South Dartmoor CTC

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Sunday 5 January 1992Afternoon ride (Buckfastleigh): DidworthyOvercast
4 present: Neil Ault, Dayle Guy, Michael Jones, Sebastian Lessware
A short but brisk ride took us to Didworthy and then back across the moor via the Avon Dam and Cross Furzes. Michael wondered at the way the mountain bikers sped across the wet grassy inclines, commenting that he always felt nervous about his near-bald front wheel slipping out on the mud. As an experiment he decided to ignore his inner warning bells and try a faster descent - with inevitable results!

Sunday 5 January 1992Afternoon ride (Paignton): Chercombe Bridge (25 mi)About to rain but never did
6 present: Harry Hall, Gary Taylor, Ken Twydell, Andrew Walker, Charlie Walker, Robert Walker
Ken brought his Moulton again today, and reckons that Gary Taylor was surprised at its performance. We had a good ride to Ogwell, returning via Broadhempston and Red Post - where young Robert had to buy sweets!

Friday 10 January 1992
1900-2200
Social: Map Reading
10 present: Neil Ault, Alan Dawson, Julian Duquemin, Dayle Guy, Martin Hills, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Andrew Walker, Charlie Walker, Robert Walker
A small turnout, and those who came along already knew a fair amount about map reading. Nevertheless we had some fun solving some cryptic map-reading quizzes from previous years.

Sunday 12 January 1992Day ride: DoddiscombsleighCold but bright
14 present: Neil Ault, Alan Dawson, Harry Hall, Martin Hills, Michael Jones, Sebastian Lessware, Martin Luke, Paul Oakley, Bob Taylor, Gary Taylor, Eliot Thomas-Wright, Ken Twydell, Ben Widger, Tom Widger
We were overtaken by a group of racing cyclists as we ambled up the Teign Valley. Martin and Seb just couldn't resist the temptation to race after them, hoping to prove that mountain bikes are every bit as fast on the road as racing bikes. Unfortunately they forgot all about stopping, and were nowhere to be seen when we were ready to turn off the road. We met them later in Doddiscombsleigh and found a quiet rural spot just outside the village for lunch.

Eliot was very, very slow today, but eventually we got back to the craft centre cafè at Bovey Tracey for refreshments.

Friday 17 January 1992
1900-2200
Social: Paignton Social
10 present: Unknown Rider 1, Unknown Rider 2, Unknown Rider 3, Unknown Rider 4, Unknown Rider 5, Unknown Rider 6, Unknown Rider 7, Unknown Rider 8, Bob Taylor, Gary Taylor
Lots of nice food, Trivial Pursuit, cycling chat, parlour games and the Taylors' inimitable hospitality made this another pleasant evening.

Sunday 19 January 1992Day ride (Hardriders): Clifford Bridge (52 mi)Cold & overcast
2 present: Martin Hills, Richard Hopper
A morning cafè stop was necessary to ward off the cold (well, Moretonhampstead has to exist for some reason). Martin pretended he hadn't had breakfast, so justifying his two helpings of cheese on toast, while Richard made do with an enormous slice of cake. Thus fortified we headed towards Castle Drogo, where we split up: Martin rode the Hunter's Path in the opposite direction to normal, and Richard took the road, meeting up at Clifford Bridge.

Later on at a stop for a breather, Martin looked pensive. "You've gone very quiet," remarked Richard. "I'm just listening to your puncture," he replied, and he was right.

On the way back we searched in vain for a bridlepath the map showed running from the Claycutters Arms to Heathfield, and got our bikes very muddy in the process.

Sunday 19 January 1992Morning ride (Buckfastleigh): Gatcombe TracksCold
14 present: Neil Ault, Tao Burgess, Sam Everett, Andrew Guy, Dayle Guy, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Michael Jones, Alex Lessware, Sebastian Lessware, Martin Luke, Paul Oakley, Eliot Thomas-Wright, Ben Widger, Tom Widger
This was a brisk ride, taking us through Broadhempston and Red Post, where Michael remembered a track short-cut to Berry Pomeroy castle just in time to give the ride an interesting new twist. Gatcombe Tracks turned out to be rather muddy to put it mildly, but they are always good fun.

We returned home via Littlehempston and Staverton, stopping only for a puncture at the weir. The ride would not have been so brisk if Eliot hadn't been riding a brand new bike which helped him to ride 'like the wind'.

Sunday 19 January 1992Morning ride (Paignton): Combe-in-TeignheadCold but dry
5 present: Alan Dawson, Harry Hall, Dave Humphreys, Andrew Walker, Charlie Walker
We had a bite to eat at Combe Cellars after enjoying a pleasant ride along Haccombe track, and then bumped into Mike & Jenny Bryant. Return home was by way of the bird sanctuary and pond at Combe-in-Teignhead, and Coffinswell.

Friday 24 January 1992
1900-2200
Social: Bicycle Workshop
13 present: Neil Ault, Ben Hobday, Richard Hopper, Michael Jones, David Robinson, Philip Robinson, Ken Twydell, Andrew Walker, Charlie Walker, Lorraine Walker, Robert Walker, Ben Widger, Tom Widger
There were more adult trainers than there were junior pupils at this South Dartmoor School social which explored the techniques involved in the regreasing of hub and bottom bracket bearings. Many thanks to all the adults for giving up their evening.

Sunday 26 January 1992Day ride: Avon RailwaySunny & fresh
19 present: Neil Ault, Alan Dawson, Andrew Guy, Harry Hall, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Thain Hatherly, Michael Jones, Luke King, Alex Lessware, Sebastian Lessware, David Robinson, Philip Robinson, Ken Twydell, Andrew Walker, Charlie Walker, Lorraine Walker, Robert Walker, Ben Widger, Tom Widger
The path to the destination was a bit overgrown today, so much so that Michael was trembling in his shoes as he stood in the riverside glade at the bottom, waiting for Lorraine and Charlie to emerge from the undergrowth. Fortunately they seemed to be prepared to overlook the matter on this occasion!

Matthew Hamlyn-White was awarded a mention in the newsletter for being the first Section member to bring a Pot Noodle on a ride - made up with hot water from his flask. When Tom had recovered from his painful injury (sustained by accidentally falling across his top tube during the descent) and we had enjoyed a lunch in what must be the best possible surroundings, we set off along the old railway track in the general direction of Topsham Bridge. This path turned out to be much more to everyone's liking, being relatively dry and clear of brambles. The South Brent to Kingsbridge railway must have been a very scenic route in its day.

We got back to Totnes by 1530 - just in time to stop for refreshments at a cafè below the Totnes arch.

Sunday 2 February 1992Afternoon ride: Rolster BridgeDry but slightly grey
16 present: Neil Ault, Alan Dawson, Sam Everett, Thain Hatherly, Decima Jones (Adult, Devon), Michael Jones, Alex Lessware, Sebastian Lessware, Martin Luke, Paul Oakley, David Robinson, Philip Robinson, Ken Twydell, Andrew Walker, Charlie Walker, Robert Walker
Disaster struck today before the ride had really begun. Dave Robinson, approaching the Totnes pick-up from Marldon, somehow lost control and fell off during the descent of Bridgetown Hill. Regrettably he fractured his leg near the hip joint, and is still recovering at home. It is very unusual to sustain breakages of this kind through falling off a bike. We all wish Dave the speediest of recoveries, and hope that he will soon be able to join in our activities again.

For the rest of us, unaware of the seriousness of the incident, the ride continued with a vague air of normality: Neil had a puncture; Martin Luke had a puncture, but didn't start fixing it until we were about to leave ... We didn't make it to Rolster Bridge today, but derived some pleasure from a brief ride in the Harberton direction before heading homewards.

Friday 7 February 1992
1900-2200
Social: Games Evening
8 present: Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Alan Dawson, Julian Duquemin, Martin Hills, Michael Jones, Martin Luke, Paul Oakley
More fun and games at the Southpark Centre, Buckfast.

Sunday 9 February 1992Day ride: Fingle BridgeShowers
14 present: Tom Current, Alan Dawson, Thain Hatherly, Martin Hills, Michael Jones, Sebastian Lessware, Martin Luke, Paul Oakley, Eliot Thomas-Wright, Andrew Walker, Charlie Walker, Robert Walker, Ben Widger, Tom Widger
A brisk ride through Lustleigh (notable for the fact that we did not stop at the Primrose cafè) and the Wrey valley brought us quickly to Moretonhampstead and the lanes beyond. The sun was shining so we stopped for lunch beside the grassy track near Cranbrook Castle - only to be rained upon rather viciously within twenty minutes.

As we began the climb from Fingle to the upper reaches of the Hunter's Path, Martin Hills announced that he felt miserable in the rain and wanted to go home by a quicker route. Shortly after he left the rain stopped again and we enjoyed a superb ride along the sunlit path to Chagford. The corner shop was the only refreshment stop available, so Michael made the most of it by purchasing and consuming a pint of milk.

Return was via Hound Tor and Ashburton.

Sunday 16 February 1992Morning ride (Buckfastleigh): Henroost MinesSunny but cold and windy
13 present: Daniel Broadbent (Junior, Devon), Tom Current, Alan Dawson, Thain Hatherly, Michael Jones, Alex Lessware, Sebastian Lessware, Martin Luke, Paul Oakley, John Stuart, Eliot Thomas-Wright, Ben Widger, Tom Widger
Once again we didn't make it to the elusive Henroost Mines: the youngsters were finding the bitter headwind somewhat tiring by the time we reached Venford. John Stuart would have been happy to continue, however: he thought the ride was all day and had brought a packed lunch!

We decided to take the interesting bridleway down the Holy Brook valley to Michelcombe, but Alan didn't see us turn off to the left and disappear over the hill. A few moments later Seb was chasing after him, shouting uselessly against a headwind.

The descent offered delightful views of the unspoilt valley: on this occasion there were no injuries along the treacherous upper reaches of the track. We returned to Buckfastleigh at 12.30 after an excellent ride. A number of members opted for videos and computer games at Crofters before setting off for a late lunch.

Friday 21 February 1992
1900-2200
Social: Slide Show 2
8 present: Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Alan Dawson, Julian Duquemin, Dayle Guy, Martin Hills, Michael Jones, Martin Luke
This travelogue of the Section's 1989 Norwegian tour did not come close to attracting the large audience won by the autumn show, but offered some amusing images of present members in their childhood.

Sunday 23 February 1992Day ride: Gara Mill (35 mi)Dry, occasional sunshine
12 present: Neil Ault, Tom Current, Alan Dawson, Harry Hall, Thain Hatherly, Dave Humphreys, Michael Jones, Alex Lessware, Sebastian Lessware, Ben Widger, Tom Widger, Sam Wilde (Junior, Devon)
We enjoyed a brief chat with our neighbouring Torbay Section members at the Totnes pick-up before we set off for an all-new route to Gara Mill. We started off as we meant to go on with the delightful (but sometimes muddy) Sharpham Drive. Ashprington was inevitably the next port of call, and then at Tuckenhay the members demanded 'Corky' in reverse. As we reached a junction part-way up the track, Dave Humphreys suggested the left fork instead of our usual right. We were rewarded with snowdrop-lined hedgerows and excellent views of Tuckenhay and the Dart - and I suppose the mud at the end was a reward for some.

The track brought us out in Cornworthy, a village we haven't visited for many a year. We followed a lane from the village which brought us to the more familiar territory of Higher Tideford, and had lunch in the sunny shelter of the big dip just before Hemborough Post. Poor Alan had been making heavy weather of the ride today, so he was very glad of the rest.

The exploration of new routes didn't end with the consumption of lunch. We continued to Bugford Farm and took more interesting new lanes to the destination - a picturesque mill surrounded by woodland and situated by a river in a steep-sided and very private valley. Some members were so intent on getting up the far side that they rode straight past the mill, unaware that it was the destination and oblivious of the scenic delights of the area.

We returned to Moreleigh from where some continued to the Copper Kettle at South Brent for refreshments. Congratulations to young Sam, who performed admirably on his first ride.

Sunday 1 March 1992Afternoon ride (Buckfastleigh): SigfordDamp
8 present: Harry Hall, Thain Hatherly, Zoe Hatherly, Martin Hills, Alex Lessware, Sebastian Lessware, Paul Oakley, Sam Wilde
Michael was down with a cough this week, but the other keen members had a good ride to the destination through some delightful lanes.

Friday 6 March 1992
1900-2200
Social: Give us a Clue
8 present: Neil Ault, Joseph Bellows, Richard Burge, Tao Burgess, Julian Duquemin, Dayle Guy, Martin Hills, Michael Jones
This evening is always a lot of fun, and tonight's session was no exception. Highlight of the evening was Julian's pathetic mime of a bat - mimicked later by Dayle when he had to do 'Batman'.

Saturday 7 March 1992Weekend ride: Maypool Youth Hostel Day 1Damp
4 present: Neil Ault, Michael Jones, Paul Oakley, Eliot Thomas-Wright
This was a very poor turnout by South Dartmoor standards. Michael was still afflicted with his cough and wasn't too keen to make matters worse with a drenching on a bike. And so it was that Michael, Neil, Eliot and Paul attended the hostel by car.

Sunday 8 March 1992Weekend ride: Maypool Youth Hostel Day 2Damp
4 present: Neil Ault, Michael Jones, Paul Oakley, Eliot Thomas-Wright
We had an enjoyable time, and returned next morning after a walk and cafè stop on Paignton sea front.

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