South Dartmoor CTC

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Friday 8 December 2006
1900-2215
Social: Badminton
6 present: Ash Freeman, Glen Fulford, Matt Grute, Ryan Havinga, Michael Jones, Ben Parker
Our three younger members made an impressive start to their badminton career at Torbay Leisure Centre this evening, and the more mature members enjoyed some good contests.

Much fun was had by all in trying to navigate the complex network of passageways and corridors linking the various exits from the sports hall to the viewing galleries, squash courts and other facilities. Glen was given the task of taking the corner exit and finding his way up to the viewing gallery above: after 7 minutes he appeared - on the other side of the sports hall!

Sunday 10 December 2006
1015-1715
Day ride: Dartmeet (5 mi)Rain
4 present: Ash Freeman, Josh Ham, Michael Jones, Ben Parker
By the time Michael had fixed the puncture that Josh brought to him just before the ride, the rain was already beginning to set in. We set off for Dartmeet in the vain hope that it might hold off, but we had only reached Hembury when the drizzle turned to heavy rain.

We had no intention of being done out of a ride altogether, so we introduced Ashley to some of the many varied tracks that traverse Hembury Woods before heading home for an enjoyable social at Crofters.

Friday 15 December 2006
1900-2215
Social: Games Evening
6 present: Ash Freeman, Glen Fulford, Ryan Havinga, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath, Ben Parker
Our usual evening of computer games featured the first club exploration of our new James Bond game, Nightfire, which provided lots of high quality entertainment.

Sunday 17 December 2006
1015-1700
Day ride: Christmas Lunch, Ilsington (19 mi)Sunny but cold
4 present: Glen Fulford, Ryan Havinga, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath
Christmas lunch in The Library at the Ilsington Country Hotel
Ryan, Zac and Glen outside the Ilsington Country Hotel
We were disappointed with the turnout for our very special Christmas Lunch ride to the Ilsington Country Hotel. Ben would have been with us if his rear derailleur hadn't tormented him just before the ride, and a few others just couldn't afford the £16 ticket price for the day. Nevertheless three of us set off from Buckfastleigh on a perfect sunny morning, and Zac, who had been off school for much of the previous week, joined us with his bike near Ilsington just after Ryan and Glen had completed the long climb from Bickington!

We made good progress, arriving exactly on time at 12.30 which gave us nearly an hour to enjoy the private pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. Thoroughly refreshed, we were treated to an excellent three-course meal, the soup, turkey and Christmas pudding being particularly delicious. Coffee had risen from £1 per person to £2.90 per person, so we decided to head straight home to avoid the worst of the after-dark chill. Zac's brakes caused him a few problems along the way, limiting his enjoyment of the downhill sections between Birchanger and Ashburton, but he didn't need collecting and we got back to Buckfastleigh by 4.45, just seconds before our fingers froze solid!

Friday 22 December 2006
1900-2215
Social: Music Quiz
7 present: Ash Freeman, Glen Fulford, Ryan Havinga, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath, Scott Mount, Ben Parker
Our traditional music quiz got everyone into festive spirit for one of our liveliest - and noisiest - socials of the season! Ryan was so proud when he was first to identify the theme to Itchy and Scratchy! Ben teamed up with Glen and Ryan but was convincingly beaten by Ashley's team, even though Scott only contributed to the TV theme rounds!

Sunday 24 December 2006
1015-1245
Morning ride: Hembury Woods (7 mi)Cold but dry
4 present: Dennis Ham, Michael Jones, Scott Mount, John Stuart
Scott, Dennis and John ready for the downhill track through Hembury Woods
This extra Christmas Eve ride was scheduled after a request from John, who was back in Buckfastleigh for just a few days over Christmas.

The intended destination of Venford Reservoir proved too challenging for some of our members, so we contented ourselves with a fun ride through Hembury Woods that took in several of the tracks that span its length. Michael dished out free Chocolate Orange bars by the river, and an after-ride social completed a very enjoyable ride.

Friday 29 December 2006
1800-2215
Social: Christmas Special
6 present: Ash Freeman, Dennis Ham, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath, Scott Mount, Ben Parker
The Christmas Special social included computer games, mince pies, a section of downhill video taken on a previous tour to Norway, and a Charades game at the end of the evening that provoked much merriment. Zac came first and Ashley second, with both sharing the generous prize - vouchers for the club shop!

Sunday 31 December 2006
1015-1215
Morning ride: Totnes Longmarsh (9 mi)Dry start, rain later
4 present: Matt Grute, Dennis Ham, Charlie Hornsby, Michael Jones
Charlie Hornsby with his enormous thorn on Colston Road
Charlie showing off his enormous thorn to Matt and Dennis
The weather forecast this morning was very clear: heavy rain would move in at around 12.00. We set off along Colston road, determined to make the best possible use of the 90 minutes of dry weather available to us. Sadly, however, Charlie had different ideas: he managed to ride over some dead wood and drove the biggest thorn we had ever seen right into his tyre, through the tube and out of the sidewall!

Michael rushed to get his spare mountain bike inner tube, only to discover that Charlie's rim wouldn't accept Schrader valves! Having fixed the two punctures caused by the thorn we then discovered a third from an unrelated thorn, so it was half an hour later when we finally got moving again.

At Huxham's Cross we made the decision to get home by the time the rain started rather than risk going on to Totnes and getting drenched, so we detoured along the riverside path at Staverton and then headed home via Hole Farm and Abham. Matt put up an impressive performance on his first ride with us, so we got back to Buckfastleigh in double quick time.

The rain began as we entered Buckfastleigh at 12.01 so our confidence in the Met office was thoroughly vindicated! Computer games at Crofters provided some compensation for the shortened ride.

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