South Dartmoor CTC

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Sunday 2 January 2011
1015-1300
Morning ride: Converted to SocialDrizzle turning to rain
4 present: Ash Freeman, Callum Freeman, Michael Jones, Jack Parnell
Disappointing weather greeted us for this first ride of 2011. We played some computer games in the hope it would improve, but when it got worse we booked squash courts at Ivybridge and enjoyed some excellent games there. Jack picked the game up very quickly and achieved some good scores by the end of the session.

Friday 7 January 2011
1900-2200
Social: Games Evening
5 present: Neil Ault, Ash Freeman, Callum Freeman, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath
For the first social of the New Year we organised a games evening, starting with Lord of the Rings and finishing with Call of Duty.

Sunday 9 January 2011
1015-1255
Morning ride: Chalk FordSunny but cold
6 present: Ash Freeman, Callum Freeman, Ryan Havinga, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath, Jack Parnell
The group at Chalk Ford
View towards Teignmouth from Pupers Hill
Zac and Ash on the track from Chalk Ford to Scorriton
Ryan was on a mission today: he wanted to take a set of scenic moorland photos for his GCSE Photography project, using an old-fashioned film camera, and Chalk Ford was the destination he had in mind. Zac rang as we were about to leave and finally caught up with us half way up the hill to Cross Furzes.

We had to negotiate some icy patches on the lane to Lud Gate, but once we came out onto the open moor it was clear that the weather we perfect for photography. While Ryan snapped away the rest of us negotiated the larger than usual stream that had flooded the path, then we all enjoyed the downhill track to Chalk Ford.

There were two large pigs in the field, and we couldn't help wondering if they might be the piglets we saw there last year. The downhill track to Scoriton was as stony as usual, but we took our time as were in no hurry to end this perfect min-winter ride.

Friday 14 January 2011
1900-2200
Social: Music Quiz
7 present: Neil Ault, Ash Freeman, Callum Freeman, Ryan Havinga, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath, Jack Parnell
We had a lot of fun with our Music Quiz tonight, with Michael asking questions about the top selling singles from 2010 and 2009 as well as Neil doing a round of his own favourite tracks. There was a TV themes round as well, just for Callum.

Sunday 16 January 2011
1015-1245
Morning ride: Belford MillCloudy & windy
6 present: Ash Freeman, Callum Freeman, Ryan Havinga, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath, Jack Parnell
Ryan really wanted to do the ride to Belford Mill at Ashburton and everyone else seemed happy with that even though we did it fairly recently, so we set off along the old Ashburton road and past the park. The woodland track from Belford was quite muddy today but it's the track everyone loves so there were no complaints. We returned through Ashburton town and, by popular demand, along the A38 to Buckfastleigh which was remarkably quiet this morning.

Friday 21 January 2011
1900-2200
Social: Pool
7 present: Neil Ault, Ash Freeman, Callum Freeman, Ryan Havinga, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath, Jack Parnell
Our initial plans for Pool and Asda at Plymouth morphed into our more usual Pool and Tesco, but after several good games of Pool and some good discounts at Tesco everyone had an enjoyable evening - especially Callum who always loves a trip out.

Sunday 23 January 2011
1015-1330
Morning ride: StavertonDry but cold
6 present: Ash Freeman, Callum Freeman, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath, Jack Parnell, Brodie Scott (14, Buckfastleigh)
New rider Brodie proved himself a very capable cyclist on this leisurely amble along Colston Road to Staverton. After enjoying the riverside path we spent a little while playing Frisbee and rocket in the park, doing our best to catch them despite the stiff breeze. Our direct route home via Abham was punctuated with many stick fights between Callum and Ashley.

Friday 28 January 2011
1900-2200
Social: Games Evening
7 present: Neil Ault, Ash Freeman, Callum Freeman, Ryan Havinga, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath, Brodie Scott
None of the youngsters could agree on which of the many videos on offer would be best for the evening's entertainment, so they played computer games while they thought about it and ended up not watching a video at all! We finished with some practice games on Lord of the Rings to help Brodie learn the basics of the game.

Sunday 30 January 2011
1015-1300
Morning ride: River Dart Country ParkSunny but cold
5 present: Ash Freeman, Callum Freeman, Michael Jones, Jack Parnell, Brodie Scott
Ash, Jack, Callum and Brodie at Gallant Le Bower
Our favourite tree on the lower Hembury track
With the temperature barely above freezing at the start of the ride we rode through Buckfast in search of suntraps and found one on the lower Hembury track where the bright winter sunshine warmed the sheltered woodland air. Michael seemed to spend quite a bit of time trying to pump his tyres - his pump didn't seem to work properly after Zac used it last week!

From Gallant Le Bower we took the woodland track descent to River Dart Country Park, where unsurprisingly there were no campers to be seen at all.

Friday 4 February 2011
1900-2200
Social: Ten-pin Bowling
6 present: Neil Ault, Ash Freeman, Callum Freeman, Ryan Havinga, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath
Everyone has saved their pennies for this rather expensive night out at Plymouth. An hour-long game ended with Callum fluking second place with 112, closely followed by Neil, Ash, Zac and Ryan. There was time to call in to Tesco on the way home for those who wanted some bargain snacks.

Sunday 6 February 2011
1015-1220
Morning ride: SkerratonVery windy
7 present: Ash Freeman, Callum Freeman, Ryan Havinga, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath, Jack Parnell, Brodie Scott
A powerful headwind made the ascent of Dean Hill quite an ordeal. By the time we reached the top Michael had to offer incentives to persuade the majority to take any route home other than the shortest! In the end we took the right turn up towards Skerraton, stopping at the stream near the top for a chocolate break where we discovered that huddling behind the stone wall shielded us from the worst of the wind. We headed home via Nurston, pushed down the hill with a welcome tailwind.

Friday 11 February 2011
1900-2200
Social: Games Evening
6 present: Neil Ault, Ash Freeman, Callum Freeman, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath, Brodie Scott
Highlight of our games evening was an epic Lord of the Rings battle where Brodie, Neil and Michael challenged Ash, Callum and Zac. The former team were victorious on this occasion, and Brodie learned many new tricks of the game.

Sunday 13 February 2011
1015-1300
Morning ride: Converted to SocialHeavy rain
5 present: Ash Freeman, Callum Freeman, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath, Jack Parnell
Heavy overnight rain was forecast to continue all morning, so we played computer games until midday and then went to Ivybridge for some challenging games of badminton.

Friday 18 February 2011
1900-2200
Social: Games and Superstore
8 present: Neil Ault, Ash Freeman, Callum Freeman, Ryan Havinga, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath, Jack Parnell, Brodie Scott
Everyone played their own choice of games during this evening's enjoyable social. To round off the evening we visited Tesco at Lee Mill during the final hour: Brodie couldn't at first see the point in going there if he didn't need to buy anything, but he soon joined in with the spirit of the evening in which everyone found something interesting that was reduced or otherwise excellently priced.

Sunday 20 February 2011
1015-1300
Morning ride: DartingtonMisty start, sunny later
7 present: Connor Beasley (14, Buckfastleigh), Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath, Callum O'Brien (13, Buckfastleigh), Jack Parnell, Brodie Scott
Brodie, Jack, Zac, Callum, Connor and Ash on the road to Rattery
We were very pleased to welcome our two new members, Callum and Connor on a dull but dry morning. The plan was to run a fairly easy morning ride that included a few fun tracks, and after toying with the idea of Landscove we eventually settled on Colston Road, a popular route for new riders. We may good progress to the Dartington cycle path, but then Michael's planned route through Staverton hit some resistance from our regular members who quite rightly pointed out that we went there quite recently. After some discussion we decided to take the Rattery road home, stopping at the footpath on the left for some Frisbee and rocket fun.

When our new riders were fully rested we continued up the long climb to Rattery sawmills - it has to be said that Callum was very relieved to finally reach the top! Compensation came in the form of the downhill from Pennywell Farm, made all the more enjoyable by the appearance of the winter sun. Congratulations to both our newcomers, who performed really well on a harder-than-planned ride. We'll keep it easier for Callum's next ride.

Friday 25 February 2011
1900-2200
Social: Pizza Hut
7 present: Neil Ault, Ash Freeman, Callum Freeman, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath, Callum O'Brien, Jack Parnell
Tonight, after smelling the pizza many times on our visits to Barbican Leisure Centre, we finally managed to organise a social to Pizza Hut. We played pool while waiting for a table for seven, which finally became available at 8.20. There was only really time for a single course: Zac and Callum chose pizza but everyone else chose desserts as they had already had some food at home. Callum O'Brien managed to visit the ice-cream factory four times before admitting he wouldn't quite make his planned twenty visits! We topped off a very enjoyable evening with a quick visit to Tesco at Lee Mill.

Sunday 27 February 2011
1015-1130
Morning ride: BuckfastHeavy showers
6 present: Connor Beasley, Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath, Jack Parnell, Brodie Scott
The forecast of heavy showers merging together for mid-morning turned out to be a little late, as the showers had started by 10.15. We waited for a dry spell, determined to get out for at least a short ride, and finally headed out for Buckfast at around 10.50. Everyone except Brodie voted to return home rather than visit the tracks in Hembury Woods, no doubt discouraged by the ominous rain-bearing clouds that were rolling towards us from Dartmoor. The rain arrived within a few minutes, leaving us nicely wetted for the games social that followed.

Friday 4 March 2011
1900-2200
Social: Games Evening
8 present: Neil Ault, Connor Beasley, Ash Freeman, Callum Freeman, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath, Callum O'Brien, Brodie Scott
Everyone enjoyed this evening's games evening, especially the second half when we began trials of a new network game.

Sunday 6 March 2011
1015-1300
Morning ride: Hembury TracksCloudy but dry
9 present: Connor Beasley, Ash Freeman, Callum Freeman, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath, Callum O'Brien, Jack Parnell, Gavin Pearson, Brodie Scott
A clearing in Hembury Woods
Spring is coming, and our members are turning out in ever greater numbers. Eight of us set off on a chilly morning for a detailed exploration of Hembury Woods. Callum O'B, out for only his second ride, was feeling the pain from a recent leg injury by the time we had ridden through Buckfast, so we abandoned plans for a detour through Michelcombe and set about tackling the main hill through Hembury.

From the top we took the path through to the fort, where Ashley was particularly disappointed to find that logs had been placed strategically to prevent cyclists riding down the steep slope. Our devious route took us through to one of the glades at the far end of the woods, where chocolate was enjoyed by the hungry ones and Ashley and Gavin vied to see who could throw the rocket the farthest (Gavin one by a few metres).

On the rough descent to the river Conner B, who had not done an off-road ride with us before, could be heard shouting "I . .don't .. want .. to ... die .. yet ..", so he was clearly enjoying the fun. Callum F's fun came to an abrupt halt however when he picked up a pinch puncture on a particularly rocky section of the track. A spare tube ensured a speedy repair, and we concluded our ride with the riverside track back to the car park, where Zac finally met up with us at 12.30.

Friday 11 March 2011
1900-2200
Social: Games Evening
8 present: Neil Ault, Connor Beasley, Ash Freeman, Callum Freeman, Michael Jones, Zac McGrath, Callum O'Brien, Jack Parnell
The suggestion of badminton didn't get universal appreciation this evening, so we arranged a computer games evening followed by a short but noisy music quiz at the end, where the movie themes round attracted a lot of correct answers from our knowledgeable members.

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