We took the usual way up to The Hunting Lodge and Trevor was waiting, Andy P and Graham Reed also appeared so that then made a grand total of eight on the ride. I took us left up the lane where my rear tire picked up a very small piece of glass and quickly went flat. A spare inner tube was soon fitted with the assistance of Trevor and Neil holding up the bike, then left right and past Cadleigh Lodge. Right and right to follow the railway for a stretch then back down to Ivybridge and onto the B3213 up to Bittaford. The intended coffee stop at Glazebrook Hotel had a sole use booking until mid day so it was decided to try the new cafe in Wrangaton Business units. We turned of to go under the railway viaduct and up the steep hill, continued to the second right to go back down to the B road and right to the cafe. The new location is just by the entrance gate and has only recently opened, it is still cycle friendly and the sausage sandwich I ordered soon arrived. We will have to call in again when next passing.
For the lunch stop I had thought of Buckfastleigh, the new cafe by the bridge over the A38 was suggested so it was all agreed to try that as well. After various other toasted sandwiches and a few slices of cake / mugs/pots of tea had been consumed we headed up to the shops. Once re-grouped we turned left back into the lanes, following the River Avon for a while which looked quite dramatic and through to Shiley Bridge. Trevor is familiar with this area so he guided us towards Guidley Bridge. Somewhere before there I sustained another rear wheel puncture, as I was leading from the rear Graham Black said that he would let the others ahead know. I could not find the culprit and the Gater Skin tire was now quite worn so I decided to swap onto my spare folding tire that I had fortunately put back in the saddle bag in the morning and used my second spare inner tube, hoping that would prevent any more punctures as I had not brought the repair patches with me. Trevor back tracked and arrived on the scene to lend a hand so I was soon re-shod and re-inflated. The others had stopped at the junction and with the help of Trevor's knowledge of the area we passed Gidley Bridgethen, tackled the long leaf and gravel strewn decent to Deancombe, then left for the last mile before the village of Buckfastleigh. The cafe is also sells antiques but it was previously the Little Chef then a Chinese Restaurant, it was certainly a welcome sight as I was ready for another rest and also wash the oil of my hands from the second puncture They have nice some nice soft seating so half of us opted for staying inside, the more hardy of the team deciding to stay out in the now slightly cloudy sunshine. It is a really nice cafe, also cycle friendly so well word a stopping off when in the area.
As the time was rolling on the group consensus was to press on via the usual direct minor road route back to Plymouth. My stamina had now run low so I knew I'd be taking it slow! on the way back, so some set of while I waited for Graham J and Neil to finish chatting before we set off. The stream at Halbouurneford where Graham and Neil were waiting was flowing over the road quite fast but was ride-able. Some more of the peleton were waiting at the top of the fast decent down to Southbrent, but we took it steady due to the wet road and leaves. We opted for the quick A38 drag up to the slip road to Wrangaton to avoid bumping around in the lanes again. The decent back into Ivybridge was as good as ever but I could not now make the most of it. At Lee Mill I said to Graham J and Neil to press on as I was now really slow up the hill and the light was starting to fade plus it was looking like the rain was returning.
On arriving back at Plympton car park just as a few spots of rain fell Graham Black and Dave had loaded up and were chatting and waiting for my arrival, thanks for that chaps. I trust everyone enjoyed the ride despite all the leaves, gravel and water on the road. I reckon the two new cafe's definately receive the Plymouth CTC seal of approval, now I really must remember to fit new winter tires for next Sunday's ride.