South Dartmoor CTC

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Sunday 21 July 1991Day ride (Hardriders): South Hams AudaxDry/cool, becoming sunny & warm
4 present: Richard Hopper, Unknown Rider 1, Unknown Rider 2, Unknown Rider 3
Four riders from Buckfastleigh entered the 100km Audax. We enjoyed the varied route, which included the Plym Valley cyclepath, and the company of riders from around the country.

Sunday 21 July 1991Day ride: Ugborough BeaconDry
11 present: Neil Ault, Alan Dawson, Mark Hedges, Paul Hedges, Michael Jones, Alex Lessware, Martin Luke, David Robinson, Martin Rushworth, Joseph Watkins, Tom Widger
There was a slight delay at Avonwick caused by Tom Widger, who had left his helmet at Totnes plains. Eventually however we set off for our usual route over Wrangaton golf course, enjoying lunch on the Beacon. We continued along the stony track to Petre's Cross, meeting up with a group of amateur mountain bikers from Ivybridge school as we joined the Abbots Way behind the Avon Dam. Return was via Cross Furzes.

Friday 26 July 1991Weekend ride: Street / Cheddar YH Day 1Sunny & hot
9 present: Neil Ault, Tao Burgess, Mark Burnard, Alan Dawson, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Martin Hills, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Eliot Thomas-Wright
Tao tries out the hanging willow seat!
The Willows & Wetlands visitor centre
Admiring the view from Burrow Mump
Approaching Burrow Mump
Somerset levels
Matthew & one of the drainage channels
This turned out to be one of the best weekends we have ever organised. A few were put off by the high cost of travelling to and from Taunton on the railways, but those who went were not disappointed.

From Taunton station we rode through Creech St Michael, Ham, Knapp, North Curry and Meare Green, stopping at a visitor centre near the latter to learn the importance of willow in the area. Next stop was Burrow Mump, a strange rounded hill sticking up out of the acres of flat landscape, with a ruined church at the summit. Our route to Cheddar hostel was really very easy, the long flat roads being only occasionally interrupted with short climbs. Michael was awarding points to the members who noticed local features such as drainage ditches or willow trees, but there were so many that we eventually had to give up the idea.

Martin Hills hit a major problem shortly after our arrival at the hostel. He locked up his bike and realised he hadn't got the key. He located a shop that had a pair of bolt-croppers, but had to wait until the next morning for them to open. After a generous supper we enjoyed a cycle excursion to the gorge before returning for card games at the hostel.

Friday 26 July 1991Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): CancelledSunny
1 present: Richard Burge
Was Eliot responsible for the poor turnout? He apparently told a number of people that there was no ride because of the hostel weekend!

Saturday 27 July 1991Weekend ride: Street / Cheddar YH Day 2Sunny & hot
9 present: Neil Ault, Tao Burgess, Mark Burnard, Alan Dawson, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Martin Hills, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Eliot Thomas-Wright
At the top of Cheddar Gorge, near Priddy
Cheddar YH on Saturday morning
Relaxing in front of Glastonbury cathedral
Next morning we began the day with a guided tour around the Cheddar caves and then climbed the long gorge to Priddy. We called in briefly at Wookey Hole after lunch, but decided there wasn't time to see even the Hall of Mirrors. At Wells we looked over the cathedral and watched the jousters on the famous clock doing their thing, then we proceeded through the lanes to Glastonbury Tor, where the long climb kept us occupied for quite a while. We were only a couple of miles from Street, but Michael decided not to point this fact out as we surveyed the view from the tor. An excursion was organised which took us through West Bradley, Baltonsborough and Butleigh before bringing us to the hostel on time.

Street hostel is a wooden chalet surrounded by woodland and situated on a ridge overlooking Street. The interior was very satisfactory, some of the dorms even having their own balconies. There was plenty of room outside on the common for games of rounders, so that is how much of the evening was spent.

Sunday 28 July 1991Weekend ride: Street / Cheddar YH Day 3Sunny & hot
9 present: Neil Ault, Tao Burgess, Mark Burnard, Alan Dawson, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Martin Hills, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Eliot Thomas-Wright
The group outside Street YH on Sunday morning
Our last day was plagued with mechanical problems near Walton, but we still found time for the planned excursion to Meare before heading for Taunton via Ashcott. We arrived at the station with a few minutes to spare - just enough time to purchase a few items of food from a nearby shop.

Friday 2 August 1991Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): AbhamWet
5 present: Stuart Furay, Martin Hills, Michael Jones, Martin Rushworth, Peter Rushworth
In view of the threatening weather we kept the ride short by using Colston Road and returning via Abham - the torrential rain on the return made us grateful for our decision!

Sunday 4 August 1991Day ride (Hardriders): Broad RockSunny & warm
4 present: Julian Duquemin, Martin Hills, Peter Rushworth, Andrew Simmons
After a prolonged period of unsettled weather, a day of absolute loveliness dawned, after numerous prayers to aid probably the Section's most lushly offroad ride in history.

Martin, who was leading his first ride (officially), was pleased to find three other nutters on mountain bikes at the start. After cycling up though the back lanes past Venford reservoir, the bridlepath from Hexworthy to Princetown was 'hammered'. At the ford at the start of the track, Andrew decided to (try to) ride through. The camera waited for the inevitable sudden stop halfway across - the first wet feet of the day!

Supplies of milk suddenly disappeared from the cool cabinet at the shop in Princetown. Bridleways across the open moor were followed, and were great fun, so much so in fact that we went straight past Broad Rock! We continued further into nowhere, to Erme Pits, looking for a lunch spot. Julian either decided he wanted a closer look at the terrain or was desperate to eat something, and flung himself spectacularly over the handlebars, landing on his face. He tangoed to perfection with his toeclip, which had become so fond of his foot that it would not let go. He lay on the ground moaning (as usual) and squealing whilst Peter had to use all his strength to pull the bike free of the corpse. Lunch was eaten by the stream, and we continued to Red Lake. Here we posed at riding up and down the 'big lumpy thingy' which sticks out between the 'lakey-pond jobbies' at the end of the tramway.

We continued towards Huntingdon Warren, where we posed before the unusually large number of people at the bottom of the 1:1 hillside. As we descended to the valley floor Peter took flying lessons before continuing to Cross Furzes, where Martin received a puncture from a nasty rock. We waived bye-bye to Peter and descended the hill to Buckfastleigh.

Sunday 4 August 1991Afternoon ride: PulsfordSunny
11 present: Neil Ault, Jenny Bryant, Mike Bryant, Sarah Bryant, David Cutts, Alan Dawson, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Darren Nichols, Ken Twydell, Julie Twydell-Hobday
Ken was showing off his new racer today, although nobody could quite understand his excitement. When Darren's punctures had been fixed we continued to West Ogwell and once again found our way back to Pick and Park for refreshments.

Friday 9 August 1991Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): VenfordDry
10 present: Neil Ault, Clive Buckland, Luke Buckland (Junior, Totnes), Tom Current (11, Devon), Alan Dawson, Julian Duquemin, Dayle Guy, Martin Hills, Michael Jones, Andrew Simmons
Neil fell off near Burchetts Wood when his chain slipped off the front chainring. He was a bit sore so he decided to head for home while the rest of us continued to Venford. Several members had no lights so we were forced to return at 8.45pm.

Sunday 11 August 1991Day ride: Lannacombe BeachSunny
12 present: Alan Dawson, Julian Duquemin, Dayle Guy, Mark Hedges, Martin Hills, Dave Humphreys, Matthew Jago, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Martin Rushworth, Peter Rushworth, Andrew Simmons
Lannacombe is a long way from Totnes so we took the fastest possible route, via Stokenham, and arrived in time for lunch. The beach didn't smell quite as clean as we had expected, so we didn't stay too long today. We returned via Torcross, enjoying refreshments in the café, and managed to reach home by 5.30pm.

Friday 16 August 1991Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): StavertonDry
8 present: Neil Ault, Alan Dawson, Stuart Furay, Dayle Guy, Mark Hedges, Paul Hedges, Michael Jones, Chris Platt
Once again several members had no lights, including some who should know better, so the ride had to be shortened to return by 8.40pm. We still managed Colston road and the Staverton riverside track, however.

Sunday 18 August 1991Day ride: Haytor Tramway (27 mi)Sunny
12 present: Neil Ault, Alan Dawson, Dayle Guy, Roger Johnson, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Paul Oakley, Peter Rushworth, Ken Twydell, Andrew Walker, Charlie Walker, Robert Walker
Another delightful summer ride, passing through the ancient ruins of Graetor village.

Tuesday 20 August 1991Tour: Lake District Day 1 Devon to Hawkshead (16 mi)Sunny
14 present: Neil Ault, Arthur Caulfield (12, London), Ian Gibbs, Mark Hedges, Simon Hopper, Roger Johnson, Michael Jones, Rufus Kahler (12, London), David Platt, Tim Platt (13, Ormskirk), Martin Rushworth, Peter Rushworth, Paul Smith, Richard Sudworth (13, Wigan)
Waiting for the second ferry!
Waiting for the ferry at Windermere
Esthwaite Water, from near the hostel
Beatrix Potter's house at Near Sawrey
Travelling long distances with bikes seems to be getting more difficult and more expensive with the passing of time. British Rail still offers the best deal for a small group, but there is now a £3 charge per bike per train, and a conservative limit to the number of bikes that can be conveyed on each type of train. Eight of us were travelling from Devon to Oxenholme this morning, but because all the trains travelling on that line are now 125s we had to travel on two trains with four bikes in each, separated by one and a half hours.

The first group arrived on time, as did all the other participants travelling from Basingstoke, London and the nearer locations, but the second train from Devon was delayed 2 hours with engine failure. The best of the afternoon was almost gone, and since we didn't want to miss the evening sunshine or our hostel meal, Michael led most of the group on to the hostel while Peter and one or two others waited on the station for Simon's party.

We managed nearly a mile before the first incident: Arthur stopped, Tim crashed into him and broke his rear mudguard. Arthur didn't seem too concerned, however, as for some reason he didn't like the appearance of mudguards.

From Kendal we took the quiet B5284 to Windermere, its undulating contours and rural scenery making an attractive scene against the backdrop of Lakeland hills. We arrived at Windermere just as the ferry was unloading, and took our place at the front of the queue of cars. To our amazement, however, the ferry filled up with cars and went without us! We were left to watch the many yachts bobbing up and down in the early evening sunshine until the ferry returned about twenty minutes later.

Our route took us through High Cunsey, Far Sawrey and Near Sawrey, where Beatrix Potter's apparently windowless house had already closed.

Hawkshead hostel turned out to be first class, a large country house set in spacious grounds near the banks of Esthwaite Water and surrounded by many mature trees. Inside was just as satisfactory, with spacious comfortable dormitories, numerous modern, hot showers and a self-service restaurant. Simon's group arrived just in time for supper after a hectic dash from the station. Some of us made use of the hostel television to catch up on the latest news of the Soviet coup while Rufus and Arthur did their very best to confuse everyone about their names.

Wednesday 21 August 1991Tour: Lake District Day 2 Hawkshead to High Close YH (35 mi)Sunny
14 present: Neil Ault, Arthur Caulfield (12, London), Ian Gibbs, Mark Hedges, Simon Hopper, Roger Johnson, Michael Jones, Rufus Kahler (12, London), David Platt, Tim Platt (13, Ormskirk), Martin Rushworth, Peter Rushworth, Paul Smith, Richard Sudworth (13, Wigan)
Spiders web sculpture in Grizedale Forest
Preparing to leave Hawkshead YH
Idyllic cycling country
Woodcutter at Grizedale visitor centre
The beautiful Tarn Hows
Bathers in Coniston Water
The track short-cut from Tarn Hows
Enjoying the views over Tarn Hows
Slaters Bridge near Little Langdale Tarn
Bridleway leading to Little Langdale
First stop this morning was Hawkshead village, situated just one mile from the hostel at the end of the lake. It is famous for its Wordsworth school museum, but we were more interested in the numerous village shops scattered around the narrow twisty streets.

Lunch and gifts purchased we set off for Grizedale Forest. Michael had purchased an information sheet at Hawkshead which showed a number of interesting tracks through the forest which are open to cyclists. The one we selected, from Hawkshead Moor to the visitor centre, didn't start exactly where Michael & Simon expected it. There was no mistaking the signs at the brow of the hill, however, and we were soon enjoying the rough descent, stopping now and then to pass comment on the various sculptures which adorned the route, all made from natural forest materials.

At the visitor centre we discovered the grand-daddy of all the sculptures, a giant wood-cutter constructed from tree trunks, twisted branches and twigs, towering above his surroundings. It was here that we had our first - and second - taste of Lakeland ice-creams. The visitor centre itself entertained some of us with its BBC micro computer programs, designed to encourage visitors both young and old to learn about food chains and forest management. Martin and David, however, were more interested in some fluffy animal glove puppets which squeaked when squeezed: David bought the mole, which he named Monty, and Martin bought the squirrel.

We rejoined the forest track and headed for Satterthwaite, delayed slightly along the way by Paul's broken chain. At Oxen Park we almost stopped for lunch in a pleasant little lane with extensive views. We continued, however, hoping for somewhere better. Not only did we not find anywhere better, but we also lost Simon, Peter and some of the other members who did not leave with the main group and didn't see us take the right turn just around the corner. When everyone had been reunited we had to content ourselves with a rough glade in the upper reaches of Sales Bank Wood.

The afternoon began with a ride along the entire length of our third lake of the tour, Coniston Water, famous for Donald Campbell's fatal world speed record attempt. It looked so inviting that we stopped at a jetty halfway along to admire the view - some people got even closer to the water. Coniston village, at the north western end of the lake, was uninspiring, so we quickly set about the strenuous climb to the famous beauty spot, Tarn Hows.

The hill seemed never-ending. As we arrived at each turn in the road, new stretches of climb opened out in front of us. Was Tarn Hows worth the effort? It consisted of a large tarn (surprise!) filled with water, set amongst very peaceful and attractive surroundings. There were few people there despite its popularity, but there were plenty of flying ants! It was worth the climb, and we could happily have sat on the grassy hillside looking down at the lake for much longer than the fifteen minutes we allowed ourselves.

Michael managed to find a steep, rough track descent which formed a short-cut to the A593, delighting about two-thirds of the group and annoying the remainder. We then took the lane to High Tilberthwaite and followed the bridleway from there to Little Langdale. This turned out to be very enjoyable - but then it was recommended in the CTC route guide! Some members were a little hasty at the end (Roger actually) and were not too interested in examining the unique Slaters Bridge which Michael went off to investigate.

Time was getting on, so we took tarmac roads from here to the hostel. Peter quickly ran into problems with his bottom bracket, which seized up on him just at the wrong moment. The final climb from Elterwater took its toll on everyone, but we arrived at High Close hostel just in time for supper: pizza, followed by bakewell tart and custard. Paul and Roger managed to get seconds - of ice cream and custard!

This was another excellent hostel on the outside, set in extensive grounds and surrounded by trees. Several wild rabbits hopped about on the lawns, which could be viewed from an unusual balcony that ran all around the first floor. Arthur had to be restrained when he produced a catapult from his pocket!

That evening Michael learned once again how useful a board is under one's mattress, everyone learned that the Soviet coup had failed, and Mark and Peter became the table tennis champions.

Wednesday 21 August 1991
1900-2130
Evening ride (Paignton): IpplepenSlight showers
3 present: Debbie Twydell, Ken Twydell, Paul Twydell
After a day of fine weather the evening threatened rain which discouraged everyone bar Paul, Ken and Debora (on the back of the tandem). Craving company we left Marldon at 1915 and rushed to Kingskerswell to rendezvous with the Torbay CTC start due for 1945. Alas their numbers were also sadly depleted and all they could manage were Sue, Roy and Mark Williams.

We set off towards Abbotskerswell but skirted to the side of the village and ended up at Style Park gardens by Ipplepen. There we left the Torbay group and went home.

Thursday 22 August 1991Tour: Lake District Day 3 High Close to Wastwater YH (25 mi)Cloudy
14 present: Neil Ault, Arthur Caulfield (12, London), Ian Gibbs, Mark Hedges, Simon Hopper, Roger Johnson, Michael Jones, Rufus Kahler (12, London), David Platt, Tim Platt (13, Ormskirk), Martin Rushworth, Peter Rushworth, Paul Smith, Richard Sudworth (13, Wigan)
Great Langdale from Chapel Stile
High Close YH
Climbing to Wrynose Pass
A worrying road sign!
Climbing Hardknott Pass
Descending from Wrynose Pass
The water wheel at Eskdale Mill
Descending from Hardknott Pass
Wastwater YH
Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway: Dalegarth station
The first job this morning was to fix Peter's bottom bracket. He was not saying nice things about the cycle shop who had supplied the machine as we stripped and regreased the bearings. An hour later he was even more annoyed: his front shifter had failed, and apparently was too complex to repair on the road! He vowed to return to simpler equipment in future.

Having ridden along Great Langdale we eventually found the path which led to the Dungeon Force waterfall. It proved to be a long climb, however, and we didn't think we had time in view of the three passes we had to negotiate that day. The climb was abandoned, and we ate a hasty lunch near Wall End.

The first hill of the day took us past Side Pike - which, once again, we didn't have time to climb. Rufus, who was not at all used to this kind of cycling, struggled well and arrived at the top not too long after the others. As we descended the other side we got our first glimpse of Wrynose pass, climbing from 109m to 393m in just over a mile. It only dropped to 243m on the other side however, ready for the climb to Hardknott Pass, also at 393m. This was much steeper in places: it was amusing to watch a car taking a run at the steepest section!

We had managed the passes much faster than we had expected, so we allowed ourselves a break at Boot to look at a working watermill, a small-gauge tourist railway and a café which sold Lakeland ice-creams.

Wastwater hostel is another gem, situated on the edge of Wast Water lake in extensive grounds. The dorms were also rather attractive, with individual reading lights on each bed. This was definitely a hostel to visit again.

Shortly after our arrival the rain came down, but all we had to do was stack the bikes in the shed at the back. The shed door was locked, so someone went to fetch the key. Just as we were unlocking it, one of the lads wandered around the back of the shed and walked in through a derelict doorway that he found there! Security is obviously a feature at Wastwater.

The games room was in a basement, and Arthur and Rufus seemed to get immense pleasure from switching off the lights from the top of the stairway and running off. The game players then got great pleasure from punishing them - which rather set the tone for the evening. When chasing games had become too tiring, card games took over.

Friday 23 August 1991Tour: Lake District Day 4 Wastwater to Ennerdale YH (22 mi)Periodic showers, some heavy
14 present: Neil Ault, Arthur Caulfield (12, London), Ian Gibbs, Mark Hedges, Simon Hopper, Roger Johnson, Michael Jones, Rufus Kahler (12, London), David Platt, Tim Platt (13, Ormskirk), Martin Rushworth, Peter Rushworth, Paul Smith, Richard Sudworth (13, Wigan)
Ennerdale Water, with rain fast approaching
Approaching Ennerdale Water
David exploring the driveway of Ennerdale YH (next morning)
Ennerdale YH (next morning)
There was some debate over breakfast regarding the optional short-cut route to Ennerdale via Black Sail pass - a steep, rough track used by hikers. Those members keen on rough riding were eager to make the attempt, but Michael had visions of the younger riders struggling to push their cycles up rocky inclines and then having to return to carry their panniers. In the event, poor weather conditions convinced Michael and Simon that it would be unwise, so we were soon speeding towards Gosforth in our attempt to beat the worst of the weather.

A cold, blustery shower quickly caught up with us, making the going a little difficult despite the absence of steep climbs. Rufus was the main casualty, but he sustained only minor damage to his bike.

Conversation quickly turned to the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant, now only a few miles ahead of us. The youngsters seemed quite united in their dislike of nuclear power, and a little anxious about exposing themselves to the higher-than-usual levels of radiation present in the surrounding area. An unexpected thunder clap had everyone peering nervously ahead to get a first glimpse of the expected mushroom cloud!

Arriving at Gosforth we took shelter from the rain by buying lunch and snacks in the local shops, clearing the co-op of its entire stock of Fruit Corner yoghurts. Michael was last into the shop, and as he emerged empty-handed he was just in time to witness a discussion between a local woman and the youngsters. She had apparently been trying to convince us that the Sellafield plant was perfectly safe, pointing to her own existence as conclusive proof of her argument. Visibly rattled by the response she received, she concluded by suggesting that we look in the Visitor Centre, and then we 'would see just how safe it is'. Unfortunately she received short shift from our Green Team, who failed to understand how she could have been so easily taken in by the 'propaganda' put out by the management!

Next stop was Calder Bridge - just one mile from Sellafield. Without waiting to admire the view we turned inland, eventually stopping at a cattle-grid near Cold Fell. This was deemed to offer suitable protection from the wind as well as being a safe distance from You-Know-What!

One of the things we noticed as we were riding to the lunch spot was that there appeared to be rather more cars overtaking us from behind than there were passing us in the other direction. As we ate lunch we monitored the traffic flows more closely, and calculated that there were approximately ten times more cars heading away from Sellafield. This state of affairs continued for the whole time that we were on the road (well over an hour) so our first idea that a shift had just finished work at Sellafield seemed to be ruled out. We had to conclude that they knew something that we did not, so we hastily finished our lunch and followed the crowd!

Nobody particularly enjoyed getting wet, so we planned to arrive at Ennerdale by early afternoon. This is a very simple hostel compared with the others on our tour: access is via a two-mile forest track which runs along the side of Ennerdale Water. On the final approach to the hostel we were caught in a particularly heavy downpour, ensuring that we were drenched from head to foot on arrival. To make matters worse, the notices on the hostel inviting members to use the common room until 5pm proved to be somewhat misleading: the warden had not yet returned from her midweek break, and everything was still locked up!

Some members decided that cycling in the rain would be more enjoyable than sitting in a cold porch, so they continued along the track towards the remote Black Sail hostel with a view to seeing if it is as cosy as it is reputed to be. Only Michael and Paul persevered for the entire 3½ miles. From the outside it appeared to be totally deserted, with no sign of recent habitation. After peering through the few windows to confirm our suspicions, Paul tried the front door in the vain hope that somebody might have forgotten to lock it. To his surprise it opened! The Common Room turned out to be not only warm but also filled with numerous people, all sitting or lying quietly and reading! This was a very different reality to that which would have existed if our group had been booked into the hostel that evening!

Meanwhile, back at Ennerdale, the warden had arrived early. When Michael and Paul arrived, everyone else was settling into the dormitories and queuing for the single shower.

Supper was an interesting event. Evidently the warden likes spicy meals, and her soup must have been the hottest ever! Most people couldn't stomach it at all, but a few forced it down with brave smiles and competed to see who could 'enjoy' the most repeat helpings! Before the meal was completed, Roger had managed to discredit the whole group by mixing pepper into the sugar bowl, thereby annoying another unusually large hosteller.

The common room was very warm and cosy by early evening, so we spent a very enjoyable time playing cards, liar dice and numerous other games while the weather did its worst outside.

Friday 23 August 1991Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): Unknown DestinationWeather unknown
5 present: Unknown Rider 1, Unknown Rider 2, Unknown Rider 3, Unknown Rider 4, Unknown Rider 5
Report unavailable

Saturday 24 August 1991Tour: Lake District Day 5 Ennerdale to Longthwaite YH (27 mi)Dry & cloudy, sunny later
14 present: Neil Ault, Arthur Caulfield (12, London), Ian Gibbs, Mark Hedges, Simon Hopper, Roger Johnson, Michael Jones, Rufus Kahler (12, London), David Platt, Tim Platt (13, Ormskirk), Martin Rushworth, Peter Rushworth, Paul Smith, Richard Sudworth (13, Wigan)
View across Ennerdale Water from the track near Bowness Knott
David, Mark and Martin R on the banks of Ennerdale Water
Neil, Richard & Arthur feeding the Buttermere ducks
A Duck Break at the eastern end of Buttermere, the Buttermere Pines beyond
Approaching Honister Pass
The Buttermere ducks
A welcome break at the Seatoller restaurant
Honister Pass
Sour Milk Gill waterfall
The path up to Sour Milk Gill
Upper reaches of Sour Milk Gill
View of the Seathwaite valley from Sour Milk Gill
Mark Hedges
Richard Sudworth
The Large Hosteller had the last laugh next morning: before he left he loosened a few spokes on Roger's expensive front wheel. This wasn't really a very mature or sensible thing to do, but for some reason there was not a huge amount of sympathy for Roger.

Today was the day when Michael introduced an improved version of his penalty scheme, first introduced a few years ago to cope with the digressions of Martyn Williams. The original idea was to 'persuade' Martyn to ride more safely by giving him extra jobs at the evening's hostel on any day when his riding caused particular cause for concern. His usual failure was to stop in the middle of the road when everyone else was in single file, thereby causing an obstruction. Now that Paul and Roger were in need of similar 'correction', the scheme was reintroduced with the modification that penalty points would be awarded according to the severity of the misdemeanour, and that every ten points would be converted into an extra job at the next hostel. Roger and Paul soared to more than twenty points almost immediately!

With lunch in mind we kept alert for any sign of a shop throughout the morning, but all to no avail. There were absolutely no shops all the way to Buttermere, and even there the only source of food was a very inferior café which offered a few items of pre-packed processed food. When the proprietor was asked how the locals obtained their provisions, the reply was that they travelled the twelve miles to Keswick! We made the most of what was available.

There was one final challenge to tackle before we could settle into the hostel: Honister Pass. In fact the climb didn't seem too bad, and the descent to Borrowdale was steep but fun. Suddenly the sun was shining and we had a couple of hours in which to enjoy the local scenery. Simon and Roger decided to spend the first part of the afternoon climbing back to the top of the pass and descending again whilst the rest of us enjoyed excellent fare in the smart restaurant near Seatoller: the soup was delicious and scones were served with individual labelled pots of jam! There was still time for a walk up the many steps beside the Sour Milk Gill waterfall before we had to set off again.

Longthwaite hostel is a huge wooden chalet constructed in a clearing in the woods beside the river Derwent. There is plenty of space outside and inside, particularly in the dining room. Regrettably, Paul borrowed David's bike and managed to break his derailleur. Then after supper, Mark used the space outside to attempt some stunts with his cycle, the last of which ended disastrously and left him with a sizeable cut in his elbow. Michael took Mark off to the hospital for treatment (which included a few stitches) whilst Simon entertained the other members in the dormitory.

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