South Dartmoor CTC Album


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Sunday 18 December 1988
Day ride: Christmas Lunch
29 Participants: Graham Burge, Richard Burge, Michael Giles, Craig Gillman, Luke Hatherly, Steven Hills, Catherine Hopper, Margaret Hopper, Richard Hopper, Simon Hopper, Toby Hopper, Jackie Hunt, Jeremy Hunt, Jessica Hunt, Joanna Hunt, Jonathon Hunt, Martin Hunt, Michael Jones, Geoffrey Ledingham, Paul Ledingham, Ian Luke, Warren Masters, Nonie McKenzie, Graham Moates, Andrew Simmons, Alan Skinner, Mark Sloman, John Stuart, Jeremy Weston
With Christmas looming fast it seemed that few members wanted to miss out on the Section's annual festive lunch at Leusdon Lodge. Cyclists were arriving at the Bickington pick-up from almost every direction.

Three such cyclists were Martin, Jonathon and Jeremy Hunt who, having taken the car to Leusdon, were descending the long hill from Cold East Cross. When they hadn't arrived by 11.10 the main group set off up the hill towards Ilsington whilst Budgie and a few companions rode the Cold East hill on an interception mission. Fortunately they met them after only a few minutes, so the Hunts were able to rejoin the main group after only a slight struggle.

A strengthening, bitterly-cold crosswind made the going especially tough for the younger riders near Haytor, but we still managed to reach the Lodge within the agreed range of times. Here at last were the remaining car-assisted members, and the whole group trouped into the welcoming dining room with great expectations.

No-one was disappointed. A new table layout had been concocted to cope with this year's increase in numbers, so the anticipated crush did not materialise. The meals, as usual, were excellent quality and reasonably priced, the most expensive three-course meal coming to just £3-95. The only person who might have been a little miserable was Luke Rake, whose meal was divided up among the lions. He had failed to turn up at the last moment, so he couldn't really blame us for putting his delicious soup, nut roast and Christmas Pudding to good use. Catherine was certainly pleased with the pudding, which she polished off without assistance.

After the food came the awards. The junior attendance trophy went once again to Richard Burge, and numerous members received certificates for completing the 100km and 130km reliability rides in August and September. Then there were newsletters and other Section publicity materials to give out, followed by plans for Christmas and new year activities, followed by coffee - there really was no particular rush to leave this pleasant establishment.

After the meal came the homeward ride, up the climb to Beltor Corner and along the track known as Dr Blackall's Drive. The wind had strengthened still further during lunch, and was now blowing with gale force as we struggled to keep our balance along the spectacular track, high above the river Dart. Fortunately the wind was blowing us into the side of the valley and not outwards towards the Dart. The whole experience was breathtaking, exhilarating and a real hit with everyone who took part - even the most ardent anti-trackers were having second thoughts. This was Dartmoor, the bleak wilderness, in just one of its many and varied moods.

Before we finally reached the road at Poundsgate there was the inevitable pile-up, with John Stuart leading the fray on his Saracen mountain bike. No-one came to any harm on the soft grassland. In fact they all stayed exactly where they fell until Michael arrived with his camera.
Page 1 of 1 (1 items)
Events Index Gallery Participants