South Dartmoor CTC

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Sunday 12 March 1995Day ride: Mamhead Obelisk (50 mi)Sunny
6 present: Richard Burge, Tao Burgess, Julian Duquemin, Llewellyn Holmes, Phillip Oakley, Andrew Simmons
With Michael still too ill to ride, Budgy led today’s ride to Mamhead. At Dawlish Warren the group played with Budgy’s Aerobie on the beach - and somehow managed to lose it in the sea! Budgy was not amused, as Aerobies do not seem to be easy to come by!

After a shop stop at Dawlish we climbed the hill to Little Haldon. On the track descent to Humber, however, we ran into a problem with a pair of horses. The leading riders passed the horses without problems, but as Richard and Andrew approached, one of the horses got frisky and ran off, throwing the rider to the ground. The injuries were made worse by the fact that the girl got her foot stuck in the stirrup and was dragged along for a short distance before the horse came to a halt. We telephoned immediately for the girl’s mother, who took her to hospital.

When we telephoned the mother a few days later we discovered that she had fractured her leg and had been forced to spend a few days in hospital. Whilst there was agreement on both sides that our cyclists were not responsible for the injuries, members should take note that horses are sometimes easily frightened by cyclists and so we can never take too much care when riding past them. Always make sure the riders know you are there, and give the horses a wide berth.

Friday 17 March 1995Social: Star Trek - Generations
11 present: Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Julian Duquemin, Jeremy Ford, Richard Goss, Andrew Guy, Dayle Guy, Michael Jones, Keir Manning, Edward Millard, Philip Stone
We had to meet at 6.15 to get to the cinema in time for the early evening showing, which was earlier than we had been led to believe. The film was perhaps not as good as some Trek films, but everyone enjoyed the evening - except perhaps Budgy, who prefers Babylon Five these days!

Sunday 19 March 1995Morning ride: Ponsworthy SplashFine
12 present: Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Tao Burgess, Thomas Bushell, Jeremy Ford, Andrew Guy, Michael Jones, Keir Manning, Paul Oakley, Phillip Oakley, David Robinson, Philip Robinson
Michael was early at the start today. Our ride took us through Hembury Woods, where a squirrel nearly got squashed as it ran across the road just in front of Michael’s front wheel. Tao was waiting for us at the top of Holne Chase: having left Newton Abbot somewhat later than planned he decide that this would be the best place to intercept us.

As we neared Spitchwick there was a general consensus that Buckland’s Round House cafe would be a better destination than Ponsworthy, so after playing on Spitchwick Common for a while we climbed the hill through the woods and spent a good half an hour in the cafe.

It was on the climb out of Buckland that Paul managed an incredible feat: he fell off his bike while riding uphill and grazed his arm quite badly! Michael escorted him to Ashburton hospital to have it treated while Budgy led the rest of the group homewards.

Friday 24 March 1995Social: Give Us a Clue
14 present: Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Julian Duquemin, Dayle Guy, Michael Jones, Ashley Loder, Austin Loder, Adam Murray, Kim Murray (Junior, Devon), Paul Oakley, Phillip Oakley, Leigh Searle, Harry Staniland, Gavin Taylor
Once everyone had relaxed we had a lot of fun with this team miming game in which members act out the title of a film, tv series or book. Julian’s team won by just three points, but the Star Acting Award definitely goes to young Kim Murray.

Towards the end of the evening there was a lot of interest shown in a new computer game which allowed members to play inside the story of the Tortoise and the Hare.

Sunday 26 March 1995Day ride: Bow BridgeIntermittent sunshine
9 present: Richard Burge, Thomas Bushell, Julian Duquemin, Llewellyn Holmes, Michael Jones, Ashley Loder, Paul Oakley, Phillip Oakley, Harry Staniland
The Buckfastleigh starters took the Colston Road route to the Totnes pickup, and when Harry had rolled in at 1055 we set off for Ashprington.

Everyone except Julian and Budgy decided to ride the Sharpham track. Today the surface was not too muddy, and the primroses looked magnificent in the morning sunshine. There were several styles to tackle along the way, and a steep climb that Paul nearly rode to the top, but the whole ride was a lot of fun.

We met up with Julian and Budgy at Bow Bridge, near Tuckenhay. Budgy was most disappointed to learn that this was not the Bow Bridge of our destination: there were still several more miles to ride! Lanes took us on to Forces Cross, where the large lady of the cafe was nowhere to be seen. At Blackawton Tom rang for his parents, as he had to be home for lunch. The rest of us enjoyed the steep and rough descent to Dallacombe and quickly found the correct Bow Bridge amongst the woodlands on the River Gara.

The bridge offered some shelter from the chill wind so we settled there for lunch. While we were there we overheard Phillip and Harry saying how they needed new bikes. What were the reasons for these decisions? One had a slightly buckled wheel and the other had a poorly adjusted front brake! We suggested to them that Budgy should perhaps have got a new bike as well because he had a puncture!

As we passed Shepleigh Court Michael told of how it was once rumoured to be a naturist centre: it looked somewhat cold today for such pursuits!

With all speed we returned through Moreleigh to Diptford, where Michael broke a spoke and we met briefly with Plymouth Section. We had plenty of time to visit the Copper Kettle tea-rooms at South Brent before returning to Buckfastleigh by 4.55.

Friday 31 March 1995Social: Indoor Games
18 present: Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Julian Duquemin, Jeremy Ford, Andrew Guy, Dayle Guy, Llewellyn Holmes, Michael Jones, Ashley Loder, Austin Loder, Adam Murray, Kim Murray, Paul Oakley, Phillip Oakley, Leigh Searle, Harry Staniland, Gavin Taylor, Luke Whiting
The last social of the season saw the arrival of a new version of the popular five-player computer game Dynablasters that had come free with a computer magazine. Called Master Blaster, this exciting new action game boasted lots of new features to collect and brought new levels of fun for our members.

This evening’s fun made a fitting finale to our highly successful weekly 1994/95 social season.

Sunday 2 April 1995Afternoon ride: Rising Sun Tea-roomsPerfect spring weather
21 present: Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Tao Burgess, Allen Davies, Garry Davies, Pearl Davies, Phillip Davies, Julian Duquemin, John Hayes, Karina Hobday, Michael Jones, Sebastian Lessware, Austin Loder, Paul Oakley, Phillip Oakley, Leigh Searle, Eliot Thomas-Wright, Debbie Twydell, Ken Twydell, Luke Whiting, Ben Widger
This excellent afternoon ride brought us to the Tea-rooms for 3.05. Ken and company arrived shortly afterwards, and we spent a happy hour enjoying refreshments on the grass and playing games in the play area. Tao, who polished off a whole dish of cream left over from his scones, was warned by Michael of the health risks of eating too much cream - he didn’t seem bothered, however.

Our return route took us along the rarely-used lane past Pitt Farm. It was here that Michael narrowly avoided a collision when his front brake broke. The pheasant farm brought us quickly to Green Lane and Buckfastleigh.

Friday 7 April 1995Evening ride: Avon DamPerfect weather
11 present: Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Tao Burgess, Jeremy Ford, Stan Ford, Andrew Guy, John Hayes, Michael Jones, Austin Loder, Keir Manning, Paul Oakley
The ride to Shipley Bridge and back across the moor to Buckfastleigh via the Avon Dam and Cross Furzes is always a delight, especially when the weather is as perfect as it was this evening. We had to carefully on the final descent, however, as it was nearly dark.

Sunday 9 April 1995Tour: Cornwall Day 1 Plymouth to Golant (24 mi)Sunny but cold
6 present: Jered Benoit (12, Bushey), Julian Duquemin, Nick Green, Matthew John (12, High Wycombe), Michael Jones, Eliot Thomas-Wright
Our two cars on the ferry, laden with bikes
Jered, Matthew, Nick and Eliot on the Torpoint ferry, Plymouth
Climbing Looe Hill from Seaton
Matthew John and Jered Benoit on the Torpoint ferry
One of the Woolly Monkeys at the Monkey Sanctuary
Nick Green and Julian Duquemin eating lunch on Looe Hill, Seaton
Michael is persuaded by Julian to "have some fun" for the camera
Nick and Julian on the adventure playground at the Monkey Sanctuary near Looe
Millendreath beach near Looe
The track to Millendreath
East Looe
Matt leads the group along the coast path to Looe
Julian likes his chocolate cake; Matt and Nick are envious
Eliot enjoys his Knickerbocker Glory at the Tasty Corner café, Looe
Boarding the Bodinnick ferry to Fowey
Matt and Nick at the café
The driveway leading to Golant youth hostel
Eliot on the ferry
Re-mastered video footage from today's ride
In marked contrast to previous years our junior tour of the Cornish Coast attracted three cyclists from the national advertising but only one from our own Section. Michael’s view was that this would allow everyone to really enjoy the holiday, and his prediction turned out to be absolutely correct.

Matthew, Nick and Jered were already at Crofters after travelling down from London and Reading by train the previous evening. Eliot arrived at 8.30 and the whole crew played computer games until Julian arrived (somewhat late) at 9.45. After loading the six bikes onto our two cars we drove to Plymouth, crossed the Torpoint ferry and parked the cars in prearranged parking spaces in the village of Antony. Now at last the cycling could begin.

Our ride took us along the coast through the sleepy villages of Downderry and Seaton. Here we settled down for lunch in the shade of some trees, but the owner had to come up to satisfy himself that we weren’t doing any damage.

Next stop was the Monkey Sanctuary at the top of the hill. As luck would have it, today was the first day it had opened this year, so when Michael had negotiated a special short-stay entry charge we spent a happy hour watching the woolly monkeys and playing in the adventure park. Matthew almost bought a cuddly toy monkey to match the koala (he called it a mouse) attached to his handlebars, but financial considerations eventually persuaded him to give it a miss on this occasion.

The track descent to Millendreath Beach was fun, although the many steep steps that followed were somewhat less enjoyable. This was Michael’s short-cut to Looe! The section of coastal path that brought us right into the busy fishing village turned out to be great fun, however, so Michael was forgiven.

The Tasty Corner cafe provided us with high-quality refreshments, albeit at a stiff price. Julian was very pleased with the chocolate cake! As we were preparing to leave the village we discovered that the gents' toilets were closed for the season while repairs were effected! We weren’t sure what we were supposed to do, so after we had climbed the very steep hill to the fields above the village, some nearby farm gates were pressed into service.

The option to ride the coastal detour through Polperro did not appeal to most of the group, so we sped through the lanes to the Fowey ferry and arrived at Golant hostel by 5.45. Matthew, who had never ridden his bike seriously before, found the pace a little fast for his liking, but he didn’t say anything and kept up very well. As Michael said afterwards, if he’d said he wanted to go a little slower we would have obliged.

Golant hostel is a converted mansion situated in its own grounds overlooking the river Fowey. When we had settled into our six-bedded dormitory, showered and eaten (some weren’t impressed with the size of the orange juices that they’d been given as an alternative to soup), we spent the rest of the evening playing with a Frisbee and tennis ball in the gardens, and (when it got too dark to play outside) pool in the games room.

Monday 10 April 1995Tour: Cornwall Day 2 Golant to Boswinger (17 mi)Sunny
6 present: Jered Benoit (12, Bushey), Julian Duquemin, Nick Green, Matthew John (12, High Wycombe), Michael Jones, Eliot Thomas-Wright
Remastered video footage from today's ride
By the time Jered had fixed his puncture from yesterday evening it was 10.30 before we finally set off from the hostel. The day’s ride was relatively short however, so we weren’t at all concerned.

After a brief stop at the Spar in Par we took the back-lane route that by-passed St Austell and brought us quickly to the port of Charlestown. Here the posh restaurant above the museum provided excellent refreshments (yes, Julian had two more pieces of chocolate cake), and then the museum itself kept us amused for another hour with its radio-controlled boats and talking models. Nick caused us some concern by shooting through like a bullet when nobody was looking: we spent some time trying to find him. Then Eliot drew attention to himself by winding the manual foghorn loud enough to wake the dead!

Michael had some difficulty figuring out how to use Julian’s portable can-opener as we enjoyed lunch overlooking the harbour. He assumed it was one of those weird models that cut the can from the side, but in fact this one was supposed to be used from the top. He ended up with a very jagged edge at the top of his baked bean can.

Next stop was the fishing village of Mevagissey - or Mega-Busy as we named it today. The aquarium was still closed, but we were able to buy a little fudge from one of the many tourist shops that lined the seagull-infested harbour.

The remaining two stiff climbs seemed to present no problems at all to our fit crew, so we arrived early at Boswinger (around 4.30) and had plenty of time to explore nearby Hemmick Beach. Julian nearly missed it when he aggravated a local dog by staring at it while wearing his cycling shades: it bounded out of its garden and barked as though it was ready to go for his throat!

Hemmick beach really has to be seen to be believed (if you want to get an idea of what it’s like, check out the tour video). We whiled away two contented hours just playing with the Frisbee and tennis ball, climbing the rocks, getting wet, and (in Jered’s case) building sandcastles. We had some of the best fun of the tour here, in the glorious sunshine that seemed set to bless us for the whole week. If you didn’t come on the tour, you just don’t know what you missed.

The hostel showers were welcome when we eventually returned, and the hostel meals were surprisingly good. When it came to washing up, however, Matthew had to be carried down from the dormitory before he would carry out his allotted task.

The remainder of the evening was spent playing Frisbee outside the hostel (the dog had been moved inside the house now, so Julian was OK), and playing liar dice and cards in the common room. Once again we had a dormitory to ourselves, although some complained that they were sleeping against a rough stone wall.

[Pictures to follow]

Tuesday 11 April 1995Tour: Cornwall Day 3 Boswinger to Coverack (33 mi)Sunny & warm
6 present: Jered Benoit (12, Bushey), Julian Duquemin, Nick Green, Matthew John (12, High Wycombe), Michael Jones, Eliot Thomas-Wright
Remastered video footage from today's ride
Nick proved that he was a useful lad to have on a tour this morning: he had laid our places for breakfast by the time we arrived in the dining room. If only more of our youngsters could be so helpful and well organised. Eliot, once again, was the last to get his panniers packed.

This morning’s ride took us to the round houses at Veryan (unusual mainly because they aren’t rectangular) and then on to St Mawes, where we took the ferry to Falmouth. The boat was quite small, so our bikes had to be packed on carefully. Just after the ferry had set off, Michael produced a mouth-watering Danish pastry that he had purchased from a shop at St Mawes while no-one was looking, and proceeded to eat it while everyone else looked on in envy. When they realised they weren’t going to get any they turned their attention to the oil rig located in the Fal estuary and held a debate on whether or not it should have been put there.

A Burger King restaurant provided food for all of the crew - except Michael, who had set his heart on a pizza. The next part of the journey would take us to the Helford Passage ferry, which does not run at high tide. Michael made a telephone call and established that the tide was OK and the next ferries would leave at 3pm and 4pm. We cruised casually through the quiet lanes and arrived coolly at the jetty at exactly 3pm.

The beach was packed with people. We pushed our bikes along the wooden platform to the place where the tiny boat was moored and proceeded to load the bikes and luggage. Eliot expressed grave concerns about the positioning of his precious bike, but he really needn’t have worried. Jered, who is of US origin, didn’t like the arrangement at all and thought seriously about asking to see their licence! He’s obviously not used to the small-time operations that exist in Cornwall.

The Post Office on the far side provided much-needed refreshments before we climbed over the hill to Coverack, on the Lizard Peninsula. Here we were treated to a garden barbecue for our evening meal which included chocolate bananas for dessert. Michael wasn’t too impressed with the vegetarian burgers, which were fried in the same fat as the meat burgers.

Evening entertainments were provided by the well-equipped games room and a walk through the village to the beach. We had hoped to find some nice-looking swings that we had seen from our second-floor dormitory window, but it took a second walk after dark before we finally found them. Nick, who likes swings, went quite silly when he found them, and couldn’t stop laughing.

For the third evening in a row we had a dormitory to ourselves.

[Pictures to follow]

Wednesday 12 April 1995Tour: Cornwall Day 4 Coverack to Perranporth (30 mi)Sunny and warm
6 present: Jered Benoit (12, Bushey), Julian Duquemin, Nick Green, Matthew John (12, High Wycombe), Michael Jones, Eliot Thomas-Wright
Re-mastered video footage from today's ride
Michael takes great pride in maintaining a clean-shaven appearance, so the discovery that his rechargeable shaver had run out of charge was greeted with dismay: evidently it had switched itself on in his pannier the previous day. Of course he had no charging cable – he had fully charged it before he left home – so finding some way to charge it was uppermost in his mind for the rest of the morning.

First stop today was Goonhilly Downs Earth Station, a key satellite communications facility run by BT that was home to a large number of enormous satellite dishes. In 1962 the Arthur satellite dish received the very first live satellite television broadcasts from the USA.

The site was open to the public, offering displays, a café and a play area that included a small zip wire. Matthew surveyed the various cakes on offer at the café and decided once again that a Snickers bar was the only thing he really wanted. Meanwhile Michael used the telephone facilities to ring home and request that his shaver charger be sent down. It would have been possible to book onto the tour of the site’s dishes and control centre, but we didn’t have time for that today.

When everyone had finished playing on the zip wire and springy animals (Nick really loved riding on his puppy) we rode the few miles to Gweek, mainly downhill. Michael negotiated reduced rate admission to the Seal Sanctuary of £2 per person and we spent an enjoyable hour travelling up to the seals on the Land Rover train and observing the seals and sea-lions both above and below the water.

Those who had not bought lunch in the Seal Sanctuary restaurant bought it at the nearby Spar back in Gweek. We rode on northwards a few miles to find somewhere pleasant to eat it, but it was way after lunchtime and Jered couldn’t go any further without eating so we stopped by the side of a quiet road. You will see from the video that Matthew had bought yet another Snickers bar for his dessert. Later he was seen to have incorporated numerous Snickers wrappers into his shoelaces!

Continuing north we stopped to look at the Wheal Busy copper mine chimney by the side of the road west of Chacewater, which operated from the 16th century up to the 1920s. We made good speed once again and arrived at Perranporth early – a very impressive performance by everyone in the group.

Perranporth hostel, a small building perched on a cliff-top overlooking one of the largest beaches in the country, was supposed to be closed today, but because the regional office had inadvertently accepted our booking earlier in the year they had decided to open it especially for us. They were having new windows installed during our visit, but we had the whole place to ourselves.

Exploration of the beach was top of our agenda for the evening, and we wanted to enjoy it before darkness fell, so supper had to wait until later. The tide was in but there was still plenty of beach left to enjoy. Nick and Jered decided to dig down through the sand to the water level, but when people realised Nick’s hole was big enough to bury him he soon found himself up to his neck in sand.

Michael led an excursion to Chapel Rock, an island on the beach that was surrounded by shallow water. Nick couldn’t help complaining that the water was too cold of course. When Michael and Matthew tried a more adventurous excursion around the sea-facing side of the rock, however, both of them ended up soaked from the waist down.

We bought milk from the shop on the way back to the hostel (they didn’t have any bread), showered and then set about preparing our first self-catering meal of the tour in the tiny hostel kitchen. Packets of Pasta and Sauce proved popular, although Eliot was more adventurous and actually fried an egg. Julian’s eyes were bigger than his stomach: he cooked so much pasta and tuna that he had to get Jered to help him out with eating it. To finish his meal, Eliot opened a can of custard and ate it all by himself.

We hung our wet clothes on the line outside the hostel and though it would have a good chance of drying by morning in view of the strong winds coming off the sea. The rest of the evening was spent chatting in the cosy common room.

[Pictures to follow]

[This report was written in 2014 from the following notes - please let us know if you spot any errors or omissions.]

[MJ shaver out of charge - could not shave. Goonhilly Downs Earth Station, MJ asked CJ to send charger, didn’t go on tour, cafe stop, Matthew bought a Snickers AGAIN! (Later he had Snickers wrappers in his shoe laces). Wind farm nearby. Descent to Gweek, reduced admission (£2 each), walked to seals, none in hospital. Some bought lunch and souvenirs. Back to Spar, where bought lunch. Rode another couple of miles along quiet lane before stopping .. Jered couldn’t go any further, but it was late. Pressed on past disused tin mines to Perranporth, where arrived early AGAIN .. what a fit crew. Hostel was supposed to be closed today, but open because regional office had accepted our booking. Having new windows installed. Had the place to ourselves. Tide was in, but still plenty of beach to play on. Nick and Jered dug holes down to the water level, then Nick got himself buried in his own hole. Michael led an excursion to the rock that was surrounded by water, then he and Matthew went behind the rock on a greater adventure that left them both soaked from the waste down. Bought milk (no bread), showered, then did first self-catering evening meal. Pasta and Sauce proved very popular. Julian couldn’t eat all his pasta and tuna, so he got Jered to help him out. Eliot ate a whole can of custard to himself! Fried an egg as well! Attempted to dry clothes on the line - quite windy today. Chatted in the hostel for the rest of the evening.]

Thursday 13 April 1995Tour: Cornwall Day 5 Perranporth to Treyarnon (19 mi)Sunny and warm
6 present: Jered Benoit (12, Bushey), Julian Duquemin, Nick Green, Matthew John (12, High Wycombe), Michael Jones, Eliot Thomas-Wright
Re-mastered video footage from today's ride
Nick was enjoying an extended sleep this morning, but he woke up pretty quickly when he felt water dripping onto his face. Michael was the culprit, but he felt it was only fair since everyone else had woken up at the appropriate time.

Our clothes was nearly dry this morning after being pummelled with a sea breeze all night. We did have a problem though: we had no bread. Nick and Eliot kindly agreed to ride down to the village shop to get some, so breakfast got underway a little later than planned.

The tide was now almost right out so we couldn’t resist a final walk on the now enormous beach, walking right down to the distant shoreline. Everything looked fabulous in the morning sunshine and we were reluctant to move on.

Goonhavern’s World in Miniature was our next stop, just a couple of miles out of Perranporth. We felt ripped off by a high entry charge, but after whizzing past the rather tacky models of famous places we got our money’s worth from the radio controlled boats, bumper cars, Cinema 180 and bouncy castle maize. There was also a ball pool: it was funny to see both Michael and Julian joining in the fun!

We took the main road to Newquay in the hope of riding the pedal boats in the Trenance park. Sadly it was too early in the season and they had not been brought out of storage yet, so we pressed on to Mawgan Porth and bought ice-creams from the local beach shop.

A stiff climb brought us to the Bedruthan Steps, a steep staircase leading down the cliffs to the beach below. When we reached the bottom we discovered that the tide was in, covering all the sand and leaving us with just a few rocks to stand on.

Michael set a challenge by making a dash across some exposed sand before the next wave came in. The youngsters joined in but couldn’t resist playing chicken with the waves, so it wasn’t long before Eliot and Nick had wet feet. Michael took the precaution of removing his shoes and socks, but that proved rather pointless when a big wave came out of the blue and soaked him from the waist down. When another one came and soaked him from the neck down the laughter could be heard at the top of the cliff!

The hostel was only about three miles away, located next to a secluded beach in Treyarnon Bay. It was late afternoon so we had time to really enjoy this beach: Nick and Michael bravely went all the way under the water, Eliot and Matthew made some brave attempts and at least got wet.

The hostel was full tonight, and once again we had been consigned to the annexe building rather than the cosy rooms in the main hostel. For the first time on the tour we had to share our dorm with two other hostellers.

Our shower control system worked well tonight, with four of us getting showered before supper time: Matthew generously allowed Michael to go in before him even though he got there first. The meal, provided by the hostel, was excellent and included a delicious pudding and custard for dessert.

The kids reckoned Michael looked 'mean' with 2 days’ growth on his face, but Michael was very relieved when his relative Neil, who lived locally, arrived with his charger which had been posted down. A few minutes later he emerged from the washroom looking a new man!

Neil also brought another unexpected entertainment in the form of his two dogs. We all enjoyed taking them for a walk along the grassy headland, then retired to the common room for hot drinks before heading for bed.

[Pictures to follow]

[This report was written in 2014 from the following notes - please let us know if you see any errors or omissions.]

[Nick awoken with water by MJ. Clothes nearly dry. Eliot and Nick bought the bread. Tide almost right out. Final walk on the fabulous beach down to the low tide mark, then up the hill to Goonhavern and the World in Miniature. High entry charge. Whizzed past the rather tacky displays. enjoyed ball pool (inc MJ and Julian) then Cinema 180 and bouncy castle maize.
Onwards to Newquay via main road. Pedal boats not out yet. Onwards to Mawgan Porth for ice creams, then final major climb to Bedruthan Steps. Tide in full, little room at bottom of steps. MJ led the adventure by making a dash across some exposed sand before the next wave came in. Inevitably the kids played with the large waves, and quickly Eliot and Nick got wet feet. MJ took his shoes off, then got soaked from the waste down and then from the neck down - much to everyone’s enjoyment!
On to hostel, where enjoyed beach in late afternoon. Nick and MJ up to head, El and Matthew didn’t do too badly. Shower sequence got four complete by evening meal time, Matt kindly let MJ in first. Good meal, with pudding and custard for dessert. Kids reckoned MJ looked mean with 2 days’ growth! Neil arrived with charger, MJ shave at last. Walk the dogs, drinks in common room. Hostel full, we in annexe AGAIN, sharing dorm with 2 others for first time.]

Friday 14 April 1995Tour: Cornwall Day 6 Treyarnon to Tintagel (24 mi)Sunny and hot
6 present: Jered Benoit (12, Bushey), Julian Duquemin, Nick Green, Matthew John (12, High Wycombe), Michael Jones, Eliot Thomas-Wright
Re-mastered video footage from today's ride
We decided Matt might have felt left out yesterday morning when his friend Nick got awoken by dripping water, so this morning we put things right with an even larger dose of water: we suspect he will be first up tomorrow.

This hostel was large enough to have a drying room, and those of us who had the sense to use it last night found all their clothes bone dry this morning. Eliot, however, had decided his clothes stood a much better chance of drying overnight in the dorm. He was wrong, and had to put on damp cycling gear.

After a great breakfast we set off for the five-mile ride to Padstow. We passed Harlyn beach on the way but, enticing though it looked, we didn’t feel like getting wet clothes again so early in the day. In the picturesque fishing village of Padstow we thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the café opposite the harbour, watching children catching crabs off the harbour wall.

The village offered plenty of choice in bakery shops and supermarkets, so when we had bought lunch and supper we took to the Camel Trail cycle path, opened ten years ago. There are cycle hire shops at both ends but it was still a surprise to see just how many cyclists of all ages were using the trail today.

We stopped for lunch halfway along the path at a place that had good views of the river Camel. This was definitely the hottest day of the tour so far, so we were glad of the rest.

After setting off once more Julian instructed Matt to go back and collect a crust he had discarded on the side of the path: the naughty child pretended to go back, retrieved a similar crust from his pannier and managed to convince Julian he had done what he had been asked!

At the far end of the path at Wadebridge we found the Revolution bike hire shop: we didn’t particularly fancy any of the bikes that were available for hire but it was nevertheless interesting to look around and see how many people were going in and out. We then proceeded with good speed along the main road to St Kew Highway and onwards to Delabole, famous for its slate. We quickly found a shop and purchased various ice-creams to help keep us cool.

Julian led us the final few miles to Tintagel by 3.30, and then along the coastal path to the spectacular youth hostel, isolated, dug into the top of the cliff and offering amazing views of the sea. Jered’s parents were waiting to whisk him away to North Wales to join a weekend cycling trip organised by his London CTC group, but once we had said farewell to him we walked back past the church and down to the village.

Our plan was to look at Tintagel Castle, legendary birthplace of King Arthur located high on a rocky island near the beach, but when we arrived an officious woman informed us that it was nearly closing time so we couldn’t go in. Michael did his best to change her mind, pointing out that we could easily see a lot of the castle by walking down the free path to the beach area and wouldn’t it be better if she got a bit of money out of us, but she would not change her mind. So we went down to the beach, which was nothing much to speak of, and walked up to the little bridge that goes across to the castle. From here we could see pretty much everything we needed to see, so in the end we got what we wanted free of charge.

After discovering a short-cut back to the hostel that Michael didn’t know existed we settled ourselves into the cosy hostel for the evening. It had just received an £80 000 refit so the kitchen and dormitories were very modern and comfortable. We were self-catering again, and tonight everyone made their meals from packets of Pasta and Sauce. The results were so tasty that many decided to have them regularly when they got home.

When Matt had amazed everyone by volunteering to wash the dishes and wipe the tables we played some games in the common room and had chats in the dorm with the father and son (Tom) who shared it with us. One of our youngsters thought it would be funny to tie a knot in Julian’s sheet sleeping bag while he was out of the room, but when he came to go to bed he really couldn’t see the funny side of it at all. Poor Julian!

Matthew likes a glass of water during the night, so he took the trouble to fill a glass in the kitchen. The problem was, every time he left it unattended for a few minutes, Nick would drink it. He had to return to the kitchen twice more before Nick finally gave up.

Annoyingly, two more hostellers arrived late and came into the dorm after we had turned out the lights – and one of them didn’t use a sheet bag.

[Pictures to follow]

[This report was written in 2014 from the following notes - please let us know if you see any errors or omissions.]

[Matt awoken with water this morning. Those who used the drying room had dry clothes. Eliot hadn’t, so his cycling gear was still damp. Cycled to Harlyn Beach, didn;t want to stop, so on to Padstow where drinks in cafe opposite harbour. Kids catching crabs. Baker and supermarket, then Camel Trail, lots of cyclists in the sunshine. This was the hottest day so far. Stopped to eat lunch, Matt made to go back to collect crust, brought back another piece, fooled Julian! Revolution bike shop at Wadebridge, then main road to St Kew Highway. Didn;t want to see donkey sanctuary, so on to Delabole, where ice creams from shop. Julian then led to hostel, where arrived at 3.30. Jered’s parents waiting, took off quickly for N Wales to join section weekend. Rest walked to church, village and castle - woman wouldn;t let us past even though another way to get closer . nearly closing time! Beach not much to speak of, got excellent views of the castle without paying. Short cut back to hostel that MJ didn’t know about. Hostel just had £80k refit, very comfortable indeed. Self catering again, everyone had Pasta and Sauce tonight, and everyone vowed to eat more of it! Indoor games after meal, then more serious chat in dorm. Knots in sheet bag made Julian cross! Matthew refilled his cup of water twice after Nick drank it. Two other hostellers came in late, one didn’t use sheet bag.]

Friday 14 April 1995Evening ride: SpitchwickFine
9 present: Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Jeremy Ford, Andrew Guy, Dayle Guy, Austin Loder, Keir Manning, Paul Oakley, Phillip Oakley
With Michael and Julian away Richard led the group through Holne and on to Spitchwick where we spent an enjoyable time playing Frisbee. On the return through Hembury Woods Dayle came off in spectacular style, but fortunately the only thing broken was his bar end.

[This report was written in 2014 from the following notes - please tell us if you see any errors]

[Spitchwick via Holne, played with Frisbee at Spitchwick, came back Hembury Woods. Dayle came off and broke his bar end.]

Saturday 15 April 1995Tour: Cornwall Day 7 Tintagel to Home (43 mi)Cloudy start, sunny periods later
6 present: Jered Benoit (12, Bushey), Julian Duquemin, Nick Green, Matthew John (12, High Wycombe), Michael Jones, Eliot Thomas-Wright
Re-mastered video footage from today's ride
We had a long way to ride today so we got up early, took a group video outside the hostel and set off up the hill for Davidstow Moor on a cloudy and chilly morning. This was fast riding and it wasn’t long before we had ridden through Altarnun and crossed to the centre of Bodmin Moor. Here the Jamaica Inn provided welcome refreshments.

With trains to catch there was no time to lose, but now the road was nearly all downhill so progress was even swifter crossing the moor southwards to Liskeard - we managed to find a few minutes for a quick video stop along the way. The A38 provided a fast route to Trerulefoot and then a final descent brought us to the cars at Antony by 1.15.

When we had cleaned off some of the thick layer of dust that had covered our cars during the preceding week and loaded the bikes and luggage we drove to Plymouth for a stop at Sainsburys for lunch and provisions, then returned to Buckfastleigh so that “Matty” could examine the touring bike that Michael wanted to sell. After a few computers games we took Nick and Matthew to Exeter to catch the train to Reading that they had originally planned to catch from Plymouth.

This tour had turned out to be a complete success, with all the participants saying they had really enjoyed it. Good weather had helped a lot, but perhaps the main reason for the tour being so much fun was that we were fortunate enough to have such a friendly and enthusiastic bunch of youngsters taking part.

[Pictures to follow]

[This report was written in 2014 from the following notes - please let us know if you see any errors or omissions.]

[43 miles. Sunny periods later.
Left at 9am, cloudy and chilly start. Climb to moor, descent to Altarnun, main road to Jamaica Inn, long descent to Liskeard, non stop along A38 to Trerulefoot and then descent to Antony, arrived at cars by 1.15pm. Cars covered in thick layer of dust. Shopping at Sainsbury for lunch and MJ provisions, then back to Crofters so that Matty could examine the bike that MJ wanted to sell. Computer games, then on to Exeter to intercept the train that they had planned to catch at Plymouth. Excellent tour all round. Good group.]

Sunday 16 April 1995Morning ride: Venford ReservoirSunny spells but cold wind
23 present: Neil Ault, Clive Buckland, Richard Burge, Carrie Burgess, Julian Duquemin, Jeremy Ford, Stan Ford, Andrew Guy, Dayle Guy, John Hayes, Martin Hills, Llewellyn Holmes, Michael Jones, Sebastian Lessware, Ashley Loder, Austin Loder, Keir Manning, Paul Oakley, Phillip Oakley, Chris Platt, Charlie Raven, Harry Staniland, Eliot Thomas-Wright
Our special Easter Day ride took us up to Venford Reservoir where Michael kindly handed out Easter Eggs for everyone.

We decided to return via the rough track to Michelcombe, but here we were delayed when Martin Hills got a puncture on the descent. When repairs had been effected we continued to Buckfastleigh through Hembury Woods.

[This report was written in 2014 from the following notes - please tell us if you see any errors or omissions.]

[Eggs eaten by reservoir. Martin Hills puncture on track descent - returned via Hembury Woods. Sunny spells but cold wind.]

Friday 21 April 1995Evening ride: TotnesSunny but cold after dark
15 present: Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Julian Duquemin, Stan Ford, Richard Goss, Andrew Guy, Dayle Guy, John Hayes, Martin Hills, Michael Jones, Keir Manning, Paul Oakley, Phillip Oakley, Philip Stone, Gavin Taylor
Jeremy had a problem with his wheel today and went to Michael's house to fix it before the ride. Unfortunately it took longer than he anticipated, so the rest of us had to leave without him.

We rode along Colston Road to Dartington and then took the riverside track to Totnes. We returned through Dartington and Rattery as darkness fell. Michael had a very nice rear lamp tonight, but many in the group felt sure it was not actually red.

[This report was written in 2014 from the following notes - please tell us if you see any errors or omissions.]

[Jeremy fixing wheel at Michael's house, missed ride. Colston Road, Totnes track, Dartington & Rattery. Some people thought Michael's rear light wasn't red. Weather sunny, cold after dark.]

Sunday 23 April 1995Day ride: North BoveyMainly sunny
5 present: Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Richard Goss, Michael Jones, Philip Stone
After refreshments in the Primrose café at Lustleigh we climbed the delightful road past Lustleigh Cleave and then took the track descent to the ford near North Bovey. Here we enjoyed lunch while some skimmed stones across the river.

We rode on to Heatree Cross and after some indecision continued to the play park at Widecombe where everyone had a bit of fun. Next stop was Spitchwich, which we reached via Buckland. Here Philip produced his own Frisbee for our amusement, which flew well despite it being the floppiest Frisbee we had ever seen.

Michael was the only person who took the track short-cut to New Bridge. We then returned home via Hembury.

[This report was written in 2014 from the following notes - please tell us if you see any errors or omissions]

[Mainly sunny. Lustleigh for refreshments. Climbed Cleave road, descended track, stone-throwing and lunch by ford near North Bovey. On to Heatree Cross (some indecision). Road to Widecombe play park. Buckland, Spitchwick and Hembury. Played with Philip Oakley's floppy Frisbee at Spitchwick - Michael took path shortcut from (to) New Bridge.]

Friday 28 April 1995Evening ride: LandscoveDry but dull and nippy
11 present: Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Julian Duquemin, Jeremy Ford, Andrew Guy, Dayle Guy, Michael Jones, Austin Loder, Keir Manning, Paul Oakley, Phillip Oakley
Julian impressed everyone tonight with his new front forks. We took the old Ashburton road to Pridhamsleigh and then took the right turn up the hill to Five Lanes. After passing Baddaford we took the track descent across the fields to Landscove, then continued to Staverton.

For a change we tried the riverside track in reverse, starting from the village and proceeding through the field and woods to the island. The owner of the house near the start gets so angry when cyclists ride the track that he risks bursting a blood vessel, so we decided today to look after his health and walked the path until we were in the woods.

As usual we couldn't resist playing on Staverton Island, skimming stones and generally running around. When we had taken our fill of fun we headed home via Colston Road.

[This report was written in 2014 from the following notes - please tell us if you see any errors or omissions]

[Weather dry, dull and nippy. Pridhamsleigh, right turn up hill, field track to Landscove. Staverton, riverside path (walked first section), played on island, home via Colston. Julian with new forks.]

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