South Dartmoor CTC

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Wednesday 16 May 1990Evening ride (Paignton): Whilborough CommonDry
3 present: Peter Madge, David Robinson, Philip Robinson
We had planned to go to Denbury, but Peter and Philip wanted to try the woodland track again at Whilborough Common. Fortunately they remembered the way, but poor Dave didn't. On more than one occasion he found himself alone in a clearing which had several possible exits, and had to wait until the boys came back for him.

Friday 18 May 1990Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): TotnesDry
20 present: Neil Ault, Joseph Bellows, Richard Burge, Andrew Caunter, Chris Giles, Andrew Guy, Dayle Guy, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Paul Hamlyn-White, Philip Harler, Martin Hills, Catherine Hopper, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Andrew Makepiece, Chris Platt, David Platt, Tom Powell (Junior, Devon), Andrew Simmons, Alan Skinner
Michael was late this evening (is this unusual?), and to compound the problems Paul delayed us with some minor mechanical problems along Colston Road. Somehow we still managed to get to Dartington, from where we took the riverside track to Totnes - fortunately there was no neap tide this evening and we were able to enjoy the path without wading through waste-high river water.

Many of the youngsters enjoyed the track so much that they wanted to return by the same route. Michael over-ruled, however, and we continued to Dartington hostel via Barracks Hill, delayed this time by David who was having trouble persuading his lights to stay on his bike. The warden was unavailable to provide us with refreshments, so we set off for home via Rattery, just making the town limits by 9.48.

Sunday 20 May 1990Day ride: Rough Stuff EventSunny
15 present: Neil Ault, Dayle Guy, Philip Harler, Luke Hatherly, Martin Hills, Dave Humphreys, Philip Humphreys, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Martin Rushworth, Peter Rushworth, Alan Skinner, Gary Taylor, Gavin Taylor, Martyn Williams
Arthur calculates the scores
This special rough-riding event was organised by Arthur Brown of Exeter on behalf of all CTC groups in Devon. Plymouth Section were there, and so were Torbay. After a picnic lunch in the sun at Bickington the participants set off, one at a time, around the selected route, being observed by a marshal at each difficult section of track.

The marking is always a bit suspect in this event as it depends so much on the marshal's opinion of what constitutes good and bad riding on rough ground, but many of our riders achieved high marks: Dayle Guy, with 57 points, was just two points behind the winning rider, and Martin Hills was close behind him. Dayle won the award for first junior. All our riders enjoyed themselves, however, and that is really what the event is all about.

Wednesday 23 May 1990Evening ride (Paignton): Stoke GabrielDry
5 present: Dave Humphreys, Peter Madge, David Robinson, Philip Robinson, Gary Taylor
Another trip to Stoke Gabriel, this time via Aircraft hill and Collaton St Mary.

Friday 25 May 1990Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): Ten Commandments StoneSunny but cold
19 present: Neil Ault, Andrew Caunter, Jeremy Ford, Stan Ford, Ashley Freeman, Andrew Guy, Dayle Guy, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Philip Harler, Martin Hills, Catherine Hopper, Ian Inch, Matthew Jeffery, Michael Jones, Marcus Kudliskis, Martin Luke, Chris Platt, David Platt, Shane Teague (Junior, Totnes)
Dayle leads the group across the stream near Cold East Cross
This ambitious ride took the participants through Ashburton, Rew (past the funny-shaped house) and up to Cold East Cross, where many played in the stream and David fell off his bike - again! There were some interesting-looking tracks near Rushlade which warrant closer inspection on another ride. We rode to the Ten Commandments Stone along a rough moorland track and then returned homewards via Peartree Cross. Catherine fell off at one point during the descent, but was able to hobble homewards. We arrived home too late for refreshments at Crofters, much to everyone's disappointment!

Sunday 27 May 1990Day ride: Mothecombe BeachSunny
7 present: Neil Ault, Tao Burgess, Martin Hills, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, David Robinson, Gary Taylor
Neil, David and Tao on the last climb to Mothecombe
This was a grade 3 ride, which presumably went some way towards explaining the low turnout. We were joined unexpectedly by two Torbay Section members (Mark Moxham and Robert Spence) at the Avonwick pick-up, together with a load of novice cyclists from Plymouth riding for the Telethon event. Mark and Robert decided to stay with us until lunchtime, but we lost the Telethon riders after Ermington.
Mothecombe Beach had been hit with oil contamination from the recent shipping collision, but much had been cleared up by the pollution control experts when we arrived. All that remained was a heavy smell that surrounded the entire beach area and some oily marks on the rocks.

By way of variety we waded across the river Erme to Wonwell Beach after lunch, holding bikes high above our heads so that the salt water would not corrode them (the water only came up to our thighs). From this new position we were able to choose a completely new return route, using the tidal road at Aveton Gifford. There was even time to enjoy refreshments at the garden centre cafe near Loddiswell.

Wednesday 30 May 1990Evening ride (Paignton): DenburyDry
3 present: Richard Hopper, Peter Madge, Gary Taylor
Peter led the way into Newcombe Woods, and also showed he knew the way out, in spite of Gary's scepticism. On the way back from Denbury the road was blocked by a Land Rover and an open gate. The farmer's voice warned us to look out, and then a cow careered rather unsteadily onto the road. Fortunately Gary resisted the temptation to mention BSE.

Friday 1 June 1990
1900-2150
Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): Avon DamDry
18 present: Neil Ault, Joseph Bellows, Jamie Davey, Julian Duquemin, Dayle Guy, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Paul Hamlyn-White, Philip Harler, Martin Hills, Catherine Hopper, Simon Hopper, Michael Jones, Marcus Kudliskis, Martin Luke, David Platt, Adrian Teague (10, Totnes), Shane Teague, David Waldron
Jamie Davey and David Waldron, both from Dawlish, were able to join us this evening for their first ever evening ride as they happened to be camping for the week at the River Dart Country Park with Jamie's large family. With so many mountain bikers it was clear that a special ride was called for. No‑one was disappointed with the Avon Dam spectacular ‑ but then, no‑one ever is!

Arriving at the dam, which was not as full as it should have been at this time of year, Michael asked a number of the youngsters if they could work out why there was a large quarry‑like hole in the landscape. Even when they were looking at the large slabs of stone that made up the dam they still had difficulty working out the answer!

The mad romp across the moor to Cross Furzes was punctuated this evening with Shane Teague falling off in a stony gully. He landed squarely in a muddy stream, and was then nearly run over by Martin Luke who thought he could get past ‑ he ended up coming off as well, and landed on top of poor Shane! To conclude the acrobatics, Julian did a somersault over the handlebars when his path was obstructed by Matthew HW. Michael had no sympathy, saying that Julian must have been going too fast if he couldn't stop in a controlled way. The grass was soft, however, and the only real damage appeared to be his saddle ratchet.

Arriving within the Buckfastleigh town limits on the dot of 9.45 many members took up Michael's offer of refreshments at Crofters before creeping home at the late hour of 10.15. Still, it was half term!

Sunday 3 June 1990
1415-1700
Afternoon ride: Invitation RideCloudy
21 present: Tristan Allen (11, Totnes), Neil Ault, Tao Burgess, Andrew Guy, Dayle Guy, Philip Harler, Luke Hatherly, Martin Hills, Catherine Hopper, Richard Hopper, Dave Humphreys, Ian Inch, Matthew Jeffery, Michael Jones, Marcus Kudliskis, Martin Luke, Andrew Makepiece, Philip Robinson, Alan Skinner, Adrian Teague, Shane Teague
Broadhempston play park
The continuous morning rain put several possible newcomers off. Those who attended enjoyed a leisurely ride to Broadhempston, played in the park for a while and then rode home via the Rising Sun and Pridhamsleigh. Refreshments were served at Crofters (AGAIN).

Wednesday 6 June 1990
1900-2130
Evening ride (Paignton): UphempstonFine
3 present: Dave Humphreys, Martin Luke, Peter Madge
This evening's ride took Peter, Martin and Dave to Berry Pomeroy and along the track to Redpost. There was great amusement when David, who had been showing off his racing shoes, slipped over while carrying his bike along a section of track.

We continued to Uphempston and then returned to Marldon.

Friday 8 June 1990
1900-2130
Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): Hembury WoodsShowers
11 present: Neil Ault, Andrew Caunter, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Martin Hills, Catherine Hopper, Simon Hopper, Michael Jones, Marcus Kudliskis, Martin Luke, Chris Platt, Shane Teague
In view of the changeable weather we decided to keep close to home, riding along the River Dart in Hembury Woods, climbing to the fort and then returning via the Shuttaford track. Returning earlier than usual at 9.25 a number of members took up Michael's offer of video entertainment at Crofters.

Sunday 10 June 1990Day ride: Elender CoveSunny
17 present: Neil Ault, Tao Burgess, Anthony Davis, Dayle Guy, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Paul Hamlyn-White, Luke Hatherly, Martin Hills, Catherine Hopper, Simon Hopper, Michael Jones, Luke Kudliskis, Martin Luke, David Robinson, Martin Rushworth, Gary Taylor, Eliot Thomas-Wright
Anthony and others enjoying the cove
Eliot, Dayle and Martin R scramble down to the cove
Eliot, Tao, Neil and Martin R enjoying lunch
Warm sunshine welcomed us to what some members had called the "Ride of the Year". Just as we were ready to leave Totnes Luke Hatherly decided to announce that his tyre was flat. When this had been dealt with we climbed out of Totnes towards Harbertonford. It was here that Martin Luke caused a minor collision between two other members whilst escaping unhurt himself.

By now it was extremely hot, and drink was in short supply as we rolled into East Prawle. But here our eyes met a welcome sight: the local shop (called Piglet Stores I believe) was excellently stocked with chilled cans and cool, fresh milk.

After a brief stop we continued on to the cove, which was down a twisty road and then along a stony track. Dayle got over-enthusiastic and continued past the beginning of the track: having gone down a steep hill he was told by a motorist that his friends had turned right at the top!

The cove offered some amusement during lunch as we watched a speed boat pulling a ring with someone in it. Shortly after the boat had disappeared out of sight behind a ridge of rocks he reappeared - but without the person in the ring!

The return journey took us through Torcross, Strete and the Forces Cross cafe. Michael had to help the proprietor to work his computer as "payment" for the group enjoying refreshments on the lawn. Meanwhile Paul HW Enterprises was instructed not to sell on the premises - as if he would!

The return from here was through "Corky" and Tuckenhay, where Martin Luke was renamed "Lotto the Liability" by some. We finally arrived home at 9pm - extremely late, but by all accounts it was worth it.

Friday 15 June 1990
1900-2130
Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): LittlehempstonSunny
14 present: Neil Ault, Ashley Freeman, Andrew Guy, Dayle Guy, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Paul Hamlyn-White, Martin Hills, Catherine Hopper, Ian Inch, Matthew Jeffery, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Andrew Makepiece, Shane Teague
We rode to Littlehempston at a brisk pace and then explored some more new routes through Woolston Green to the track. There were plenty of wild strawberries for the pack leaders - Andrew Makepeace kindly saved one for Michael!

On the way home, Martin and Dayle went mad, talking in their own special code so that no-one understood them. Mind you, that's nothing new really.

Saturday 16 June 1990Weekend ride: Steps Bridge Youth Hostel Day 1Sunny
16 present: Neil Ault, Julian Duquemin, Dayle Guy, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Paul Hamlyn-White, Martin Hills, Catherine Hopper, Toby Hopper, Michael Jones, Marcus Kudliskis, Martin Luke, Mark Moxham, Chris Platt, David Platt, Martin Rushworth, Peter Rushworth
After a pleasant evening at the hostel enjoying the warden's home-made flapjack and rambling through the nearby woodlands we were looking forward to a good ride on the Sunday. Most of us were not disappointed.

Sunday 17 June 1990Weekend ride: Steps Bridge Youth Hostel Day 2Sunny
16 present: Neil Ault, Julian Duquemin, Dayle Guy, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Paul Hamlyn-White, Martin Hills, Catherine Hopper, Toby Hopper, Michael Jones, Marcus Kudliskis, Martin Luke, Mark Moxham, Chris Platt, David Platt, Martin Rushworth, Peter Rushworth
The track through the woods to Clifford Bridge was great fun on this occasion (it's not so good when it's muddy), but two of our number didn't seem to enjoy it much: Mark Moxham's knees had been giving him some problems so he turned for home so as not to risk further damage, and Martin Hills was a funny shade of green when he emerged at the other end of the woods. Martin's condition became worse as we proceeded along the track to Fingle Bridge, and when we had completed Hunters Path he had to call his parents out to collect him. It looked distinctly like gastro-enteritis, especially when he recovered within the predicted 24 hours!

The rest of us continued homewards across the moor via Chagford.

Friday 22 June 1990
1900-2130
Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): Venford ReservoirSunny
17 present: Tristan Allen, Neil Ault, Tao Burgess, Andrew Caunter, Jeremy Ford, Andrew Guy, Dayle Guy, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Paul Hamlyn-White, Martin Hills, Simon Hopper, Matthew Jeffery, Michael Jones, Marcus Kudliskis, Andrew Makepiece, David Platt, Shane Teague
This was an interesting ride that took us through Hembury Woods and Holne to Venford Reservoir, and then back to Michelcombe along a particularly "interesting" track. The first half of the track involved some meandering through bracken and gorse: poor Jeremy found out just how prickly gorse can be when he fell off his bike and landed squarely on a great clump of it! Dayle and Paul were late at the start of the ride but managed to meet up with us despite Michael's inaccurate information: he changed route after Buckfast, so Dayle waited for many minutes at Hawson before proceeding to the destination!

Friday 22 June 1990
2230-0800
Night ride: Plym Valley Cycle PathCloudy / dry
3 present: Martin Hills, Richard Hopper, Simon Hopper
Leaving Buckfastleigh at about 10.30pm the dark clouds were banked up over the moor as we headed towards Two Bridges. But the threatened rain never came, and in fact the skies cleared by morning. Three bikes: Simon's skinny-tyred fixed wheel machine, Martin's chunky-wheeled ATB, and Richard on his tourer with a totally bald rear tyre. So it was obvious there was going to be a puncture; Martin was the lucky one, but fortunately it didn't spoil his first ride on the cycle path. With our night vision fully adjusted we got a surprisingly better view of the inside of the old railway tunnel. One of the delights of night rides is the nocturnal wildlife. We saw numerous rabbits, were buzzed by a bat, dazzled by glowworms and nearly ran down by a badger. The other pleasure is having the roads almost entirely to yourselves.

Sunday 24 June 1990Day ride: Ten Tors SpecialDrizzle
18 present: Neil Ault, Jamie Davey, Andrew Guy, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Paul Hamlyn-White, Mark Hedges, Martin Hills, Dave Humphreys, Matthew Jeffery, Michael Jones, Marcus Kudliskis, Martin Luke, Andrew Makepiece, Gary Taylor, Eliot Thomas-Wright, Ken Twydell, David Waldron, Martyn Williams
Ah, the Ten Tors Ride!! What visions this conjures up - the stunning views, the demanding climbs and the wonders of Dartmoor. In the event the sky was heavily overcast with a promise of rain later, one which was fulfilled by the time we all met at Bickington.

As ever, the turnout from Paignton was poor (3) and Buckfastleigh good (12), even if the 'Leader' was sheltering in a car!! Matthew Hamlyn-White was in favour of an early return home but was overruled by us hardier souls and we all set off up the long climb to Haytor. By now the wind was quite strong, especially at the very top of Haytor (or so they say!).

Thereafter followed a succession of Tors navigated expertly by Michael as the visibility reduced to only a few yards. Eventually Number 9 was conquered and we descended Bone Hill to Widecombe and the cafe (not The Green).

Suitably refreshed we made our way to the last tor, conveniently situated at the start of Dr Blackalls Drive which we later took on our way home. For some reason Martyn Williams took a severe tumble but was able to continue.

Finally we bid our farewells at Holne Chase. The locals had a short run home through Hembury whereas the Paignton lot took a nice scenic route through Landscove, Red Post and Blagdon to arrive home rather late at around 8.30.

Matthew Jeffery, Andrew Makepeace and Andrew Guy certainly chose an interesting event for their first full-day ride. Everyone completed all ten tors this year, and certificates will be awarded at the Christmas Lunch.

Wednesday 27 June 1990
1900-2130
Evening ride (Paignton): Gatcombe TracksDry
6 present: Neil Ault, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Bob Taylor (Adult, Paignton), Steven Taylor, Ken Twydell
Bob and Steven Taylor appeared on their fabulous new Dawes Super Galaxy bikes this evening, but I'm not sure if they would have come had they known the proposed route: this was definitely a ride for track enthusiasts! Ken was amazed that such an extensive network of tracks existed, and vowed to use some of them en route to Totnes in future - and to bring his youngsters there on their BMX bikes! We finished the ride with some more tracks, just to make sure that the Galaxies were properly christened.

Friday 29 June 1990
1900-2130
Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): HarbournefordCloudy, becoming wet
23 present: Neil Ault, Simon Barnes, Joseph Bellows, Tao Burgess, Andrew Caunter, Luke Collings (13, Totnes), Andrew Guy, Dayle Guy, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Martin Hills, Ben Hobday, Catherine Hopper, Matthew Jeffery, Michael Jones, Marcus Kudliskis, Andrew Makepiece, Keir Manning, Chris Platt, David Platt, Andrew Simmons, Alan Skinner, Gavin Taylor, Eliot Thomas-Wright
The changeable weather made it difficult to decide what to do. Rain was forecast and definitely in the air, so we chose a circuitous route past the new Pennywell farm centre to Rattery. There were plenty of wild strawberries in the hedge despite the attempts by the vandelous road-builders to knock out all the hedgerows: is this hedge cutting or hedge demolition?

There was a nasty little shower at Rattery (no, not us), so we turned towards Harbourneford, then (as it had stopped now) proceeded to Gidley Bridge. Here the rain came down in earnest, so there was nothing to do but ride for home as fast as the conditions would allow.

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