There were five of us gathered on the Ridgeway for Sunday's ride to Princetown, they consisted of Graham B, Graham R, Trevor, Dave, and my good - self. It was a fine sunny day as we set off from the Ridgeway via Newnham Park to Lee Moor. Having conquered the [deux - alps} the next stage was Cadover Bridge and Sheepstor. Once on the main road for Princetown Trevor decided to take the Puffing Billy route whist the rest of us climbed relentlesly to reach the summit of Peek Hill. Having conquered the hardest part of the ride the rest was plain sailing apart from Devil's Elbow whereupon Princetown was in sight. Our coffee break at the Fox Tor Cafe soon turning into a lunch stop, as by now it was past noon as we sat outside amongst many other cyclists enjoying the glorious weather. Having finished our lunch Trevor suddenly appears having completed the Puffing Billy route. By now Dave decided he would depart with Graham R as he wanted to watch the football so we bade our farewells to them. Half an hour later we were heading home ourselves, flying down Peek Hill Graham missed the turning for Burrator luckily realizing this he waited for us by the Pub turn - off further on. From there it was Meavy and an incredible steep climb where we were confronted by an endless stream of motor bikes, at least 50, which was not the order of the day! Dazed and confused we returned to normality once more and headed towards Cadover Bridge and joined the throngs of motorists for a well earned ice cream - break. Leaving Trevor at the Lee Moor turn off Graham and I trundled back to Plympton were we bade our farewells, having covered a respectable 37 miles.
We assembled today at the station car park with what resembled a cycling touring club, all 7 of us, the best turnout for a while. There was Myself, Graham B, Andy P, Dave Newman, Mike Willacy, John Durham & Neil Crowley out of hibernation after the long winter.
We set off towards Wrangaton then down to Avonwick to pick up the back lanes to Harberton, taking in Yogi hill. Then a climb up to the main Totnes/Kingsbridge road, turning left then first right to take us down to Ashprington were Dave discovered he had a puncture. Suspecting it was the valve he pumped it up hoping it would last him to the Vineyard, so it was climb the hill up to the entrance and then the long downhill to the Vineyard.Dave had to stop to pump up his front tyre again and had to walk the last hundred yards as it was a puncture, he discovered he also had a hole in the wall of the tyre so had to put a bit of card inside to carry out repair.
After Tea/Coffee, Neil had a glass of wine, we picked up the lower track to pick up the cycle path to Totnes. Then it was through Totnes to pick up the cycle path to Dartington, just before the Railway station the path was closed with a big hole blocking our way,but Dave said Oh! we can get round that, so we negotiated our way along a narrow edge of tarmac and holding on to the fence to round it. (see Picture) It was then on to Dartington to join the road just above the church, then a track through North Wood to join the Staverton road just before the Bridge over the Dart, were we stopped for a group photo. It was then on to Ben`s cafe/farmshop for our second stop.
Fully refreshed we joined the main A384 turning left and over the Dart river again, and then first right on to the Old Totnes road to Buckfastleigh. It was then back home on the usual route through South Brent and back to Ivybridge Railway Station Car Park. I had 39.8 miles on the clock with an added 2 mile back to my house, it had now started to get really hot so we were glad to finish, also it was nice to see everyone had lasted the course, even Mike who normally has some pressing engagement to do at home.
Four of us turned up at the Ridgeway they included myself, Graham B, Dave Newman, Neil Crowley on his new Boardman bike which stole centre - stage. The ride included the Bere Peninsula which was almost cancelled owing to weather warnings
Setting off from the Ridgeway we were soon on the Plym Valley cycle path heading towards Bickleigh from their it was Roborough down and Lopwell where we had our coffee break whilst admiring the wildlife. After coffee and crossing the dam we were soon heading towards Bere Ferris after conquering the track that led to it. A few more ups - and - downs and we were at Weir Quay and found a bench to admire the view. It was soon upwards and onwards to Tavistock with a few more hills thrown in, much to everyone's delight. Once in Tavistock it was Morrison's for a top up. Leaving Tavistock We decided on taking the Drake's trail and homeward bound once more. A great day with good company plus good weather.
Six out today, well six got to Callington co-op for elevenses. Mike, Andy & Graham R decided there was more important things to be getting on with at home?
Trevor, Dave & myself went on to climb onto Bodmin moor via the steepest climb in the area. So after 2miles or more of climbing we arrived at St Cleer with its impressive towered church. Now in wall to wall sunshine. It is May is it not? Now we started to descend to Liskeard. Passing through I noticed the old HQ of Caradon District Council, now Cornwall Council. We now found ourselves on the big drop to Looe, following the course of the East Looe river & Liskeard to Looe railway line. Passing a wishing well on the way as well? On the approach to Looe Trevor being a nautical person remarked at the presence of sea mist/fog. So on went the wind proofs as the temperature had plummeted. Soon in West Looe we found a cafe & admired West Looe island whilst consuming cake & Coffee/tea. Suitably refreshed we headed homeward toward Hessenford. Here we got off the main road which Trevor was glad of. Now on a narrow country lane
following the river Seaton towards Castle motors, with its famous helicopter port. As we passed through I noticed they had got the English electric lightning jet re-painted at last. Over the A38 & on up to the hamlet of Bethany & shortly after turning left & onto Blunts with its defibrillator in a red phonebox. Here Dave suggested a short cut (Private road). To avoid the big climb up to Pillaton. Well done Dave. On arrival in Saltash Trevor said farewell, so Dave & myself headed to our homes in Saltash. I had 54miles on the clock & I new it?
We all gathered at Plymco for this weeks ride, our designated leader Nigel failed to make an appearance, we had 4 "A" riders , Myself, Andy Prideaux, Mike Willacy & John Durham also Anna & Bryan for the "B"riders.
Bryan & Anna set off towards Otter Nurseries we did the same but by a different route, heading towards Saltram were we met a load of runners doing a 10Km, weaving among them we carried on to the old Laira Bridge road taking a left to Plymstock to join the old railway track come cycle path to Radford park & exiting on to the Hooe road.It was then right up the hill and second left onto Hooe Hill ( Murder Hill), here we managed to lose Mike who we assumed had missed the turning a carried straight on down to Hooe. The three of us carried on and struggled up this mighty hill hoping to meet him on the top road, which we eventually did with Mike riding through Jenni Cliff and up the other hill.
All together again we carried on to Down Thomas and then Heybrook Bay,here we dismounted to walk up the track to Wembury Point and tarmac again.Taking in the beautiful vista and a photo-call, we then set of on the coastal road taking in Langdon Court, Wembury, turning left at the Odd Wheel pub & then up to Ridge Cross and turning right past the Cemetery on on the lanes to Otter Nurseries.
After tea/coffee and cakes, well three of us had scones but Mike settle for a very large Chelsea bun covered in icing with a cherry on top to top up his energy.Here Mike & John left us to head back and Andy and I headed towards Brixton, but then we turned off in to the lanes because the traffic was to so bad. Carrying on the lanes to Yealmpton Andy left me to head back and I carried on skirting Yealmpton to join the main "B" road and the left again joining the lanes heading for Westlake and then back to Ivybridge.
We had a beautiful sunny day but the wind was a bit cold and I covered 35.7miles
Five of us turned up at Ivybridge Station, Myself, Ted Greenberry, Dave Newman, Andy Prideaux & Graham B on a beautiful sunny day. After the obligatory photo from Ted we set off crossing the main road into the lanes at Filham, continuing on towards Sheepham Bridge, Mary Cross and on to The Thatches Holiday Village.Stopping on the B road up a long incline and taking the first right to Chillaton cross, turning left here and on to join the main B road to Loddiswell and left in to Chilli Farm. There were a few other bikes parked outside which we found out belonged to Graham Brodie and a group of Torbay Riders who had rode from Newton Abbot. Ted decided to treat our lot to coffee which was much appreciated, Dave was having a good chat to the Torbay lot catching up on all the gossip.
Fully refreshed with coffee and chilli chocolate we join the main road again and turned the next left for the nice picturesque long down hill to Topsham Bridge. We all dismounted to take in the view and the peacocks on the roof of the house nearby, which were very vocal. Ted decided to climb on the bridge parapet to take yet more photos, which concerned us a bit.With Ted safely back on the road we set off again up the lanes to Hendham house, the lane was abloom with Bluebells,Primroses,Red & White Campion,Wood Anemones and many more wild flowers, a feast to behold. It was then on to Preston Cross and down the long hill to join the B road to Gara Bridge. Here we were treated to another lovely site of a Bluebell wood packed with these lovely blooms. Then it was tackling the long hill up to the pub at California Cross with beer the order of the day.With our fill of beer and trying to stop Graham who was tempted by the hammocks in the beer garden to stop for a nice sleep, we set of back to Ivybridge.
A good day was had by all in glorious sunshine, and Ted managed to last all the way round with just 27.1 miles on the clock.
The day weather wise did not conform to it billing and I soon realised that wearing shorts today was not a good idea. There was seven riders from the start of the ride at Torpoint and we made our way to Maker camp, the first stop of the day and the route took us along narrow lanes with a strong smell of early parsley and wild garlic. It was decided to have our teas and cakes inside, due to the cold wind. Afterwards Graham R and Mike made their way home and the rest of continued on to Seaton and the beach cafe to make a day of it. Whilst having our stop there Trevor received a mysterious text message from Graham J, saying he was heading back due to "fast food" but there was no mystery to where my bowl of chessy chips very quickly disappeared to because by now I was feeling quite hungry.
Continuing on Andy made his own way back and the remaining three struggled up the steep Deviock hill to Narkurs, Trerulefoot and David made his well trodden way back to Saltash. At this point I suggested to Trevor we have a pint at the Elliot pub in St Germans and it did not take much arm twisting. Arriving back at Torpoint with 35 miles covered and I have only used two bars out of my five on my e-bike and so think that I had worked off my bowl of chips!
P.S. Thought I would post a picture of what is was like going up Deviock hill from Seaton, of course Graham shot up on his Moped ( Electric Bike) You can just make out myself and Dave struggling up.
There were 5 of us brave souls at the Ridgeway, Ted, Graham B, Trevor, Bryan and myself. Ted was his old self insisting on a Photo - shoot before we set off. Ted decided to join the B ride with Bryan and whoever else turned up. Our destination was Tavistock via Lee Moor, Cadover Bridge and Yelverton where we decided upon a visit to Vieiras's cafe. Once in the cafe Trevor noticed a book which had had a picture of the author that looked a bit like Ted and he and was actually named Ted which we thought hilarious as we had just left him at Plympton. (See Photo )
The next stage of the ride was Walkhampton and Huckworthy Bridge where we had another photo shoot this time with Trevor as head photographer, upwards and onwards heading towards Samford Spinney we were confronted by a rather steep incline and a nameless third person zoomed pass us on his electric steed whilst Trevor and I struggled relentlesly.
Having reached the summit and passed through Samford Spinney and Whichchurch Down we approached Tavi where we had another coffee break at the East Gate cafe, by now the sun had approached us and it was more like Spring, after putting the world to rights it was back on the trail once more.
The ride home was through Tavistock meadows following the canal eventually joining Drake's Trail and arriving at Yelverton aerodrome where I seemed to have lost my rear light with the help of a certain cattle grid. Back on the Trail we decided to ride through Clearbrook up another steep hill leading to Cadover Bridge where we spotted an ice cream van and joined the masses. It was now homeward bound, leaving Trevor and Graham heading towards Cornwood and me Colebrook, Plympton. At the end of the day I clocked 41 enjoyable miles with good company to boot!
Rememer to scroll down for `B` riders report
It was nice to see the A & B teams muster together at the start catching up with all our news together and once we have had our official photo taken we each made off on our various planed routes.
Andy, Graham and Trevor took off fast heading for the steepest hills around then very carefully and not wanting to break any speed records Brian and Ted made our way down towards St Mary's Church Plympton where Anna joined up with us and took up the leadership for the most of our morning ride out.
Reaching the Sainsbury's Superstore we made our way over towards the Embankment road and at the end turning off towards the Laira Bridge which took us up to Saltram Park estate and then over to Morley Park which is advertising a stunning development for anyone wanting a four or five bedroom detached properties but no prices given.
Anna then proceeded onto the main A379 road and once we reached the Elburton crossroad we turned right and headed up onto our first challenged a rather steady incline but now speedy Brian took the lead and said he would wait for us at the top while Anna and Ted dropping down into low gear made it up without getting off and after another few turns along the road we made it into the Broadway Shopping complex.
Relaxing at the Rowe cafe for a nice cup of coffee which i understand is one of Brain's regular stops and to Ted's surprise at the counter, Brian order up his breakfast a rather large bacon roll and after over half an hours debate with another cyclist named George we then proceeded back towards the Laira Bridge again, at this point, we said goodbye to Anna.
Brian then lead me though Saltram and out onto the Underwood Road turning left into Dark St and back up to the Plympton Co'op
Overall a gentle 12 mile distance feeling very refreshed with the sun shining most of the time.
A very nice experience with Brian pointing out areas of interest.
Just the usual 4 turned up at the station car park,Myself, Graham B, Andy P & Dave Newman on a dry day but with the threat of rain later. Graham had his new electric bike which looked the real biz.
We set off towards Wrangaton then Avonwick and taking the back lane to Marley head to encounter our first hill, Graham soared past us all on his new bike.From here it was across the roundabout to Harbourneford Cross then a dog leg onto the lane leading to Moorshead cross. Then straight across at the junction to Moors Head (remains of) to the next really steep hill, Graham again shot past us all making it look easy.We then had a nice long downhill stretch to Deancombe and then onto Buckfastleigh. Riding through the town to the railway station cafe as opposed to the Salmons Leap as it was a bit larger to accommodate the Easter day trippers.This turned out to be a good move as even this cafe was heaving, I have never seen so many people in there before, we were lucky the queue was not to bad , but increased in size as more people piled in.I mentioned this to someone on the way out and he said it was probably due to all the Supermarkets being closed for Easter Sunday and they had nowhere else to go.
We headed off again and took the Ashburton road opposite the Salmons Leap cafe and took the first right to Pridhamsleigh, then another long hill up to Five lanes and onto Wash Cross. Turning right here through Wash, Bumpston Cross and on to the Staverton road, we turned right towards Ben`s Cafe/Farm shop. We arrived to find this closed due to the Easter Sunday trading laws.
We decided to pass on a second drink and head back before the rain started, so it was down to the main A384 turning left and over the bridge on the Dart to take the next right on to the Old Totnes road to Buckfastleigh. On this back lane we encountered another really steep hill, my front wheel was lifting off the ground with the effort of pulling back on my handle bars to make this climb and my bike turned sideways with me doing a slow motion fall and rolling back down the hill.Andy & Dave stopped to see if I was ok and then we could`nt get on our bikes due to the steep hill so decided to walk, to be greeted by a smug Graham taking a photo of us three walking up the hill.
Arriving back in Buckfastleigh we took the usual route back to South Brent, coming through Wrangaton we noticed the cafe was still open so stopped for our second Tea/coffee, just managing to catch them before they closed at 2.30. We came out to find it just starting to spit of rain, but managed to make it back to the station before the deluge
WE had clocked up 35-6 miles and Graham had only used less than half his battery, so the 60-80 mile range would be easy to achieve with sensible cycling.With Graham Flying up the hills and even on the flat with his battery turned off, we were really jealous of his new bike, well except for Dave he still can`t get his head round having straight handle bars and wide comfortable Tyre`s. But we all agree at the benefit it has made for Graham, in fact we think he looks 10 years younger. ( See Picture )