Saturday 10 April 1982
Tour: Cornwall Day 2: Golant to Tintagel YH
12 present: Colin Brierly, Jean Brierly, Valerie Farrell, Michael Jones, Frances Lofty, Jackie Lofty, Mark Morton, Kevin Presland, Robert Spence, John Stuart, Mike Ward, Nigel Wilson
This shop, in Quay Street, Lostwithiel, appears to sell more than just antiques
Rob and Colin in our cosy attic dormitory at Golant youth hostel
Rob Spence in Fore Street, Lostwithiel, with the old Corn Exchange building on the left
Rob Spence explores the walkway from Quay Street to South Street in Lostwithiel
Rob Spence has fun while Pete Luxton tries to take a nap at the lunch spot near Newbridge Wood
St Bartholomew's Church, Lostwithiel
Jackie, Mark and Frances at the Jamaica Inn, Bolventor (Photo: Kevin Presland)
Laurence, Nigel, Wendy and John look on while cheeky Rob returns to his lunch lair, near Newbridge Wood
Jean Brierly, Pete Luxton (asleep again), Jean Luxton, Iris Buckler and Colin Brierly relaxing in the Tintagel youth hostel common room
Jean Luxton approaches the magnificently-located Tintagel youth hostel
Colin Brierly, Nigel Wilson, Wendy Luxton, Iris Buckler and Jean Brierly in the Tintagel youth hostel common room
At half past nine on a sunny Saturday morning we climbed up the track from Golant to Castle Dore. Most of the Exeter bunch intended to explore the Fowey that morning so we split, with the bulk of us cycling on to Lostwithiel for morning coffee. A short while later the Exeter Section arrived minus Bernard, who had been mislaid en route. After thirty minutes pondering over the possible wrong turnings he could have taken, he arrived intact if not unflustered!

Suitably refreshed we took the first left off the main road and climbed up the lanes to a quiet lunch spot overlooking the Fowey Valley. Entertainment was provided by Jackie’s tennis ball, found near the Torpoint Ferry the previous day.

We dropped down a lovely one-in-five gradient with plenty of bends, and joined the A38 in the valley. At this point, five of us took a wrong turning after going back to fetch something from the lunch spot, which caused some unnecessary waiting at junctions for the others. A lovely run up the valley ended abruptly as we turned left up the hill to St Neot. Still upwards, we pedalled over the moor past the future Colliford reservoir. We found the A30 and battled into the wind past the Jamaica Inn, stopping for a well-deserved coffee at Trewint.

Turning left off the main road we descended through Altarnun before encountering a four-mile drag up through Davidstow Moor, until at Slaughterbridge we finally started to drop off the moor towards Tintagel, where the separated groups met. That evening, Kevin discovered that butter wouldn’t melt on his “baked” potato – funny chap, this warden! Never mind, the tea was good!

(Michael Ward)

Rode via Lostwithiel. Jackie left gloves so "we" went back up the hill to retrieve them and lost the others. Made our own way to Tintagel. I recall Bernard from Exeter getting lost and being left behind.

(Kevin Presland, diary extract)

Sunday 11 April 1982
Tour: Cornwall Day 3: Tintagel to Elmscott YH
12 present: Colin Brierly, Jean Brierly, Valerie Farrell, Michael Jones, Frances Lofty, Jackie Lofty, Mark Morton, Kevin Presland, Robert Spence, John Stuart, Mike Ward, Nigel Wilson
Tintagel youth hostel
Tintagel youth hostel
Fabulous sea views from Tintagel youth hostel past Higher Penhallic Point, with Gull Rock in the distance
Tintagel youth hostel from the front
Frances, Mark, Jackie and Mike Ward admire Tintagel Castle (Photo: Kevin Presland)
Walking down the valley road from Tintagel to the castle
View back to the gift shop, from Tintagel Castle
View across Tintagel Haven to Barras Nose, from Tintagel Castle
View to Tintagel church and the coast path to the hostel, from Tintagel Castle
View back to the lower and upper courtyards, from Tintagel Castle
John Stuart in the entrance to Tintagel Castle
John Stuart in Tintagel Castle
Mike Ward, Frances, Jackie and Mark at Tintagel Castle, looking towards Tintagel Head (Photo: Kevin Presland)
Tintagel Castle from the Lower Courtyard
Boscastle, with the youth hostel near the harbour
Morning coffee at Boscastle
Descending to Millook, with Widemouth Bay beyond
Preparing to leave Boscastle after morning coffee
Jackie Lofty on the road to Millook
Pete Luxton descending to Millook
Peace and tranquility for lunch at Millook
Wendy Luxton at the lunch spot at Millook
Lunch at Millook
Lunch at Millook
Supper at Elmscott youth hostel
An ice-cream stop at Widemouth Bay (Photo: Kevin Presland)
Supper at Elmscott youth hostel
Supper at Elmscott youth hostel
Board games in the common room at Elmscott hostel
Michael outside Elmscott youth hostel
The first thing on the agenda next morning was a visit to King Arthur’s Castle, which looked impressive in the morning sun. There followed a short cycle up the coast to Boscastle for elevenses. By this time it was getting hot, and Pete Luxton’s knees saw the sun for the first time this year! We took the lanes following the coast to Millook, where we stopped for a well-deserved lunch – in North Corwall one cycles three miles up and down to do one mile on the map!

After climbing up out of Millook we were rewarded by a magnificent view of Bude Bay, followed by some magnificent ice-creams from the beach-hut at the bottom of the hill. From Bude we joined the A39 and plugged on through Kilkhampton to Welcombe Cross. From here the group split, some taking the direct route through Welcombe, finally meeting at Elmscott youth hostel.

Those who visited Elmscott last year were pleasantly surprised by the improvement in the standard of the food and friendliness of the warden. The hearty meal was devoured (just) by all.

(Michael Ward)

There was a cat on my bed this morning, so I deposited it on Nigel Wilson's bed. The warden told Michael off for something, not sure what though. Averaged 3mph to Bude. Rob Spence had loads of punctures.

(Kevin Presland, diary extract)

Sunday 11 April 1982
Day ride: Millcombe
1 present: Don Hassall
Whilst we were enjoying ourselves in Cornwall, Don Hassall was giving up his Easter morning to lead the alternative ride. Unfortunately, however, all the youngsters were otherwise occupied and nobody else joined him at the Totnes pick-up. Never mind, I’m sure he enjoyed the ride on that sunny Easter morning – many thanks Don, and apologies on behalf of all those who didn’t join you.

(Michael Jones)

Monday 12 April 1982Tour: Cornwall Day 4: Elmscott to Home
12 present: Colin Brierly, Jean Brierly, Valerie Farrell, Michael Jones, Frances Lofty, Jackie Lofty, Mark Morton, Kevin Presland, Robert Spence, John Stuart, Mike Ward, Nigel Wilson
The group at Meddon, between Hartland and Bradworthy
The very rural location of Elmscott youth hostel
Lunch, three miles before Okehampton (Photo: Kevin Presland)
The group at Meddon
The next morning was warm and with the following wind immediate thoughts of distances were forgotten. Following the lanes on one of Colin’s devious routes we avoided most of the hills and a steady pace was soon built up. We couldn’t find a coffee spot so we cycled until lunch, which was eaten three miles outside Okehampton in some splendid countryside, with views of Yes Tor and the Okement valley. Jackie’s tennis ball provided entertainment once more, and the field was found to be wet in places!

The Exeter and Torbay Sections parted in Okehampton. Torbay Section had a lovely ride to Moretonhampstead for afternoon tea. Whilst we were waiting near the bikes for the others and enjoying the sun, one of Robert’s tyres suddenly let out a hissing noise and went flat! Poor old Robert – I think he’d lost count of the number of punctures he’s repaired over the weekend! We continued down the valley to Bovey, where everybody went their separate ways.

So good weather again this year, and a tour that was enjoyed by everyone. We look forward to next year!

(Michael Ward)

Stopped for lunch just before Okehampton. Coffee at Moretonhampstead.

(Kevin Presland, diary extract)

Sunday 18 April 1982
Day ride: Scoriton Down
8 present: Colin Brierly, Stephen Downer, Valerie Farrell, Michael Jones, Mark Morton, Glenn Powling, Mark Sheppard, John Stuart
Valerie exercises caution on the way to Chalk Ford
Starting the descent from Lud Gate to Chalk Ford, with Scoriton Down beyond
Lunch at Chalk Ford, with Valerie, John, Glenn, Mark Morton, Mark Sheppard and Stephen Downer
The final rough section to Chalk Ford
Michael once again fails to reach the group before the ten seconds was up, much to everyone's amusement
Michael's first attempt at a timed group shot
Fun and games near Chalk Ford while John repaired his puncture
Stephen Downer at the boggy stream that we had to cross to reach to Chalk Ford
Clan wars continue, with Mark Morton and Michael vs Glenn, Mark Sheppard and Stephen
Clan wars across the river Mardle near Chalk Ford
Mark Sheppard and Stephen Downer proceed with caution down the stony track to Scoriton
On April 18th, three of our mob were involved with the Torbay Cycle for Peace (TCP for short – the sponsored gargle), which was held in Paignton. They raised nearly £20 between them for the Ecology Party at the expense of some very valuable attendance points – well done all of you!

The rest of us met at Dart Bridge, Buckfastleigh for our ride to Scoriton Down. The weather was superb as we set off up the hill to Cross Furzes, and it wasn’t long before everyone was removing items of clothing – we usually aim to go down Wallaford Road, not up it! A little way past Cross Furzes we turned left down the track to Hayford Hall – Stephen and Mark were pointing earnestly at something the bush behind the dead-end sign, but I never did establish what it was! We were mauled by several dogs as we passed Hayford, and just when we thought we’d escaped, another one appeared a bit further along the track. Fortunately its owner managed to control it in time, and we were on our way once again.

At the end of the stony track was a gate, and on the other side of the gate was … grass, ferns and open moorland! We pretended it was a tarmac road and sailed across the heath and down the hill. As we approached the bottom we discovered a beautiful glade beside a pool: that would most certainly do for lunch, so coats were laid out under the trees.

After a while, Yours Truly through it would be a fine idea to take a few photos. So far so good, but the best place to take the photo was on the opposite side of the stream. I got a foot-full of water from the soggy moss, but eventually I made it and perched the camera on a conveniently-situated tree. Ah, thought I, what a good idea, I’ll set the camera to automatic and be in the picture myself! Well, I thought I could make it back across that stream in ten seconds, but several wet feet and muddy jeans later I had a good set of marathon photo-finishes!

Whilst we were enjoying the peace of the district, an enormous explosion ripped through the air and brought us all to our senses rather abruptly. On investigation it turned out that John’s rear tyre had burst rather dramatically, so Messrs Sheppard, Downer, Morton and Jones amused themselves by exploring the extent of the footpath leading away from our lunch spot. It disappeared down into the woods, but at the bottom there was a clearing by the river and we spent a good hour throwing stones into the river from opposite banks – simply to get each other wet, you understand! Just when we were in full battle, along came a group of Welsh hikers who settled down under the trees to watch the entertainment. They planned to camp there that night, and I must say I was a trifle envious – it was a lovely spot.

When we finally got back to the others, Colin had almost finished reading the paper and was just contemplating going to sleep! It really was getting on though, so we forced ourselves back onto the bikes and made our way over to Scoriton. We finished off a lazy day by wandering through the lanes to Denbury, feeling thoroughly content.

Sunday 25 April 1982
Day ride: Lannacombe Beach
14 present: Colin Brierly, Jean Brierly, Stephen Downer, Valerie Farrell, Michael Jones, Frances Lofty, Kim Marshall, Mark Morton, John Pope, Kevin Presland, Richard Read, Mark Sheppard, John Stuart, Mike Ward
Richard Read at Lannacombe Beach, with Stephen Downer and Mark Sheppard
Jean and Colin Brierly relaxing after lunch at Lannacombe Beach
Stephen Downer successfully rides the sand at Lannacombe, encouraged by Mark Sheppard
John Stuart, Stephen Downer and Mark Sheppard on Lannacombe Beach, with our sheltered lunch spot on the rocks
Mark Sheppard, John Pope, Richard Read, John Stuart, Kevin Presland, Mark Moreton, Kim Marshall, Michael Ward and Frances Lofty
Our lunch spot at Lannacombe Beach
Frances Lofty enjoys the fabulous views across Slapton Ley from above Torcross
Richard Read, Michael Jones, John Stuart, John Pope, Kim Marshall, Kevin Presland, Michael Ward, Mark Morton & Frances Lofty
Some of our very naughty members pay their last respects to Michael's trainers, buried on Slapton Sands: Frances Lofty, Mike Ward, Kevin Presland, Kim Marshall and Richard Read
And that brings us to the last Sunday in April. The destination was Lannacombe Beach, and just for a change the weather gods had forgotten to read the runs list – the sun was shining on us again! Fourteen of us gathered at the Totnes pick-up, and after slogging our way up through the town we set course via Harbertonford and Moreleigh at Warp Ten in order to get to the beach by lunchtime. The scenery around the Start Point peninsula is quite wonderful, and I am sure we will be returning to the area again in the near future.

On arriving at the beach we had to negotiate a fresh-water stream before we could park the bikes safely. A sheltered portion of beach between the rocks was soon located, and saddlebags were duly unpacked. Just after lunch Kim and Frances disappeared behind a rock, and the next thing we saw was a pair of pink figures running down the beach towards the sea. Michael and Kevin soon followed, but the rest of us had more sense. Colin pointed out the figures in the distance and remarked that soon we wouldn’t be able to see them against the blue background! Sure enough they were soon back, shivering but apparently happy. Next, Stephen and Mark S entertained us by riding around on the sand, and to conclude the programme we ambled along the shore in search of treasure – in the event, all we found were some very sharp rocks that halved the speed of the bare-footed ones!

But all good things come to an end, and so it was that we began the long journey homewards via Slapton and Strete. We were still to have a couple of punctures to mend, and my training shoes were to be laid to rest in Slapton Sands, but we were in no particular hurry that evening.

(Michael Jones)

On the way down the lane to the beach we met a car on a bend, so Kim and I rode either side of him to get past. The motorist then complained to Michael!

(Kevin Presland, diary extract)

Wednesday 28 April 1982
Evening ride: Stoke Gabriel
4 present: Dave Eyre, Michael Jones, Justin Landen, Jason Parnell
Justin Landon and Jason Parnell at Stoke Gabriel
Justin Landon and Jason Parnell at Mill Pool, Stoke Gabriel
The inimitable Dave Eyre, Marldon Postmaster, at Stoke Gabriel
No report currently available.

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Saturday 1 May 1982Social: May Fair, Maypool Youth Hostel
5 present: Don Hassall, Michael Jones, Mark Morton, Kevin Presland, Mike Ward
Don Hassall admires the spectacular view down the River Dart towards Dartmouth, from Maypool youth hostel
Michael Ward's Highwayman stand at Maypool youth hostel's May Fair, with Kevin adjusting his bike and Don and Mark looking on
The May Pool, just below the hostel, and the view to Dartmouth
The front terrace at Maypool youth hostel
Football games with Chris, Owen and Paul on the lawn at Maypool youth hostel
The month got off to a good start with Maypool’s May Fair, held at the hostel on May Day. Surprisingly perhaps, the weather was superb – sunny and yet not too hot – and the few who attended thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Michael Ward and some of the other younger members organised a side-show in aid of the Highwayman, raising £2.40 by the end of the afternoon. Many thanks are due to Dave and Jen (the wardens) who laid on a delicious spread of food; I’m only sorry that more local folk didn’t come along. Still, our lot enjoyed playing football with Chris, Own and Paul (the warden’s children).

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Sunday 2 May 1982
Day ride: Hill Bridge (SX 532803)
5 present: Valerie Farrell, Mark Morton, John Pope, Kevin Presland, Mike Ward
Next day we embarked on a new venture which had been planned for several months – our first split in an attempt to cater more successfully for the harder riders in the group. The Afternoon Run took place as usual, but the keen ones set off at 9.30 for Mary Tavy.

I attended the Afternoon Run, but on the way back to Buckfastleigh from Marldon I came across Mark and Michael from the Day Ride. Things had evidently not gone quite according to plan: Michael was bruised and scratched and so was his bike. They came back to Redmount for a drink and some patching up, and then the whole sad story emerged.

Whilst cycling to the Totnes pick-up with Kevin that morning, John Pope had run into the hedge on Dartington Hill, landing up with a cut chin amongst other injuries. Some friends came to collect him after a telephone call. Later on in the day, Michael had run out of road at the bottom of a hill near the destination, leaving him with a multitude of cuts and bruises – they managed to hobble on to get within sight of Mary Tavy before heading home with all speed.

When I telephoned John that evening I discovered that he had been to hospital for stitches and was feeling very much under the weather, and on the following Wednesday evening run Michael informed us that he had a small fracture in his wrist! Everyone has now recovered I’m glad to say, so let’s forget about that ill-fated ride.

(Michael Jones)

Sunday 2 May 1982
Afternoon ride: Woodland
10 present: Paul Betts (Junior, Paignton), Colin Brierly, Dave Eyre, Paul Harman, Michael Jones, Frances Lofty, Kim Marshall, Neil Pena (Junior, Dartington), Richard Read, Matthew Tewson
The Afternoon Run went quite well, with two new youngsters joining us for the first time - Paul Betts from Paignton and Neil Pena from Dartington. It was also good to see Matthew and Richard back with us again after a short break, during which time I understand they have been learning about life under canvas. I think it will not be too long before Torbay embarks on a series of cycle-camping trips!

But back to the Run, and the ten of us set off for a ride around Compton, Denbury and Woodland. It wasn’t too long before Paul was lost – three minutes in fact – and as time went on he was obviously getting a little concerned about something. “When are we going to turn back?” was the question that came out. His mind was put at rest when we described the circular nature of our proposed route. Neil enjoyed the ride, showing the world that he really has done a good deal of cycling on his own. Frances and Kim, who had found the afternoon unusually peaceful (!), left us near Landscove to return to Totnes with Neil whilst the rest of us wandered back towards Marldon via Ipplepen.

(Michael Jones)

Wednesday 5 May 1982
Evening ride: Decided on the Day
2 present: Michael Jones, Mike Ward
Report unavailable.

Sunday 9 May 1982Day ride: Blackpool Sands
14 present: Colin Brierly, Jean Brierly, Colin Downie, Valerie Farrell, Simon Haly, Paul Harman, Michael Jones, Frances Lofty, Mark Morton, Kevin Presland, Richard Read, Matthew Tewson, Mike Ward, Nigel Wilson
Matthew Tewson finally thrown into the sea by Mark Morton and Michael Ward
Mark, Kevin and Michael Ward prepare to give Matthew Tewson a thorough soaking at Blackpool Sands
Frances Lofty had planned to stay out of the sea ..
Fourteen members met at Totnes for our trip to Blackpool Sands on 9th May. Kevin and Michael led us down through the lanes to Moreleigh and Blackawton, finally emerging at Blackpool just in time for lunch. The sun was set in a cloudless sky that afternoon, even though I understand it was misty over the moors, and we settled down on a peaceful part of the beach. During the two and a half hours we spent there, three or four went for a bathe (which lasted two minutes), Matthew got thrown in and everyone got sand down their clothes – including Jean and Colin! It was a lot of fun, though, and we all felt that summer was here to stay as we ate our ice-creams and lazed around.

As with all good things, however, the time eventually came to depart, and so it was that Colin and the youngsters made their way back to Paignton over the ferry whilst the rest of us wandered back through Diptford and Rattery.

(Michael Jones)

[1 point: Nigel Wilson, Colin Downie]

Sunday 16 May 1982
Day ride: Devon BCTC Heat, Bovey Tracey
21 present: Phil Benstead, Frank Boyes, Colin Brierly, Jean Brierly, Colin Downie, Don Hassall, Antony House, Dave Incoll (Junior, Devon), Michael Jones, Frances Lofty, Kim Marshall, Mark Morton, John Pope, Glenn Powling, Kevin Presland, Richard Read, Sue Shepley, Robert Spence, Matthew Tewson, Mike Ward, Nigel Wilson
Marshalling at Rudge Hill, Lustleigh
Frances, Matthew, Kim and Richard helping Michael with marshalling at Rudge Hill, Lustleigh
May 16th was the date of the BCTC Heat at Bovey Tracey. All those who managed to get up early enough made their own way to the start for 9.15, ready for the day’s activities. Eight Torbay members rode the event, including new rider David Incoll who has recently moved to the area from Oxfordshire. There were many other members present on and off during the day, helping with marshalling and catering or just spectating, so all in all there were 20 of us at the event.

Whilst we were chatting outside the village hall in the afternoon we heard the church gate creaking just opposite us. There was a deathly quiet as everyone looked up. Frank Boyes, whom no-one had seen for nineteen weeks, was emerging from the graveyard with his bike! When we were all fairly confident that he wasn’t a ghost he was given a very warm welcome, and our minds were put at rest when he told us that he had merely taken a short-cut through the church grounds. Thanks for making the effort to come Frank – it was good to see you.

A full report on the course is give below, and it only remains for me to say thank you to Colin and Jean for a great day out. I know that everyone thoroughly enjoyed the event, including the three Plymothians who attended.

(Michael Jones)

The Devon BCTC heat on May 16th was blessed with warm sunny weather, and after a rather chaotic session at Bovey Tracey car park, where most of the entry forms were written out, riders started with a warming climb through Brimley. There was a pause just beyond Brimley for Cliff and Win Charlton to ask a few questions before a rough section to Liverton where many other cyclists congregated for “Mont’s Road Race”, causing minor confusion.

Time for another cup of coffee and another quiz near Blackpool school, then brains in gear to decide how long it’s going to take to ride to Fosterville, which is about six miles away. The brainwork was obviously pretty good because six riders were within two minutes of their estimate.

From Fosterville it was over Chudleigh Heath to Bovey and an early lunch to compensate for the early start; another quiz and four “observation photographs” didn’t seem to spoil appetites.

Afternoon map-reading clues were dished out and, with varying degrees of success, solved, before being checked and corrected as necessary. Following the route in practice didn’t seem to create too much problem, although I think a fair number kept their eyes on where Pete Luxton was going! Oh well, it didn’t affect the result and we didn’t have to send out search parties.

There was lots of activity back at Bovey where Jean, Sue, Doreen and other helpers were coping magnificently with preparing a superb salad tea, for (due to lack of bookings until the day) a completely unknown number of folk.

The results are listed below, and I hope the few entrants enjoyed their day’s riding, but it would have been nice to have had support from the DA’s strongest Section. Possibly members don’t want the event, in which case I hope they will attend the AGM and tell us.

Many thanks to the thirty-odd folk who turned out to marshal etc. - it was nice to see you all.

On the quizzes by the way, not many knew the colour of Jacobs Sheep (brown and cream patches), the owl that hoots (Tawny) or the other end of the Fosse Way (Lincoln), but nearly all can tell a grass snake from an Adder.

Position - Name (Penalty)

1 Pete Luxton (8)
2 Michael Ward (16) First Junior
3 John Pope (18)
4 Mark Morton (20)
4 Robert Spence (20)
6 Dave Incoll (23)
6 Kevin Presland (23)
8 Colin Downie (25)
8 Adrian Parkyns (25)
10 Martin Clarke (41)
11 Bernard Shapland (42)

Nigel Wilson and Phil Benstead did not finish.

(Colin Brierly)

Sunday 23 May 1982
Day ride: Mark's Bridge (SX 602572)
14 present: Colin Brierly, Jean Brierly, Iris Buckler, Stephen Downer, Valerie Farrell, Dave Incoll, Michael Jones, Mark Morton, Neil Pena, Kevin Presland, Richard Read, Mike Ward, Andrew Winstanley, Philip Wrigley
Woodburn Farm near Mark's Bridge (Photo: Kevin Presland)
Lunch at the entrance to Woodburn Farm near Mark's Bridge, Ivybridge: Stephen Downer, Andrew Winstanley, Neil Pena and Richard Read
Mark’s Bridge was the destination the following week, and the person from whom the bridge’s name is derived could not attend because of exams! Never mind, there were still twelve Torbay members out, and our numbers were boosted at Avonwick by the presence of Plymouth Section who had wandered our way.

Everyone was surprised to see Philip Wrigley out on his bike again – the last time we were so privileged was in August! Furthermore, after the completion of Ten Tors the previous week we were pleased to see Andrew Winstanley with us again – he tells us he completed the course easily!

We took the lanes through to Ivybridge and after a wrong turning into a private estate at Fardel eventually reached Mark’s Bridge. It turned out to be small and ugly – no reflection on the person of course! The area was very pleasant and we had a relaxed lunch hour under the shade of the trees. The route back took us through Ermington, where we stopped for ice-creams. Thanks to Michael and Kevin for again taking the lead – a very interesting route.

(Michael Jones)

[1 point: Mark Morton]
[3 points: everyone else]

Wednesday 26 May 1982Evening ride: Decided on the Day
0 present:
Exam season is with us once again, and the inevitable effect on a Section such as Torbay, with its high proportion of school-age cyclists, is that turn-outs have been a little below recent averages. Nevertheless there has been steady support for all the rides, not least Wednesday evening rides, on which Neil Pena has been the most notable recruit. The rides have been varied and interesting, including a trip around Brixham with Derek Cudmore on his first ride, a tour of Babbacombe and Cockington before the grockel season, and some excursions to Denbury and Ipplepen. Midweek evening rides are very pleasant at this time of year, and we are always pleased to see newcomers of all ages.

(Michael Jones)

Sunday 30 May 1982
Day ride: Challacombe Down
13 present: Phil Benstead, Colin Brierly, Jean Brierly, Iris Buckler, Valerie Farrell, Michael Jones, Frances Lofty, Mark Morton, Kevin Presland, John Stuart, Matthew Tewson, Mike Ward, Philip Wrigley
Walking the footpath over Challacombe Down
The last ride of the month was to Challacombe Down, near Postbridge. By this time revision was really beginning to take its toll, but on and off we saw thirteen people, plus two from Plymouth. Frances came as far as Ashburton, Phil Wrigley as far as Ilsington, Colin, Jean and Matthew as far as lunch, Iris as far as “just after lunch” and Phil Benstead as far as Ponsworthy!

We made it to the destination via Widecombe and sampled the beauty of the area by walking the footpath around the Down. The return route was through Poundsgate to New Bridge, where ice-creams were again the order of the day – we also had a chat with Walter Pearce, who looks after the National Park Information Centre. There were refreshments at Redmount yet again for those who made it that far.

(Michael Jones)

[1 point: Frances Lofty, Philip Wrigley]
[2 points: Colin Brierly, Jean Brierly, Matthew Tewson, Val Farrell]
[3 points: everyone else]

Sunday 6 June 1982
Day ride: Sidmouth
3 present: Colin Brierly, Kevin Presland, Mike Ward
Colin and Michael had set off from the pick-up point, accompanied by Kevin for a short distance before he returned to his books. They had a good ride via Otterton and Peak Hill, reaching Sidmouth by lunchtime. They returned through Woodbury Salterton and along the canal banks to pop in on Don for a “cuppa” before tackling the last hills through Combe-in-Teignhead to Torquay.

(Michael Jones)

[1 point: Kevin Presland]
[3 points: everyone else]

Sunday 6 June 1982
Afternoon ride: Shaldon
9 present: Jean Brierly, Stephen Downer, Dave Eyre, Michael Jones, Robert Leeke, Glenn Powling, Mark Richardson (Junior, Totnes), Michael Roberts, Philip Wrigley
June. The best month of the year in some ways, but also the month when revision reaches its climax and silence is maintained in the examination rooms. Yes, I know cycling’s great fun, but it’s worth missing out for just a few weeks, because certificates can be quite useful later in life. We ticked along though, with an average of nine out each week, and the high level of recruitment we have been seeing since Christmas showed no sign of a let up with six cyclists joining us during the course of the month, all aged between 11 and 17. If all the keen ones come out every week there’d be forty or more for our Sunday rides, and that would be quite a sight; but meanwhile we’ll aim to beat our current records of twenty one before the summer’s out – OK gang?

Sunday 6th June saw Stephen Downer, one of our most promising youngsters, turn up with yet another of his friends, this time Mark Richardson of Totnes, who is also fortunate enough to attend Totnes Comprehensive (!). Robert Leeke came along with them too. By the time Michael Roberts, Phil and the usual bunch had arrived we were nine in all, and since the weather was so pleasant we decided on a slightly longer excursion than usual for an Afternoon Run. And so it was that we set off through the lanes towards Stoke-in-Teignhead. I thought it would be nice to go through Haccombe, where Colin had taken us one Wednesday evening, but annoyingly I went for the wrong track again and completely missed the place – the white road on the map must have been so trivial in effect that we rode past it! “Oh well,” said Phil, “they sell some delicious ice-cream at Shaldon, so why don’t we .. “. But he didn’t get any further – we all disappeared down the road!

Not only were the ice-creams good, but so was the fudge, and the mince pies, and the scones … a very pleasant stop indeed. The village of Stoke-in-Teignhead was along our homeward route, which took us back to Marldon via Torquay and Shiphay – a lovely hill to finish on. I think Mark enjoyed his ride, although he was a little tired after tackling all those hills with his somewhat limited range of gears.

(Michael Jones)

Wednesday 9 June 1982
Evening ride: Decided on the Day
2 present: Stephen Davey (Junior, Marldon), Michael Jones
Report currently unavailable.

Sunday 13 June 1982
Day ride: Silveridge Wood (SX 728494)
6 present: Michael Jones, Kevin Presland, Richard Read, Mark Richardson, Matthew Tewson, Mike Ward
Lunch in Silveridge Wood
Lunch in Silveridge Wood, by the river Avon near Loddiswell
Richard Read and Michael Ward take the rear on our excursion along the old railway line
Our excursion on foot along the overgrown course of the old railway towards Topsham Bridge
Richard and Mark walking along the railway path while Kevin, Matthew and Michael Ward return on the other path
View to the river Avon from the disused railway bridge near the lunch spot in Silveridge Woods
A particularly overgrown section of the railway path
There were thirteen at Totnes the following week, but only six were to attend the full ride for a variety of reasons. When I’d handed my spare handlebars to Steven (I always carry a full set of spares!) together with a set of Cornwall maps, and all the farewells had been uttered, we set off up that wretched hill for the umpteenth time and took to the lanes at Harberton.

It was another beautiful day, and the country lanes around Beenleigh and Stert were looking their best. We bumped into a friendly face on the way down to Diptford (not literally), a friend of Michael’s call Rob Stanyon: we got an invitation to a cup of tea on the way home, and then met his good lady in the village. Some more attractive and little used (by us) lanes took us down to Bickham Bridge, and then it was a matter of slogging up the hill to California Cross for a bit of main road work to the destination – Silveridge Wood.

There was a clearly marked footpath from the main road down to the wood. At least, it was clearly mar on the map – we went past it at some speed and almost missed it as the sign post had long since been broken off. Either side there were open fields, but peering into the dark depths of the dividing “hedge” one could just make out a hollow cavity running down its length. As this was evidently the only way to our destination from this side of the river Avon, and as it was already well past lunch time, we bravely set off into the jungle, ignoring the nettles, brambles and “triffids” as best we could.

The strong smell of garlic got worse as we trampled down the undergrowth, or should I say as Mark trampled down the undergrowth, as he was up front - a bit unfortunate perhaps on his second ride. Some tried to ride but soon gave up as they came across piles of boulders and tree trunks across the path. Those who were wearing shorts reached the woods somewhat battered and torn, but even those with better protection were hungry. Things hadn’t gone exactly to plan, but we were ready to make the best of it in true CTC fashion and soon found a clearing by the river that was relatively free of unpleasant vegetation.

It occurred to us while we were eating lunch that we were unlikely to be disturbed for quite some time in this remote spot, and this proved to be the case for the next hour or so. Having seen the spooky old railway bridge through the trees we decided to do some exploring, and soon we had scrambled up onto the stony track. We tried to visualise what it must have been like on the old steam trains as we wandered northwards towards Gara – it really is a beautiful area. After a while we turned back to get the bikes, only to find two flat tyres on arrival: obviously there had been brambles lying in the undergrowth on the footpath.

As we were leaving we heard voices in the distance, and when they finally took shape they thanked us for clearing a path for them – what a cheek! We pushed the bikes up onto the bridge with some difficulty and set off along the railway course to Topsham Bridge and civilisation, where I repaired my puncture. What a relief to see tarmac again! From there it was fairly easy going past Preston Farm and Moreleigh Mount. We didn’t have time to return to Stert Mill for that cup of tea, but it’ll wait for another day I’m sure. Funny, but we didn’t try any more tracks or paths on the way home that afternoon!

(Michael Jones)

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