Happy Christmas Anna
Bryan had an e-mail from a lady called Christine, who wanted to take up cycling again. We gave her 10min at the start, but nobody turned up, probably did not like the weather. I vaguely remembered, that something was supposed to go on at the Royal William yard, so Sue, Bryan and I made our way to it. Must have been some misinformation, nothing was happening there. We could not convince Bryan, that his favourite restaurant, some Japanese place was not open ( don’t think they would have don bacon butties anyway) Raluctantly he followed us back to Dunelm mill, where we got our refreshment. We did not get too wet.
Happy Christmas Anna
I arrived at the ferry a bit early. Julie sent a text to say she would not be out. I was soon joined by Neil Crowley (good Irish name: Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Cruadhlaoich, meaning 'hardy' + laoch 'hero' - just the sort of thing the Plymouth Section is made of), Mike Willacy, Andy Easton and too-late-to-catch-the-9.30-am-ferry Graham Reed, dressed in a fetching, flimsy white cotton top and obviously expecting tropical weather.
The mystery of Mike Willacy's rapid disappearances around mid-day on club runs was finally revealed today. It's his lovingly preserved Townsend and retro-style saddle bag - see pictures - you'll understand. Note the intricacy of the re-touching and delicate stitch work holding his quaint antediluvian saddle bag together. One can imagine this labour of love took not hours but weeks and months of dedicated craftsmanship. No wonder he had no time for afternoon cycling.
Early on the weather looked promising but soon deteriorated and became cold and damp. Graham Reed, who had no sandwiches for lunch, now had a mission and made for Maker Camp at lightning speed, leaving me in the glorious twin position of leader and sweeper! With the rest no longer in view, taking the ford to St John's cut out one long hill, and Mike Willacy and I fortunately caught sight of the vanguard's rump wiggling up the hill out of St John. Thence to the B3247. Straight over and on to Millbrook.
Elevenses was at Maker Camp. I guessed it must have been the first time I'd been there since I was ten and a pupil at Knowle Primary School.
The weather had deteriorated even further on leaving the café. There was a stiff wind and steady drizzle. Initially we thought to follow the example of Graham Reed, who nota bene had no lunch, and make for Torpoint as directly as possible. But Mike Willacy, showing the true grit and determination of the seasoned cyclist, rose to the occasion and resolved to follow our original plan to follow the coast path along Whitsand Bay and beyond.
On the B3247 out of Millbrook, we said goodbye to Graham Reed and took a left to Withnoe Barton Farm. Expecting pastures new, we thought this would be an interesting innovation, only to find that this was the very road we had ridden from St John to Millbrook. At Withnoe Fm. we followed a path to the Freathy road, not quite knowing what to expect. In the event it was short, though muddy, and we soon found ourselves on the coastal road as planned.
I now had the bit between my teeth, planning to return to Saltash via Narkus, Trerulefoot and Notter Bridge. This involved one of the rare (?) 1 in 4s in Devon just outside Tideford, and Neil impressed us all by sailing up it without getting off. It was only 1.30 pm when we got to Trerulefoot and the Edinburgh Woollen Mill and 4.00 pm when I free-wheeled up my drive to an abrupt but well-deserved halt. 37 hard-earned miles on the clock and a good day had by all.
Thanks, Neil, for joining us and hope to see you again soon.
Report by Graham John
In the days before the ride all the weather forecasts were bad ones.
So the plan was when i got up in the morning was to look out of the window and if raining take the car to the start and wait in the warm and dry as it was dry i rode down.
On arriving at the start only Bryan & Anna were there i asked them where they were going so if nobody turned up i could catch them up.
As they rode off Graham Black' Mike Willacy and wait for it HERE COMES UNCLE JOHNY came round the corner.
We rode to Wrangton for eleven's.
There we decided Beesands was to far in this horrible wheather so all decided to a shorter route after tea i picked out Trever's route as i was supposed to be the days ride leader and declared Trevor leader for the day.
Graham & mike decided to go back home because of the wheather.
So me Trevor Graham Black went on to ride through Aish' Avon Dam then believe the old railway station in Upper Dean for dinner.
Then home the easy way through South Brent' Ivybridge and then Plympton.
39miles and 650m of ascent
posted by Andy Easton.
Many thanks to Mike Willacy who led the ride today - a first for him as a leader. The route was a classic past Serpell & Sons and then right at the grass triangle through to Otter Nurseries where we stopped for coffee and a good old yarn. Afterwards Anna and Clare made their own way to Staddon Heights Golf Club up Fordbrook Hill. Mike took us essentially along the same route up Fordbrook Lane but included two twists and turns including the interesting Devon village of Spriddlestone - not to be missed - and an adventurous dog-leg not far from the golf club.
Service and lunch at the Golf Club were excellent. At £14 a head for two courses it was well worth it. Some people even had three!
It was a pleasure to see George Sandford again, who hasn't ridden with the club for many months. Zena and Trevor Petley unfortunately were unable to make it. Roger Floyd was otherwise engaged and Larry Clarke had come down with a virus while Andy Prideaux, a man with a purpose, was exerting himself with the St. Budeaux Club today.
Present were: Mike and Julie, Clare Hamon, Sue Etheridge, Anna Bryant, Caroline Sage, Dave Newman and Nyccy, John and Jean Harris, George Sandford, Iris Buckler and Patrick, Graham Black, Graham Reed, Andy Easton and myself.
It was, as always, a social and convivial occasion. With 17 miles on the clock when I returned to Plympton I felt I had done justice to the day.
Report by Graham John