Today’s planned ride to Dartmeet only managed to reach Silver Street before plans had to be changed: Jude’s chain jammed solid between the chainset and the chain, and Michael was unable to unjam it by the roadside. We returned to Crofters where a crank extractor tool did the trick, and when Jude had finished cleaning things, we reassembled the bike and finally set off again at 11.30.
Jude now preferred some Dartmoor off-road riding instead of Dartmeet, so we rode up to Cross Furzes and then through Lud Gate and down over the open moor to Chalk Ford. At the upper end of the track on the far side we found a pair of friendly pigs, but just when we felt we had got to know them, the owner turned up on his quad bike and informed us that “unfortunately” they will be turned into bacon and sausages later in the year. We decided not to tell him we were all vegetarian.
After descending the stony track to Scoriton we checked out the Tradesman’s Arms to see if their noticeboard advertising “morning coffees” could be believed. Well they did have a coffee machine, but when we asked the lady if they did cakes, the answer was no. Did they do teacakes? No. When we asked if they did any bar snacks, she pointed to a box of crisps! We said we meant hot snacks, so did they do omelettes or beans on toast? No, nothing like that. She showed me her Sunday menu and the cheapest item was £7.95! We left.
Two of us really wanted a coffee, so we rode up the hill to Holne community café, our traditional favourite, only to find a big sign saying the café was closed “until further notice due to unforeseen circumstance”. After waiting to speak to the elderly gentleman serving in the shop, we discovered that the woman who was doing the cooking had left unexpectedly to do another job, and they had so far been unable to find anyone to replace her. Posters in the shop signified that a crisis meeting was being held in the village on Wednesday to review the whole financial basis of the tearoom. Apparently, the café had been closed for at least three weeks, so it all looked a bit worrying.
After exhausting all possibilities of a coffee, we headed home via Scoriton, calling in to Buckfastleigh co-op so that Jude could buy a meal deal. The ride finished just after 2pm.
Dillan and Jude descend the bridleway from Lud Gate to Chalk Ford
Jude and Dillan follow the bridleway to Chalk Ford
Heading down over the open moor towards Chalk Ford, with the old deer farm opposite
A pair of friendly pigs on the path towards Scoriton
Pigs on the path from Chalk Ford to Scoriton
Jude and Dillan with the pigs at the start of the stony track to Scoriton