South Dartmoor CTC

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Sunday 16 September 1990Day ride: Bridford WoodDry
18 present: Neil Ault, Joseph Bellows, Julian Duquemin, Martin Hills, Jonathon Hunt, Matthew Jago, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Anthony Morgan (Junior, Devon), Mark Moxham, Jenny Quick, Unknown Rider 1, Unknown Rider 2, Philip Robinson, Andrew Simmons, John Stuart, Gary Taylor, Robert Walker
We found Bridford Wood, but the track we used wasn't the one Michael had intended. There was a suitably secluded field for lunch, then (after a wrong turning) we enjoyed the ride through the woods to Steps Bridge.

The problem was, it was still quite early and we didn't fancy going straight home via Chudleigh. So we took the main road to Moretonhampstead. From here the Paignton brigade returned to Bovey Tracey while the rest rode through North Bovey to Ashburton. Total distance was 43 miles for Buckfastleigh starters.

Friday 21 September 1990
1900-2130
Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): Michelcombe (5 mi)Wet
15 present: Neil Ault, Tao Burgess, Andrew Caunter, Julian Duquemin, Dayle Guy, Martin Hamlyn-White, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Martin Hills, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Ken Oakley, Paul Oakley, Chris Platt, David Platt, Andrew Simmons
We only got as far as Hawson Court before the rain began on this our penultimate evening. Suddenly everyone wanted to go to Crofters, so we did a classic U-turn and set off for home.

Saturday 22 September 1990Weekend ride: Bellever Youth Hostel Day 1Changeable
14 present: Neil Ault, Tao Burgess, Luke Hatherly, Martin Hills, Ben Hobday, Michael Jones, Luke Kudliskis, Marcus Kudliskis, Martin Luke, Keir Manning, Eliot Thomas-Wright, Ken Twydell, Paul Twydell, Robert Walker
Ken was showing off his new hand-built child-back tandem today. The child on the back was Paul, but Ben was also in tow, on the trailer! The team coped well with the many hills from Buckfastleigh to Hexworthy, but when the rest of the group turned onto a moorland track at Dunnabridge, Ken decided to take the longer tarmac route via Two Bridges and Postbridge. They finally arrived long after the others had checked in and settled down to the serious business of bed-making and washing.

Much of the evening was spent enjoying supper and playing games, but growing demands for a torchlit walk eventually bore fruit. It was pitch dark except for the few cycle lights. The boys, being boys, took great delight in running on ahead, hiding just off the edge of the road and then bursting out on the main group as they came close. It was during one of these little forays that Eliot ran ahead and off to the right down a little path. His excitement was such that he didn't hear the sound of running water: he ran straight into the river and fell flat on his face in the icy darkness! There was great hilarity when he finally emerged, dripping wet and freezing cold - poor Eliot!

Sunday 23 September 1990Weekend ride: Bellever Youth Hostel Day 2Changeable
14 present: Neil Ault, Tao Burgess, Luke Hatherly, Martin Hills, Ben Hobday, Michael Jones, Luke Kudliskis, Marcus Kudliskis, Martin Luke, Keir Manning, Eliot Thomas-Wright, Ken Twydell, Paul Twydell, Robert Walker
After a night of open windows and noisy Keirs we were not ready for the sound of rain. And just as we were leaving, the warden broke the sad news of his imminent retirement and the proposed "improvements" to the hostel. Jim has been warden of Bellever for about 30 years. Things will never be the same there without him, and we won't have quite as much fun when the dormitory is divided into little boxes.

The rain turned out to be mainly showers, but one of them was so heavy and cold that we all decided to head homewards to Widecombe rather than outwards to Chagford. The rain stopped shortly afterwards but we didn't change our course. After an extended stop at Widecombe we proceeded to Leusdon for lunch in the sunshine and then homewards via Spitchwick. The ride had not been very long, but everyone was tired when they got home - this always seems to be the way!

Wednesday 26 September 1990
1900-2130
Evening ride (Paignton): CancelledCool
1 present: Dave Humphreys
Only David turned up today, so the ride did not take place.

Friday 28 September 1990
1900-2130
Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): MichelcombeCool
14 present: Neil Ault, Tao Burgess, Andrew Caunter, Julian Duquemin, Andrew Grigg (Junior, Devon), Dayle Guy, Gregory Hamlyn-White, Martin Hamlyn-White, Martin Hills, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Ken Oakley, Paul Oakley, Andrew Simmons
The last Buckfastleigh evening ride took us through Michelcombe, Holne and back through Hembury Woods. The only disruption was caused by Andrew Simmons, who thought it was funny to ride in the dark with his lights switched off whenever Michael wasn't nearby. Refreshments were available at Crofters after the ride.

Sunday 30 September 1990Day ride: Topsham BridgeWet at times
8 present: Neil Ault, Ben Hobday, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, David Robinson, Gary Taylor, Ken Twydell, Paul Twydell
A bad forecast coupled with prolonged periods of rain around the starting time put off all but the hardiest members. Those who did turn out looked around for a warm refreshment stop and spied the clean, modern frontage of the Dart Cafe. Appearances can be deceptive, however: several people were smoking, and the hot chocolate was weak and watery!

We spent half an hour in and around the cafe waiting to see what would happen. It didn't rain again, so we set off on a short excursion through the delightful riverside lanes of Tuckenhay and Dittisham. When it still hadn't rained by 2pm we decided to extend the ride somewhat with a crossing on the Dittisham to Greenway ferry. We had to ring the bell several times and wait about 20 minutes before the ferryman decided to come across for us: this was the last day of his season, and he didn't appear to be in too much of a rush.

Everyone enjoyed the ride back to Paignton and Totnes, particularly young Paul Twydell who was trying out his new Peugeot Trail 20 cycle.

Friday 5 October 1990
1900-2200
Social: Annual General Meeting
29 present: Neil Ault, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Paul Hamlyn-White, Luke Hatherly, Martin Hills, Richard Hopper, Dave Humphreys, Michael Jones, Unknown Rider 1, Unknown Rider 10, Unknown Rider 11, Unknown Rider 12, Unknown Rider 13, Unknown Rider 14, Unknown Rider 15, Unknown Rider 16, Unknown Rider 17, Unknown Rider 18, Unknown Rider 19, Unknown Rider 2, Unknown Rider 3, Unknown Rider 4, Unknown Rider 5, Unknown Rider 6, Unknown Rider 7, Unknown Rider 8, Unknown Rider 9, David Robinson, Philip Robinson
A good attendance voted some important changes to the club's structure, as reported in newsletter 19.

The newly elected committee is listed on page 1 of newsletter 20. Organisation of activities has now been transferred from the Secretary to three new officers, the local coordinators. The Secretary retains overall responsibility for the Section, but will now have more time to concentrate on other aspects of the club. Because social activities will be handled by the local coordinators, the position of Social Secretary has been dropped.

During the winter season October to March there are no evening rides, and many members felt that one half-day ride per month was insufficient. From January 1991 there will now be two half day rides per month during the winter seasons, and one per month during the summer season. The extra ride will be on the third Sunday of each winter month, and for the time being will run from 10am until about 1.30pm. Please use these rides to introduce your friends to the club. If you attend the first of the new rides, on 20 January, you may find yourself in the local papers!

Anybody turning up for a winter season ride or summer season evening ride without working lights will be sent home by the ride leader unless everyone present agrees to shorten the ride and return home before dark.

Also on a safety note, no rider shall be allowed to wear headphones at any time during any Section ride. The meeting also reminded our more experienced teenagers to be careful not to lead younger members into potentially dangerous situations.

Sunday 7 October 1990Day ride: 130km Reliability Ride (81 mi)Dry, blustery wind
4 present: Martin Hills, Richard Hopper, Martin Luke, Martyn Williams
The early start at 9.00 meant that we avoided the worst traffic associated with the Raft Race, but the event diverted us onto the dual carriageway rather than the old A38. The PA was in full flow as we passed, and the multifarious craft and their equally colourful crews were steeling themselves for the off. No doubt, like us, they were grateful that the tail end of the hurricane from across the Atlantic had blown itself out the day before. It was still windy, but at least it was dry.

Martin Luke joined us at Bovey Tracey and we had an uneventful ride up the Teign Valley and over Longdown to Exeter. Near Stoke Cannon Martin (L) had just asked about lunch when what should we see but a couple of cyclists on the grass verge, eating their own lunch. Mark Moxham and Mark Williams were surprised to see us, especially (as Mark M pointed out) because this was the first time any of us had cycled along this particular stretch of road. Mark (whose first name is Richard) and the other Mark (Williams) said hello to Richard (whose second name is William), Martin, Martin and Martyn (Williams). Having sorted out the names we had settled down to eat our lunch when a car passed with two bikes on top: it was Colin and Jean Brierly from Exeter. As Martin (Hills) pointed out, you don't really need to organise an AGM: just choose a quiet country lane for lunch and everyone will turn up.

After lunch our spirits were dampened by a dead badger by the side of the road, then lifted by the sight of a deer standing in the road in front of us. It rapidly leapt the hedge and bounded off with its companion for the cover of some nearby trees.

Richard had just identified Hittisleigh village hall as the destination of next month's longer ride when Martyn noticed he had a puncture. Later on, near Moretonhampstead, Richard waited for Martin (L) and was just on the point of going back when he appeared: he had had to sort out a chain problem. They both went in search of the other two and found them in a café where a girl from Martin's year worked.

Martyn reminisced about the accident he had last year just outside the town, and Richard suggested he might have a twinge when he passed the spot. In the event Martyn simply didn't notice the place at all. Martin disappeared in front again, and we found him in a petrol station where a girl he knew worked. Arriving back at Buckfastleigh the raft race field was deserted.

Sunday 7 October 1990
1415-1700
Afternoon ride: TorbryanOvercast but dry, brighter later
19 present: Julian Duquemin, Andrew Guy, Dayle Guy, Gregory Hamlyn-White, Martin Hamlyn-White, Luke Hatherly, Ben Hobday, Karina Hobday, Roxanne Hobday, Matthew Jago, Matthew Jeffery, Michael Jones, Paul Oakley, David Robinson, Dominic Robinson, Philip Robinson, Ken Twydell, Julie Twydell-Hobday, Robert Walker
For once the Paignton turnout (10) exceeded the Buckfastleigh turnout, owing mainly to the Twyfam and Robfam being out in force.

Timing was immaculate as both groups merged at Fishacre Barton, some 1.5 miles from the final meeting place at Torbryan Church. Whilst Michael counted heads and gave out newsletters a certain pillar of society, who teaches for a living and has sons called Philip and Dominic, "scrumped" an apple from an overhanging tree. This, of course, prompted others to follow until the adults present, including the aforementioned individual, had to call a stop ("Do as I say - not as I do").

Owing to the large proportion of youngsters in the party it was decided to go directly to the Pick 'n' Park cafe, which was as excellent as ever. After our brief repast we went our separate ways at the Style Park Gardens turn-off.

The Paignton group stopped off at Dave Robinson's for yet more refreshments and a chat before setting off for their respective homes. Buckfastleigh riders had a more arduous return as a result of a decision to use the Beaston track: before they had reached the end of the track they had collected six fine punctures! Repairs took nearly an hour because the mountain bikers had only one half-decent pump between them.

It was nice to see Dominic Robinson and Paul Oakley on their first Sunday ride, and the return of Julie - out for the first time since the birth of James ten weeks ago.

Sunday 14 October 1990Day ride: Laurence CastleCloudy start, sunny later
13 present: Neil Ault, Tao Burgess, Dayle Guy, Luke Hatherly, Martin Hills, Ben Hobday, Michael Jones, Marcus Kudliskis, Martin Luke, Ken Twydell, Paul Twydell, Robert Walker, Martyn Williams
The predicted showers came to nothing as we enjoyed refreshments in the cafe at Canonteign Falls, so after a short session in the adventure playground we climbed the hill through Higher Ashton towards the destination. Ken got a puncture in his contraption which took some time to fix, so the rest of us went on to enjoy lunch on the track near the castle.

When everyone had finished riding everyone else's bike we set off along the track. Martin Luke delayed us further with the second puncture of the day before we rejoined the road and returned homewards via Chudleigh and the Brookside Tearooms at Bovey. The autumn colours in the Haldon woodlands were a delight today.

Friday 19 October 1990
1900-2200
Social: Slide Show
34 present: Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Tao Burgess, Julian Duquemin, Andrew Guy, Dayle Guy, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Paul Hamlyn-White, Luke Hatherly, Mark Hedges, Martin Hills, Ben Hobday, Karina Hobday, Roxanne Hobday, Catherine Hopper, Matthew Jeffery, Michael Jones, Luke Kudliskis, Marcus Kudliskis, Martin Luke, Ken Oakley, Paul Oakley, Martin Rushworth, Peter Rushworth, Paul Smith, Eliot Thomas-Wright, Debbie Twydell, James Twydell (Junior, Paignton), Ken Twydell, Paul Twydell, Julie Twydell-Hobday, Andrew Walker (9, Paignton), Robert Walker, Martyn Williams
It's not easy to squeeze 34 people into Michael's lounge at Crofters, but we managed it. Included among the number was Paul Smith, who had come down specially from Basingstoke to join in the fun. Slides shown covered most events during the previous twelve months, with special attention given to the Cornwall and Scotland tours.

Sunday 21 October 1990Day ride: Stoke-in-Teignhead (34 mi)Dull and windy
14 present: Neil Ault, Tao Burgess, Philip Harler, Luke Hatherly, Roxanne Hobday, Roger Johnson, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Keir Manning, Eliot Thomas-Wright, Debbie Twydell, Ken Twydell, Paul Twydell, Martyn Williams
This ride was somewhat unusual in that the Buckfastleigh crowd were to come to Marldon, giving the Locals a late start at 11.15. In the event they were somewhat late, and this was compounded by an almost immediate stop at Marldon shops for snacks etc.

Finally we set off properly with Paul (just turned 8 years) proudly leading on his new mountain bike. At the first side road he stopped, rather abruptly, thinking that he would have to give way to any cars from the left. It was explained that, whilst caution and self-preservation should always be uppermost in a cyclist's mind, such a practice would make our progress painfully slow - even for South Dartmoor Section.

Again we set off - all except Martin Luke, who had noticed a lack of front brake, and a long suffering Michael who was obliged to provide and fit a replacement. Unfortunately he was lacking the right equipment (a second spanner!) so he advised Martin that Ken's assistance would be required. Ken was, by this time, waiting at the next turn off half a mile down the road.

Michael set about packing the tools away, only to look up two minutes later to find that Martin had gone to get Ken on foot! At times like this there is only one thing to do: have lunch and wait! Eventually some of the others rode back, retrieved Martin along the way and brought the episode to a satisfactory conclusion.

Again we set off, just two miles and 1.5 hours from Marldon. After that lot the rest of the ride seemed rather routine: lunch by the side of the road; cafe stop at Stoke in Teignhead; cafe was closed; Ken fell off Tandem; Paul had a tantrum; Luke Hatherly split a tyre because of poorly adjusted brake blocks; cafe stop (eventually) at Pick 'n' Park; home. What a day!

Sunday 28 October 1990Day ride: Noss MayoWet
9 present: Neil Ault, Tao Burgess, Dayle Guy, Philip Harler, Martin Hills, Roger Johnson, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Gary Taylor
With wet weather settling in, a unanimous decision was made to visit the Copper Kettle cafe at South Brent. Paignton contingent (led by Gary in Dave's absence) then went straight home, while the rest of us detoured to Gidley Bridge for a picnic lunch. Everyone seemed to be trying to push everyone else into the stream!

Friday 2 November 1990
1900-2200
Social: Games Evening
23 present: Nathan Arecco, David Ault (10, Newton Abbot), Neil Ault, Joseph Bellows, Richard Burge, Tao Burgess, Chris Giles, Dayle Guy, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Paul Hamlyn-White, Luke Hatherly, Martin Hills, Catherine Hopper, Michael Jones, Marcus Kudliskis, Martin Luke, Unknown Rider 1, David Robinson, Dominic Robinson, Philip Robinson, Martin Rushworth, Peter Rushworth, Martyn Williams
Our first games evening of the new season at the Southpark Centre was a resounding success. Some members even tried their hand at short mat bowls in the main hall, assisted by the local indoor bowling club.

Sunday 4 November 1990Day ride: Hittisleigh for Devon DA AGMSunny with strong breeze
2 present: Hazel Brown, Richard Hopper
Sunday dawned, and it also dawned on Richard as he looked at the map that having Chudleigh Bridge as the final pick-up point was not ideal; it meant a rather roundabout route to get to Hittisleigh. The goal was 12.30 for the DA AGM, and even with the 9.30 start this looked uncertain.

He was the sole rider from Buckfastleigh and Hazel was the only person waiting at the pick-up. However, it was a perfect cycling day, with the brilliant sunshine making the autumn colours glow, and our route gave us the bonus of unfamiliar roads from Dunsford through Cheriton Bishop. After a brisk ride we arrived at 12.10 - just right for a spot of lunch before the meeting. The sky clouded over by the time this had finished, but we had a moderate breeze behind us down through Moretonhampstead and Bovey Tracey. It only took 15 minutes less on the return journey, and in Buckfastleigh Richard's mileometer showed it was the same distance each way, so his fears of the morning had been quite unjustified.

Sunday 4 November 1990Afternoon ride (Buckfastleigh): Sigford (14 mi)Sunny and cold
10 present: Neil Ault, Tao Burgess, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Paul Hamlyn-White, Michael Hanks (Junior, Devon), Michael Jones, Luke Kudliskis, Paul Oakley, James Phillis (13, Devon), Eliot Thomas-Wright
Today we tried the track which connects the Ashburn river to Whiddon farms. We did it the hard way, of course - uphill. Nevertheless it was enjoyable, and we will definitely try it the other way early next year. Progress was impeded when Paul got a puncture towards the top of the track, but we still got to Sigford.

Sunday 4 November 1990
1415-1700
Afternoon ride (Paignton): Duncannon (15 mi)Sunny and cold
5 present: Dave Humphreys, Martin Luke, Andrew Walker, Lorraine Walker (Adult, Paignton), Robert Walker
We rode to Duncannon via Aircraft Hill. Turning left one mile before Stoke Gabriel we took the lane past the millpond. This really was a lovely ride, with all the newcomers trying very hard.

Saturday 10 November 1990Weekend ride: Maypool Youth Hostel Day 1Dull, occasionally wet
24 present: Neil Ault, Tao Burgess, Dayle Guy, Philip Harler, Martin Hills, Ben Hobday, Karina Hobday, Roxanne Hobday, Michael Jones, Luke Kudliskis, Marcus Kudliskis, Martin Luke, Keir Manning, Mark Moxham, Eliot Thomas-Wright, Debbie Twydell, James Twydell, Ken Twydell, Paul Twydell, Julie Twydell-Hobday, Andrew Walker, Charlie Walker (Adult, Paignton), Lorraine Walker, Robert Walker
Plymouth Section joined us for our annual November trip to Maypool, near Galmpton. The firework display provided light entertainment as usual, and the wardens looked after us well.

Sunday 11 November 1990Weekend ride: Maypool Youth Hostel Day 2Dull, occasionally wet
24 present: Neil Ault, Tao Burgess, Dayle Guy, Philip Harler, Martin Hills, Ben Hobday, Karina Hobday, Roxanne Hobday, Michael Jones, Luke Kudliskis, Marcus Kudliskis, Martin Luke, Keir Manning, Mark Moxham, Eliot Thomas-Wright, Debbie Twydell, James Twydell, Ken Twydell, Paul Twydell, Julie Twydell-Hobday, Andrew Walker, Charlie Walker (Adult, Paignton), Lorraine Walker, Robert Walker
The Sunday ride took us through the lanes to Kingswear and across the ferry to the Spinning Wheel cafe at Dartmouth. We managed to get to Blackpool Sands for an enjoyable lunch on the beach.

The Plymouth contingent left us near Strete to make their unenviable journey homewards, whilst we returned to Totnes via Forces Cross and Tuckenhay.

Young Robert Walker had a useful introduction to tracks during the afternoon. Martin and Dayle suggested an alternative track route between Forces Cross and Tuckenhay. Michael said they could try it, but several others decided to follow them despite warnings of oozing mud. When everyone finally met up at Tuckenhay the Trackies were literally plastered in mud, as were their bikes. It was all too much for poor Robert, whose new expensive mountain bike had turned a chocolate colour. Michael had to wash his bike and his shoes and socks in the river at Bow Bridge before he began to feel better.

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