2014.04 April – Devon C2C ride

Draft – to be completed

Thursday 24th to Monday 28th April – Devon C2C.
Day 1 – drive to Ilfracombe and overnight at Sherborne Lodge.
All gathered at 8TC to load the bikes and for tea and departure at 11.00am, collecting MA from Taunton station after a lunch stop just after Salisbury, denying JR of his annual visit to the Little Chef!
Arrived at Sherborne Lodge to be firstly taken on a tour of the premises by the proprietor (John Bradley’s brother we decided), being informed of exactly where we would be sitting for our breakfast as well as other rules of the establishment, earning him the title of Mr OCD.
Evening walk to see Verity before taking an aperitif (or three) in a free house with excellent real ales – having to revisit because we had to wait before we could have a table at the selected restaurant (The Smugglers).
Naughty John caught taking coffee from the filter machine at breakfast rather than waiting to be served added to the Mr OCD image, but otherwise an excellent brek with the usual banter as all anticipated the rides ahead.

Day 2 – ride to East Yarde and overnight in the yurt.
PT & JR on LSV duty, MA, MT, AM & RT set off following the Satmap, getting lost a couple of times. Decided on a diversion to Woolacombe bay which was well worth it and AM found the vehicle he has always wanted:-

The wanna-be-a-Mead vehicle
The wanna-be-a-Mead vehicle

But then there was the view of the bay:-

Woolacombe Beach
Woolacombe Beach

Excellent ride parallel to the beach before turning inland. A while later MA suffered a rear end blow out outside the home of Henry Williamson, author of Tarka the Otter:-

MA suffers a rear end blow-out

Met up with the LSV drivers for a lunch in Braunton. Afterwards cycled to the vehicles at Instow with weather a bit drizzly, but it soon cleared up. PT and JR on LSV duty again whilst the others continued along the Tarka Trail to East Yarde preparing themselves for a night in a yurt:-

Yurt at East Yarde
Yurt at East Yarde

Inside t

Day 3 – ride to Lydford, and overnight at Heathergate Farm with Mrs Crocker (Angela to John).

A chance remark by John to Paul in the buffet at Okehampton station that “I was sad that the station master had failed to present himself to the FGCC when (instant karma) he did appear and suggested that for £3 each we could save ourselves 3 miles of cycling which we duly did; bikes in the guard’s van in no time!”. RT, MA, AM & JR leapt at the opportunity for a ride on a diesel train that brought back many memories of commuting in our early careers.

Evening in the Dartmoor Inn, a little on the pricey side but excellent food and drink with John minded to add to his number of fiancees in the region. As he said later of the innocent barmaid Kirsty “My obvious memory is of my engagement party as well as the excellent company of the others in the FGCC who seemed to derive so much amusement from blossoming young love unfurling before them”.

Day 4 – ride (!) to Ugborough and overnight at Hillhead Farm
A tough day for RT & AM, who were the drivers for the morning. Drove to a point alongside the track near The village of Shaugh Prior (not Shaun Cross!).

Day 5 – return to Findon.