South Dartmoor CTC

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Friday 4 January 2008
1900-2200
Social: Badminton
8 present: Charles Acland, Heidi Acland, Olly Acland, Sam Acland, Michael "Wolfie" Bulmer, Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Freddie Tyler
Just for a change we managed to arrange badminton at the Ashmoor leisure centre, Ashburton, offering us an excellent hour of sporting fun without the need to travel to Paignton.

Sunday 6 January 2008
1415-1700
Afternoon ride: River Dart AdventuresDry start, then increasing rain
5 present: Olly Acland, Sam Acland, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath, Freddie Tyler
The forecast of a dry but overcast afternoon proved somewhat off the mark today. Light drizzle began as we passed through Buckfast, and by the time we got to Michelcombe and Holne it was definitely rain rather than drizzle. Nevertheless Olly and Sam were able to show off their impressive new bikes and prove that they worked just as well in wet weather as in dry.

Zac was having a slow day for reasons best known to himself, so it was 3.45 when we finally reached the start of the Holne Woods track to River Dart Adventures. With just half an hour of daylight remaining, Olly's announcement that he intended to walk the entire track (as he didn't want to risk damage to his road bike) meant that we had to change plans and return on the shorter route through Hembury Woods. This proved to be a good decision, as conditions were very wet, cold and unpleasant as we returned to Buckfastleigh.

Tuesday 8 January 2008
1900-2200
Social: Music Quiz
3 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath
Our ever-popular music quiz kept everyone entertained for the entire evening. The only problem was, how to bring it to an end!

Friday 11 January 2008
1900-2200
Social: Games Evening
5 present: Olly Acland, Sam Acland, Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Freddie Tyler
The usual range of computer games were on offer for this evening's social at Crofters.

Sunday 13 January 2008Day ride: CancelledWindy, with increasing rain
1 present: Michael Jones
Only Michael turned out on this rough and windy morning, so the ride was cancelled.

Friday 18 January 2008
1900-2200
Social: Games Evening
5 present: Olly Acland, Sam Acland, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath, Freddie Tyler
The usual range of computer games were on offer for this evening's social at Crofters.

Sunday 20 January 2008
1015-1230
Morning ride: Totnes Cyclepath & CaféSunny but cold
8 present: Heidi Acland, Olly Acland, Sam Acland, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath, Freddie Tyler, Mrs Tyler (Adult, Ashburton), Ms Tyler (Junior, Ashburton)
Leaving the Barrelhouse cafe at Totnes
The group at Totnes weir
Fun on the boat at Totnes quayside
Leaving the Barrelhouse cafe at Totnes
Snowdrops in the hedgerow near Abham
Olly and Sam riding the tracks at the end of Longmarsh, Totnes
We were pleased to welcome Freddie's mother and sister on this morning's ride which took us along Colston Road and the cycle path into Totnes. We did check out one of the lower cafes in the town, but the Barrelhouse definitely attracted the most votes. And so it was that we spent an enjoyable half hour eating teacakes and wholesome meals.

We headed back through Littlehempston, pausing on the railway bridge to chat with another cyclist. A profusion of snowdrops adorned the lanes as we rode through Staverton to Buckfastleigh.

Friday 25 January 2008
1900-2230
Social: Ten-pin Bowling
3 present: Olly Acland, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath
Three of us headed for Plymouth for two games of bowling at the Tenpin centre near Vue cinema. As usual it turned out to be an excellent evening, so we decided to finish it off with a takeaway pizza from Pizza Hut. We had got back as far as Ivybridge when Olly realised he had left his coat behind, so we were a little later than planned when we finally got back to Buckfastleigh.

Sunday 27 January 2008
1015-1230
Morning ride: Bickham BridgeSunny
7 present: Charles Acland, Heidi Acland, Olly Acland, Sam Acland, Dennis Ham, Michael Jones, Freddie Tyler
North Huish
South Brent play park
Dennis feeds the chickens near North Huish
North Huish
Olly Acland
Dennis Hame on the bridge over the Avon
Bridge over the river Avon in perfect morning sunshine
Olly, Dennis and Heidi
Charles and Heidi admire the egg display at Rattery Poultry Show
Olly, Sam and Freddie check out the winners' cages at Rattery Poultry Show
Dennis with his favourite chicken
Freddie captures his favourite rooster
On a wonderfully warm sunny morning we set off through Dean Prior and Harbourneford, stopping at the play park in South Brent for a swing break. A short ride then took us through Avonwick and up the lane to the quiet village of North Huish. After soaking up the tranquillity for a few moments we rounded the corner and then had to wait five minutes while Dennis made friends with a flock of free-range chickens! He would have taken one home with him if he could.

Descending the steep hill towards Diptford we just had to stop at the little bridge over the river Avon: the effect of the bright sunshine on the rippling water was simply stunning. We then returned through Diptford.

At Rattery Michael got very excited when he saw a sign for a poultry show. He had seen one there in the village hall several years ago and had been looking out for it ever since. So everyone had to troop into the hall, but in fact it turned out to be really interesting. There was a constant background noise of cackling, quacking and crowing as we wandered through the aisles of cages. Almost every breed and colour of bird was represented, and Dennis took great pleasure in selecting his favourites. Charles and Heidi seemed more interested in the egg table which had prizes for various eggs, whole and opened.

Friday 1 February 2008
1900-2200
Social: Badminton
6 present: Charles Acland, Heidi Acland, Olly Acland, Sam Acland, Ash Freeman, Michael Jones
This evening's badminton session took place at the Ashmoor leisure centre, Ashburton.

Sunday 3 February 2008Morning ride: CancelledWet
0 present:
Today's ride was cancelled as a result of a very poor weather forecast.

Sunday 10 February 2008
1015-1230
Morning ride: Fermoy's Garden Centre, IpplepenSunny
5 present: Olly Acland, Sam Acland, Reuben Johnson, Michael Jones, Freddie Tyler
Freddie, Reuben, Olly and Sam in the Fermoy's adventure playground
Reuben Johnson at Fermoy's restaurant
A good ride brought us to Fermoy’s at Ipplepen in double quick time, leaving us all impressed with Reuben's performance who hadn't been on a ride for many months. Several youngsters bought thick chips, although Reuben felt his were undercooked and got a partial refund.

We returned via Broadhempston, stopping briefly at the play park for refreshments and the inevitable ride on the rocket.

Friday 15 February 2008
1900-2200
Social: Games Evening
2 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones
This evening's planned Film Night turned into a games evening.

Sunday 17 February 2008Morning ride: CancelledSunny
0 present:
Today's scheduled ride to Venford Reservoir did not take place because most people were away and Zac got up too late!

Friday 22 February 2008
1900-2200
Social: Video Evening
2 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones
This evening's social was the showing of the second movie in the extended Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Sunday 24 February 2008
1015-1230
Morning ride: Skerraton DownSunny start, then misty
5 present: Olly Acland, Sam Acland, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath, Freddie Tyler
The group in the mist on Skerraton Down
Dartmoor has many different moods, and everyone was affected by its mood today as we rode onto the open moor from Skerraton. A light mist hung everywhere making it a little tricky to find the homeward path, but everything was quiet and unspoiled up there today and we were in no particular hurry to leave.

Return was via Cross Furzes and Wallaford Road.

Friday 29 February 2008
1900-2200
Social: Pool
3 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath
We travelled to Plymouth by car for this evening's social, which provided us with opportunity for three games of Pool and a simulator ride at the Ten Pin bowling centre.

Sunday 2 March 2008
1015-1230
Morning ride: StavertonSunny
3 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath
Zac and Ashley by the river Dart at Staverton
Zac and Ashley on Colston Road
Ashley made a welcome return to club rides after a winter break, and both Zac and Ashley used today's ride effectively to improve their performance ready for the forthcoming cycle tour to Cornwall.

Both lads were fascinated by the newly-born lambs in the field along Colston Road. They just happened to be owned by Michael's relatives, so he was able to arrange a guided tour of the farm and all the woolly inhabitants.

At Staverton Zac insisted on a look around the railway station. We were rewarded with a look inside the signal box and the arrival of a train - not a steam train, but a diesel. Michael's description was overruled by the station master who said it wasn't a "diesel", but a very special engine that was celebrating its 50th anniversary! Well it was a diesel, just not an ordinary diesel!

We rode along the riverside path and up through the park, returning via Abham. Michael was very impressed with the effort put in by both lads, which ensured a speedy return to Buckfastleigh.

Friday 7 March 2008
1900-2200
Social: Games Evening
3 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath
There were no squash courts available this week, so the social was converted to a games evening at Crofters.

Sunday 9 March 2008
1015-1230
Morning ride: DartingtonSunny
5 present: Charles Acland, Olly Acland, Sam Acland, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath
Choosing healthy sweets at Dartington
Our ride this morning took us along Colston road on a lovely sunny morning and then down to the Cider Press centre at Dartington. After examining both Cranks and the "new" restaurant around the corner we eventually settled in the latter for light refreshments. These included a novel do-it-yourself hot chocolate where the chocolate is provided on a stick and has to be melted in a cup of hot milk at the table. The general conclusion was that it was quite tasty and a lot of fun!

At Zac's request we then had to investigate the new sweet shop, which being at Dartington only sold natural flavoured sweets. I suspect the sugar content still makes them rather unhealthy, but that didn't stop everyone buying something.

We returned via Staverton, with everyone feeling that it had been a very enjoyable morning.

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