South Dartmoor CTC

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Sunday 10 May 1992Day ride: GrimspoundMainly dry
17 present: Richard Adams (17, Devon), Matthew Bentley, Richard Goss (13, Totnes), Dayle Guy, Thain Hatherly, Martin Hills, Richard Hopper, Dave Humphreys, Michael Jones, Alex Lessware, Sebastian Lessware, Mark Moxham, Paul Oakley, Philip Robinson, Eliot Thomas-Wright, Ben Widger, Tom Widger
We took the B-road from Bovey to Manaton and enjoyed lunch in the sun at the junction above Heatree Cross. Just for a change we decided to try the steep track to Heathercombe. After a lot of climbing, which took us past a secluded adventure centre, we reached the top and sat down for a well-earned rest. As the conversation died down, the sound of running water could be heard emanating from Richard Hopper's selected seat! Richard was quick to point out that it was nothing to do with him: he just happened to be sitting on a disguised drain cover!

We left the tarmac here and set off across a stretch of open moorland that was completely new to all of us. It was difficult to follow the 1:50 000 map across the barren terrain. At one point Michael sent the main group off in one direction, then changed his mind and took the remainder in another, more boggy direction which in fact proved to be the correct route. The main group either didn't look back or simply chose to continue regardless, and didn't even have the sense to come back or wait when they reached a cross-paths. Instead they selected a route at random to see where it would lead and hurtled off across the moor.

The path took them all the way to Canna Park while Michael and the others spent over an hour scouring the moor in search of the missing cyclists. They finally arrived by road with Dave Humphreys: he had just happened to be lost as well, having set off from Paignton more than an hour late, and had bumped into the youngsters around the first corner. Dave was quickly given the blame for the whole situation, but we were pleased to see him so it didn't really matter.

We returned home via Widecombe and Leusdon, feeling grateful that the forecast rain hadn't materialised.

Friday 15 May 1992Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): Buckland BeaconDry but cold
7 present: Neil Ault, Andrew Guy, Dayle Guy, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Michael Jones, Paul Oakley, Eliot Thomas-Wright
Matthew HW wanted to go to Buckland Beacon, so that's where we went. We were rewarded with excellent views of a hot air balloon, and very cold extremities. A quick vote directed us to return by a similar route with all possible speed, to play games by the fire at Crofters.

Sunday 17 May 1992
1000-1800
Day ride: Bantham SandsSunny & windy
17 present: Richard Adams, Richard Goss, Dayle Guy, Luke Hatherly, Thain Hatherly, Martin Hills, Michael Jones, Alex Lessware, Sebastian Lessware, Paul Oakley, Bob Taylor, Mrs Taylor (Adult, Paignton), Eliot Thomas-Wright, Andrew Walker, Charlie Walker, Lorraine Walker, Robert Walker
This ride broke all recent records by attracting two women - the Ladies Taylor and Walker to be precise. The sand at Bantham is exceedingly fine, and managed to get absolutely everywhere with the assistance of a persistent wind. Eating lunch in a semi-permanent sandstorm meant that there was rather more sand in our sandwiches than we would have liked! We were thoroughly entertained for the entire half hour by a gentleman who was flying an enormous kite further down the beach: every so often the wind would take a firm grip on the kite and lift the owner more than a metre into the air.

On the return we stopped at the Sorley Tunnel Centre, a farm owned by one of Michael's relations, where the excellent, modern cafe offered a good range of food at bargain prices. Buckfastleigh starters managed to scrape home before 6pm.

Friday 22 May 1992
1900-2130
Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): LandscoveSunny
7 present: Neil Ault, Julian Duquemin, Dayle Guy, Martin Hills, Michael Jones, Paul Oakley, Eliot Thomas-Wright
This was a re-run of one of our favourite evening rides, taking us along Colston Road to the riverside track at Staverton. We noticed that the meadow at the Staverton end of the track had been fenced off since our last visit, presumably to deter people from taking the short cut across the centre. We returned via Landscove, arriving home at 9pm.

Sunday 24 May 1992
1000-1800
Day ride: Holcombe BurnellSunny
20 present: Richard Adams, Daniel Broadbent, Tom Current, Julian Duquemin, Richard Goss, Andrew Guy, Dayle Guy, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Martin Hills, Richard Hopper, Dave Humphreys, Michael Jones, Alex Lessware, Sebastian Lessware, Philip Robinson, Bob Taylor, Andrew Walker, Charlie Walker, Robert Walker, Ben Widger
James Allason, a new member from Paignton, met us at Chudleigh Bridge today to suss us out: he was suitably impressed and vowed to bring his bike next week.

This really was an excellent turnout. After riding up the Teign Valley, Richard Hopper turned off to lead the senior ride to Laurence Castle, but he had no followers today - which virtually sealed the fate of senior rides! We continued along the B-road, climbed to Longdown and were just about to turn left for the destination when Julian and Martin decided to go to Exeter instead: apparently Julian had never ridden all the way to Exeter before, and now that he was this close he wasn't going to miss the opportunity!

We followed the road past the church, then took the farm track down to the woods. Here we enjoyed a peaceful lunch time in the dappled sunlight, pursuing various discussions about the relative merits of Red Dwarf (which Michael hated) and Fawlty Towers (which Michael liked).

The way out was hampered by several stiles and some overgrown undergrowth - we so wished that Ken had been out on his tandem to enjoy these obstacles. Scratched and stung we finally found the main road. Bob and the rest of the Paignton contingent thought rain was in the air and headed home, but the rest of us took the climb to Bridford and the reservoirs. Trenchford was surprisingly low for the time of year.

We were aiming for Bovey, but a cafe sign at the entrance to Beadon Farm caught our attention. The onset of a heavy shower settled the matter, so we quickly moved in to occupy all four tables. Other customers were turned away before we realised that several of the members didn't want to buy anything! Michael sent them outside in disgrace while he awaited his glass of fresh farmhouse milk with eager anticipation. What eventually arrived was a glass of double cream, which he forced down with as much dignity as he could muster.

Catastrophe struck as we descended the steep hill to Bovey: Daniel hit a wet patch in the road, lost control and grazed his arm rather severely. The hospital was conveniently close (sited at the bottom of the hill for just such eventualities no doubt) so no time was wasted in dressing the affected area. He managed to cycle home without too much difficulty after stopping off at Buckfastleigh for a drink and a rest.

Friday 29 May 1992
1900-2130
Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): CancelledDamp
3 present: Neil Ault, Martin Hills, Michael Jones
Michael, Martin H and Neil decided that a Crofters social was better than a damp ride.

Sunday 31 May 1992Day ride: Slapton SandsSunny
17 present: Richard Adams, James Allason (Junior, Paignton), Tao Burgess, Julian Duquemin, Sam Everett, Richard Goss, Harry Hall, Michael Jones, Alex Lessware, Sebastian Lessware, Bob Taylor, Chris Unknown (Junior, Totnes), Andrew Walker, Charlie Walker, Lorraine Walker, Robert Walker, Tom Widger
Much fun was had by all on the enormous beach at Slapton, with pebbles large and small being deposited inside the neck of Alex's shirt in particular.

Friday 5 June 1992Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): CancelledDamp
2 present: Neil Ault, Michael Jones
Another damp evening ride that didn't materialise.

Sunday 7 June 1992Afternoon ride: BroadhampstonSunny
25 present: Richard Adams, James Allason, Sam Everett, Paul Flaxman (Junior, Devon), Chris Giles, Richard Goss, Harry Hall, Karina Hobday, Richard Hopper, Michael Jones, Alex Lessware, Sebastian Lessware, Robert Minskip, Kevin Presland, Andrew Tritschler (Junior, Devon), Frank Tritschler (Junior, Devon), Debbie Twydell, Ken Twydell, Paul Twydell, Marcus Unknown (Junior, Plymouth), Andrew Walker, Charlie Walker, Robert Walker, Ben Widger, Tom Widger
This was the usual invitation ride jaunt around the Broadhempston lanes, ending up at Fermoy's Garden Centre for refreshments as usual.

Friday 12 June 1992Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): Venford ReservoirSunny
5 present: Neil Ault, Clive Buckland, Julian Duquemin, Michael Jones, Chris Platt
At last, a sunny evening ride! We rode through Holne, spent a while sitting by the side of the nearly-full reservoir and then returned across the moor to the Michelcombe track.

Sunday 14 June 1992Day ride: Treasure HuntHot
25 present: Daniel Broadbent, Paul Flaxman, Chris Giles, Richard Goss, Harry Hall, Ben Hobday, Richard Hopper, John Horsler, Miss Horsler (Junior, Devon), Mrs Horsler (Adult, Devon), Dave Humphreys, Michael Jones, Alex Lessware, Sebastian Lessware, Chris Platt, Frank Tritschler, Mark Tritschler, Ken Twydell, Julie Twydell-Hobday, Andrew Walker, Charlie Walker, Lorraine Walker, Robert Walker, Ben Widger, Tom Widger
This was to be Richard Hopper's last spell as organiser of this popular event, so he made it one to remember. The start and finish was The Green near Denbury, and as usual the route was divided into two legs with lunch in the middle.

The refreshments, which were really intended for afternoon tea, were all consumed by the greedy participants after the first leg, so when we returned from the second leg, hot and dying of thirst, we had to beg at local houses for water! Nevertheless we were all very grateful to Lorraine for her generous and welcome contribution to the day. Julie's team won the three-cornered competition by a whisker, the deciding point being won by asking at a house to look at an Atlas for the capital of some obscure country - but it's all part of the game!

Friday 19 June 1992
1900-2130
Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): StavertonDry
3 present: Neil Ault, Michael Jones, Chris Platt
Neil had a new bike today, and everybody knew about it. We rode to Staverton via Colston Farm (where Chris fell in love with a kitten) and returned via Caddaford.

Sunday 21 June 1992Day ride: Plym Valley CyclewayVery hot
23 present: Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Richard Goss, Harry Hall, Thain Hatherly, Martin Hills, Michael Jones, Alex Lessware, Sebastian Lessware, Ken Oakley, Paul Oakley, Chris Platt, Peter Rushworth, Bob Taylor, Gary Taylor, Frank Tritschler, Mark Tritschler, Ken Twydell, Andrew Walker, Charlie Walker, Robert Walker, Ben Widger, Tom Widger
As usual, this was an excellent ride. We rode all the way to Plympton, all the way up the cycle path and back across the moor via Princetown.

Friday 26 June 1992Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): PridhamsleighSunny
3 present: Neil Ault, Michael Jones, Chris Platt
We took the Pridhamsleigh track, rode to Landscove and then on to the play park. If we were expecting peace and quiet in this rural village we were disappointed: a local band was practising in the village hall, producing enough noise to wake the dead. The homeward route was via Abham.

Saturday 27 June 1992Weekend ride: Bellever Youth Hostel Day 1Glorious
12 present: Neil Ault, Jeremy Ford, Richard Goss, Michael Jones, Alex Lessware, Sebastian Lessware, Chris Platt, Unknown Rider 1, John Stuart, Eliot Thomas-Wright, Ben Widger, Tom Widger
Seb rode with us to the hostel with the intention of returning home to do some work. Indecision set in on arrival, however, as the weather was excellent, and the fun factor very high. He joined in with the Frisbee contest and the swim by the river, by which time it was hardly worth trying to get home.

The hostel has recently been 'improved', and whilst the new wardens were only average the rooms were certainly very comfortable. There was no dorm large enough for all of us, but we managed to fit into two adjacent rooms and slept remarkably well. Seb, of course, had nothing with him for an overnight stay, so he had to make the best of sleeping in his cycling shorts.

Sunday 28 June 1992Weekend ride: Bellever Youth Hostel Day 2Glorious
12 present: Neil Ault, Jeremy Ford, Richard Goss, Michael Jones, Alex Lessware, Sebastian Lessware, Chris Platt, Unknown Rider 1, John Stuart, Eliot Thomas-Wright, Ben Widger, Tom Widger
Next morning we decided to take advantage of the good weather and visit Wistman's Wood. There was even time for a swim in the river, a loop back to the Foxtor Cafe at Princetown (again) and another swim at Huccaby Bridge to conclude this memorable weekend.

Friday 3 July 1992Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): Hembury WoodsDrizzle
4 present: Neil Ault, Richard Goss, Michael Jones, Chris Platt
The rain was still spoiling the evening after we had ridden around the Hembury Woods tracks, so we returned to Crofters for a social gathering.

Sunday 5 July 1992Afternoon ride (Buckfastleigh): Shipley BridgeDry but cloudy
7 present: Neil Ault, Tao Burgess, Richard Goss, Michael Jones, Sebastian Lessware, Paul Oakley, Chris Platt
As we neared Shipley, Michael managed to persuade Tao that his new quick-release barbag holder was actually a device which prevented the bike from being ridden into a hedge. Tao actually went to the trouble of testing it out on a real hedge before he realised he had been conned. He's a good sport though, and took it all very well.

Friday 10 July 1992Evening ride (Buckfastleigh): Staverton (10 mi)Sunny & clear
5 present: Neil Ault, James Gant (Junior, Totnes), Michael Jones, Unknown Rider 1, Andrew Watson (Junior, Totnes)
The rain cleared up just in time for our ride tonight. James and Andrew performed admirably on their first ride.

Sunday 12 July 1992Day ride: Ten Tors Event (26 mi)Dry
14 present: James Allason, Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Richard Goss, Harry Hall, Steve Harran (Adult, Devon), Michael Jones, Alex Lessware, Sebastian Lessware, Paul Oakley, Chris Platt, Unknown Rider 1, Eliot Thomas-Wright, Tom Widger
Harry was so late arriving at Bickington that Michael rang Ken (who's not the man he used to be) to find out what had happened. Harry turned up eventually: apparently he had thought the pick-up was at Avonwick until he reached Berry Pomeroy. As he hadn't brought a map he couldn't work out a direct route back to Bickington so he had to ride via Newton Abbot!

The ride was very tiring, partly because so much walking was required to reach all the tors. The following participants completed all ten tors and will receive certificates at the Christmas Lunch: James Allason, Alex Lessware, Neil Ault, Seb Lessware, Richard Goss, Paul Oakley, Harry Hall, Chris Platt, Steve Haran, Tom Widger, Michael Jones, Eliot Wright.

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