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Five of us gathered at the start today, Myself, Graham Black, Dave Newman, Ted Greenberry & Andy Prideaux. Ted would not let us start off first without a group photo, having posed for him we set off towards Wrangaton and then onto Avonwick turning off the main road towards Dipford. Having climbed the big hill into Dipford Ted decided he had enough for the day, but not before he took another group photo, he then set off to the main Totnes road and back to Ivybridge and completed his planned 20 mile.
We carried on up hill to join the Morleigh road, from then onto Blackawton out of the village up a new route for me up to Oldstone Cross.Here I planned to join the A3122 Dartmouth road to our first stop but not bothering to look at the map thinking I new the way, turned right instead of left. After realizing my mistake I found us heading for Bugford and another big hill that I wanted to avoid. But hey-ho whats another hill among the many, so headed up to Hemborough Post and our first stop at the Gardentime farm shop. The cafe here is in a greenhouse and very hot inside and we thought if we sat in here we would get forced growth an come out 2" taller ( which would not be a bad thing in my case ) but decided to have our coffee & scones outside.
Fully refreshed we headed back up to the Sportsmans Arms pub and turned left down another country lane to Capton Bridge which was a lovely down hill stretch, but then pay back time and another long climb uphill but to be rewarded at the top with lovely views over towards Torquay & Brixham. Turning Left at Tideford Cross and some more new lanes for me to Allaleigh and a lovely valley nicely named, Higher & Lower Venice. Turning right at Blackdown Cross and towards Brook Farm and back onto familiar territory for me, turning right to Lower Washbourne I took them off road through Granary farm and up a concrete track with a few rough bits thrown in, to Lower & Higher Yetson, then down hill to Bow Bridge for our second stop at the Watermans Arms pub. We decided the Dorset Gold looked good so we retired to the terrace with our beer over looking the stream in nice sunshine.
The plan from here was to head back on a well tried and tested route through Harbertonford, Avonwick, South Brent, but about 2 mile along the lane the road was closed, so decided to follow diversion signs which took us up another monster hill to arrive just east of Harbertonford where we joined our usual route back.
Good day was had by all with 38 mile on the clock arriving back at Ivybridge station.
With only Graham Black at the start I was wondering how good the turn-out would be, but Bryan Richardson and Andy Prideaux turned up soon and a call from Graham Reed confirmed he was late and would catch us up. Andy set off apace to join Trevor Bradshaw at the Hunting Lodge, followed closely by Graham Black. Bryan and I stayed together, Bryan setting a very good pace nonetheless on his electrified bike. Not far out of Plympton I saw Graham Reed's flashing front light behind us. When we arrived at the Hunting Lodge, Trevor was waiting with Nigel Mole, a possibly new addition to our Section, riding a stripped down bike made from Reynolds 531 tubing which he had bought recently in South Molton and done up for just £41, all in!
Bryan left us soon after leaving Ivybridge for the café in Wrangaton, and the rest of us continued under Trevor's guidance to Loddiswell. Trevor's route was a direct route to Loddiwell past Ludbrook Manor, Mary Cross and via Alleron to the continuation of the B3916 just outside our destination - but with all the ups and downs, mud, grit and water along the route I did wonder if he could have found an easier, softer way.
Elevenses were at Avon Mill Nurseries. The raspberry ripple cake there – a spectacle to behold - seemed to be a definite favourite. I had planned to return to Ivybridge via Kingston, but we decided to take the longer option via Woodleigh which involved a long and steep climb (much encumbered by three mighty tractors along the way transporting maize) to Preston Cross , where at last we enjoyed an extensive stretch of downhill riding to Gara Bridge.
After a tea-break at the California Inn, we headed back along the B3196, crossed the A3121 at Kitterford Cross and took the first left along the lanes to the Rugby Club in Ivybridge. Little by little we said our goodbyes, and Graham Black and I arrived back at the Co-op car park in Plympton at 3:30 pm. For me about 37 miles on the clock and two empty batteries.
This weekend Anna Bryant is travelling in Italy, Sue Etheridge is marshalling with the Tour de Moor and Dave Newman is with Geoff Sharpe in France. We wish Nigel an enjoyable stay in Flensburg, (GFR), next week and hope to see him on a Section run again soon.
Best wishes - Graham John
Had to quickly change the start location as the Gypsys/travellers had taken over Ivybridge station car park,so directed the two cars to arrive and Andy on his bike over the road to the rugby club.Just three turned up for this weeks ride, Graham B, Dave Newman & Andy Prideau.
So the four of us set off towards Wrangaton, Avonwick and onto Yogi Hill going down the other side into Harberton. Here I decided to go off piste on a track leading us up to Bennett`s Cross then joining a short section of the A381 to the NKUKU cafe.
Off again and up to Luscombe Cross and onto Totnes, weaving around the back streets to the Station and joining the cycle path to Dartington and off piste again through North Wood to join the Staverton road and our second stop.We found the cafe all closed up, do`nt know if for good or just the winter, so we crossed Staverton bridge and into the Station for tea & coffee. Sitting on a bench overlooking the track and passing trains it was really hot and beautiful day, so we just sat taking in the rays and stripping off the extra clothes we thought we would need today.
Having topped up our tans we set off upto Huxham`s Cross and along the cycle path to the Old Totnes road and thence to Buckfastleigh, then the usual route back through South Brent and onto Ivybridge.
What a day the rest of you who did`nt make it today missed, lovely weather like a spring day, 35.6 miles I topped up, and although going off piste a couple of times, no mud on Dave`s bike.