South Dartmoor CTC

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Sunday 2 January 2005
1015-1430
Morning ride: Fermoys (20 mi)Cold with sunny intervals increasing
2 present: Michael Jones, Keir Purdie
Our first ride of 2005 took us on a moderately-paced ride through Staverton to Fermoys at Ipplepen, where the food was excellent and Christmas decorations were being sold at half the usual price. We called in to Broadhempston on the return journey for some Frisbee throwing.

Friday 7 January 2005
1900-2130
Social: Crofters Social
6 present: Jack Binmore, Michael Jones, Harry Laity, Gavin Pearson, Keir Purdie, Joe Venables
Games and videos social.

Sunday 9 January 2005
1015-1345
Morning ride: Totnes (16 mi)Dry start, wet finish
5 present: Michael Jones, Sol Kelly, Gavin Pearson, Keir Purdie, Joe Venables
Totnes weir
Totnes weir
Joe and Keir in the Terrace Café
Gavin rides the path towards Brutus Bridge
Sol was proud to show off his expensive new bike as everyone met at the start on a rather breezy Sunday morning. The forecast was not too promising but we were keen to include a cafe stop and so pressed on to Totnes nevertheless, via Colston Road. We paused at Totnes weir to admire the view before continuing along the riverside cycle path to the Plains. The Terrace Coffee Shop was not quite as welcoming as usual when the proprietor noticed some muddy footprints leading to our table, but she soon forgave the youngsters and served us with delicious hot chocolates, toasted teacakes and Danish pastries.

Keir and Joe just had to go shopping as we were about to leave, and by the time everyone was ready the rain started in earnest. At least the temperature was fairly warm, so we all made the most of a wet return via Staverton by splashing through all the large puddles that filled the roads.

Friday 14 January 2005
1900-2200
Social: Ten-pin Bowling
4 present: Michael Jones, Gavin Pearson, Keir Purdie, Joe Venables
We enjoyed two games of tenpin bowling at LA Bowl, Newton Abbot. In case you're interested, Michael won round 1and Gavin won round 2 - and Keir learned how to play the game without side barriers!

Sunday 16 January 2005
1015-1430
Morning ride: Cold East Cross (15 mi)Mainly dry, sunny periods developing
4 present: Michael Jones, Oliver Lindley, Keir Purdie, Joe Venables
Oliver Lindley
Joe and Keir on the stone bridge near Cold East Cross
Keir and Oliver on the track to Buckland
Playing Pooh Sticks with an old car wheel trim
Spitchwick
Track to Buckland
Keir and Joe were not especially fast on the climb from Ashburton to Halshanger cross, so we decided against our original plan of visiting Haytor. Diverting to Cold East Cross we paused at the picturesque stone bridge over the river Ashburn so that the youngsters could amuse themselves with sticks in the water. The journey from Cold East Cross to Pudsham Down proved just as wintry as the name suggests, with bitter winds and a sudden shower that left us relieved to reach the shelter of the track to Buckland.

The remainder of the ride was just perfect, however, with bright sunshine lighting our way past Spitchwick to New Bridge, where refreshments were definitely the order of the day. Michael and Oliver even got a discount on their soup! Another excellent winter ride concluded with the descent of Hembury Woods' Slalom track and an afternoon social at Crofters.

Friday 21 January 2005
1900-2200
Social: Pizza Hut
4 present: Michael Jones, Gavin Pearson, Keir Purdie, Joe Venables
Our first ever food social took us to Plymouth's Pizza Hut for a special meal for four. Keir insisted on having his own helium balloon, just like all the other little children!

Sunday 23 January 2005
1015-1630
Day ride: Lustleigh (31 mi)Sunny but very cold
7 present: Tao Burgess, Michael Jones, Sol Kelly, Oliver Lindley, Gavin Pearson, Keir Purdie, Joe Venables
Keir Purdie
Keir and Joe take drastic measures to clean their bikes at Dial Motors, Buckfastleigh
Lunch near Bovey Tracey
Lunch by the River Bovey
Sol checks his bike after the puncture repair
Our ride started well, with a brisk spin through Ashburton, Bickington and the back road from Blackpool through Liverton to Bovey Tracey. The Spar provided refreshments and, after another short ride to the start of the railway cycle path, we settled down beside the river for an enjoyable lunch. We took it in turns to help Sol with the puncture that he picked up moments earlier.

We soon lost count of our valuations of the properties in Lustleigh, but were pleased to see that the cafe is now open for business. On this occasion we pressed on up the long, steep climb through the Cleave, pausing several times to admire the spectacular views. Tao was now beginning to feel a little ill so we wasted no time in pressing on to Manaton, being very conscious that the cold might become a problem near dusk. We took advantage of the refreshment van at Hound Tor to buy hot drinks, then set off for the final leg to Cold East Cross.

It was still quite light, but now the cold was really beginning to affect our younger riders. Gloves were passed around for the long descent to Ashburton, and as we rolled into Buckfastleigh the local newsagents was required to thaw out a few cold fingers and toes before the final mile home.

Friday 28 January 2005
1900-2200
Social: Video Evening
3 present: Michael Jones, Keir Purdie, Joe Venables
After a few computer games we settled down to enjoy the first half of the world's most popular movie: Titanic.

Sunday 30 January 2005
1015-1645
Day ride: Gara Bridge (28 mi)Cloudy but dry
4 present: Tao Burgess, Michael Jones, Keir Purdie, Joe Venables
Joe and Keir near Gara Bridge
Another adventurous day ride took us through Harbourneford to South Brent and then along a back lane that started from behind the Woodpecker Inn. This was Tao's suggestion, and we were all pleased when it brought us out near Kitterford Cross. From there it was but a short ride to the garage at California Cross that was to provide our lunch for the day.

A long descent took us directly to Gara Bridge, a quiet wooded spot on the Avon that offered a barely suitable lunch spot on the riverbank. Joe spent some time searching for the Cream Egg he had purchased from the garage, but later discovered it lining the insides of his coat pocket - he had sat on the coat at lunchtime!

Tao thought it would be quicker as well as more enjoyable to return via Totnes rather than Rattery, so we took a new lane direct to Harbertonford and then continued on along a delightful riverside road to Luscombe Farm and the long climb to the top of Totnes. We had plenty of time, so Safeways cafe was used for light refreshments before we returned home via the Totnes cycle path.

Friday 4 February 2005
1900-2200
Social: Games Evening
4 present: Michael Jones, Oliver Lindley, Keir Purdie, Joe Venables
Computer games kept us entertained after the viewing of the second half of Titanic.

Sunday 6 February 2005
1015-1430
Morning ride: Totnes (16 mi)Cold with sunny periods
8 present: Tao Burgess, Henry Gunter (9, Exeter), Jill Hockmuth (Adult, Exeter), Michael Jones, Gavin Pearson, Keir Purdie, David Robinson, Joe Venables
David Robinson in the Terrace Café
Terrace Café, Totnes
Littlehempston
Jill, Dave and Henry at Littlehempson
David Robinson
Tao foolishly emerges from "Puncture Alley"
Tao pays the price near Staverton
Being unsure how 9-year-old Henry would fare on this first ride, we set off along Colston road with a view to deciding on a route at Staverton. We needn't have worried: he performed exceptionally well with the support of his enthusiastic mother Jill, so we extended the ride along the Totnes cycle path and enjoyed an extended refreshment stop at the Terrace coffee shop. David bought chicken and apricot pie!

Most of us decided to avoid "puncture ally", the steep track into Littlehempston, but Tao insisted on riding it. He felt quite pleased with himself until we neared Staverton. But to his credit, he did fix the puncture in double quick time.

Henry was still riding well as we arrived back at Buckfastleigh, and Jill was very pleased that for once cycling had proved more enjoyable for him than computer games!

Friday 11 February 2005
1900-2200
Social: Games Evening
4 present: Michael Jones, Gavin Pearson, Keir Purdie, Joe Venables
Entertainment was provided from the usual mix of computer games and DVDs.

Sunday 13 February 2005
1015-1130
Morning ride: Cross Furzes (4 mi)Cold with wintry showers
6 present: Tao Burgess, Michael Jones, Oliver Lindley, Gavin Pearson, Keir Purdie, Joe Venables
Conditions were very cold this morning, and with several members not feeling well enough for a ride we decided to arrange a social for the day. Tao and Joe did keep the flag flying, however, by completing a short ride to Cross Furzes via Buckfast.

Friday 18 February 2005
1900-2200
Social: Games Evening
3 present: Michael Jones, Oliver Lindley, Joe Venables
Entertainment was provided from the usual mix of computer games and DVDs.

Sunday 20 February 2005
1015-1415
Morning ride: Spitchwick (15 mi)Sunny but cold
7 present: Tao Burgess, Josh Ham, Michael Jones, Sol Kelly, Oliver Lindley, Keir Purdie, Joe Venables
Keir Purdie on the woodland track to Spitchwick
The lower Hembury track, running alongside the Holy Brook
Oliver prepares to receive an incoming Frisbee at Spitchwick
Sol Kelly approaches Spitchwick
Josh Ham
Tao Burgess at Spitchwick
Keir, Tao and Michael at Spitchwick
Josh Ham
There was enthusiasm for a Dartmoor ride today, and since the weather was so perfect for the time of year we decided on Spitchwick, reached via the Lower Hembury track and New Bridge. We enjoyed several rounds of Frisbee on the common, managing to avoid both losing the ring in the water and hitting the passing canoe club members.

Continuing on along the wooded valley the younger riders were not too impressed with the long climb to Buckland, some finding any excuse to stop on the way. Eventually, however, we set off again for Ashburton and home, today's return being much more pleasant for Sol and Keir than the last time they took this route! Another excellent winter ride.

Friday 25 February 2005
1900-2200
Social: Music Quiz
6 present: Josh Ham, Michael Jones, Oliver Lindley, Gavin Pearson, Keir Purdie, Joe Venables
After a series of initial film and TV theme tune rounds when Oliver's team took a significant lead, the final rounds of this evening's Music Quiz brought Gavin's team up the rankings to finish on draw.

Sunday 27 February 2005
1015-1530
Day ride: Fermoys (20 mi)Sunny but cold
9 present: Louis Burgess, Tao Burgess, Henry Gunter, Peter Heathman (15, Ashburton), Jill Hockmuth, Michael Jones, Gavin Pearson, Keir Purdie, Joe Venables
On a clear, crisp winter's morning we started our ride with the climb through Caddaford farm, which raised a few groans. New rider Peter seemed to have no problems with that or any of the other hills on the ride! Progress was swift through Staverton to Ipplepen, and we were soon enjoying a wide variety of meals and refreshments at Fermoys garden centre.

We had thought of returning via Ashburton, but several of the youngsters wanted tracks. So we gave them first the relatively gentle track at Knowle, and then the master of all tracks, Beaston, which didn't disappoint in any way. Keir provided entertainment by falling off on a muddy section, but Peter's puncture was not quite so entertaining! We returned home via Landscove and Green Lane.

Friday 4 March 2005
1900-2200
Social: Games Evening
5 present: Josh Ham, Michael Jones, Oliver Lindley, Keir Purdie, Joe Venables
This evening's social included the usual mix of multi-player PC games and refreshments.

Sunday 6 March 2005
1015-1330
Morning ride: Ashburton (13 mi)Sunny but cold
5 present: Michael Jones, Sol Kelly, Oliver Lindley, Keir Purdie, Joe Venables
Oliver, Sol, Joe and Keir near Druid, Ashburton
On the lane near Druid
Keir and Sol on the track from River Dart Country Park
Keir and Sol scrabble over the last drop of energy drink
The initial direction of this morning's ride was determined entirely by Joe, who insisted that he had to buy a pair of cycling gloves from Ashburton in order to survive! It took him twenty minutes to decide which pair to buy, so Keir had plenty of time to look around the shop and decide that he needed to buy a packet of energy drink powder. When they first mixed it with water both Sol and Keir had doubts about the drink, but by the time we had ridden through Rew to Druid they were desperately competing for the final drops!

Today was Mother's Day, so by the time we had climbed the woodland track from River Dart Country Park we decided that certain mothers might appreciate a more direct return via Hembury Woods lower track.

Friday 11 March 2005
1900-2200
Social: Games Evening
4 present: Michael Jones, Oliver Lindley, Gavin Pearson, Joe Venables
This evening's social included the usual mix of multi-player PC games and refreshments.

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