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CTC Exeter Sunday Rides Coffee Pots Bike Bus Devon News

Leisure Ride with Exeter Outdoor Group

Ride Report: Saturday 8th November 2008, Kirby James

Exeter Outdoor Group arrive at Otterton

Two members of CTC Exeter - Jill and Sarah - are also members of the Exeter Outdoor Group. This group is affiliated to the Youth Hostels Association and arranges a series of weekly walks in Devon plus some walking weekends away. In addition they periodically take part in other outdoor activities such as canoeing and cycling.

The group has a greater social focus than CTC Exeter - and members regularly meet up mid-week for social activities. Most of the members are in their 40s and 50s.

I was lucky enough to be invited along on one of their bike rides.

The cyclists assembled at Topsham Station and were led by Jill along the lanes towards Woodbury. The pace of the ride was slower than a CTC run as the riders found flowers to study and ponies to pat. From Woodbury the group dropped down through Lympstone towards the new Estuary side cycle path. Two riders were keen to stop at Shears Cafe but Jill - knowing how far they had to cycle - encouraged them to continue. This didn't stop several riders from snatching a quick drink from their thermuses before pressing on.

In Exmouth another mutinous group threatened to raid the sea front cafes - but the possibility of getting lost persuaded them to follow the leader along the converted rail path to Budleigh.

After negotiating the town the group were then allowed to stop in the sunshine at the Longboat Cafe for lunch.

Stopping to pat the pony

Jill then rounded up her party and led them over the White Bridge and along the picturesque lane above the River Otter which was still swollen by the rain of the previous week. Jill had planned to stop at the Mill Cafe in Otterton but sadly it had been badly flooded and remained closed. Undetered she led us onto the newly refurbished cafe in East Budleigh which has now been renamed Fancy That. Janice Voce has taken over the cafe and has given it a unique Caribbean feel.

After a refreshing stop weary legs took the riders up through Yettington, over Woodbury Common, down through the back streets of Woodbury - and after another chance to pat and feed ponies - back to Topsham.

Many thanks to Jill for leading this interesting ride and to her colleages in the Exeter Outdoor Group for their good company.

If you fancy weekend walks or the occasional bike ride with a friendly bunch of individuals - try a day out with the Exeter Outdoor Group.

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CTC Exeter Sunday Rides Coffee Pots Bike Bus Devon News