Ault, Julian Duquemin, Chris Giles, Dave Humphreys, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Gavin Taylor
Paignton members have now sealed the fate of Paignton socials, which will be reduced from 33% to 15% next season! We all agreed that Dave Humphreys should be a stand-up mime entertainer after seeing his fishing impression!

Saturday 10 March 1990Weekend ride: Maypool Youth Hostel Day 1Dry
22 present: Neil Ault, Joseph Bellows, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Paul Hamlyn-White, Philip Harler, Martin Hills, Ben Hobday, Karina Hobday, Roxanne Hobday, Richard Hopper, Simon Hopper, Toby Hopper, Michael Jones, Luke Kudliskis, Marcus Kudliskis, Martin Luke, Shane Powell, Alan Skinner, Debbie Twydell, Ken Twydell, Paul Twydell, Julie Twydell-Hobday
We took the usual route through Totnes, up Parliament Hill and into Galmpton. Arriving at the hostel we met Ken's enormous family and five members of Plymouth Section. The wardens kindly allowed us to play our usual noisy and energetic game of Crazy Post, and we showed our appreciation by contenting ourselves with board and table games for the remainder of the evening.

Sunday 11 March 1990Weekend ride: Maypool Youth Hostel Day 2Dry
22 present: Neil Ault, Joseph Bellows, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Paul Hamlyn-White, Philip Harler, Martin Hills, Ben Hobday, Karina Hobday, Roxanne Hobday, Richard Hopper, Simon Hopper, Toby Hopper, Michael Jones, Luke Kudliskis, Marcus Kudliskis, Martin Luke, Shane Powell, Alan Skinner, Debbie Twydell, Ken Twydell, Paul Twydell, Julie Twydell-Hobday
Neil, Toby & Alan near Galmpton
Maypool garden, Sunday morning
Good weather returned next morning. The YHA benevelant fund / Twydell family made their way back home via Galmpton. Although only three vehicles in the party they managed to get seriously separated. Paul was rushing on ahead, Dad not paying attention and poor Ben lost sight of the others. When he passed a side road and was not sure what way they had gone he sensibly stayed put, slightly tearfully, until the others, having stopped for refreshment, decided to go back. Ken thought Ben behaved very well.

Meanwhile the main group set off through the lanes to Kingswear, enjoying some good views of Dartmouth and the Royal Naval College along the way. There was some confusion over the choice of ferry, but eventually the passenger ferry was selected on the basis of the extra discount offered (some still watched the vehicle ferry enviously, thinking that it looked more fun).

After a visit to the Spinning Wheel cafe we investigated the closed coastal road near Stoke Flemming (having been advised by Kevin that it was ridaeble). The storm damage was particularly evident from the beach: the familiar cafe and its associated buildings had completely disappeared, and a large section of the cliff had fallen away beneath the road. Toby, Neil and others got wet feet of course.

Return was via Bowden, Tuckenhay (where Phillip and Toby got even wetter feet crossing the ford) and Totnes - apologies to Mark Moxham, who tried to meet us at Slapton!

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