South Dartmoor CTC

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Sunday 10 March 2002
1015-1300
Morning ride: Eastern Beacon
0 present:
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Friday 15 March 2002
1900-2200
Social: Badminton
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Sunday 17 March 2002
1015-1300
Morning ride: Ponsworthy Splash
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Friday 22 March 2002
1900-2200
Social: Indoor Games Evening
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Sunday 24 March 2002
1015-1300
Morning ride: Fermoy's Garden Centre
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Friday 29 March 2002
1845-2300
Social: Cinema Trip
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Sunday 31 March 2002
1015-1300
Morning ride: Diptford
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Friday 5 April 2002
1900-2145
Evening ride: Pulsford
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Sunday 7 April 2002
1415-1730
Afternoon ride: Blue Post
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Friday 12 April 2002
1900-2145
Evening ride: Tigley
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Friday 19 April 2002
1900-2100
Evening ride: River Dart Country ParkCloudy but dry
7 present: Tao Burgess, Julian Duquemin, Luke Fursdon, Michael Jones, Dominic Klinkenberg, Phillip Oakley, Eliot Thomas-Wright
Dominic came out of his winter hibernation for this enjoyable ride that took us to the woodland track behind Ashburton that always gets everyone excited. It came to an end all too soon, so we took a new route to River Dart Country Park and then joined the riverside track through Hembury woods - a thoroughly enjoyable end to a fairly short ride.

Sunday 21 April 2002
1000-1700
Day ride: Berry Head (41 mi)Sunny and very warm
5 present: Tao Burgess, Julian Duquemin, Luke Fursdon, Michael Jones, Eliot Thomas-Wright
As they climbed Parliament hill in what felt like June sunshine, a few members complained light-heartedly that Michael had found the hilliest possible route to Berry Head. But it was quiet, and we arrived at Galmpton just in time to witness the passing of the 12:20 steam express to Kinsgwear.

There were plenty of boats to see all around as we enjoyed lunch on the grassy headland near Berry fort. Some interesting tracks then took us to Berry Head itself and on to Brixham harbour, where the "No cycling" signs spoiled a little of our fun. Ken, Julie and James Twydell - lapsed members from Paignton - made a surprise appearance at Goodrington Sands and seemed so envious of the fun we were having that they just might turn out on a ride again soon. We all hope they do.

Doughnuts at Goodrington and ice creams at busy Paignton set us right for the return journey through Red Post and Staverton, delayed only by Julian's numerous text messages and the general feeling that it would be disappointing to finish this fabulous ride too soon.

Friday 26 April 2002
1900-2115
Evening ride: Chalk FordSunny, windy and cold
6 present: Luke Fursdon, Michael Jones, Dominic Klinkenberg, Oliver Lindley, Phillip Oakley, Gavin Pearson
Oliver surprised most of us by turning out this evening when we expected him to be at university - he's so looking forward to the Switzerland tour that he just had to come back to Devon for the weekend to chat about it! We had to make good speed up the long climb from Buckfast to Cross Furzes so that it would still be light for the fun moorland track to the ford and on to Scoriton. We just managed a detour through Holne and Hembury before the light finally faded, and were grateful for the warmth and refreshments that awaited us at Crofters.

Sunday 28 April 2002
1000-1645
Day ride: Haytor Tramway (20 mi)Windy, sunny spells and showers
5 present: Tao Burgess, Luke Fursdon, Michael Jones, Gavin Pearson, Eliot Thomas-Wright
The tramway was built from granite slabs around 1820 to transport granite from the quarry to London via Teignmouth. We followed the tracks into the quarry itself, browsed the last remaining evidence of the industry that worked there more than a century ago, then took to the rough moorland descent from Smallacombe Rocks and enjoyed lunch by the Becka Brook in the secluded woodlands at the base of the valley. Everyone was surprised when Eliot's mobile phone managed to make a call to Julian from this isolated location.

After a stiff climb we enjoyed the hospitality of the medieval village near Greator, settling in the living quarters for a well-earned rest: the lack of walls, doors and a roof did not bother us too much. At Houndtor the wind was very strong, so we continued quickly to Jay's Grave and the short track to Widecombe for our tea stop. Showers became more frequent for the final leg of our journey through Spitchwick, but we still managed to include a couple more tracks before we eventually arrived home.

Friday 3 May 2002
1900-2115
Evening ride: TotnesSunny
5 present: Tao Burgess, Michael Jones, Phillip Oakley, Gavin Pearson, Eliot Thomas-Wright
Phillip requested Totnes this evening, and as there were no disagreements we set off up the big climb past Pennywell to Rattery and Week. Tao did one trick too many at Totnes bridge and ended up with a grazed elbow and knee. The riverside track back to Dartington was delightful, and there was even time to play Frisbee in the school playing fields half way along - the sound of Tao fighting his way into a thorny bush to retrieve a frisbee he had accidentally thrown there made excellent entertainment! Colston road provided a quiet return route.

Sunday 5 May 2002
1415-1700
Afternoon ride: IpplepenSunny, occasional showers
5 present: Helen Adams, Tao Burgess, Michael Jones, Gavin Pearson, Eliot Thomas-Wright
Heavy rain just before the start of the ride nearly put us all off, but the shower quickly subsided leaving a generally fine afternoon for our jaunt through Woodland to Fermoys Garden Centre.

Wednesday 8 May 2002
1800-2015
Evening ride (Junior): Staverton (8 mi)Sunny and warm
8 present: Michael Jones, Ben Parker, Ken Parker, Gavin Pearson, Tommy Roberts, Calum Searle, Gordon Searle, Rachael Searle
This was the first junior ride of the new season, designed specifically for the children taking cycle training at the local primary school. The four youngsters had no problem with the country lane route along Colston Road and were soon demonstrating their skill at stone-skimming from the river island near Staverton. Dragging them away from the fun took longer than expected, so our return was a little later than planned. None of the children had ever ridden as far as eight miles before, so they all felt very pleased with themselves when they completed the ride.

Friday 10 May 2002
1900-2115
Evening ride: Venford ReservoirSunny
5 present: Tao Burgess, Julian Duquemin, Luke Fursdon, Michael Jones, Gavin Pearson
A brisk ride brought us swiftly through Michelcombe to the open moor, where Julian demonstrated his superior skill at performing bike-less jumps from moorland mounds. For the return journey we decided to explore some of the many interconnecting paths that run through the upper and lower reaches of Hembury Woods. Reaching a clearing with three possible exits we simply had to guess the right route, and ended up discovering some new paths to the riverside.

Sunday 12 May 2002
1000-1600
Day ride: Tinners' Hut (25 mi)Warm and sunny
4 present: Tao Burgess, Luke Fursdon, Michael Jones, Gavin Pearson
This was one of our most adventurous rides, and the weather couldn't have been better. From Ivybridge we took the picturesque lane through Harford, the hedgerows lined with a multitude of brightly coloured flowers and the moorland streams and rivers wending their way through mature woodlands. Shortly after 12.30 we left the tarmac for moorland tracks, destined to spend more than three hours on the open moor.

Luke loved splashing though the many puddles that adorned the stony track as it wound its way along the Erme valley. By lunchtime we reached the hut itself, isolated from civilisation in the heart of the South moor. Much to everyone's surprise, the frozen cheesecake that Michael and Gavin had purchased an hour earlier at Ivybridge had fully defrosted in the near summer heat, making their lunch on the banks of the Erme even more enjoyable.

The next stage of the journey involved picking our way across the Erme by finding a series of suitably-spaced stones. Only Gavin failed the task, getting his feet wet by slipping on the very first stone. A steep ascent soon brought us to the Redlake Tramway, and progress was then swift along the stony track to Petre's Cross. From here we could see Plymouth in the distance to the south west, Teignmouth to the north east and almost all the coast between them - a truly spectacular view.

The final leg of the journey, along the Abbot's Way towards the Avon Dam and Buckfastleigh was most notable for the number of times that Luke fell off his bike. His final fall involved a summersault over the handlebars as he attempted a jump on the final descent. He won't try such an ambitious stunt again!

Wednesday 15 May 2002
1800-2015
Evening ride (Junior): Holne (6 mi)Sunny and warm
13 present: Louis Burgess, Tao Burgess, Michael Jones, James Manning, Keir Manning, Ben Parker, Gavin Pearson, Tommy Roberts, Calum Searle, Daniel Smith II, Lisa Stevens, Geoff Steward, Rachel Steward
Our second junior ride started with the riverside track through Hembury Woods - slightly uphill and a little muddy in places, but generally a lot of fun. Some of the youngsters were relieved to see the tarmac again, but that soon changed when they saw the hill they had to climb! The tail-enders had more problems to endure when a farm dog started to chase after them.

The play park in the quiet village of Holne made an excellent rest spot: some played with the Aerobies while others made an assault course in the stream and ended up on the muddy side of wet. When Michael finally persuaded everyone to get back on their bikes we set off for a much easier return route that was nearly all downhill. This was the farthest that many of our young riders had ever cycled, and the glorious sunset and superb views of Dartmoor made them all determined to come again next week.

The ride was rounded off with the rare sight of a wild dear crossing the road as we descended through Hembury woods.

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