Sunday 23 November 1980
Day ride: Tinners' HutRain
6 present: Colin Brierly, Iris Buckler, Valerie Farrell, Michael Jones, Mark Morton, Nigel Wilson
A change of weather today, unfortunately for the worse and, for once, the “rain before seven” saying was not true. So when, at Avonwick, three rather moist riders from Marldon met an equally damp pair from Buckfast and Iris Buckler from Plymstock, it was decided that a lunch in the dry at home was the best proposition. There were times when we nearly needed lifebelts in the lanes through Rattery that we used as our homeward route, and I’ve rarely seen the Dart as high at Staverton Bridge.

(Colin Brierly)

Sunday 30 November 1980
Day ride: Start PointSunny but cold
14 present: Peter Adams, Colin Brierly, Colin Downie, Valerie Farrell, Don Hassall, Antony House, Carl Jeffereys, Michael Jones, Mark Morton, Kevin Presland, John Stuart, Matthew Tewson, Mike Ward, Nigel Wilson
Slapton Sands
Mark Moreton, Carl Jeffereys, Peter Adams, Don Hassell ,Colin Downie and John Stuart en route to Slapton
A fiery sunset on the way home
View back to Slapton from the track to Strete
Back to very cold but sunny weather for the last day in November and, when the “clans gathered” at Totnes we were fourteen. Progress was rather slow with care needed to watch out for patches of ice.

After using a lane route through Harbertonford and Moreleigh we found a patch of ice right on a bend near Coles Cross. Two riders had slight arguments with the road, but damage was minimal and before long we were sitting in a sheltered place in the sun enjoying our lunch.

Once again we decided that we weren’t going to reach our destination but we did see Start Point quite well from Slapton when we turned our faces from the very strong headwind. A couple of members were suffering badly from the cold as the sun set with a fiery glow, and clothes were pulled out of various saddlebags to get them back in working condition for the last miles from Tuckenhay to Totnes and then home.

(Colin Brierly)

We had a T-shirt meeting at Mike's after the ride.

(Kevin Presland)

Saturday 6 December 1980Social: Devon DA Annual Dinner
5 present: Frank Boyes, Don Hassall, Michael Jones, John Stuart, Mike Ward
Don Hassal and Mike Ward
Frank Boyes at the DA Dinner, Trecarn Hotel, Torquay
The DA Dinner
The DA Dinner
This year's Dinner took place at the Treacrn Hotel, Torquay

Sunday 7 December 1980
Afternoon ride: Stoke GabrielSunny
19 present: Frank Boyes, Colin Brierly, Colin Downie, Dave Eyre, Valerie Farrell, Don Hassall, Antony House, Michael Jones, Mark Morton, Kevin Presland, Richard Read, Sue Shepley, Jamie Spence, Robert Spence, John Stuart, Mike Ward, Sue Webber, Nigel Wilson, Philip Wrigley
Jamie Spence and friend - wearing Michael's cap - at Stoke Gabriel
Stoke Habriel - and this may be Michael Ward
Our December Afternoon Run was well attended with 16 members setting off from Five Lanes in bright sunny weather. We were pleased to welcome young Jamie Spence (accompanied by Father Spence) who has not been out for twelve months – curiously, tea was at Colin’s on that occasion as well!

Taking the lanes through Collaton St Mary we made our way to Stoke Gabriel at a fair pace. The quayside was in shade when we arrived, but the church on the hill was bathed in sunshine and made in impressive sight.

On the homeward route through Waddeton, temperatures dropped rapidly and some of the youngsters were soon suffering badly from the cold. Richard had to be escorted home but the rest of us met back at Colin’s for a sumptuous tea and snooker – many thanks. Funny isn’t it, but I could have sworn that Antony, Colin and Kevin had not been with us earlier in the day!

(Michael Jones)

Sunday 14 December 1980
Day ride: DittishamWet morning, sunny later
4 present: Colin Brierly, Michael Jones, Mark Morton, John Stuart
Rain Stopped Play for most people today. John and I met Colin and Mark at Totnes and, after a little deliberation, we decided to believe the forecast and press on. It rained through Ashprington and Tuckenhay and continued all the way through Cornworthy to Dittisham!

We decided to have lunch by the river, but within a few minutes there were four cocoons huddled up on the beach. It was quite secluded there until the pub opened behind us: suddenly there were voices behind us and several people staring at us through the large first floor windows – it’s not too difficult to imagine what they were thinking.

The rain stopped as we climbed back out of the village, and it wasn’t too long before the sun was shining on the Dart Valley once again. Corkscrew Hill behind us we diverted along the Harbourne River towards Luscombe Cross. By the time we reached Totnes again the sky was cloudless and the sun bright. The moral of this story is – come out on rainy mornings!

(Michael Jones)

Sunday 21 December 1980
Day ride: Hamel Down
6 present: Valerie Farrell, Antony House, Michael Jones, Mark Morton, Mark Shepherd, Mike Ward
Spitchwick, on the way home
Spitchwick, on the way home
Spitchwick, on the way home
Although the weather was good today, only six of us met at Bickington for the Hamel Down ride. Colin was down with a cold and others were no doubt partaking in various seasonal activities. We were just approaching Ilsington when Michael, Mark and myself found ourselves in rather intimate contact with the road – perhaps I shouldn’t have produced such a large bar of chocolate from my saddlebag while we were still riding!

Clouds were spreading quickly so we abandoned the idea of Hamel Down and had lunch beside Haytor Rocks. We were just gazing across the deserted moorland to the next tor, wondering who else could possibly be mad enough to be on Haytor in mid-winter, when John Pope appeared with his two dogs. Currently cycle-less he was not to be stopped from getting some fresh air (and some of our food).

Fun and games were had on the rocks before we finally went on our way again, leaving Antony who had to get back early. Cold East Cross and Pudsham took us to Buckland, and at Spitchwick we couldn’t resist a few photos. I didn’t even have to mention the word “tea” before everyone had invited themselves back for refreshments, and it was an hour later that we finally said farewell for another week.

(Michael Jones)

[2 points: Antony House]
[3 points: everyone else]

Sunday 28 December 1980
Day ride: Christmas Lunch Ride, Cockwood
17 present: Colin Brierly, Colin Downie, Madora Downie, Noel Downie, Robert Downie, Wendy Downie, Valerie Farrell, Martin Filham, Don Hassall, Grace Hassall, Antony House, Michael Jones, Kevin Presland, John Stuart, Mike Ward, Nigel Wilson, Philip Wrigley
The last week of 1980 saw our special Christmas Lunch run. Some chose to make their own way to the Ship Inn at Cockwood, but we were still eleven in number at Newton. Two shining new Christmas presents attracted plenty of attention before we set off for Kingsteignton – John and Kevin are fortunate indeed to have such generous parents.

The sun brought fields and trees to life as we continued through Ideford and Luton, and we felt on top of the world. The sharp bends down to Milton Hill were negotiated without incident and soon we were speeding past Black Forest Lodge towards Cockwood. Don, Grace and the others were there waiting for us and we sat down to enjoy a really sumptuous meal.

But there were more delights in store for us that day. As a Christmas Treat, Uncle Don had baked us some of his special mince pies, renowned by cyclists throughout the county for their flavour and texture. As you can imagine, the stretch of coastline between Cockwood and Dawlish was covered with remarkable speed, even though we were now seventeen in number.

I am sure we would all like to thank Don and Grace for providing such a fitting end to our activities for 1980.

(Michael Jones)

[3 points: The Downie Family, Antony House]
[4 points: everyone else]

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