South Dartmoor CTC


Saturday 17 March 1990Social: Cyclex Trip
22 present: Neil Ault, Marcus Blair (Junior, Devon), Jamie Davey, Julian Duquemin, Dayle Guy, Luke Hatherly, Martin Hills, Steven Hills, Richard Hopper, Simon Hopper, Toby Hopper, Lee Jelfs, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Shane Powell, Danielle Robinson (Adult, Marldon), David Robinson, Dominic Robinson, Philip Robinson, Vicky Sanders, Gary Taylor, David Waldron
David Waldron
BMX stunts
This rail-assisted day trip to the Cyclex exhibition in London was great fun for all who took part, although the touring cyclists in the group were rather dismayed at the predominance of mountain bikes on the show.

Sunday 18 March 1990Day ride: Hansel MillSunny
11 present: Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Julian Duquemin, Dayle Guy, Martin Hills, Dave Humphreys, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Alan Skinner, Eliot Thomas-Wright, Martyn Williams
Today's route took us through Totnes, Harbertonford, Moreleigh, Slapton (a change of plan, because we didn't make it there last week), Strete, and Tuckenhay. Dave Humphreys' made a startling revelation during the morning session: "My one ambition in life is to get Budgie's bike dirty!" It's just as well Budgie wasn't there today!

We witnessed a car crash on the Slapton Road. A car stopped around a corner, and a following car didn't. There were some unpleasant words exchanged between the male drivers while the respective females remained seated, looking slightly embarassed!

This was the warmest March weekend for more than 20 years - we were even warmer than the Mediteranean! It was somewhat annoying, therefore, that all the popular cafes should be closed - there was a bloke painting the outside of the Torcross cafe, apparently oblivious to the lost trade! Some of us made do with treacle puddings from the local Inn and later regretted eating them!

Eliot and Alan performed very well indeed, especially during the morning session when they were to be seen powering up the steep hills, sometimes ahead of the older members. We made such good time that we were able to do a short CATS session at Moreleigh and still get to Slapton in time for lunch (1.15). On the return route Eliot, who was slowing down, got special treatment from Michael, receieving 8 pieces of chocolate when the others only got one each - they watched incredulously ! It had the desired effect - he went so fast along the next stretch that he came off on a gravelly corner! Fortunately he was unhurt.

Dave Humphreys returned via the Dartmouth ferry, taking his chances with the coastal road, and Martin Luke was fortunate enough to catch a train at Totnes within ten minutes of his arrival!

Friday 23 March 1990
Social: Grand Social
23 present: Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Julian Duquemin, Dayle Guy, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Paul Hamlyn-White, Luke Hatherly, Martin Hills, Ben Hobday, Roxanne Hobday, Simon Hopper, Lee Jelfs, Michael Jones, Luke Kudliskis, Marcus Kudliskis, Martin Luke, David Platt, David Robinson, Dominic Robinson, Philip Robinson, Debbie Twydell, Ken Twydell, Paul Twydell
This has to be the best social we have ever organised. We hired a section of the recently-constructed Buckfast Community Centre and made full use of the pool table, table tennis table and kitchen facilities. Several board games were set up while others played with Philip's radio-controlled car. We sadly made a loss on this occasion, but we think members would be happy to pay 60p to attend this special venue when it is repeated next season.

Sunday 25 March 1990Day ride: Lustleigh CleaveSunny
18 present: Hazel Brown, Jamie Davey, Dayle Guy, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Paul Hamlyn-White, Philip Harler, Martin Hills, Lee Jelfs, Michael Jones, Marcus Kudliskis, Martin Luke, David Platt, Martin Rushworth, Peter Rushworth, Andrew Simmons, Gavin Taylor, David Waldron, Martyn Williams
This was not an easy decision for Michael. Martin Rushworth lay face-down on the ground, his limbs splayed out awkwardly. For the fifth time Michael had asked him to try to move his right leg, but he was still unable to do so. The symptoms all seemed to suggest the possibility of a broken or fractured femur, and yet how could this possibly have happened? Martin had been riding with the club along the forest track in Houndtor Wood, about 800m from Becky Falls, and had fallen from his bike. The track had been wide, relatively smooth and only gently sloping where he had fallen. He must have been riding a little too fast, hit a root or small stone and lost control. It seemed unlikely that he could have sustained serious injuries, and yet his inability to move was inescapable.

Access would be difficult to say the least, but expert opinion would have to be sought before Martin could be moved. Paul Hamlyn-White stayed with Martin while Michael rode on towards the Becky Falls cafe. The winter storms had, however, left their mark on the woodlands: the path was obstructed by a series of fallen trees, and the wooden bridge had been boarded off. When Michael eventually reached the cafe, he discovered that it was closed for the winter.

The proprietor, who was busy redecorating his lounge, had to get a bubble out of a piece of wallpaper before he would escort Michael to the telephone. He turned out to be quite helpful, and the ambulance was soon on its way: the other members of the group were rounded up whilst it travelled from Newton Abbot.

Michael had explained the situation quite carefully to the emergency operator, including the access problems. When the ambulance finally arrived, the situation was explained again.

"Do you think the helicopter would be able to get through?" said the ambulanceman.

"I'm not sure," replied Michael, amazed that he would even have considered such an option at this early stage. "I'm not even sure he's badly injured. I think the best course of action is for you to have a look at him first."

"Well, I only asked because the chopper is in the area," replied the ambulanceman. And with that, the police helicopter flew over the nearby trees with a sudden rush of noise and hovered overhead!

The other youngsters in the group suddenly realised that the afternoon had quickly turned into a real drama. The pilot landed the helicopter in a nearby field, spoke to one of the ambulancemen and then took off again to locate Martin and attempt to land nearby. Meanwhile the two ambulancemen and Michael lugged several items of equipment back along the tortuous route through the woods, climbing over the bridge and crawling under numerous fallen trees.

When they finally reached Martin the police were already there, having landed a few metres to the north in an open field. The ambulance crew confirmed the diagnosis as a "suspected fracture" and proceeded accordingly. Martin was carried back to the helicopter on a stretcher and airlifted to Torbay hospital casualty unit.

Suddenly everything was quiet again. Back at the cafe, two parents had arrived to take the younger riders home. The rest set off for an energetic return to Buckfastleigh via Haytor, arriving just after 6.30pm.

This was an unexpected end to an interesting ride - which got off to a late start because Marcus and a few others forgot to put their clocks forward.

During our customary stop at the Primrose cafe we met fellow cyclists Alasdair Robertson and friend, who agreed to meet us at the Cleave for lunch. This they did, and our members spent some time admiring his £1179 Roberts mountain bike - and getting each other wet in the river. Ï

The track through the Cleave was rough, but older mountain bikers derived considerable pleasure from the initial descent. Younger riders needed some assistance with the climb after lunch towards Manaton. Once they had reached the top, there was plenty of downhill riding through the woods ... but you already know the rest of the story.

And what of Martin? X-ray examination of his leg confirmed that he had only a bad bruise. He went home that evening, and was back at school after three days. It is comforting to know, however, that no expense is spared by the authority when our health is considered to be at risk!

Sunday 1 April 1990Afternoon ride: Fishacre BartonPerfect
41 present: Neil Ault, Joseph Bosence (10, Devon), Erica Brown, Richard Burge, Tao Burgess (9, Buckfastleigh), Sam Chew (10, Buckfastleigh), Ashley Cullen (17, Devon), Julian Duquemin, Michael Giles, Tom Giles, Andrew Guy, Dayle Guy, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Paul Hamlyn-White, Luke Hatherly, Roxanne Hobday, Toby Hopper, Jackie Hunt, Jeremy Hunt, Jessica Hunt, Joanna Hunt, Martin Hunt, Matthew Jago, Matthew Jeffery, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Warren Masters, Ben Mitchell, Mark Moxham, Philip Roberts, Andrew Simmons, Alan Skinner, Charles Staniland, Erin Staniland, Gary Taylor, Gavin Taylor, Maureen Taylor (Adult, Buckfastleigh), Eliot Thomas-Wright, Debbie Twydell, Ken Twydell, David Walshe (14, Buckfastleigh)
The weather today was perfect in every respect. Maureen found it a bit too hard on Weston Hill so she headed home while the rest of us continued along the riverside track to Staverton.

After a twenty minute wait at the destination / pick-up point in which Michael gave out lots of newsletters, everyone had arrived - including the kiddy-back club in the form of the Twydells and the Hunts. We continued on a meandering route through Ipplepen and Torbryan, then back to Broadhempston. There was so much to see today: flowers in bloom, horses, people mowing their lawns, trees coming out in leaf - beauty everywhere. Matthew Jago and Philip looked after the younger members very well.

The various groups made their separate ways home from Broadhempston. The last hill almost killed some of the new arrivals, and even Matthew H-W who had been suffering from knee pain all day, but they all made it and we very muchhope they will be able to join us again. There were refreshments at Crofters for those who could manage to climb Wallaford Road.

This ride was just pure magic. Nothing went wrong and everyone had a very happy time.

Wednesday 4 April 1990Evening ride (Paignton): Red PostSunny / cold
6 present: Dave Humphreys, Matthew Jago, Lee Jelfs, Stephen Larkin, Martin Luke, Philip Roberts
All present seemed happy with an energetic ride (including Lee and Martin who had ridden out from Newton Abbot), so Dave drove us at a fast pace through to Ipplepen. Sadly the cafe was closed, so we continued with an excursion which encompassed Red Post, Broadhempston and Ipplepen before returning to Marldon with a total of 17 miles on the clock.

Friday 6 April 1990Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): SpitchwickDry
18 present: Neil Ault, Simon Barnes, Erica Brown, Julian Duquemin, Andrew Guy, Dayle Guy, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Paul Hamlyn-White, Philip Harler, Martin Hills, Catherine Hopper, Simon Hopper, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Chris Platt, David Platt, Alan Skinner, Gwenda Spry (Adult, Ashburton)
The first Buckfastleigh evening ride of the new season got off to a shaky start when Michael's Romany (ridden by Neil) became unridable near Buckfast. Closer inspection revealed that the bottom bracket had seized (lack of maintenance I'm afraid) and Neil's own cycle had to be brought out before he could continue the ride.

Gwenda found Hembury Hill a bit tiring and decided to head for home at Holne Chase. The rest of us continued to Spitchwick (where Matthew and Paul had a "scrap") before riding home via Ashburton.

Sunday 8 April 1990Day ride: Burrator ReservoirSun / wind
17 present: Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Julian Duquemin, Chris Guy (Adult, Buckfastleigh), Dayle Guy, Paul Hamlyn-White, Philip Harler, Luke Hatherly, Martin Hills, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Warren Masters, Mark Moxham, Andrew Simmons, Alan Skinner, John Stuart, Martyn Williams
Neil & Paul lead up the track to Princetown
Lunch by Burrator
Julian, Martin Hills & Dayle
Media coverage of the prison riot
This energetic grade 3 ride attracted a good turnout, including Alan Skinner and Phillip Harler who coped very well with the fast pace despite their tender years.

An unusually friendly tailwind blew us along the A38 from Avonwick to Ivybridge, from where we took the cross-country route to Cornwood. There was just time for an ice-cream-and-photo stop before we were forced to continue to the reservoir via Cadover Bridge. It was the last hill that really wore us out: we were now riding into the wind, and suddenly it didn't seem quite so friendly.

We had arranged to meet the two Rushworths by the reservoir. During the approach we had spotted the police helicopter circling high above, so we guessed that Martin must be somewhere nearby! In the event they failed to find us, so after enjoying a well-deserved lunch on the reservoir's eastern bank we continued along the rocky track to Princetown. The track involved a fair amount of climbing, but the younger riders were often with the leaders. Poor Martin Hills was last, because he had cut himself at the start of the track and was now nursing a wounded knee.

This was the day of the Dartmoor Prison riot, so there was plenty of action at Princetown. While we were enjoying refreshments at the Foxtor cafe (ruined only by Warren and Andrew Simmons who upset the proprietor with their bad behaviour) the authorities took possession of parts of the affected wing of the jail: the large white banner we had seen as we arrived had been removed by the time we left the cafe to look at the numerous satellite dishes and tv cameras that surrounded the scene.

We finally arrived home at about 7.30, having taken the usual scenic route through Hexworthy and Holne. The ride had been tiring, but everyone enjoyed it.

Wednesday 11 April 1990Evening ride (Paignton): HaccombeSunny
4 present: Dave Humphreys, Matthew Jago, Martin Luke, Philip Roberts
Haccombe and Coffinswell were the destinations on this delightful evening. Dave fell off his bike at Aller petrol station, and later was repeatedly aware of something being in front of him. Closer examination revealed that it was a bat - was this some form of omen? We got home at about 10pm after covering nearly 20 miles.

Friday 13 April 1990Tour (Senior): Mid Wales Day 1 Devon to Bryn Poeth UchafRain, hail and snow
4 present: Hazel Brown, Jeremy Ford, Richard Hopper, Andrew Simmons
'Croeso i Gymru' the greeting ran, as we crossed the Severn Bridge into Wales in the car. The rain greeted us as well, which wasn't that surprising, and this was followed by hail. All we needed now was snow, and on the Brecons there it was. We parked in Brecon and headed out in a stiff oncoming breeze sharing our route with a fairly elderly rough-stuffer from Birmingham. Apparently it was the Rough Stuff Federation's AGM in Brecon that weekend, and he was getting in an early ride with his brother before the serious business started.

After Upper Chapel we came across a 'Road Closed Ahead' sign. The nearby farmer said it was a firing range, but we should be OK - if flags weren't flying. Half a mile up the road and the flag was flying, but no sentry in sight. Andrew was all for going on, holding a small branch over his head for camouflage, but in the end we opted for safety via a longer route. This took us through another firing range, but the signs simply warned us to keep on the road. After the final short but horrendous climb we arrived at Bryn Poeth Uchaf to find a mix-up over the booking, but they coped with this by giving us the family room. To Jeremy's joy there was a shower, but his face fell when he found it wasn't working. The common room fire is notorious for smoking badly, so we were glad to have our own room to retreat to.

Friday 13 April 1990Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): BeastonCold
14 present: Neil Ault, Jeremy Ford, Andrew Guy, Dayle Guy, Paul Hamlyn-White, Martin Hills, Catherine Hopper, Simon Hopper, Toby Hopper, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Andrew Makepiece, Chris Platt, David Platt
There were a few mechanical adjustments at the top of Green Lane, but we were soon speeding down the track towards Caddaford - Martin reckoned several members wanted a pile-up. The next track was the one at Beaston. Fortunately the large muddy lakes had largely dried up, so it was possible to get through with nothing worse than slightly clogged mudguards. Dayle and Martin's coats were filthy, but they reckoned that was what tracks were all about!

Michael got a shock while descending the hill to Baddaford farm in the semi-darkness: a fox jumped out of a hedge and shot straight across the lane, missing his front wheel by just a few centimetres. If he'd been riding any faster he would probably have injured both himself and the fox.

Saturday 14 April 1990Tour (Senior): Mid Wales Day 2 Bryn Poeth Uchaf to BlaencaronDry start, then heavy rain
4 present: Hazel Brown, Jeremy Ford, Richard Hopper, Andrew Simmons
The day started brighter, but rapidly deteriorated. A tail wind, fortunately, but plenty of rain and quite cold. We got chilled waiting for Jeremy to mend his puncture at the highest point, then had a three mile descent to make us even colder.

Lunch was taken sheltering under some trees from very heavy rain, then the sky cleared for the beautiful long descent to Tregaron. We had to wait quite a long time for Hazel to appear at the bottom of the hill, and this was because she had taken a tumble onto the grass verge somewhere near the top. Her brakes had been insufficient to cope with the wet, the steep drop and the sharp bend. Both bike and rider were OK, although Hazel nursed a heavy bruise on her leg for the rest of the tour.

We spent an hour in the cafe in Tregaron, drinking tea and steaming gently, before we ambled the three miles out to the hostel at Blaencaron. Jubilant Jeremy: a shower that worked!

Sunday 15 April 1990Tour (Senior): Mid Wales Day 3 Blaencaron to GlascwmDry but cold & windy
4 present: Hazel Brown, Jeremy Ford, Richard Hopper, Andrew Simmons
Cold but dry, and the wind was even stronger. However, today it would be in our favour. Jeremy was our tarmac fanatic, and left us at Pontrhydfendigaid to take the easy route through Cwmystwyth and meet us in Elan Village: at the post Office, we said.

A steady climb took us to the start of the track at Ty'n-y-cwm farm and the very rough track gradually petered out as it climbed steeply to 450m near Llyn Egnant. It was then a matter of sheep-tracking and tussock-jumping to make our way down to Claerwyn Reservoir. After all that bouncing around it was a pleasure to get on to the stony farm track alongside the reservoir. We lunched out of the wind, basking in the sunshine in the lee of a bend in the track. Mind you, after five miles of the track it was even greater comfort to hit tarmac again at the head of the reservoir.

The post office in Elan Village had disappeared since the map was made, so it took a few minutes to find Jeremy. The A470 to Newbridge on Wye had pleasantly little traffic on it, but the last few miles from 100 House to the hostel at Glascwm seemed quite a slog. A fairly typical simple hostel, using an old village school and with the warden living nearby. No shower, to Jeremy's disgust, but delightfully quiet.

Sunday 15 April 1990Day ride: Easter SpecialDry
7 present: Neil Ault, Tao Burgess, Matthew Jago, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Philip Roberts, Eliot Thomas-Wright
Bradley Wood, near Newton Abbot, always provides plenty of cycling fun. Today it turned out to be the mystery destination for our Easter Special - although anyone who can read maps could have discovered the destination for themselves from the grid reference.

Those who have ridden the track before may know that the owner of the house at the Chercombe Bridge end is particularly grumpy. He seems to live in constant angry regret that a footpath crosses his car parking area and leaves his premises via a stile to one side of his large, personal gate. The first sign of a cyclist trying to carry a bike through the stile usually makes his blood boil, and if they dare to try to make life easier by opening his large gate he rushes out in a tearing rage and makes them struggle through the stile, voicing various unpleasantries to help them move a little quicker. We approached the area very quietly today - only to discover that he was not at home!

Monday 16 April 1990Tour (Senior): Mid Wales Day 4 Glascwm to DolgochSunny spells & showers
4 present: Hazel Brown, Jeremy Ford, Richard Hopper, Andrew Simmons
The weather forecaster was hedging his bets: 'Sunshine and showers, with the possibility of hail and thunder.' What else could there be? we wondered. The sun was shining as we set off in a brief shower, back into the teeth of that wretched wind again. A Little Chef is not Richard's ideal eating place, but the one in Builth Wells appeared just as a really heavy shower began. (This time the forecaster was right about the hail.) Stodgy second breakfasts were consumed until the weather brightened and we headed off towards Llangammarch Wells. On the way we saw a strange rural sight, one which those of you who like poultry might prefer to ignore. The pig was fine, but the flock of chickens that followed it around competed vigorously with each other to consume its excrement. We had our own lunch later, on a lovely sunny bank by a small church. This had a font with grooves cut in it which tradition said were caused by Cromwell's Roundheads sharpening their swords during the Civil War.

The road narrowed down to single track and we knew the Devil's Staircase was approaching - 1 in 4 and quite a challenge. We paused at the bottom to watch the cars struggling up the hairpins, and then off we went. It snowed for the next twenty minutes, but this wasn't enough to stop Andrew and Jeremy coming back down to enjoy the climb again. Hazel and Richard were happy to walk most of the way.

We arrived at Dolgoch to find George the warden asleep in front of the fire. We hesitated to wake him, as we'd heard he was a little crochety, but we found him very pleasant and helpful. He was a little fussy about lighting the gas lamps (the hostel has no electricity) but happy to get the heater for the shower going. Two hikers arrived in the dark, otherwise we had the hostel to ourselves. The lights faded and died and we had to switch the cylinders over in the dark and rain. Thunder rumbled and lightening flashed, so the forecasters were vindicated at last. Richard is keen on juggling, and by this time the others were tempted to learn. The warden was so impressed that he bought three of Richard's beanbags for the benefit of future visitors.

Monday 16 April 1990Tour: Cornish Coast Day 1 Plymouth to GolantSunny with occasional showers
20 present: Neil Allan, Neil Ault, Erica Brown, Mark Burnard, Jamie Davey, Ian Gibbs, Paul Hamlyn-White, Philip Harler, Luke Hatherly, Martin Hills, Simon Hopper, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Warren Masters, David Platt, Martin Rushworth, Paul Smith (15, Basingstoke), Eugene Tollemache, David Waldron, Martyn Williams
Neil Allan tackles the steep hill out of Looe
Luke at Looe
David Waldron
The first few people to arrive at Plymouth station were Paul Smith, Neil Allan and Ian Gibbs. After about quarter of an hour all the people from Devon arrived, making 19 in all. Just before everyone was about to leave, Martin Luke suddenly announced that he had two spokes missing and his wheel might just need truing! While Michael fixed the wheel the bad weather was confirmed by Warren Masters, who cycled into the road and exclaimed "Michael, it's raining!!!". After this stunning announcement, everyone put on their waterproofs. By the time the group had reached the Torpoint ferry the sun had begun to shine, so a few members went up on the 'balcony' while the ferry went across.

We stopped at Portwrinkle for lunch. After a good downhill towards it, everyone was in good spirits ... until they realised that a good downhill also meant a bad uphill! There was a cold wind, and a few people sheltered on the other side of a wall. Later, Eugene's tyre came off its rim because it had been pumped up too much. This didn't take too long to fix, and we were soon on our way again. As we turned on to an old track down towards the Monkey Sanctuary, we were told of Martin Rushworth's 'Helicopter Pick-up' - it sounded very interesting, but I'm sure he was putting it on.

We had a very interesting look at the Monkey Sanctuary's entrance. We were all so glad that Michael had taken the detour just so we could see this astounding entrance! Next there was a lovely coastal footpath that we went down. No-one had told us that pedestrians might be there! This was a Well 'ard Mountain Bikers' track, so what were they doing on it? After everyone had zoomed past them, the pedestrians stopped and had a word with Michael (Tut Tut Tut).

As we rounded the last corner on a really good downhill, someone spotted the steps Michael had mentioned. They were MASSIVE!! Surprisingly enough, a few people needed a bit of help (including a few Well 'ard Mountain Bikers). After a telling off from Michael we set off again. This time, as soon as any pedestrians were seen on the paths, everyone got off and walked!

After stopping at West Looe for some coffee (and ice-creams, the decorations from which Luke insisted on wearing on his head) we set off again - by then it was about 5 o'clock. Phillip Harler's rack snapped, and was hastily taped up by Michael (amazing what a bit of insulating tape can do). Phillip's rack snapped again just after crossing on the Bodinnick ferry (the side without the tape on it). This time Michael just took off the rack and gave the panniers to Simon to carry.

Golant hostel was down a long track, overlooking the river Fowey. It was a large hostel with one single dorm for the boys: Martin Hills and Simon Hopper were in a separate dorm, within our dorm. They refused to open the window, even though it was boiling hot and really stuffy! Meals were served straight away, and nobody minded doing the washing up (there was a dishwasher). Neil Allan and Neil Ault got hooked on the arcade games, and Eugene sat all evening watching the Nelson Mandella concert.

[Contributed by Neil Allan, 13]

Tuesday 17 April 1990Tour (Senior): Mid Wales Day 5 Dolgoch to DevonMainly sunny, wintry showers
4 present: Hazel Brown, Jeremy Ford, Richard Hopper, Andrew Simmons
We awoke to find a thin sprinkling of snow on the ground, the first since November, according to George. It soon melted in the morning sun, but it meant that Jeremy's spectacular fall in a ford must have been pretty chilly. We left the bleak peace of the mountain roads and descended long valleys into the warmth of civilisation. We had one final reminder from the weather, a violent hailstorm at the top of the last big climb, then we were back in Brecon, relieved to find the car where we had left it, and on our way home.

Tuesday 17 April 1990Tour: Cornish Coast Day 2 Golant to BoswingerSun & showers
20 present: Neil Allan, Neil Ault, Erica Brown, Mark Burnard, Jamie Davey, Ian Gibbs, Paul Hamlyn-White, Philip Harler, Luke Hatherly, Martin Hills, Simon Hopper, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Warren Masters, David Platt, Martin Rushworth, Paul Smith (15, Basingstoke), Eugene Tollemache, David Waldron, Martyn Williams
Paul Smith & Neil Allan
Preparing to leave at Golant
Wet weather at Mevagissey
David W & Jamie at Charlestown
The day started off well, and everyone was up bright and early. After getting ready, Paul Smith helped Neil Ault fix his puncture while everyone else packed their stuff. Luke Hatherly's panniers were a bit full and needed a bit of encouragement to close them (Warren sat on them). The first problem of the day was Martin Hills' broken pannier, which was fixed up by Michael with a piece of wire.

There was a detour taken into St Austell to find a bike shop. Phillip Harler bought a new pannier rack (but didn't plan to fix it until later), and Neil Allan bought a pair of handlebar grips (his old ones had a hole in them). After this, several people (including Neil) didn't trust themselves with their own money and gave it to Michael to look after. Lunch was bought from a take-away and a bakery, and was taken down to Charlestown to eat. After lunch, several people went back up to a museum - but only to go on the remote controlled boats!

Half way to Mevagissey Phillip's rack broke again. Everyone was pleased that he had bought a new one, and Michael fixed it on straight away - Phillip was very pleased! We set off again and soon reached Mevagissey, a small fishing village with narrow streets. Lots of people bought souvenirs, and some went into the aquarium (it was only 20p). Neil Ault and Martin Luke missed the rendezvous for the cafe stop and stayed outside in the rain!

It rained again just as we arrived at Boswinger hostel - a very simple hostel with lots of new small dorms which slept six. Some went down to Hemmick beach that night, and looked in the caves using Luke's (nine pound) fancy lighter. Michael's idea of Warren supervising a dorm didn't work, but at least he had his window open.

[Contributed by Neil Allan, 13]

Wednesday 18 April 1990Tour: Cornish Coast Day 3 Boswinger to CoverackDry start, rain later
20 present: Neil Allan, Neil Ault, Erica Brown, Mark Burnard, Jamie Davey, Ian Gibbs, Paul Hamlyn-White, Philip Harler, Luke Hatherly, Martin Hills, Simon Hopper, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Warren Masters, David Platt, Martin Rushworth, Paul Smith (15, Basingstoke), Eugene Tollemache, David Waldron, Martyn Williams
Boarding the ferry to Falmouth
Admiring the round houses at Veryan
Simon and the two Neils on the Helford Passage ferry
(L to R) Martin R, Martyn W, David W, Martin H and Warren, enjoying the ride
Delays en route to Coverack
Once again the day started off well, with all the jobs being done. Martyn Williams managed to evade doing the washing-up, so he got an extra job. He almost got another when Michael heard him saying how easy the second job was! We all tried to leave promptly, but Luke Hatherly was late packing (this was a mistake he learned not to repeat). We started off (finally) and followed some lanes past Caerhays Castle. Much to Martin's embarrassment we met the Rushworths taking the dog for a walk.

We stopped at some round-houses in Veryan, and many people took a photo (Neil Allan tried, and ended up wasting three). After this we took the main road to St Just in Roseland. There was a short detour for a downhill, a church and a 'VERY interesting garden' (which apparently looked like an overgrown cemetery). Some of the Well 'ard Mountain Bikers went back up the hill via a track - and some cowpats! Once again following the main road, we got to St Mawes just as the ferry was arriving.

We managed to get everyone on the ferry by taking off all the panniers. Luke Hatherly complained that his took too long to take off. He was the only one who was awkward (as usual). We got across safely (pity Luke's bike didn't fall in). On the other side we all had our lunch in a bakery, which was quite reasonable. Three guesses who went to a pizza shop instead (and the first two don't count). Luke was so long eating his pizza that he and Simon (who waited with him) got left behind. Mark Burnard went back to look for them, but they had already gone on in a different direction.

Fortunately both groups met up at Helford ferry. It was very small, and it took three crossings to take all the bikes across. Neil Allan managed to leave a bag of waterproofs behind, but the ferry-man said he would post them to him. We were all totally soaked when we arrived at Coverack, but the warden showed us straight to the drying room. There were two dorms, this time separated by age order - of course, Luke Hatherly had to swap with someone! There were plenty of entertainments in the hostel, and in the evening Luke (Pyromaniac) Hatherly kept the fire going.

The meal was very nice, and everyone got a free Easter egg from the warden (we could have done with a magnifying glass as well). Neil Allan fitted his second handlebar grip, but this time discovered an amazing way to grip the grips: he held them with a cloth, so his hand wouldn't slip! It was a cold and very windy night, and the window rattled and banged. It was wedged, and then finally, much to Michael's disgust, closed!

[Contributed by Neil Allan, 13]

Wednesday 18 April 1990Evening ride (Paignton): SharphamSunny
3 present: Dave Humphreys, Philip Roberts, David Robinson
Sharpham drive offers rural views across the river Dart and plenty of rough-riding entertainment along the way. This was a first-time experience for Dave Robinson and Philip Roberts.

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