South Dartmoor CTC

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Sunday 1 January 2017
1015-1330
Morning ride: Cancelled
0 present:
Today's New Year's Day Special was cancelled as everyone was busy with other activities.

Friday 6 January 2017
1900-2245
Social: Pool
4 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers
This evening we drove to Plymouth to play Pool at Tenpin. We had six games so that everyone got to play everbody else. When we had finished we popped into Pizza Hut to get some sharing desserts and returned home rather later than planned.

Sunday 8 January 2017
1015-1435
Day ride: Holne (11 mi)Dry with some sunny spells, 10°C
5 present: Tao Burgess, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris, George Rogers
River Dart Country Park (13:04)
Tao, Jude, Dillan and George on the approach to River Dart Country Park (13:03)
This was Jude’s first ride with us, so we planned a gentle introduction to the club with a visit to the café at Holne. He found the ride to Scoriton very easy, so Dillan and George decided to take him up the steep hill to Holne rather than follow Michael and Tao on the recommended route through Michelcombe. He didn’t enjoy that so much, but still made it without too much difficulty.

We enjoyed a range of hot and cold snacks at the café, then left at around 12.35 to explore a track from Gallant Le Bower that Tao had discovered a while ago. It was a bit muddy at the start but soon improved, leading us eventually to the main track to River Dart that we frequently use. At least we no longer have to pass the bikes over the gate now!

Jude somehow managed to come off his bike in the Park, while he was at the back with Dillan and George, but there was no serious harm done and he had no difficulty at all in completing the ride back to Buckfastleigh.

Today's ride included a total climb of 287m.

Friday 13 January 2017
1900-2215
Social: Pizza Hut
4 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris, George Rogers
Our members always enjoy a trip to Pizza Hut at Plymouth. Today we had two sharing pizzas with starters and dessert, all for around £10 each.

We concluded the evening with some games of Air Hockey at Tenpin as all the Pool tables were in use. Dillan seemed very excited that he managed to beat Michael, so when Michael beat George he was confident that he could also beat George. Things did not work out quite as he planned though.

Sunday 15 January 2017
1015-1610
Day ride: Ashprington (24 mi)Cloudy with sunny spells, 10°C
6 present: Tao Burgess, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris, George Rogers, John Rogers
Harbertonford (12:33)
A snack stop at Harbertonford Post Office and Stores (12:32)
Ashprington (13:06)
Harbertonford (12:34)
Dillan, Jude, George and Tao on the cycle path between Ashprington and Totnes (13:29)
John on the cycle path from Ashprington to Totnes, following the River Dart (13:21)
Tao and Michael had planned a route last week for today’s ride, so when everyone had finally arrived at 10.40 we set off up Dean Hill, impressed by the speed at which new rider Jude reached the top. Crossing the new and very expensive bridge at Drybridge we took the lanes to Venton Cross and continued on past Blakemore. The track to Peak Cross looked rather muddy so we crossed the main road at Gerston and took the lane to Harbertonford, a route we used frequently on our day rides in the 1990s. Michael recalled the time when veteran member Frank Boyes from Torbay pulled a starting pistol out of his saddlebag without warning to scare off an aggressive dog in the 1980s.

At Harbertonford the Post Office and Stores provided a convenient refreshment stop. The river and bridge, coupled with the disused telephone box purchased and maintained by the council, made the whole area very scenic. The lack of coffee and hot food coupled with high prices was disappointing, however. Perhaps we should have visited the garage around the corner?

Next we followed the Mill Leat road to Bow Bridge, busy and interesting as always. There is a ford across the river, but even the bravest members gave that a miss today in view of the high water flow. A short climb brought us to Ashprington village from where we joined the cycle path to Totnes. This felt much easier in this direction, offering great descents and spectacular views over the Dart. Michael and Tao remembered the times when some sections were just too boggy or steep to negotiate easily by bike, but the new tarmac path has solved all those problems.

We were heading for the Totnes Morrisons for lunch, and we arrived by 1.45. There was a 25 minute wait for food, but prices were cheap as usual and most were satisfied with the meals they were served. Tao bought a doughnut that was packed with jam so Michael then bought a pack of five from the bakery and shared them out. Tao reckoned they were the best doughnuts money could buy and did his best to make things difficult for John, who had decided not to have one.

We took the riverside cycle path back to Dartington, passing numerous Cider Press shoppers along the way, then after pumping John’s tyre on the descent to Riverford Bridge we returned along Colston Road after a very satisfying and varied ride. Jude still had plenty of energy when we got home - very impressive considering this was only his second ride with us.

Today's ride included a total climb of 521m.

Friday 20 January 2017
1900-2215
Social: Games Evening
5 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris, George Rogers, John Rogers
The younger members spent the evening playing Forged Alliance on the computers while John and Michael planned the 2017 Easter Tour to North Cornwall.

Sunday 22 January 2017
1015-1610
Day ride: Stover Trail (30 mi)Sunny and dry
7 present: Tao Burgess, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris, Gavin Pearson, George Rogers, John Rogers
Preparing for some off-road fun at Liverton (12:03)
The track through the Great Plantation, Liverton (12:03)
The point where the Haytor Granite Tramway meets the Stover Canal at Ventiford, Teigngrace (12:35)
The new cycle bridge over the A38, part of the new Stover Trail (12:19)
Lunch at Costa, Newton Abbot (13:36)
The Stover Trail continues towards Newton Abbot (12:48)
The Bradley Manor path (13:59)
Ready to leave Asda after the consumption of donuts (13:52)
Tao had come up with a 27-mile route for today’s ride which started by taking us around Ashburton. George had a problem with his rear hub at Bickington which took John and Gavin a few minutes to repair, but we were soon heading on again through Blackpool.

Our first section of off-road involved taking the track through Liverton’s Great Plantation to Heathfield. Tao then took us through some link paths to join the Stover Trail, only completed last year as a pleasant cycle route between Bovey Tracey and Newton Abbot. We had all seen the new cycle bridge over the A38 but had never ridden over it.

The route on the Newton Abbot side of the bridge was quiet and leafy all the way, taking us first past the point at Ventiford where the old Granite Tramway from Haytor meets the now disused Stover Canal. It was not hard to imagine the horse-drawn carriages unloading their Haytor granite onto barges for transportation to London.

The MT Tums outdoor café at Teigngrace was closed today but we had other plans for lunch in any event, continuing on to Newton Abbot and taking the cycle routes through to Costa in the town centre. Here we split into three groups, with Tao and Gavin buying lunch at Asda, John and George from Subway and the rest at Costa. We finished off with Asda donuts provided by Michael.

The next stage of Tao’s route involved the track past Bradly Manor which turned rather muddy near the gates and styles. We washed off the worst of the mud in the river and then pressed on up the hill to East Ogwell. The sun was bright and everyone was feeling great so we extended the ride by three miles with a detour through Ipplepen, returning via Staverton by around 4.10. Many thanks to Tao for coming up with such an interesting route, and well done to everyone for completing the ride effortlessly.

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

Friday 27 January 2017
1900-2215
Social: Games evening
4 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris, George Rogers
All the youngsters seem to want to do at the moment is play Forged Alliance on the PC network, so they spent the whole evening doing that today.

Sunday 29 January 2017
1015-1530
Morning ride: Converted to SocialRain all day
5 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris, George Rogers, John Rogers
Dillan serves to Jude (13:35)
Badminton at Ashmoor Recreation Centre, Ashburton (13:32)
Jude learns fast against George (13:52)
With heavy rain forecast all day we opted for badminton today at Ashmoor Recreation Centre, Ashburton. Michael tried out his new high-resolution Nikon camera and found that it could indeed take good indoor photos without flash. We'll be posting higher-resolution versions of the photos on our website from now on.

There were the usual computer games at Crofters before and after the badminton.

Friday 3 February 2017
1900-2215
Social: Games Evening
4 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris, George Rogers
The youngsters played Forged Alliance for most of the evening but we rounded things off with a music quiz which Dillan seemed to win with little effort.

Sunday 5 February 2017
1015-1445
Day ride: Widecombe-in-the-Moor (19 mi)Chilly but dry, sunny afternoon
4 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris, Gavin Pearson
A very large animal joins us in the café (12:58)
Jude and Dillan in the Café on the Green, Widecombe (12:57)
The Café on the Green, Widecombe (13:11)
Gavin, Dillan and Jude (13:06)
The Café on the Green, Widecombe (13:13)
We made good speed to Ashburton but Jude felt a bit ill on the climb of Ausewell Hill. He improved after a good rest however so we proceeded as planned through Buckland in the Moor and arrived at Widecombe by 12:25.

The wood-burner in the Café on the Green was very welcome on such a cold morning, giving us the opportunity to thaw out chilled toes and fingers. Prices seemed even more extortionate than we remembered from last year, but there was certainly no shortage of customers.

Gavin needed to meet his family at Parke, Bovey Tracey at 2pm so he set off up Widecombe Hill at 1.15 while the rest of us returned home via Ponsworthy, Leusdon, Spitchwick and Gallant Le Bower. Jude was back to his normal speed after the refreshment stop so we got home in good time by 2.45.

Today's ride included a total climb of 626m.

Friday 10 February 2017
1900-2215
Social: Games Evening
3 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris
Dillan and Jude played PC games for the first half of the social and finished with a music quiz near the end.

Sunday 12 February 2017
1015-1330
Morning ride: Cancelled
0 present:
With the Rogers family away and Jude unable to arrange transport there were no members out for today's ride so it was cancelled.

Friday 17 February 2017
1900-2215
Social: Games Evening
4 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris, George Rogers
The youngsters spent the evening playing games on the PC network.

Sunday 19 February 2017
1015-1330
Morning ride: Totnes (16 mi)Dry with sunny spells
5 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris, George Rogers, John Rogers
The group at the Totnes Good Food Sunday market (12:26)
Having ridden along Colston Road to Dartington and then taken the cycle path to Totnes, John got a text from home saying he needed to return for an afternoon family outing. He wasn't going to be done out of his visit to the Totnes Food Market however, so we all went there to get some tasty hot snacks for lunch, Michael and Dillan calling in to Morrisons on the way to pick up some jam donuts.

By way of a change, and to ensure John got home by the required time, we returned via Plymouth Road and the back of Rattery at a very good pace.

Today's ride included a total climb of 275m.

Friday 24 February 2017
1900-2215
Social: Games evening
3 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers
George and Dillan spent the evening playing their favourite comupter games.

Sunday 26 February 2017
1015-1240
Morning ride: Holne (8 mi)Intermittent drizzle, increasing winds
4 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, George Rogers, John Rogers
In view of the forecast of drizzle and heavy winds from 11.30 onwards we did well to get a ride in to Holne this morning. Leo, our friendly dog at Scoriton, surprised us all by being outside as we rode past, so we just had to stop to give him some attention.

We had an enjoyable stop at the café, chatting with some friends that happened to be there, then set off for a very blustery return via Hembury Woods.

Today's ride included a total climb of 268m.

Friday 3 March 2017
1900-2215
Social: Games Evening
4 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris, George Rogers
Plans for badminton came to nothing when the lads decided Paignton was too far to travel, so we spent the evening playing computer games.

Sunday 5 March 2017
1015-1600
Morning ride: Converted to SocialHeavy showers
5 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris, George Rogers, John Rogers
With heavy showers all morning there was little enthusiasm for a ride, so we arranged a badminton session at Ivybridge Leisure Centre at 11.45 followed by lunch in the Centre's café - excellent value pizzas, snacks and drinks.

Friday 10 March 2017
1900-2215
Social: Pizza Hut
4 present: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris, George Rogers
This evening we drove to Pizza Hut at Plymouth Barbican and enjoyed a couple of sharing pizzas with desserts before heading over to Tenpin for some games of Air Hockey.

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