South Dartmoor CTC

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Sunday 30 April 1995Day ride: Newton FerrersSunny inland, misty around the coast
6 present: Richard Burge, Llewellyn Holmes, Michael Jones, Keir Manning, Paul Oakley, Phillip Oakley
Keir had a broken freewheel today, making his bike un-rideable, so he borrowed Michael's Romany touring bike for the day. It was strange to see him not on a mountain bike: he handled the bike sensibly and speedily and looked more like a serious cyclist than we had ever seen him!

From the Avonwick pick-up we continued down the fast descent to Ermington and on through the lanes to the Brownstone area. We had planned to take the long track through Pool Mill Farm to Membland, but on arrival it was clearly too wet to ride so we took the road route to Newton Ferrers and had lunch by the water at Bridgend. A multitude of ducks and swans helped make this a particularly enjoyable lunchtime, although we all had to pay by donating sizeable portions of our lunches.

We returned homeward along the coast road to Holbeton, looking forward to a nice café stop at Ermington fish farm. When we arrived however we discovered that the café was no more, the premises now being owned by the Car Graphics Co. We really did want refreshments, so we had to make do with the Shell garage at South Brent.

The afternoon was still young so after some debate we elected to return home the long way, via Bloody Pool and the Skerraton Down track across the moor to Cross Furzes. Skylarks hovered and sang in every direction making a perfect ending to an excellent ride.

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

[Sunny inland, misty around coast. Keir broke freewheel, used Romany. Avonwick, Ermington. Track to Membland was too wet so took road. Lunch by water at Bridgend feeding ducks and swans. Homeward via Holbeton, Ermington (café replaced by Car Graphics Co). Keir handled Romany very sensibly and speedily. Shell garage at South Brent, eventually decided to take road to Bloody Pool and track to Cross Furzes. Skylarks everywhere.]

Friday 5 May 1995Evening ride: HaytorBalmy
18 present: Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Tao Burgess, Julian Duquemin, Jeremy Ford, Stan Ford, Andrew Guy, Dayle Guy, Matthew Hamlyn-White, Martin Hills, Michael Jones, Ashley Loder, Don Malpass, Keir Manning, Edward Millard, Paul Oakley, Philip Stone, Eliot Thomas-Wright
Jeremy had a broken chain at the start so he went home to replace it with the intention of catching us up. Evidently it took him longer than he planned as we didn't see him again.

We made the very best of the excellent weather by setting out on an ambitious ride to Haytor, riding out through Ashburton, Halshanger and Birchanger. The journey was well worth the effort with the views alone, the distant lights near the coast being just visible through the warm haze.

We returned home the short way via Cold East Cross and Ashburton, concluding what had been a very enjoyable and well attended ride.

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

[Jeremy went hom to change his chain, didn't catch us. Ashburton, Halshanger, Birchanger, Haytor. Balmy evening, distant lights could just be seen through Haze. Return via Cold East Cross.]

Sunday 7 May 1995Afternoon ride: BadworthySunny and hot
16 present: Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Tao Burgess, Julian Duquemin, Andrew Guy, Dayle Guy, John Hayes, Kirsten Holmes (Junior, Buckfastleigh), Llewellyn Holmes, Michael Jones, Ashley Loder, Austin Loder, Jigme Malholland (Junior, Buckfastleigh), Paul Oakley, Philip Stone, Eliot Thomas-Wright
The ride to this new destination started in a not unusual way with the climb of Dean Hill, the ride through Harbourneford and the descent towards South Brent. We took the right turn towards Aish halfway down the hill, a narrow and little-used lane that brought us quickly to Lydia Bridge. We then followed the lane up the hill towards Shipley Bridge, turning left for Badworthy.

The Badworthy lane was only a relatively short detour off the main lane but it was delightfully quiet and unspoilt, leading down to the Badworthy Brook and then back up to the main lane again. We overtook a jogger heading in the same direction as us but were disappointed to note that he kept up with us all the way up the climb on the other side. Budgie managed to fall off at one point but placed the blame firmly on Philip Stone's haphazard riding.

Finding ourselves conveniently at Shipley Bridge there were now just two more things to do to round off an excellent ride. Firstly we bought ice-creams from the van and enjoyed them in the afternoon sunshine. Then, when Jigme had left us to go home because he was feeling feint, we headed to the moor at the Avon Dam and rode back to Cross Furzes along the fabulous Abbots Way track.

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

Friday 12 May 1995Evening ride: BroadhempstonDry but cold
14 present: Richard Burge, Tao Burgess, Julian Duquemin, Jeremy Ford, Stan Ford, Andrew Guy, Dayle Guy, Martin Hills, Michael Jones, Ashley Loder, Austin Loder, Keir Manning, Paul Oakley, Philip Stone
This evening's chilly ride took us up Green Lane and then on past Abham to Staverton and Broadhempston. The infamous Beeston Track proved irresistible - it was bit muddy but nowhere near as bad as it has been on occasions. Progress was delayed somewhat by Julian who got a puncture.

We returned to Five Lanes and the very rough track descent to Dart Bridge.

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Sunday 14 May 1995Day ride: Rough Stuff Event, IdefordMainly dry and bright with occasional showers
24 present: Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Tao Burgess, Allen Davies, Garry Davies, Pearl Davies, Phillip Davies, Julian Duquemin, Jeremy Ford, Richard Goss, Andrew Guy, Dayle Guy, Martin Hills, Llewellyn Holmes, Michael Jones, William Lane, Ashley Loder, Austin Loder, Keir Manning, Paul Oakley, Harry Staniland, Philip Stone, Eliot Thomas-Wright, Luke Whiting
We were encouraged by an impressive turnout for this year's Rough Stuff event at Ideford. Luke had to rest for a moment at the "Budgie Box" at Caton as he felt light-headed, but eventually we pressed on to Gappah Cross, being dampened by a light shower at Heathfield.

Several of our youngsters, including Ashley and Paul, were taken completely by surprise when we turned right instead of left at Gappah, heading past Ugbrooke House and across the A380 Exeter to Newton road. On the other side of the dual carriageway we were taking the footpath to Olchard, but the way was obstructed by an annoying wooden gate. Keir thought he would help out by lifting the gate off its hinges, but try as he might he could not make it budge. There was laughter all around when Tao came along and lifted it off easily.

When we had met up with the other Devon DA riders at Ideford we had lunch under the second and final shower of the day. We then got on with the competition, which this year was reasonably hard and tiring because of the long route required to reach all the testing off-road sections. Eventually we had to leave at 4.15, before the results were announced, in order to get home at a reasonable time.

Tao's broken chain delayed us by another thirty minutes, and by the time we had ridden through Kingsteignton and Newton Abbot for a slightly different journey home it was 7pm when we finally reached Buckfastleigh.

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Friday 19 May 1995Evening ride: River Dart Country ParkDry and sunny
19 present: Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Tao Burgess, Allen Davies, Garry Davies, Pearl Davies, Phillip Davies, Julian Duquemin, Dayle Guy, Michael Jones, Jake Lane, Austin Loder, Roy Loder, Keir Manning, Alec Martin (14, Devon), Janette Martin (Adult, Devon), John Norman (10, Devon), Paul Oakley, Philip Stone
Today was the 10th anniversary of South Dartmoor CTC, which held its first ever ride on 19th May 1985.

We rode through Buckfast and along the lower Hembury track to Holne, then took the downhill track through Holne Woods to River Dart Country Park. Here we took advantage of our special permission letter from the management and played on the slides - young Allen managed to ride the long, steep slide and land on his feet at the bottom!

We got back to Buckfastleigh by 9.15 and finished the ride with some fun computer games at Crofters.

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Sunday 21 May 1995
1000-1600
Day ride: Slapton SandsSunny
4 present: Richard Burge, Tao Burgess, Garry Davies, Michael Jones
Several of our regular members were taking part in a cycle race elsewhere, but those who met at the Totnes pick-up rode through Harbertonford and Moreleigh to Slapton village where we looked at some of the famous landmarks Michael happened to know about.

After lunch on the beach at 12.15 we had drinks at one of the cafes in Torcross - Garry was rather embarrassed to break his glass! We returned via Stokenham, Moreleigh, Diptford, Avonwick and Marley Head.

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Tuesday 23 May 1995
1800-2035
Evening ride (Junior): StavertonWarm and sunny
12 present: Jenna Clegg (11, Buckfastleigh), Luke Comerford (10, Buckfastleigh), Amy Davies (10, Buckfastleigh), James Hudson (9, Buckfastleigh), Ben Ireland (10, Buckfastleigh), Michael Jones, Austin Loder, Craig McCracken (11, Buckfastleigh), Daniel Smith (10, Buckfastleigh), Graham Smith (Adult, Buckfastleigh), Dale Turrell, Dave Turrell
Our first under-13s ride of the season was a great success, attracting seven new children from the Buckfastleigh Cycling Proficiency course and one new parent.

The ride was not too ambitious, taking us along Colston Road to Staverton and along the first section of the riverside path. After a quick run around the island we returned via Abham and Caddaford, with nearly everyone saying that they had enjoyed the ride.

Austin, Jenna and James deserve special mention for opting to join Dave on the rough downhill track from Fursdon to Hole, meeting up with the others at Abham.

[This report never previously published, but it was written at the time]

Friday 26 May 1995
1900
Evening ride: StavertonDull and damp, rain later
20 present: Richard Burge, Allen Davies, Garry Davies, Pearl Davies, Phillip Davies, Julian Duquemin, Andrew Guy, Dayle Guy, Michael Jones, Ashley Loder, Austin Loder, Roy Loder, Keir Manning, Alec Martin, Janette Martin, John Norman, Paul Oakley, Phillip Oakley, Chris Platt, Philip Stone
Heavy rain during the late afternoon kept Michael’s telephone buzzing with questions about the fate of this evening’s ride. When 7pm arrived, however, the rain had ceased so we set off along Colston Road hoping that our good fortune would hold for another couple of hours. Dayle, who had decided at the last minute that the ride looked a good deal more attractive than it had looked earlier, caught up with us as we neared Hood Farm.

The ride was not uneventful. Allen had some chain problems, then Alec came off his bike on Staverton Bridge. Finally, two disappointing members chose to ignore Michael’s clear instructions and rode at top speed past some walkers on the Staverton riverside path so that they had to move out of the way. Cyclists have no right to use this path at all, so if our members are unable to respect the absolute rights of walkers we will simply stop using the path altogether.

The rain now began again, so we set off for home via Abham and Caddaford. Some members took the track climb to the top of Green Lane, getting slightly muddy in the process of course.

Most of the crew returned to Crofters at 9pm for drinks and computer games, but a few decided to return home to clean their bikes ready for tomorrow’s ride to Steps Bridge.

[This report never previously published, but it was written in full at the time]

Saturday 27 May 1995
1530-2300
Weekend ride: Steps Bridge YH Day 1Mainly dry with occasional showers
16 present: Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Tao Burgess, Julian Duquemin, Richard Goss, John Hayes, Llewellyn Holmes, Michael Jones, Keir Manning, Paul Oakley, Phillip Oakley, Chris Platt, Harry Staniland, Philip Stone, Eliot Thomas-Wright, Luke Whiting
With rain pouring down at 2pm it looked very much as though our weekend would be a washout. Phil Stone rang Crofters Control to see if the ride was cancelled, but the forecast was encouraging so we decided to press ahead. By the time those who had forgotten their hostel cards (including Budgie!) had returned home to fetch them the weather was actually quite pleasant when we finally set off. We did get one shower on the way to the 4.30 Chudleigh pick-up, where Tao and Eliot had been waiting rather impatiently for some time, but otherwise we were fortunate with the weather.

As we were passing Christow BMX track we couldn’t resist the small detour up the hill for some fun. A local lad who we had met here before was on the track again today, and he really enjoyed showing off his skills and chatting with us again. Neil tried a stunt - against Michael's advice - and ended up with a nasty graze on his arm, but he decided to postpone a hospital trip until tomorrow.

Steps Bridge hostel is a "simple" hostel situated high in Bridford Wood. We had heard rumours that the hostel had been improved since our last visit, but when we arrived at 6.45 it was clear that these were indeed nothing more than rumours, although the hostel was quite cosy. An interesting range of meals was prepared in the small kitchen, mostly based on pasta although Budgie was more adventurous with his rice meal.

Rain set in for the rest of the evening, so after a short walk before dark our time was spent mainly on a debate and card games in the common room. When it came to bedtime it was, unusually, Budgie who seemed least interested in sleep!

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

[Rain pouring down at 2pm, looked as though weekend would be a washout. Phil Stone rang up to see if cancelled. Several forgot hostel cards, including Budgie, and had to go back for them. Actually quite nice when set out at 3.30pm. Shower on the way to Chudleigh pick-up. Tao and Eliot had been waiting a little while when we arrived.
Christow BMX track, local lad met us again and chatted for a while. Neil tried a stunt and grazed his arm, just as MJ predicted. He chose to leave hospital visit until next day. Arrived at hostel approx 6.45pm. Talk of it having been improved turned out to be nothing more than rumours, although it is quite cosy. Interesting range of meals were cooked, mostly based on pasta, although Budgy did an interesting rice meal. Rest of evenin it rained, so mainly indoor debate and card games, plus a short walk before dark. Budgy difficult to calm down in dorm.]

Sunday 28 May 1995
0800-1615
Weekend ride: Steps Bridge YH Day 2Occasional showers
16 present: Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Tao Burgess, Julian Duquemin, Richard Goss, John Hayes, Llewellyn Holmes, Michael Jones, Keir Manning, Paul Oakley, Phillip Oakley, Chris Platt, Harry Staniland, Philip Stone, Eliot Thomas-Wright, Luke Whiting
Our sleep was rudely disturbed in the middle of the night by the alarm going off in the National Park van parked in the car park. It might have been this that led Keir to give up on sleep: he was dressed and sitting up on his bed at 7am, then couldn't resist waking up Harry and Luke.

Michael had obtained milk from the warden and wanted to make sure that everyone got as much as they needed for a fair price. It was amusing to see him measuring out the milk and calculating the correct charges to the nearest penny.

We managed to get everyone out of the hostel by 9.45, fifteen minutes before closing time, and then set off along the riverside bridleway through Dunsford Wood. The paths were great fun and not too muddy. The youngsters were enjoying them so much that they raced on ahead and succeeded in upsetting a group of walkers. Some strong words from Michael put matters right and order was quickly restored.

There were a lot of ramblers at Fingle Bridge taking part in a Greenpeace walk. We climbed the steep Hunters Path to the top of the woods and then enjoyed the fabulous descent down the side of the valley, affording us spectacular views.

After lunch at the bottom the showers began for our return across the moor. Harry had a near miss with a car, but we managed to reach Chagford in sixteen pieces and decided to try the Old Forge tearooms. We were almost put off by the expensive and exclusive appearance of the frontage, but inside it actually turned out to be very good. It also provided comfortable shelter from a spell of rain that had come along.

The rain had turned to showers again by the time we left, so we headed straight home via Hound Tor and Cold East Cross, stopping for ice-creams and Frisbee fun at the former. An extended computer games social at Crofters helped make up for the slightly inclement weather and finished off an enjoyable weekend.

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

[National Park van alarm went off in night. Keir awoke early, MJ looked across and saw him sitting on his bed, dressed, at 7am. Then he stirred up Harry and Luke! Breakfast milk was measured out by MJ, charges calculated to the nearest penny. Managed to clear out of hostel by 9.45am. Problem on path when some didn’t wait and upset a group of walkers. Strong talk from MJ put the matter right, however, and order was quickly restored. Paths were great fun and not too muddy. Greenpeace walk at Fingle. Climbed the path,spectacular views, great descent, lunch at bottom, showers began, incident with Harry almos hitting car, Chagford Old Forge tyearooms, looked expensive and exclusive on the outside but actually very good - and offered shelter from the rain. Still showers when we left so straight homewards via Hound Tor (frisbee and ice-cream van) and Cold East Cross. Crofters by 4.15, extended computer games social to conclude the day.]

Friday 2 June 1995Evening ride: Unknown destination
12 present: Richard Burge, Michael Jones, Jake Lane, Ashley Loder, Austin Loder, Roy Loder, Keir Manning, Alec Martin, Janette Martin, Paul Oakley, Phillip Oakley, Dave Turrell
Report unavailable

Sunday 4 June 1995
1415-1730
Afternoon ride: Invitation Ride: BroadhempstonFine, sunny and warm
20 present: Michelle Britnell (Junior, Paignton), Richard Burge, Allen Davies, Pearl Davies, Phillip Davies, Julian Duquemin, John Hayes, Ben Hobday, Karina Hobday, Michael Jones, Oliver Lash-Williams (9, Devon), Janette Martin, Phillip Oakley, Chris Platt, Charlie Raven, Maureen Taylor, Philip Taylor (10, Buckfastleigh), Debbie Twydell, James Twydell, Ken Twydell
This was our National Bike Week Invitation Ride, and by the time Buckfastleigh and Paignton contingents had met at Broadhempston we had three new members.

Ken provided plenty of entertainment on the ride to Ipplepen by bringing both Ben and James on a specially-converted tandem that included a Rann trailer. We called in to Fermoys garden centre café for cakes but had to hurry up as it was closing today at 4.30, courtesy of the new Sunday Trading laws.

The two contingents went their separate ways home, with the Buckfastleigh starters riding through Staverton and Caddaford.

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Tuesday 6 June 1995
1800-2045
Evening ride (Junior): Holne (12 mi)Sunny
15 present: Luke Comerford, James Hudson, Ben Ireland, Michael Jones, Jake Lane, Oliver Lash-Williams, Austin Loder, Craig McCracken, Gavin Pearson (10, Buckfastleigh), Daniel Smith, Graham Smith, Maureen Taylor, Philip Taylor, Dale Turrell, Wendy Turrell (Adult, Buckfastleigh)
Our ride this evening took us through Buckfast, Scoriton and Michelcombe to Holne Play Park where the youngsters (and adults) enjoyed a welcome rest. We then took the track through Holne Woods to River Dart Country Park, providing everyone with an enjoyable challenge: Gavin kept carefully to the rough side of the track on the left to practice his off-road riding, but Dale tried a little too hard and came off at the bottom.

We have permission to play on the Anaconda Run in the park on our way through, an unexpected pleasure for our youngsters who made the most of the opportunity. The return home via the old Ashburton road was punctuated only by a problem with Ben's chain.

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Friday 9 June 1995
1900-2145
Evening ride: BroadhempstonSunny
18 present: Richard Burge, Allen Davies, Garry Davies, Pearl Davies, Phillip Davies, Stan Ford, John Hayes, Michael Jones, Ashley Loder, Austin Loder, Roy Loder, Keir Manning, Alec Martin, Janette Martin, John Norman, Paul Oakley, Phillip Oakley, Philip Stone
This turned out to be an unusually eventful evening ride. Heading to the old Ashburton road we managed to lose Philip, Janette and Alec who, arriving at Dart Bridge and not seeing the leading riders, decided to fork left to Buckfast. While we were waiting for them, Stan managed to find us, having left home rather later than he had planned.

At Pridhamsleigh a number of riders thought the track heading up over the hill looked interesting, so we gave it a try - it was somewhat overgrown but rideable. At Bulland we crossed the road to another track, forked right and followed it up the hill - perhaps not the best way to ride it.

At the top Keir remembered the Beaston track from the Rough Stuff event and persuaded everyone that it was not to be missed. It did turn out to be a great track, but Roy managed to pick up a double puncture along the way which took a little time to fix.

Budgie and Philip Oakley swapped bikes for the journey to Broadhempston, as did Alec and Michael. We spent fifteen minutes or so playing in the play park, then when we had sorted Budgie's chain jam there was more bike swapping - Michael somehow ended up on John Norman's bike!

We returned home via Green Lane.

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Sunday 11 June 1995
1000
Day ride: Maidencombe BeachCloudy with sunny periods
9 present: Neil Ault, Richard Burge, Carrie Burgess, Martin Hills, Ben Hobday, Llewellyn Holmes, Michael Jones, Phillip Oakley, Eliot Thomas-Wright
Neil had a slight problem on the way from Buckfastleigh to the Marldon pick-up: his derailleur bolt broke meaning that emergency repairs had to be effected. Martin and Carrie sped on to Marldon on their tandem using the main road, arriving in time for the 11.15 meeting time. When everyone had finally arrived we had been joined by Ben from Paignton and Eliot from Newton.

Cockington is a picturesque village near Torquay with a magnificent park with mature trees and a mansion. We took a look in the park, then noticed a strong smell of horse manure. As we rode along the lane to the sea front we soon found out why: tourists were being carried to and from Torquay on a multitude of horse-drawn traps.

Torquay harbour was bustling today, which made a pleasant change for us as most of our previous visits had been out of season. We used quieter roads to take us to our next stop, Meadfoot Beach, where the water was surprisingly still for the open sea, then followed the valley road up to Kents Cavern and the one-way short-cut to Babbacombe (it was really supposed to be ridden the other way, but it was very quiet and we were of course very careful).

We had a glorious lunchtime on the downs overlooking the sea, entertained by Budgie who got so annoyed by the pigeons that he aimed a well-placed kick in their direction.

Continuing on past the model village we took the new road to Watcombe and then rode over the hill to Maidencombe, our destination. Here we played with gloop for half an hour, purchased from the beach shop. Ben drank something that contained Quinoline yellow and ended up with coloured tongue, teeth and lips!

Stoke-in-Teignhead was the next stop where we spent a very pleasant time in the café. Our Safety Team jumped into action for the first time when we came to the descent to Combe-in-Teignhead, making sure everyone arrived safely at the bottom. The final climbs to Newton Abbot left Ben feeling very tired, so after dropping leaflets into Tao's house we went to Fermoys where Ken met us to collect Ben.

We returned home via Broadhempston to conclude a thoroughly enjoyable ride.

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Friday 16 June 1995
1900
Evening ride: AvonwickCloudy but fine
18 present: Richard Burge, Julian Duquemin, Richard Goss, Andrew Guy, Dayle Guy, Martin Hills, Llewellyn Holmes, Michael Jones, Jake Lane, William Lane, Ashley Loder, Austin Loder, Roy Loder, Keir Manning, Paul Oakley, Phillip Oakley, Philip Stone, Gavin Taylor
Our ride this evening took us up the hill past Pennywell Farm to Rattery and then down the other side past the viaduct. We found a new lane from Kerswill Cross to Avonwick but then had to wait a while for Roy to fix a puncture.

We returned home via the lane to Marley Head.

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Sunday 18 June 1995
1000
Day ride: Hamel DownWarm and sunny
7 present: Richard Burge, Llewellyn Holmes, Michael Jones, Ashley Loder, Paul Oakley, Phillip Oakley, Eliot Thomas-Wright
We rode up the hill to Ilsington from the Bickington pick-up, then four decided to take the Pinchaford track to Haytor.

One of the youngsters found a crow with a broken leg by the side of the road. After some discussion Michael put it in his pannier and we all rode to Hound Tor where we hoped the ice cream van may be able to help. To our surprise there was a policeman there too and he took charge of the situation: he put the bird in an empty box that he got from the ice cream van, went immediately to his radio and was soon to be seen speeding towards Moretonhampstead. Lucky crow!

We continued our ride to Jay's Grave where fresh flowers were once again on display, then took the rough track to Natsworthy. The Safety Team were very impressed by the youngsters who waited three times for pedestrians without having to be prompted.

Numerous Skylarks sang and fluttered around while we had lunch by the stream, then we set about the climb of Hamel Down and the traversal of the fabulous track that runs along the top. Judging by the number of foals around the moor today, this must have been a good year for Dartmoor Ponies.

After drinks at the Green café in Widecombe we took the short route home via Widecombe Hill.

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Tuesday 20 June 1995
1800
Evening ride (Junior): Skerraton DownDry and mainly sunny
20 present: Jenna Clegg, Luke Comerford, Elma Houghton (Junior, Buckfastleigh), Phillippa Houghton (Junior, Buckfastleigh), James Hudson, Ben Ireland, Ben Isaac (Junior, Buckfastleigh), Michael Jones, Andrew Knott (Junior, Buckfastleigh), Austin Loder, Craig McCracken, Gavin Pearson, Ben Richardson (10, Buckfastleigh), Daniel Smith, Graham Smith, Maureen Taylor, Philip Taylor, Dale Turrell, Wendy Turrell, Martyn Voisey (11, Buckfastleigh)
Daniel's gran had suggested a route for us this evening, so with a record turnout for a junior evening ride we rode up to Dean Prior and then climbed the hill past Nurston Farm to Skerraton. Amazingly, nearly all the youngsters rode the entire hill.

There was great excitement as we left the lane and headed along the track to the open moor. Many of these youngsters had never done anything half as adventurous as this, and the tremendous views from Widecombe through Teignmouth to Paignton made it all seem like a fantastic dream.

Cloud began to obscure the sunshine on the top of the Down, but it disappeared as we descended the fabulous grassy hill to the ford near Cross Furzes. Here the youngsters played in the water - it apparently reminded some of them of Ben Ireland's recent birthday ride, as he lives nearby at Hayford.

We separated at Cross Furzes, with the Buckfastleigh juniors enjoying a two mile downhill ride home.

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Friday 23 June 1995
1900-2145
Evening ride: Avon DamPerfect summer evening
20 present: Richard Burge, Allen Davies, Garry Davies, Pearl Davies, Phillip Davies, Julian Duquemin, Martin Hills, Michael Jones, Ashley Loder, Austin Loder, Roy Loder, Keir Manning, Janette Martin, Craig McCracken, Edward Millard, John Norman, Paul Oakley, Philip Stone, Eliot Thomas-Wright, Dale Turrell
Roy was going to be late so Dave waited for him while the rest of us headed up Dean Hill. By way of a change we took the right turn at the top to link across to the Nurston road, but this involved another climb and John wanted to know how many more hills there would be!

The answer was two actually, but eventually we reached Shipley Bridge and rode up the riverside road to the dam. The sun was setting as we settled on the grassy bank overlooking the reservoir. Everything was perfectly still, the air was warm and the sky was the most wonderful colour. This was a moment to savour, and nobody was in any hurry to leave.

As darkness fell we headed across the moor to the Abbots Way track and followed it over the top of the hill where the distant lights of the south Devon coast penetrated the summer haze. Roy got a puncture on the way back to Cross Furzes so we were a little later home than we had planned, but this had been a very special evening.

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