We set off through Filham mindful of having to take care for icy patches in the lanes,heading in the lanes to Homershill Cross & Combe Cross, then followed the lanes to Strode & joining the A 3121 for 150yds before turning right & back on the lanes again and heading for Ludbrook Manor. ( see photo of ice around outfall pipe) We then negotiated the icy patches passed Shilston Bridge up to Mary Cross, continuing through the lanes heading for The Thatches Holiday Village. Luckily the road surface was mainly dry with just the odd frozen wet patch to negotiate, so we carried on to Chillaton Cross and then on to the Chilli farm for our first stop.
Having topped up with coffee & chilli chocolate, we came out to higher temperatures so Andy took a layer off and we dispensed with our scull caps . It was then to join the long downhill stretch to Topsham Bridge, at the top of the lane we met a group of road cyclists, who warned of icy patches ahead, so it was a slower descent than normal.-how they where managing with their narrow tyres I do`nt know, a good job Dave never came.From Topsham Bridge it was the usual steady climb up to Preston then Gara Bridge and then the long heavy climb to the Pub at California Cross, which was unusually quite, with just Andy and I in the bar. We thought we needed a pint, so it was Jail ale & Tribute we tucked in to, the new barmaid was chatty and a bit of cyclist saying she had completed a 100 mile ride last year in 5 hours, but had`nt been on her bike since. She said she was keen to start again so I told her about our website and that she was welcome to join us anytime, so we might see her.
Coming out the pub to tropical temperatures about 9 degrees, it was the usual slog back to Ivybridge with the sky clagging over with the onset of the front that was due in the evening with heavy rain, it was back to the station & saying farewell to Andy.
Just 26 miles on the clock which was about enough given the conditions.