Recent Event Reports

Page 4 of 11
Sunday 28 October 2018
10:15 - 12:45
Morning ride: Haytor Quarry and Hundatora Village
Changed to Holne
Cold and windy
11 miles (▲ 290m)
3 Participants: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris
We set off with the intention of completing our planned ride to Haytor, but before we had even reached Ashburton, we realised that the strong wind, coupled with temperatures of around four degrees, meant that the moor was not a good destination. We all had painful ears even though we were still on low ground, but Dillan was particularly badly affected.

The solution was to leave the A38 corridor and head back through the relative shelter of River Dart Country Park and Holne Woods. We stopped briefly on Holne Bridge to admire the delightful autumnal scenery, then rode up Holne Chase to the community café at Holne.

Once we had warmed ourselves with hot drinks and soups, we left at around 12:10 and took the lane down through Michelcombe to Scoriton where Jude settled down on the seat to eat his packed lunch. Leo, the farm dog from Scoriton, was out and about this morning with his friend: he did start to walk over to us from his farmhouse, but after a few steps he clearly felt he was too old to make the journey and headed back home.

We got home by 12:45 and stayed warm by the fire until Jude was collected at 2pm.
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Dillan and Jude on Holne Bridge (12:05)
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Dillan and Jude on Holne Bridge (12:05)
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Jude enjoys lunch at Scoriton while Dillan welcomes Leo's friend (13:20)
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Jude and Dillan at Scoriton (13:20)



Friday 26 October 2018
20:30 - 21:45
Social: Badminton

7 Participants: Will Bastow, Ziggy Clark, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris, George Rogers, Tom Spurrell
Two were away today for half term but the rest of us enjoyed some good games of badminton at Ashmoor with some new shuttlecocks. We didn't quite get the Round Robin plan right this time for everyone to play everyone else, but we will print off a sheet next week to makes sure it works correctly.



Sunday 21 October 2018
10:15 - 15:20
Day ride: Coffinswell
Mainly sunny
30 miles (▲ 590m)
3 Participants: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris
On a fine sunny morning we took the lanes through Broadhempston to Denbury and then by way of a change, followed on through Abbotskerswell and under the new bypass near Langford Bridge. The road undoubtedly offers a huge improvement in travelling times to Torquay, but it has left an ugly scar on this previously unspoiled area of countryside.

After taking a few photos of the thatched cottages in the picturesque village of Coffinswell we decided to explore the lanes through Daccombe – another attractive village in a secluded valley that felt a hundred miles away from the metropolis of Torquay. One of the steepest climbs we have seen on our travels brought us eventually to what looked like the edge of another country village. When we had rested on the conveniently-provided bench set on its grassy island we realised this was actually the edge of Barton.

Google took us down an interesting narrow footpath complete with brambles and steps, through a rough park area and thence down to the Willows. Here we parked our bikes and made our first ever club visit to the M&S café where we enjoyed hot drinks and great conversation.

We bought some sandwiches in the food hall for lunch, ate them outside in the sunshine and then headed home through Edginswell and along another Google-inspired shortcut from the North Whilborough road to Bickley Road. Having skirted past Ipplepen we stopped briefly at the nature reserve to eat our M&S cookies and then raced homewards through Broadhempston, interrupted only by Dillan’s chain getting seriously jammed for the first time as we rolled in to Buckfastleigh.

This new idea for a day ride proved very successful and enjoyable, made all the more pleasant by good weather.
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A tranquil scene near Tornewton, between Broadhempston and Denbury (11:18)
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Jude and Dillan at the attractive village of Coffinswell (12:01)
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This village scene is actually at the top of Barton, Torquay (12:19)
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M&S Torquay, our venue for coffee and lunch (13:27)



Friday 19 October 2018
19:00 - 22:00
Social: Badminton

9 Participants: Harry Back, Will Bastow, Ziggy Clark, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris, George Rogers, Tom Spurrell (16, Bickington), Mark Thomas
Our Autumn season began with a large turnout for the badminton session at Ashmoor. Michael was unfortunately unable to play because of his elbow injury but the other eight managed to play nearly everyone else during the hour-long session of activity. Only three shuttlecocks were destroyed, one of the totally!



Sunday 14 October 2018
10:15 - 16:00
Day ride: Converted to Social
Rain
3 Participants: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris
Heavy rain this morning meant that our ride was converted to a social of games at Crofters.



Friday 12 October 2018
19:00 - 22:00
Social: Badminton
3 Participants: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris
Only three of us were available this evening so we organised a computer games evening at Crofters once Dillan had practised his driving skills collecting Jude from Ilsington.



Sunday 7 October 2018
10:15 - 16:15
Day ride: Loddiswell / Avon Railway
Sunny, 12°C
33 miles
4 Participants: Tao Burgess, Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris
Tao rode out from Paignton this morning to join the ride – he said he spends all week driving and didn’t want to have to drive again on his day off! We rode briskly through Harbourneford to South Brent where we stopped to buy some Danish Pastries for the ride, then took the Cutwell shortcut to Wrangaton and the main road through California Cross.

Tao wanted somewhere away from the road to make a “Thing” of the Danish Pastry stop, so we pulled off the road at the footpath near Reveton which we have used many times in the past to access the Avon Railway. The path is sandwiched narrowly between a pair of hedges that cross the fields down to the river, and on previous occasions it has been somewhat overgrown. Today however it looked very passable and made a pleasant location for our refreshments, including Tao’s flask coffee.

We were already close to Loddiswell so it wasn’t long before we had found our way through the village to the Avon Mill garden centre. By now the sun was out, taking some of the chill off the autumnal air, so we were able to sit outside on the balcony to enjoy soups and chocolate layer cake – a very pleasant stop indeed.

Just around the corner from the Mill is the old Loddiswell Station, situated on what used to be the branch line from South Brent to Kingsbridge. It’s now a footpath that runs along the river Avon as far as Topsham Bridge, and today it provided us with a fabulous autumn colours as it wound its way through Woodleigh Wood. We stopped near a high rope swing so that Jude and Dillan could attempt to have some fun, but it proved to be just a little too high to be useful.

From Topsham Bridge we took the lane route past Hendham House to Moreleigh. From here we decided to accompany Tao back to Totnes and were pleasantly surprised at just how easy the road was to Harbertonford: we used to ride this road the other way in the early days of South Dartmoor, after picking up members at Totnes, but taking it in this direction was pretty much all downhill. As we rarely visit Harbertonford we stopped by the ford for some refreshments before continuing on up the hill to Luscombe Cross and Totnes.

The cycle path took us along the Dart to Dartington, where we were disappointed to see that the Venus Café has closed down. A message on the door informed us that the Shops at Dartington will be opening a new café there later this month, so we will have to return soon to see whether it is as good as Venus.

Tao left us at Huxham’s Cross for the final part of his journey home to Paignton via Red Post and Marldon, making a total ride of 46 miles for him. The rest of us took the main road back to Buckfastleigh, providing us with a speedy finish to what had been a perfect day of cycling.
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A coffee and Danish Pastry break at the start of the footpath to the Avon Railway, although today we were reaching the railway path via Loddiswell (12:12)
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Waiting for refreshments at the Avon Mill café, Loddiswell (12:33)
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The huge slab of Chocolate Layer Cake was enough for three of us (12:38)
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Jude and Dillan at the bridge over the Avon near the garden centre (13:14)
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The path along the old railway line from Loddiswell's old station (13:25)
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Jud tries hard to reach the rope swing (13:26)
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Dillan makes an attempt at grabbing the rope swing (13:27)
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Fabulous woodland scenery in Woodleigh Wood by the river Avon (13:33)
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Continuing along the old railway path towards Topsham Bridge (13:36)
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The path opens out near Titcombe Wood (13:43)
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The second bridge over the Avon in Titcombe Wood (13:45)
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Another coffee stop by the river at Harbertonford (14:44)
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Tao, Jude, Dillan and Michael at Harbertonford (14:44)



Friday 5 October 2018
19:00 - 22:00
Social: Games Evening

3 Participants: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris
With Michael still suffering from Tennis Elbow the lads decided to enjoy an evening of computer games at Crofters.



Sunday 30 September 2018
10:15 - 13:09
Morning ride: Avon Dam
Cloudy and a little chilly
11 miles
3 Participants: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris
Jude was a little late at the start but eventually we set off at 10:45 to ride through Coxhill Cross and up the hill past Nurston Farm. We were in fine form today and quickly arrived at Shipley Bridge, where we were surprised to see that the car park seemed to have been dug up and left much rougher than it used to be. At least the rhododendrons that had been brutally hacked to the ground on the other side of the river a couple of years ago were now growing back to heal the scars.

Continuing on up the path towards the Dam we noticed that huge piles of stones had been dumped into the river Avon at regular intervals: they really didn’t add to the general attractiveness of the area and we wondered what possible reason South West Water could have had for despoiling the area in this way, since the river bed does not appear to have suffered any significant erosion in the thirty or more years we have been visiting it.

Jude asked a very sensible question about the origins of the old ruins on the left of the path. They mark the location of Brent Moor House, a mansion that was later a youth hostel until 1955. When the dam was built higher up the valley the Water Authority decided that the hostel would have to close, and a few years later they allowed the army to blow it up as part of their training exercises.

The reservoir was nearly full today after a very dry summer, but we didn’t stay long to admire the views, pressing on along the rough path that led us to the Abbot’s Way bridleway across the moor. From here we rode up to Gripper’s Hill where views opened out across the whole of South Devon, from Kingsbridge to Widecombe. We then enjoyed the great downhill ride across the moor, through Water Oak Corner and onwards to Cross Furzes, concluding an excellent moorland morning ride. Both Dillan and Jude rode easily through the ford today, although Jude did get a pair of wet feet in the process.
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Dillan and Jude by the Avon on the path up to the Avon Dam (11:54)
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Brent Moor House, Shipley Bridge, as it used to look in its heydey
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The Avon Dam, almost full (12:21)
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The Avon Dam, looking back to the open moor (12:22)
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Gripper's Hill, offering spectacular views over the whole of South Devon (12:37)
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Teignmouth, Newton Abbot and Torquay, from Gripper's Hill (12:37)
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The great descent towards Cross Furzes, at Water Oak Corner (12:45)
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Jude successully negotiates the ford near Cross Furzes (12:57)



Friday 28 September 2018
19:00 - 22:00
Evening ride: Salmon Leap Café
Dry but cold
4 miles
3 Participants: Dillan Edwards, Michael Jones, Jude Norris
For our last evening ride of the season we decided on a fairly short ride around Hockmoor, bringing us via Buckfast Abbey to the Salmon Leap café. Here we enjoyed hot chocolates and cakes before heading homewards for computer games at Crofters.
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Dillan and Jude on Holne Road, just outside Buckfastleigh (19:54)



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