(Points for: Andy Easton, Graham John)
At six-thirty this morning rain was tipping down. Wondering whither Andy was still going to be out, I cautiously rang him at 8.15 am. Plan A it was - Trevor was meeting us at the Hunting Lodge, Andy said. When we got there, there was no sign of Trevor and finally I rang him, discovering that he, too, had looked out the window this morning and decided, unlike me, that discretion was the better part of valour.
The lane took us out just before Gara Bridge. We were supposed to go up to California Cross, but I took a left immediately after the bridge up a notoriously steep hill past Hazelwood House and Blackdown Rings. I wondered if Andy would be able to keep pace with me and my 36W of power on my front wheel. All credit to him - he was game for whatever I dished out, even passing me on the hill at times. Now there's a cyclist!
Stunned by Andy's endurance, before we got to Mary Cross, I took a right to Shilston Bridge and up the steep hill on the other side. At the familiar crossroads just past Ludbrook Manor we went right, avoiding Ermington and incorporating several deliciously painful hills through Penquit - also a one-time jaunt of mine in earlier times when muscle strength, body weight and healthy cartilage still allowed. Now it's battery power. Nice to be back, though.
A rather tired Andy arrived at the T-junction before the bridge above Endsleigh. Time for a break, I thought, and Andy took over and led us back to Plympton at his own - and impressive - pace, touching 11 mph where I had ever managed 7 mph. I've been tired and crawled up hills, but never at that sort of speed.
Deep Lane - there it is: just an ordinary lane. But how many accidents have happened on it? The pictures above show another spectacular accident where some motorist, suspecting or not, ignored the "GIVE WAY" sign and careered straight ahead through the protection barrier into the woods deep below. Bits everywhere - what a way to end Christmas, whoever the motorist was.