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CTC Exeter Sunday Rides Coffee Pots Bike Bus Devon News

South Hams Audax

Ride Report: Sunday 7th September 2008, Kirby James


Getting ready for the off
Debbie, Roy and Robin

Four Exeter riders - Roy Russell, Debbie Ironside-Smith, Robin Wheeler and Kirby James - arrived at the Old School Centre in South Brent only to find that we had missed the start of the Grunters 150 km Audax by minutes.

Concealing our disappointment as best we could we all switched our entries to the somewhat easier 100 km South Hams Audax.

Nicole Pethybridge raised our spirits by plying us with hot drinks and buttered malt loaf ... but in no time at all Michael Allen was rounding us up and sending us on our way.

Lining up for the start


Michael Allen sending them on their way


Robin and Roy setting off
Robin and Debbie alongside the A38

Under cloudy skies the route took us along the old road westward to Bittaford, through Ivybridge and along the cycle track alongside the busy A38 to Lee Mill.

Here we headed south through Yealmpton and dropped down to Bridgend. Here we all stopped to admire the view along Newton Creek to Noss Mayo.

The tide was in and by now the sun had come out so we were able to enjoy one of Devon's best known and loved views at its best.

From Bridgend we climbed up through Membland to the cliff top where we stopped again to admire the coastal views under the clear blue skies.

With a slight breeze behind us we sped along the cliff top and then dropped down through Ermington and Ugborough before rejoining the old road into South Brent and the finish.

I was feeling particularly pleased with myself as ... despite the stops ... it was the fastest that I had ever done a 100 km Audax.

Debbie and Robin near Yealmpton
View to Noss Mayo from Bridgend
Graham looking pensive
Robin and Debbie


Robin, Janet and Debbie near Slapton
Graham in front of the camera for a change

Unfortunately I hadn't read the back of the route sheet - and we were only half way round the route (err ... thanks for pointing this out Robin!).

Reluctantly I climbed back on my bike and followed the others back down towards the coast.

We passed through Avonwick, Diptford and Morleigh before descending into Slapton village and then turning along the coastal road to the cafe at Torcross.

The sea in Start Bay gleaned brilliant blue ... and after months of grey skies we all stopped by the sea wall to soak up the sunshine and the views.

Across the bay a massive white cruiser ... which looked like a wedding cake ... was waiting to enter Dartmouth Harbour.


Janet, Debbie and Roy
Graham giving directions

The cafe housed the final control ... and we all decided to stop for drinks and cakes.

Suitably refreshed we turned for the final leg.

We followed the main road up to Stokenham then past Pinkey's Cross and Coles Cross to reach Moreleigh for the second time before turning to drop down the steep hill into Harburtonford.

On the way Graham stopped to help a motorist who was hopelessly lost. This gave us all a breather.

From Harburtonford we followed the lanes back to Avonwick then over the A38 to South Brent.

Graham still giving directions

At the finish - much to my relief it was the finish this time - Michael Allen was waiting to stamp our cards and hand out more hot drinks, malt loaf and flapjacks.

Many thanks to Michael and his helpers Nicole, Sara and Grace for organising an excellent ride ... and excellent weather.


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CTC Exeter Sunday Rides Coffee Pots Bike Bus Devon News