Present: Dave Newman, Graham Black, John Durham, Larry Clarke, Graham John, Mike Willacy, Trevor Bradshaw
Leader Graham Black
Neil Crowley, David Newman, John Durham, Graham Read, Graham John, Andy Prideaux and Trevor Bradshaw.
It was a damp, grey but relatively mild day for January when seven riders, plus two apologise arrived for the start, then we headed down the coast for the cafe at Seaton and first tea stop of the day. After refreshments four of the riders headed back for home, then there was four Neil, Dave, Trevor and myself that made our way to Morrison's at Liskeard going via Horningtops then dropping down into Looe valley with some muddy lanes for Trevor!
After my beans on toast I led the group back through Pengover Green and Doddycross and at this point, David left us to make his way back to Saltash. For the three remaining it was now a ride back to the ferry going by Trerulefoot, covering approx' 40 miles and well done to Neil who still had another 7 miles ride back to Plympton.
Attendance: Dave Newman, Neil Crowleigh, Trevor Bradshaw, Graham Black, Mike Willacy, Graham John
For some strange reason I had it in my mind that we were leaving from Callington, so I made it there by car on what was a rather grey and drizzly day. When no one had turned up by 10:00 am, I had already worked out other plans for the day. It was then that Trevor Bradshaw rang me to say that five eager riders were waiting for me to make an appearance at Tamar Bridge. As Trevor later quipped, "I should have a word with the guy who draws up the runs list in future."
We hastily made arrangements for me to meet the crew at Hatt roundabout. I discovered a convenient lay-by in the village very close by and all I had to do was wait for the others. So fortunately not much cycling time was lost.
From Hatt we were soon back on route again. We made for Botus Flemming and thence to Landulph. We chose the more adventurous route from Cargreen along the coast which was swathed with low grey mist and very picturesque. The first malheur of the day was a puncture to Trevor's tyre - probably the result of the hedge cutting along the road. At Paynter's Cross Dave Newman took the helm and took us up the cycle path into Callington and to TESCO, where we were looking forward to a warming cup of tea or coffee. But TESCO in Callington does not have a café! On leaving to get my bike, I discovered that Graham Black had put a lock around it without checking if he had a key to undo the thing. Fortunately he hadn't put the lock around anything else but I was now irrevocably encumbered by the additional weight of Graham's redundant lock for the rest of the ride.
We had our coffee at the COOP where they were offering two muffins for 35p - an offer not to be missed by several of us. Replenished, we headed off for Saltash via Frogwell, Newbridge, Cadsonbury and Pillaton. It must be said that the lanes were treacherous today with mud, slimy leaves and a ubiquitous greasy veneer of glistening drizzle on the road surface. In an effort to avoid an oncoming car, Dave Newman suddenly swerved into this potentially fatal conglomerate and ended up dazed and wondering on the floor. No harm to the bike, but, shaken, Dave soldiered back to Saltash with a very painful shoulder. I hope it's not too serious.
At Hatt I rejoined my car and said goodbye to the crew. It had been a very convivial day if not exactly risk-free. “Roll on the drier, warmer days of Spring and Summer,” is what I would say. I guess we must have done about 30 miles - enough for this time of the year.
Here is a short report on the ride last Sunday. Andy P, Dave N, Graham
B, John D, Les P & Trev B turned out for the ride. Usual route to Kit
hill cafe from Saltash with no mishaps. Les left us between Hatt & Amy
Tree as his shoulder injury was playing up. I spoke to him later & he
got home all right. He was then off to drive a coach to Switzerland?
On arrival at Louis cafe we spotted John D, outside enjoying a meal,
now their was 7 of us. After refreshments Dave N, bad farewell, as he
was returning to Saltash, to entertain youngsters at Saltash Leisure
centre. It was now down the infamous Luckett hill. Longest & steepest
decent I know in this area. Not one to be taken on doggy brakes. Soon
we left Gods country & entered Devon, England, over Horse bridge.
Lovely long climb through sunny Sydenham Damerel & upwards to take in
the view of Brent Tor church with scaffolding around it. On arrival at
the church car park we had our packed lunches. On leaving Andy P &
Trev B decided they would take the shorter option & bad farewell. So
John D & myself continued to Mary Tavy,Peter Tavy, & then Tavistock
were John went home naturally. I continued on up Drakes Trail, & came
off at Bickeigh. Then on to Crownhill. Tamar bridge & home.
A nice ride with good company & lovely sunny weather. 52miles under my belt.
Graham Black and Dave Newman were already parked in the long stay car park when I arrived in the car as well at 9.25. I quickly put the saddle bag on and rolled round to Plym-co to meet the rest of the riders for the day, being Graham John and Neil, (so far). We were luck with the weather as storm Angus had now passed over and it was a nice and sunny after all the wind and the rain overnight. Trevor Bradshaw had arranged to meet at the Hunting Lodge, so after everyone had finished chatting we set of up the High Street only to be asked not to proceed by the workmen who were putting up the Christmas lights with use of the 'cherry picker' vans and had blocked off the road. Being the 'official' face of the cycling fraternity we dully turned back and went round via the main road but had to ride on the pavement to avoid the flooded road and a car with it's bonnet up that must have gone a bit to fast through the 'puddle' and conked out.
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.