South Dartmoor CTC Album


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Sunday 27 March 1988
Day ride: Harford
6 Participants: Steven Hills, Simon Hopper, Philip Humphreys, Michael Jones, Warren Masters, Mark Moxham
Whilst this beautiful Sunday weather attracted only a few riders (GCSE revision is beginning to take its toll), it provided a fabulous day's cycling for those who turned out. Much of the morning sunshine was wasted, however, during a major overhaul of Philip's bike .... his bottom bracket bearings had seized up part-way up the hill from Avonwick, necessitating a return to the local garage for a hammer.

Once repairs had been effected, we set off once again (under Mark's excellent map-reading guidance) through the back lanes behind Ugbourogh, ending up at Ludbrook for a well-earned lunch. Judging by the numerous droppings which covered a nearby van, the grassy verge beneath the big tree was not the best of places to settle for lunch, so we allowed Philip to lead us on a wild goose chase up the lane to a sunny little spot he had discovered there. Lunch-time amusements were provided on this occasion by Warren, who decided to dam up a stream that flowed out of a nearby gateway.

The Erme Mill centre offered a good range of fattening cakes, including a delicious raspberry cheesecake that was reminiscent of Primrose Cafe quality. It was the attached fish farm, however, which occupied us for the greater time. The water which used to work the old water wheel was now feeding through a number of huge outdoor tanks in which swam thousands and thousands of rainbow trout. We were able not only to watch them at close quarters but also to stroke them in the water. Other visitors seemed more interested in catching them, although we weren't quite sure why they paid good money to hire a rod.

The real joy of the day was the lane to Harford, the climb to the moor and the rough riding across open moorland to Owley and South Brent. Even Michael hadn't ridden this particular route before, and amazingly we didn't get lost. The ground was in its best riding condition despite the efforts of the moorland cattle to damage it, although the final descent proved somewhat difficult where the numerous boggy streams crossed our path.

Sadly we were too late for tea at the Copper Kettle (South Brent), but we could hardly complain after such a magnificent ride.
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