South Dartmoor CTC


Friday 28 September 2012
Evening ride: Nurston Hill (6 mi)Dry
3 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Callum O'Brien
Only Callum joined Ash and Michael for our final evening ride. The weather was dry so we rode up Nurston Hill in the dark, crossed over to Eden Farm and returned via Dean Hill by 8.28 in the light of a full moon.

For our final after-ride social we played several games of Modern Warfare 3 on the PC network.

Sunday 30 September 2012
Day ride (Car-assisted): Exeter Shp Canal (21 mi)Dry with sunny spells
4 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Callum O'Brien, Jack Parnell
Callum, Jack and Ash on the Exe Estuary path
Ash leads the way on the path along the Exe Estuary
The Exeter Ship Canal
The Exeter Ship Canal at Turf Lock
The weir at Miller's Crossing, Exeter
Welcome refreshments at the Welcome Café, Exeter
Relaxing in Exeter Park
The weir at Miller's Crossing, Exeter
The bridge at Exter quayside
Excellent weather meant that today we would be doing our second car-assisted ride of the season, this time to Exeter Ship Canal. Callum arrived early at 10am so we loaded the car quickly and got away by around 10.40. We parked the car at Starcross at 11.15 and then set off for the Powederham road.

Once we had crossed the railway line we were on the path along the Exe estuary, which offered excellent views. At the point where the path goes around the copse there was a diversion in place caused by some path renovations. There were a number of steps to be negotiated both down and up.

We rode on past the Turf Lock hotel onto the ship canal path and followed it all the way into Exeter Quayside where we quickly found the Welcome Café that we had been told about a couple of weeks ago at Lustleigh. It was so busy that the only seats were on the table outside. The coffee and chocolate cakes were exceptionally good and reasonably priced, and the lattes, milk shakes and hot chocolates were large and perfectly made. Callum confused everyone by eating the sponge of his chocolate cake but leaving the icing! Jack quickly helped him out with that but wondered what was wrong with him. Roger Olver, of Primrose Café fame, was there as expected and explained that the current desire for healthier cakes meant they now tended to make only one large cream cake per day.

We continued to Exeter Park for a ride along the Exe and around the back, returning to the canal path along the opposite side of the quayside. Michael’s intention of taking a photo of the group on the bridge at the quayside was defeated when his camera battery went flat as everyone was getting into position.

We returned along the path quite quickly, staying mainly on the cycle path, although Michael was delayed by a wheelchair user who asked him if he could pump his wheelchair tyre! We got back to Starcross for 3.15 and were home by 3.45. The Callum, Ash and Jack played Minecraft until the club ended at 5pm.

Friday 5 October 2012
Social: Movie Quiz and Games
4 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Jack Parnell, Will Rogers
Our first social of the season, on a very wet evening, started with Jack and Will having a great time on Minecraft for two hours. We concluded the evening with a movie quiz where Michael showed an obscure still frame from a popular movie – made harder for him this year since YouTube now displays the name of the movie in the top left corner of the screen! Jack just won in the end, although Michael had given him a slight advantage in the scoring.

Sunday 7 October 2012
Morning ride: Cancelled
0 present:
Michael was away for the weekend so today's ride had to be cancelled.

Friday 12 October 2012
Social: Computer Games
3 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Jack Parnell
With the Rogers family away on holiday Jack and Ash spent the evening playing Minecraft.

Sunday 14 October 2012
Morning ride: Cancelled
0 present:
Nobody was available to take part today, so the ride was cancelled.

Friday 19 October 2012
Social: Computer Games
3 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Jack Parnell
Ash and Jack spent the first hour and a half playing Minecraft this evening, then we did a trip to Tesco at Lee Mill to buy some refreshments. There was time for some more games when we returned at 9.40.

Sunday 21 October 2012
Morning ride: Cancelled
0 present:
Michael was away again this weekend, at Destination Star Trek London, so the ride had to be cancelled.

Friday 26 October 2012
Social: Computer Games
4 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Jack Parnell, Will Rogers
Neither Jack nor Will wanted a trip out tonight so we ran a games evening, Minecraft first and then Supreme Commander. We all enjoyed the latter even though we were defeated by a Balanced AI in the enemy list, but Will liked the game and wants to play it again.

Sunday 28 October 2012
Morning ride: Holne (10 mi)Sunny spells & showers, 10°
5 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
Ash, Will, George and John in Hembury Woods
On a chilly but mainly dry morning we rode to Buckfast and on to Scoriton and Michelcombe before stopping at Holne Park for some Frisbee games. George particularly enjoyed the time there and had a lot of fun.

Next stop was, inevitably, the Holne café, which was always the intended destination. Some of the cakes and drinks were not quite up to the usual standard today, but it was an enjoyable stop that conveniently kept us dry during a spell of light rain.

It was dry when we left so we didn’t hang around, heading straight home via Hembury hill. For a change nobody rode the track, so we stopped for a photo in the car park near the bottom. When we got to Buckfast George informed us he had been hoping for some off-road! He should have told us that at the top of the hill.

We got home for 1.15 and spent the afternoon playing first Modern Warfare 3 and then Supreme Commander again so that everyone could get familiar with how the game works. We just managed to defeat the last of the three Normal enemies before the club closed at 4.10.

Friday 2 November 2012
Social: Badminton
5 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Jack Parnell, George Rogers, Will Rogers
This evening we drove to Ashmoor leisure centre, which is now run by South Dartmoor School, and played on two courts for just £6 per court from 7.30 to 8.30. Everyone had fun and George learned to serve properly with a little help from Michael.

Back at Crofters we rounded off the evening with some games of Supreme Commander and Minecraft until the club closed at 10.15.

Sunday 4 November 2012
Morning ride: Colston Road (4 mi)Showers, 8°
5 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
The forecast was for a chilly 6 degrees with some showers, but it was 8 degrees when we set off with the intention of riding to Dartington and Totnes. The first shower came as we entered Colston road, however. We took shelter, but it was quite heavy and the youngsters were getting cold. Michael managed to persuade them to carry on when it slowed, but it started up again before we got to Colston Farm so we had to turn back.

Typically it stopped as we returned to Crofters and the rest of the morning was dry with sunshine, but the youngsters had already set their attentions on playing Supreme Commander so they played that for the rest of the morning until the club closed at 3pm.

Friday 9 November 2012
Social: Supreme Commander
6 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Jack Parnell, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
After half an hour of Halo we moved to the PC network and played an epic game of Supreme Commander against a Balanced AI enemy on a 20x20 map. We won the game but was it really a surprise when Will sent a nuke to his ally George near the end without warning?

Sunday 11 November 2012
Morning ride: Dartington (16 mi)Sunny but chilly (7°)
6 present: Morgan Emmerson (10, Buckfastleigh), Michael Jones, Jack Parnell, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
Morgan, Will, Jack, John and George on the Totnes Cycle Path
We had a great turnout today by recent standards on a very pleasant sunny morning, including new rider Morgan Emmerson aged 10. He was on a bike that John had kindly prepared for him. We rode to Dartington via Colston Road, and Morgan did really well. George suggested 2 minutes silence for Remembrance Day at 10.53, so we did that during the ride.

At Dartington Jack seemed to like the idea of going to the cafes there rather than to Morrisons in Totnes, but when we finally settled on Cranks Jack didn’t buy anything. It turned out he had forgotten his money, so Michael bought a cake for him and Morgan to share. We ate outside in the sunshine which made it a very pleasant stop.

As the weather was still excellent we pressed on to Totnes, took a photo on the cycle path and then returned to Staverton Park where everyone enjoyed some Frisbee fun – they had apparently all been looking forward to a Park stop. Morgan said he had never ridden this far before and he would definitely be coming again next week.

We returned to Buckfastleigh along the usual route past Abham, getting back by around 2.30. This had been an excellent ride where everyone was friendly and had a great time – just like old times. We finished the day with some Supreme Commander on the PCs until 4.25. Ash joined us at 3pm after returning from a family wedding.

Today’s ride included a total climb of 261m.

Friday 16 November 2012
Social: Music Quiz
6 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Jack Parnell, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
Everyone liked the idea of a music quiz this evening, so after finally prizing Ash off Halo we got on with the quiz at 7.20. Everyone loved it. We had a movie themes round first, which Ash and George won. Then there was a games themes round and a TV themes round - again Ash and George won both. After a refreshment break we had a round on the most popular songs from the last 40 years: John won this time by a good margin.

We rounded off the evening with fifty minutes of Minecraft and Supreme Commander, with everyone leaving rather late at 10.15.

Sunday 18 November 2012
Morning ride: Holne (9 mi)Sunny but chilly start
5 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Jack Parnell, George Rogers, Will Rogers
Jack, Will, George and Ash on Hembury Fort
After some debate the group chose Venford over Ashburton on a superb sunny morning. We rode up Silver Street where we met Ash’s friend Barnaby and his friend. Barnaby makes musical instruments and hopes to make a career from it, so we had an interesting chat with him.

Our favourite dog Leo was not in evidence in Scoriton today despite the good weather, but his friend the Border collie was there and greeted us warmly. Ex-member Brodie Scott met us on the road and rode with us through Michelcombe to Holne, giving Ash a good run for his money up the hill. He continued up to Venford but now Jack decided he wasn’t as fit as he used to be and preferred not to go up the hill. So we spent some time in the park while Michael changed his front brake cable, then as usual went to the café where we were, surprisingly, the first customers of the day at 11.50. The food and drink was very tasty today – Will and George had hot scones, cream and jam which they said was excellent.

We returned via Hembury fort and the slalom track – it was great to see that both Will and George really like off-road riding now. George did have a problem with the zip tie breaking on his rear mudguard, but he preferred to press on rather than remove the mudguard, so father will be sorting that later.

We got home for 1.40 or so and played computer games until around 4pm.

Today’s ride included a total climb of 280m.

Friday 23 November 2012
Social: Badminton
6 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Jack Parnell, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
Everyone was up for badminton this evening but unfortunately there were no courts available at Ashmoor until 9.30. We played games on the PCs until 9.15, then played badminton on two courts for half an hour until 10.05.

Sunday 25 November 2012
Morning ride: Broadhempston (11 mi)Showers
6 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Jack Parnell, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
The River Hems in flood near Portbridge Cross, Broadhempston
When Michael had dealt with an unexpected business customer we got away rather late at 10.43 with a forecast that had changed overnight to predict more in the way of showers.

Continuous rain yesterday and overnight had caused flooding in the lower part of Buckfastleigh, so severe that the Prime Minister David Cameron came to see for himself later this week. When we rode through Strode Road however the only sign of flooding was a chap spraying stuff onto his car engine to disperse the moisture. The river Mardle was still quite high though.

We rode up Green Lane, then had to change Will’s tube as he got a puncture. Nobody seemed to be in much of a hurry today. There was a lot of water running down the lane from High Beara to Wash, and when we got near Broadhempston we found that the River Hems had burst its banks, spilling out all over the road.

We arrived at Broadhempston community shop and café ridiculously late at 11.55. It doesn’t close until 12.00 so we expected to be in time for a coffee, but we were quickly informed that at this café everyone has to be out by 12! The woman got into a real flap about it, saying we couldn’t have proper coffee because they had turned off the machine and it takes ages to warm up. She offered instant, but only if we could decide how many we wanted within sixty seconds. And it would have to be take-away as they wanted to clean the café area! We had wanted shelter from the shower that had just started but we took up their reluctant offer and bought take-away hot chocolates for £1 each. We were then shown the door as quickly as possible, and the woman left four minutes later to go home to make her Sunday roast! Maybe they should visit the Holne community café to see how it should be run.

We took shelter from the rain in the play fort in the park. Ash, being Ash, went out to play with the football in the rain, so then Will decided to go and join him, ignoring advice from several of us that he should put his coat on first. After he had got properly wet he went to put on his coat, but by then the rain was easing. There were more showers on the way back and of course Will was now cold as well as wet. He and John eventually caught us on the climb to Green Lane while we were redirecting the “river” of water into one of the unblocked drains. We finally got home at 1.20. George and Jack played Minecraft, joined by Ash after lunch, until the club closed at 3.40.

Today's ride included a total climb of 288m.

Friday 30 November 2012
Social: Computer Games
3 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Jack Parnell
Ash and Jack played Minecraft all evening and seemed to have a good deal of fun.

Sunday 2 December 2012
Morning ride: Dean HillCold, 3.5°
3 present: Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Jack Parnell
Chain problems derailed today’s ride. When Jack arrived his chain was threaded incorrectly through the rear derailleur and would not be forced through the gap, so Michael had to break the chain apart and reassemble it. We finally got away at 10.45 with a plan of riding to South Brent, but halfway up Dean Hill Ash had a problem with his chain which proved impossible to fix on the road even after 25 minutes of trying.

Returning to Crofters Michael found a new chain and a new cassette, but sadly the small ring was missing from the cassette and could not be found anywhere. We had no choice but to give up the idea of a ride and spent the rest of the day until 3.30 playing games and ordering a new cassette.

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