South Dartmoor CTC

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Sunday 3 January 2016
1015-1315
Morning ride: Landscove (10 mi)Dry with sunny spells
3 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Gavin Pearson
Gavin Pearson (12:31)
Gavin negotiates a flood near Landscove (12:31)
The River Dart in full flood at Austin's Bridge, Buckfastleigh (13:13)
Dillan and Gavin near Landscove (12:36)
Three of us set out just as the heavy overnight rain was turning to sunny spells as forecast. We took the old Ashburton road to Pridhamsleigh, rode up the hill to Five Lanes and then on past Baddaford to Penn farm where Gavin had a chat with his friend.

Approaching Landscove from Gullaford we encountered a lake larger than all the others we had passed. Gavin demonstrated the depth was sufficient to lead to wet feet, so Michael rode through barefoot and Dillan, who thought he didn't need to, ended up with wet feet too.

From Landscove we branched left to Fursdon and then, after contemplating lunch at Dartington, we returned home directly via Abham and Caddaford.

Friday 8 January 2016
1900-2215
Social: Pizza Hut
6 present: Lawrence Buttress, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
The youngsters started asking for Pizza Hut soon after school, and when they arrived for the social having eaten nothing since lunch our plans for the evening were already decided.

Lawrence contacted us late while we were ordering desserts, so we headed home as soon as we had finished so he could join us for a game of Supreme Commander on the PCs.

Sunday 10 January 2016
1015-1400
Morning ride: Holne (10 mi)Mainly sunny with one shower
6 present: Tao Burgess, Lawrence Buttress, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, Will Rogers
Leo gets special attention from Dillan at Scoriton (11:42)
The group on the bridge at Combe, near Scoriton (11:34)
George is happy for people to know that he and Leo get along just fine (11:43)
Tao cruelly resists Leo's invitation for attention on the grounds that certain people may use the photo as evidence that he does, in fact, like dogs despite his claims to the contrary (11:42)
Tao joined us as promised for today's ride although Gavin had forgotten all about it and arranged to do something else. We rode up Wallaford Road at a good speed to Cross Furzes and then took the lane down to Coombe and on to Scoriton where Leo was out taking advantage of the morning sunshine.

George announced that he hadn't had breakfast so after climbing through Michelcombe we called in to the café at Holne for hot refreshments and a nice long chat. When we emerged a heavy shower was in progress, but this ended within five minutes and Tao and Michael were just able to persuade the youngsters to extend the ride down Holne Chase to Ashburton before returning home on the old road.

Friday 15 January 2016
1900-2215
Social: Charades / Supreme Commander
6 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers, Nat Salt
After a session of Charades where Dillan narrowly beat Will by one point we moved on to a massive game of Supreme Commander where somehow nukes once again finished the game even though they had been banned.

Sunday 17 January 2016
1015-1550
Morning ride: Fermoys Garden Centre, Ipplepen (19 mi)Dry start, then patchy light rain
5 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers, Nat Salt
The group at Denbury (14:37)
Lawrence amused everyone by texting Michael from his bed before the ride to say he was too cold with just his arms outside the quilt, so he would be giving the ride a miss today. Well it really wasn't THAT cold, and once we started riding everyone was soon taking off fleeces and coats.

The youngsters all wanted a longer ride today despite the forecast of a risk of light rain later, so after viewing OS maps online at Crofters we settled on Fermoys as a suitably warm and welcoming destination. We rode up Caddaford hill and got as far as the other side of Staverton before the light rain began to appear. It was heavier by the time we reached Torbryan, but everyone voted to continue to the café regardless.

We spent an hour and a half at Fermoys from 12.50, first enjoying tasty lunches and then reviewing all the inhabitants of the pet store. All in all it was a very enjoyable stop.

On the way home Michael detoured the quarter of a mile into Denbury so members could see what the actual village looked like, then we continued on to Broadhempston, negotiated a heavier spell of rain along the way. George's rear wheel had been playing up on the ride, and now unfortunately the cause became apparent as his wheel bearing came apart. With the rain being heavier again John waited for Kelly to collect him and George while Michael led the others home along the usual route.

Friday 22 January 2016
1900-2235
Social: Games Evening
5 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
The lads selected a very large map for our game of Supreme Commander this evening - against Michael's advice. The result was that the game slowed down to a crawl after an hour, making it virtually unplayable. John and Will had to leave at 9 so the rest of us started a new game on a smaller map and easily defeated the enemies by the time the club ended.

Sunday 24 January 2016
1015-1330
Morning ride: South BrentCloudy but dry
6 present: Lawrence Buttress, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
Flooding on the road to Moorshead Cross near Harbourneford (12:05)
Our ride got off to a slow start when George managed to jam his chain between his wheel and the cassette. Ash was willing to get his hands dirty, but it took a bit of prizing to persuade it to come out.

Lawrence wanted the Avon Dam today in view of the fact, as he put it, that we hadn't done any off-road for ages. When John met us at Dean Seat however he exercised his veto on the whole idea of a ride across wet and boggy Dartmoor, remembering our last excursion to the Dam. We headed up Dean Hill and saw plenty of evidence of the recent heavy rain.

As a compromise Michael offered the track from Marley Head to South Brent, but this turned out to be so deeply rutted in the lower reaches that even Lawrence had to think before saying whether it was enjoyable. Michael had to promise John a free coffee by way of compensation, although he was as always good humoured about it.

At the junction with the Brent road George chose first gear again which resulted in an even more stubborn chain jam. The problem, it seems, was that John had got a replacement wheel after the bearing fell apart last week, but hadn't made the necessary adjustments to the derailleur. Fifteen minutes later we finally got the chain free and rode on to the co-op at South Brent, where well-deserved refreshments were purchased and consumed on the nearby bench.

It was getting chilly now so with warm gloves and coats keeping us warm we headed homewards via the station and the main lane through Harbourneford.

Friday 29 January 2016
1900-2215
Social: Games evening
5 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
In keeping with most of our socials these days we spent the whole evening enjoying a grand game of Supreme Commander on the PC network.

Sunday 31 January 2016
1015-1330
Morning ride: Converted to SocialSpells of light rain
6 present: Lawrence Buttress, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
It was Will's birthday today, and John had brough up a magnificent chocolate cake for everyone to share. As the weather was somewhat unpleasant we allowed Will to select activities for the day. The result was that we spent the whole morning on a grand game of Supreme Commander (Michael and Lawrence vs the rest) and the afternoon at Pizza Hut, Plymouth. George was the only one who wanted dessert, so the rest of us had to wait while he enjoyed it as slowly as he could.

Friday 5 February 2016
1900-2215
Social: Games Evening
5 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
Plans for a quiz were postponed when our game of Supreme Commander took us right through to the end of the club.

Sunday 7 February 2016
1015-1245
Morning ride: StavertonSunny but chilly
6 present: Lawrence Buttress, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
The group on Staverton Bridge (11:55)
A forecast of showers from 12 and rain from 2 encouraged us to make the most of the fine morning with a ride along Colston Road to Staverton riverside. For a change we didn't stop at Staverton, riding directly homewards via Fursdon and getting back just before the rain started.

The wet afternoon was spent enjoying a grand game of Supreme Commander.

Michael will be away for the next week, so the next club event will be on Friday 19th February.

Friday 19 February 2016
1900-2215
Social: Games Evening
5 present: Lawrence Buttress, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, Will Rogers
Michael was down with a virus this evening so he kept warm in the lounge while the youngsters played some games of Supreme Commander in the PC room.

Sunday 21 February 2016
1015-1700
Morning ride: Converted to SocialChilly with occasional showers
5 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
With Michael still recovering from a virus we changed today's ride to a games social at Crofters. Supreme Commander occupied us for most of the day, but there was plenty of time for some quizzes in the middle.

Friday 26 February 2016
1900-2215
Social: Games Evening
4 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, Will Rogers

Sunday 28 February 2016
1015-1330
Morning ride: Widecombe-in-the-MoorSunny periods with a chilly wind
6 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers, Nat Salt
Did you spot it? (12:37)
Michael offered a prize to anyone who could see My Dear Mother (12:38)
The woodland lane between Leusdon and Spitchwick (14:49)
Snowdrops out in force at Elliott's Hill Farm (12:49)
Will was late up this morning so it was around 11 when we finally set off. We planned a medium-length ride as the forecast was for sunny periods all day, although it was a bit chilly at 7 degrees and the wind made it feel even colder.

We took the old road to Ashburton, but this turned out to be rather like a wind tunnel so George and Michael both suffered from cold, painful ears. Things improved once we turned up towards Ausewell, although we had to wait more than ten minutes for Will and Dillan to come back when they incorrectly sped on along the road towards New Bridge.

We climbed Ausewell hill and then met a female cyclist who had just come from Cold East Cross. She said she had been blown along by an icy tailwind and strongly advised us to avoid the high moor. Well this seemed sensible advice and it gave us an opportunity to try an unusual route to Widecombe, although it did involve an additional 50 metres of descent and 50 metres of climb.

Everyone liked the thatched houses in Buckland-in-the-Moor. At the church Michael offered a prize to anyone who could see “My Dear Mother”. As can be seen in the photo it was not immediately obvious so they spent some time looking at gravestones before finally getting a hint from Michael which helped them spot it.

We have never ridden up Elliott’s Hill in the club before. It wasn’t especially steep, but the farm at the top looked delightful in the afternoon sunshine with its streams and snowdrops. After negotiating the short rough section of track to the road we battled a short section of headwind before turning left down the hill to Widecombe, another road we rarely ride in the club.

Arriving at Widecombe at around 1.20 we settled into the posh Green Restaurant for lunch, enjoying a range of baps, jacket potatoes and soup. The food was a little pricey, but it was good quality and we were very happy to have somewhere warm and cosy to sit for half an hour.

We left around 2.10 with the aim of getting home by 3.30 for a massive computer game. We took the direct route to Leusdon and called in to see Michael’s favourite ducks: he was very disappointed to see only three on the pond today, but he was later assured by a local that it would have been a fox that ate the unfortunate bird rather than the owners.

Everyone was quite tired by the time we reached Hembury, so we were quite relieved to get home at 3.50. WE had our game of Supreme and finished soon after 5pm.

Friday 4 March 2016
1900-2215
Social: Games Evening
5 present: Lawrence Buttress, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, Will Rogers
Supreme Commander was again the game of choice this evening. We set up games with Lawrence and Michael vs the rest, and Lawrence and Michael won both games. We finished with some Modern Warfare 3.

Sunday 6 March 2016
1015-1425
Morning ride: Avon DamCold (6°) and breezy
5 present: Lawrence Buttress, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers
John, George, Lawrence and Dillan by the river Avon (12:45)
The group by the river Avon on the path from Shipley Bridge (12:43)
John picks his way through the bog near Water Oak Corner on the Abbots Way (13:56)
Dillan at the Avon Dam on a cold and grey afternoon (13:19)
The Rogers family were a bit late arriving as George got a blowout as they were leaving. When everyone had arrived we had a coffee and agreed to do the Avon Dam today, one of Lawrence’s favourite rides, since Will was not coming and he really doesn’t like the muddy tracks. We also made plans for our Easter tour.

We finally got away at 11.20. Only Michael had proper gloves for some reason but we didn’t seem to need gloves as we rode up Dean Hill. By the time we had ridden through Harbourneford and reached Bloody Pool Cross Dillan needed to borrow Michael’s gloves but Lawrence said he was fine in just a t-shirt. Things were very different by Shipley Bridge however when Lawrence had his fleece back on and was desperately trying to borrow Michael’s gloves off Dillan. Unfortunately Michael needed them back so both Dillan and Lawrence had to keep their hands in their coats and fleeces.

We pressed on to the first gate where we stopped for some refreshments and photos, then continued to the reservoir which looked rather bleak and grey today in the cold wind. There was of course even more of a cold wind up here and Michael had to keep sharing one of his gloves with first Lawrence and then Dillan. John was cold too but seemed to manage OK without gloves.

The open moor was a bit boggy in places but we got through fine, then continued to the top of the Abbots Way path where we got the fabulous views across South Devon. The wind was now mainly behind us. Once we had negotiated the very boggy section past Water Oak Corner, which left Dillan swearing, Lawrence muddy and John, well, not saying much, the going was easy and fun down to Cross Furzes. We finally got home by 2.25, just 20 minutes later than predicted at the Dam. We were all so pleased to get into the warmth of Crofters that some just lay in front of the fire for half an hour to thaw out.

We had lunch, then when George got back up from having a shower at home we finished the afternoon with some trial games of Supreme where George and Dillan sent loads of low-tech units in to Lawrence and Michael but still somehow didn’t manage to win. Everyone left soon after 4.30.

Friday 11 March 2016
1900-2233
Social: Games Evening
4 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, Will Rogers
We all tackled a cheating AI in Supreme Commander this evening and finally beat them with some good teamwork.

Sunday 13 March 2016
1015-1330
Morning ride: Converted to SocialSunny but chilly
2 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones
The low turnout today prompted us to use the time to book our forthcoming Easter Tour and then to run a social at Crofters.

Friday 18 March 2016
1900-2215
Social: Games Evening
4 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, Will Rogers
Supreme Commander once again ruled the roost for our penultimate social of the season.

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