South Dartmoor CTC

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Friday 20 May 2016
1900-2230
Evening ride: Converted to badminton socialHeavy rain all evening
5 present: Lawrence Buttress, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, Will Rogers
The rain started at 7pm as forecast so our decision to run a social this evening was definitely well informed. We played computer games for the first half of the evening, with Lawrence and Michael playing Lord of the Rings for the first time in ages. We then drove to Ashburton for an hour of badminton on two courts which proved to be great fun all round.

Returning to Crofters we played some exciting games of Modern Warfare 3 until the club closed at 10.30.

Sunday 22 May 2016
1015-1400
Morning ride: CTC Devon 85th Anniversary Ride to Chalk Ford (11 mi)Sunny periods and occasional showers
6 present: Lawrence Buttress, Dillan Edwards, Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, George Rogers, Will Rogers
Dillan and George with the rest of the group on the moor, with Lud Gate behind (11:46)
Lawrence, Will and Ash on the moor near Lud Gate (11:46)
Riding the ford near Lud Gate (11:47)
Ash tackles the ford first near Lud Gate (11:47)
The moorland descent to Chalk Ford (11:49)
Preparing for the descent to Chalk Ford (11:48)
Investigating the destruction of the mature trees on Hembury Fort (13:37)
Stone throwing contest on Scoriton Down (12:09)
Desecration at Hembury Fort (13:38)
Today was the 85th anniversary of the Devon CTC group and was also the last ride Michael will be running before his spell in hospital, so it was really good to have so many of our keen riders out today. Ash was out for his first cycle ride with us in more than a year and was particularly keen to do some off-road riding, so we decided to head for Chalk Ford.

We rode up Wallaford Road to Cross Furzes at a brisk pace in glorious sunshine, then got a few light rain showers as we rode up the stony track to Lud Gate. The moor was a little boggy in places after recent rains, but the downhill to Chalk Ford was still great fun. At the top of the track on the other side the youngsters had a contest to see who could throw stones the furthest into the field and woods below - Ash won of course, but several others came close.

At Scoriton we turned left and took the short hill to Holne where everyone was happy to call in at the café for a variety of tasty refreshments that included soups, scones and cakes. It was really good to have everyone together again for this special ride.

Next stop was Hembury fort, and here we were rather shocked to discover that someone had chopped down all four trees that previously adorned the mound in the centre of the fort. The ancient trunks had been laid around the perimeter for some reason, but for us it just served as a permanent reminder of the act of desecration that had been committed here for some unknown reason. This was a sad day indeed.

Ash led the assault of the Slalom track, which of course was quite muddy today, and this hugely enjoyable ride was brought to a conclusion when we returned to Crofters for around 2pm. The fun continued until 5pm however with games of Lord of the Rings and Modern Warfare 3 at Crofters.

Friday 27 May 2016Evening ride: Cancelled
0 present:
Michael was away today so the ride had to be cancelled.

Sunday 29 May 2016Morning ride: Cancelled
0 present:
Michael was away today so the ride had to be cancelled.

Friday 3 June 2016
1900-2215
Evening ride: Cancelled
0 present:
Michael was still away this evening, although on his way home, so this evening's ride had to be cancelled.

Sunday 5 June 2016
1015-1530
Morning ride: Converted to socialSunny and warm
7 present: Tom Batten, Lawrence Buttress, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
Michael was back from his stay in hospital today so everyone was invited around for an extended social. We shared hot drinks, tasty food, great conversation and a mix of computer games in what turned out to be a very enjoyable day. Many thanks to all of you for your wonderful welcome home.

Friday 10 June 2016
1900-2215
Evening ride: Converted to social
5 present: Lawrence Buttress, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, Will Rogers
With Michael still recovering from his recent surgery the ride was converted to a computer games social this evening, with plenty of hot drinks and interesting conversation thrown into the mix.

Sunday 12 June 2016
1015-1415
Morning ride: HolneSunny spells and occasional showers
7 present: Lawrence Buttress, Dillan Edwards, Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
Lawrence and John at Holne (13:20)
The group outside Holne community shop and café (13:19)
Ash and John managed to rouse George and Lawrence on the way through the town, so we ended up with a very good turnout. There was the threat of rain showers so we headed out through Buckfast and followed the lanes up to Scoriton and Holne, with Michael following in the car as he was still recovering from his recent surgery.

At Holne everyone wanted a stop in the café so we spent an enjoyable time there eating soups and other snacks. When everyone had had their fill and the rain shower had passed over we returned via Hembury Woods where Lawrence and Ash took the Slalom track and the rest took the road.

There was the usual computer games social in the clubroom after the ride until around 5pm.

Friday 17 June 2016
1900-2130
Evening ride: StavertonSunny and warm
5 present: Lawrence Buttress, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Gavin Pearson, George Rogers
The group at the bottom of the track near Riverford Organic (20:01)
Lawrence suffers the effects of an exploding front fork near Riverford Organic (19:59)
Gavin joined us this evening to lead a ride up Green Lane and down the track to Abham and Staverton. Michael, who was still recovering from his recent spell in hospital, supported the ride by car.

There was time for refreshments and games of Frisbee in Staverton Park as the sun began to set. We took the track past the tennis courts to the riverside path, then Gavin realised he had lost his phone in the park. Michael kindly went back to find it while Gavin led the group homewards via Colston road.

Sunday 19 June 2016
1015-1330
Morning ride: Comverted to SocialLight drizzle turning to rain
4 present: Dillan Edwards, Ash Freeman, Michael Jones, Will Rogers
Report to follow

Friday 24 June 2016
1900-2120
Evening ride: Aish, South BrentSunny and warm
6 present: Lawrence Buttress, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Gavin Pearson, George Rogers, John Rogers
Approaching Bloody Pool cross on the way to Aish (20:39)
Report to follow

Sunday 26 June 2016
1015-1330
Morning ride: DartingtonCloudy but dry
5 present: Lawrence Buttress, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers
Approaching Abham on the way home from Staverton (14:17)
Dillan and John riding towards Week, Dartington from Westcombe (11:51)
Report to follow

Friday 1 July 2016
1900-2120
Evening ride: Belford Mill (13 mi)Sunny and warm
4 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Gavin Pearson, George Rogers
George, Dillan and Gavin near Druid, Ashburton (20:28)
HD video footage from today's ride
On a glorious sunny evening we set out along the old Ashburton road with Michael following in the car. Today, however, he had his bike in the back, and at Peartree he switched to two wheels for his first club ride since his recent spell in hospital.

We took the path past the park and then the lane to Belford Mill. Dillan had commented last week that we never have videos of ordinary weekly rides, so Michael produced his camcorder and took some shots as we rode through the woodland track.

After climbing the hill to Druid Gavin led the youngsters down to Holne Bridge while Michael returned to the car and caught them at the top of Holne Chase. We continued home via Hembury Woods, getting back by around 9.20.

Sunday 3 July 2016
1015-1330
Morning ride: Decided on the Day (11 mi)Cloudy start, sunny later
3 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, John Rogers
Michael, back on his bike at last, with Dillan near Caddaford (14:02)
John and Dillan at Hill House nursery, Landscove (13:33)
HD video footage from today's ride
Those who had wanted a longer ride today found it too hard to get out of bed this morning, so Michael used the opportunity to take part in his first full cycle ride since his hospital visit. We rode to Staverton along Colston road and then took the short route to Landscove that we rarely use. The objective, of course, was the Hill House nursery.

We spent an enjoyable hour eating soup and cakes in the café and then watching the wildlife in the sunlit garden before heading home via Green Lane. Michael was absolutely fine, so he’ll be back on the bike every week from now on.

Today's ride included a total climb of 217m.

Friday 8 July 2016
1900-2120
Evening ride: Lambs DownWarm and sunny
3 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers
Frisbee fun on Lambs Down (20:30)
Gavin couldn’t make the ride this evening and George didn’t fancy going too far, so we rode up to Cross Furzes and then took to the Abbots Way bridleway that leads up to Water Oak Corner. We stopped near the top to play Frisbee in the evening sunshine among the many and varied grasses that live on this high moorland.

Nobody was in much of a hurry to leave, but when we finally headed back we took the direct route home for around 9.20 and enjoyed the usual after-ride social at Crofters.

Sunday 10 July 2016
1015-1330
Morning ride: HolneDry and mainly sunny
4 present: Lawrence Buttress, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers
Michael was feeling quite tired today so he wasn’t going to argue when the lads suggested a modest ride up to Cross Furzes and on through Combe. Lawrence entertained us with his latest plans to move to Germany in a year or so – we hope he changes his mind of course.

Having ridden through Michelcombe and up the hill to Holne we ended up visiting the Holne café again, but that’s never a hardship as we always get the warmest welcome there. Today the coffee was exceptional and the soups excellent.

We returned home the direct route via Hembury Woods for around 1.30. As usual there was a social after the ride in which we watched some of the videos Michael had just produced for the 2014 Easter Tour and then watched the Wimbledon tennis final in which Murray won the title for the second time.

Friday 15 July 2016
1900-2130
Evening ride: LandscoveWarm and sunny
3 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers
The bridleway from Higher Penn to Tidwell, near Landscove (20:13)
Pokemon GO was out in the UK today and we all had our phones loaded with the app as we climbed Green Lane. Sadly those of us on the O2 network had poor internet reception in these remote lanes, so only George was able to collect the few pokemon that were roaming the area.

It was a very hot and sunny evening so after the climb from Baddaford we were grateful for the downhill track across the fields towards Landscove. George through the first gate was padlocked shut until Michael showed him that one of the links in the chain could be opened up.

As we rode through Landscove we noticed that tents were being set up on the village green for the fete tomorrow afternoon and vowed to go and check it out if we had time. In the end we didn’t have time to go home via Colston and so took the lanes past Riverford and Caddaford instead, getting us back for around 9.30.

Sunday 17 July 2016
1015-1530
Day ride (Car-assisted): Plym Valley Cycle PathHot and sunny
6 present: Lawrence Buttress, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers, Will Rogers
The new section of path at Clearbrook (13:56)
Refreshments near the coffee van at Plym Bridge (11:46)
Part of the "Blue" off-road route in the Plym Valley (14:35)
Today was George’s birthday, and since he wanted to ride the Plym Valley cycle path we thought it would be only proper to carry out his wishes.

We unloaded the bikes at Plympton on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year so far, so we were very grateful for the shade afforded by the trees along the cycle path. We stopped at Plym Bridge for refreshments from the coffee van, as we knew there would be little else available until we reached the far end – everyone bought fruit smoothies which seemed very appropriate for the weather.

After negotiating the tunnel section, which was deliciously cool and shaded but didn’t last anywhere near long enough, we were surprised to find that the final section of track to Clearbrook had been totally rebuilt since our last visit. The steep and rough path that previously made the end of the ride quite tricky had now been replaced with a long and gradual tarmac ascent to the top. This was apparently completed in November 2014 with money from Devon County Council, and the whole path has now been renamed Drake’s Trail and covers the route from Plymouth to Tavistock.

Michael was keen to continue along the track to Yelverton, but Lawrence insisted on stopping immediately at the Clearbrook inn as he was starving. We got served fairly quickly with excellent quality food and sat in the hot sunny garden at the back. Michael and John went on up the hill to check out the new path to Yelverton – it looks interesting so we’ll include that in our next trip to the area.

On the way back to Plympton George, Dillan and Michael explored the Blue trail to the side of the main path: it seemed to have an entrance but no exit, but provided some interesting off-road fun for all of us. We then re-joined the others at Plym Bridge before returning to the cars and home.

To conclude a very special day Lawrence had baked a chocolate cake just for George, so we shared it out at Crofters along with some welcome cold drinks.

Friday 22 July 2016
1900-2155
Evening ride: Holne (8 mi)Dry and warm
5 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Gavin Pearson, George Rogers, John Rogers
George and Dillan on Hembury Lower Track (20:04)
John and Gavin on Hembury Lower Track (20:03)
We started our ride by going along the Lower Hembury Track. We expected to see the usual Rise Up Singing camp in the field by the Holy Brook and we weren't disappointed. The track had a fabulous earthy smell tonight - or so Michael said.

Reaching the end of the track we rode up to Holne, spent some time in the play park with the Frisbee at George's suggestion and then dropped down to Scoriton. Here there was some debate on the best route home, but in the end we plumped for the extended route via Cross Furzes which brought us home rather late by 9.55.

Sunday 24 July 2016
1015-1315
Morning ride: Avon Dam (14 mi)Cloudy, dull start with patchy drizzle turning to rain
4 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Phil Nichols, John Rogers
Cobwebs on the path to the Avon Dam (12:15)
Dillan, Phil, John and Michael at Shipley Bridge (11:48)
Dillan and Phil on the way back from the Reservoir (12:15)
Michael's cousin planned to meet us at Shipley Bridge today to join us for the part of the ride up to the Avon Dam. John rode with us from Buckfastleigh up to Shipley via Nurston but had to get home for 12.30 so stayed just long enough for a photo (taken by a passing visitor) and then sped off home.

The rest of us headed up to the dam, but the patchy drizzle that had been plaguing us on the way up now turned to rain. We contented ourselves with a view of the dam from the road and then headed back to Shipley at a good speed. Phil eventually caught up with Dillan and Michael in his car on the return via Nurston.

Today's ride included a total climb of 455m.

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