South Dartmoor CTC

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Friday 2 January 2015
1900-2200
Social: Sainsburys
2 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones
With several members still away on holiday Dillan got to choose exactly what he wanted to do this evening, and that turned out to be some computer games and a visit to Sainsburys at Marsh Mills for some snack shopping.

Sunday 4 January 2015
1015-1235
Morning ride: Holne (9 mi)Cloudy and chilly but dry
1 present: Michael Jones
Disappointingly only Michael turned out for today's ride, so he did a brisk ride to Cross Furzes and around to Holne where the café staff were very pleased to see their first customer of the day.

Friday 9 January 2015Social: Cancelled
0 present:
Tonight's social was cancelled owing to the fact that none of our members had been cycling during the past three weeks.

Sunday 11 January 2015
1015-1400
Morning ride: Holne (10 mi)Chilly (7°) but sunny
7 present: Lawrence Buttress, Dillan Edwards, Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
The pigs that attracted all the attention
A pig break before the steep climb from Scoriton to Holne
Calling in at John's house on the way out yielded the additional attendance of George and Will, who had been planning to stay in bed! It was a great day for a ride however, so they were grateful to us for the encouragement as we enjoyed the delightful lanes through Scoriton. We couldn't help but stop to admire some pigs at Littlecombe that were waiting by their gate for attention.

The café at Holne provided the usual high quality refreshments, including a number of items that contained bacon (if only the pigs had known our group's culinary desires). Plans for a return via River Dart Country Park were vetoed by the younger members when weather conditions deteriorated, so we returned via the Hembury Woods tracks as usual.

Wednesday 14 January 2015
1845-2215
Social: Cinema Trip, Taken 3
7 present: Tom Batten (13, Buckfastleigh), Lawrence Buttress, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
This unexpected mid-week treat went down well with our members, who thoroughly enjoyed the latest Liam Neeson movie. New member Tom would very much like to join our club rides but unfortunately is never free at weekends.

Friday 16 January 2015
1900-2215
Social: Games, Quizzes and Food
7 present: Lawrence Buttress, Dillan Edwards, Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
After computer games at Crofters John very generously offered everyone a very tasty free meal in his Buckfastleigh restaurant on a very icy evening. We concluded the evening with Supreme Commander and a music quiz at Crofters.

Sunday 18 January 2015
1015-1330
Morning ride: AshburtonSunny but cold
6 present: Lawrence Buttress, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
Lawrence missed the bus from Newton Abbot this morning which rather messed up our plans for a ride to Totnes. The solution to the problem was that he took the next bus to Ashburton while the rest of us rode up Green Lane and took the Baddaford lanes to Chuley Cross and Ashburton. Politics featured high in the conversation today, with the youngsters learning the differences between the various political parties.

We all met at the Ashmoor Centre, then returned to Ashburton for the purchase of hot pasties. Meanwhile Will met us there but wanted to do badminton for an hour. So John went back to Ashmoor with him while the rest of us took an interesting route home via Ashburton play-park and then the track to the ruins of Buckfastleigh's church on the hill.

Friday 23 January 2015
1900-2245
Social: Games Evening
5 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
After much discussion we visited Tesco Lee Mill so the youngsters could buy some snacks and then returned for a grand game of Lord of the Rings on the PCs, using the new HD widescreen interface. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the game, but it was 10.45 when we finally defeated the computer-controlled enemies.

Sunday 25 January 2015
1015-1515
Morning ride: Totnes Cyclepath (15 mi)Cold; sun by mid-morning
4 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers
Totnes weir
The group at Totnes weir
We set off rather late at 11am with a Totnes café in mind as destination. Everyone was really fast today and we soon warmed up as we rode along Colston Road to Dartington. We headed straight on along the cycle path, stopping at the weir for photos in the now perfect sunny weather.

Dillan particularly enjoyed the next section of path, meandering through the riverside trees. Morrisons café offered us a warm refreshment stop with excellent value hot food, then we rode up the main street so that the youngsters could buy some blue gloop from the Spar (the sweet shop was unfortunately closed for some reason).

After considering alternative return routes we opted for the fast and direct route, along Barracks Hill to Dartington and then up the path. For a change we took the main road from Charlie's Cross all the way to Buckfastleigh, and suddenly the youngsters realised that using the fast routes for the first and last parts of a ride would mean we could actually visit more distant destinations! They vowed to try some longer rides as soon as possible.

Friday 30 January 2015
1900-2230
Social: Pizza Hut
4 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers
Even though most of us had already eaten there was a consensus for a Pizza Hut visit after an hour or so of games. George and Dillan had a pizza each while John and Michael contented themselves with desserts.

Sunday 1 February 2015
1015-1300
Morning ride: Venford ReservoirSunny and cold
5 present: Lawrence Buttress, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers
Lawrence aims a snowball at the camera
Dillan, Lawrence and John at Venford reservoir
Let the Snow Wars begin
George and Dillan
The Team Rogers wall
The Team Lawrence fortress
Exceptional weather conditions call for exceptional club rides. Last night's light snowfall - the first real snow of the season - was quickly melting in Buckfastleigh, but the roads were still too treacherous for cycling so we made the most of the morning by using the car to search for thicker snow. We found it at Venford reservoir and spent the rest of the morning enjoying snowball fights.

It was Lawrence's idea to build two "forts" for a massive battle. It took over an hour to roll up enough snow blocks to make walls of a suitable size, but everyone was very satisfied with the results and the battle rounds that ensued were the highlight of the day. The rules were simple: if you were hit by a snowball you were out of the round, and the last team standing were the winners. I have to report that Lawrence and Michael's team won all three main rounds, but everyone had a great deal of fun.

Friday 6 February 2015
1900-2215
Social: Music Quiz
3 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers
Michael offered a cinema trip this evening to see Big Hero 6, but our youngsters, strangely, preferred a snack-buying trip to Tesco Lee Mill followed by a Music Quiz, won narrowly by George in the end.

Sunday 8 February 2015
1015-1645
Day ride: Bovey Tracey (24 mi)Sunny but chilly
4 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers
The final climb to Haytor
Brookside Tearooms, Bovey Tracey
View from the top of Haytor Rocks
George, John and Dillan tackling the summit
Dilland and George find some snow
Dillan at Haytor
Our youngsters have been asking for longer more adventurous rides in recent weeks and today’s superb winter weather provided the ideal opportunity to get started. Bovey Tracey’s Brookside Tearooms was selected as an enticing initial destination for the ride. After a rather late 10.55 start we rode around Ashburton and through Bickington at a good pace before taking the lanes from Blackpool to Bovey, arriving around 12.30 in glorious sunshine. The café was packed with bookings for Sunday Lunch but we were allocated sofa seats and enjoyed some tasty refreshments at very reasonable prices.

Haytor Rocks was selected as our next destination. Dillan felt a little ill for the first part of the climb, and it didn’t help that one of his brake springs had become detached from the brake earlier in the day, leaving the other side rubbing constantly on the rim. He recovered for the final sections however and we were soon buying hot dogs and drinks from the van in the Haytor car park.

Having worked hard to get here our youngsters were determined to climb the rock. As we neared the base of the tor there were, surprisingly, patches of snow lying in shaded areas, left over from last weekend’s falls, so there were a few brief snowball fights. The whole area was swarming with visitors today so progress up the rock was slow, but the view from the top was spectacular when we finally arrived.

We finally left at 3.45 and headed back along the speedy route through Cold East Cross, stopping for more snow fun on the way down towards Ashburton as temperatures began to drop. This had been a superb ride that will hopefully lead to many more adventurous rides whenever the weather conditions are favourable.

Friday 13 February 2015
1900-2200
Social: Games Evening
4 present: Dillan Edwards, Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, George Rogers
Call of Duty Advanced Warfare was the main game this evening.

Sunday 15 February 2015
1015-1330
Day ride (Car-assisted): Mamhead Obelisk / Haldon Forest ParkCloudy with sunny spells, chilly
1 present: Michael Jones
Sadly there were no takers for today's adventurous ride, so Michael did a ride on his own.

Friday 20 February 2015
1900-2200
Social: Squash
4 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers
Dillan had never even heard of Squash before so we headed out to Torbay Leisure Centre at Paignton and introduced him to the sport. He quickly mastered the racket and made great progress on his serve. Meanwhile John and George had some very close contests in Court 3.

Sunday 22 February 2015
1015-1700
Day ride: Converted to SocialHeavy rain all day
4 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers
With heavy rain at the start and a forecast of rain all day the decision to run a sports social instead of a ride was an easy one. We played squash and badminton at Ivybridge Leisure Centre until lunchtime, with everyone getting some good exercise and improving their game.

Friday 27 February 2015
1900-2215
Social: Games Evening
4 present: Lawrence Buttress, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers
Lawrence, who has just moved back to Buckfastleigh, was "too tired" to do our planned badminton at Plymouth's Life Centre, so instead we bought some food at Tesco Lee Mill and then enjoyed games back at Crofters.

Sunday 1 March 2015
1015-1405
Morning ride: MichelcombeBreezy but dry and sunny
6 present: Lawrence Buttress, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
Lawrence, George, John and Dillan on the path behind River Dart Country Park
The track through Holne Woods towards River Dart Country Park
With a forecast of rain soon after 2pm we wanted to make good use of the morning, so started with a brisk ride up to Cross Furzes. There was little enthusiasm for the open moor after the recent rain, so we dropped down to Combe, rode through Michelcombe to Holne and then actually rode past the café for once, determined to reach Ashburton. Michael seemed to get very excited when he found a BT telephone cabinet marked 3/1 at the top end of the village: this was apparently a sub-cabinet to Poundsgate Cabinet 3 at the top of Holne Chase!

The track through Holne Woods was easy and fun, leading us eventually through River Dart Country Park and on to Ashburton where everyone wanted to buy Rowe's pasties from the Spar. As we were eating them on the old railway track we bumped into Tao, out for a ride on his own to Stover. We told him he needed to go the other way if he wanted to avoid the rain, but he was keen to proceed whatever the weather.

Dillan led the return to Buckfastleigh faster than we have ever seen him ride, bringing us back to Crofters by 2.05. The rain started at 2.25 so it really was pretty good timing.

Friday 6 March 2015
1900-2215
Social: Pizza Hut
3 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers
Some of our members were unfortunately unaware that Pizza Hut had been selected for tonight's social by 6pm, so they had already eaten at home by 7. Only Dillan and Michael went out to eat, but George joined us when we returned. We used the time to plan the next three socials so that everyone will know what is coming up well in advance.

While we were at it we also planned the rough structure for club activities for the whole of the summer period - you can find details of all ride up to the end of May in our Forthcoming Events section. Some events need booking in advance.

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