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Exeter Bike Bus - Ride Reports - October 2010

28 October 2010 - Cullompton, Padbrook Park Golf Club

Last week the Bike Bus executed the most complicated manoeuvre it has ever attempted. Two independent Bike Buses arranged to cross each other's paths at a remote point in East Devon. This would give the passengers the opportunity to swap buses! Driver Rowland reports

A good turn out for BB2 with Tom R, Ted and Susan at Aylesbeare Cross then Ian joining us at the cross over with BB1 at New Inn Broadclyst. The main part of the ride was over the Bradninch hills in spite of which we arrived at the coffee pot two minutes early.

The two buses met as planned but unfortunately the concept of 'swapping' proved to be too complicated for the passengers - all of whom stayed on their original bus!

After coffee at Cullompton the remnants of the Bus rode down to Budleigh and back round the coast to Exeter.

Photo Competition

Below you will find two nearly identical pictures of Little Miss Scatterbrain (c) Roger Hargreaves. Examine them carefully and draw a circle around the five small differences. Entries should be sent to me together with the £2 entry fee before 10 November.

Miss scatterbrain.png

The Small Print: Terms and Conditions:

   * Family and relatives of Little Miss Scatterbrain are excluded
   * No correspondence will be entered into
   * The decision of the judge will be final

21 October 2010 - Crediton Station Tea Rooms

Last week the two most experienced Bike Bus Leaders were absent. In their absence Stephanie notes

This will be a short report due to the success of a pleasurable ride.

Not many people on bike buses – think some may have lost confidence in the absence of both our highly respected drivers (BB1 – Roger, Marilyn, Dougie, Hugh, Richard, Laura, Pauline; BB2 – Ian and Stephanie). Totally unfounded as novice leader on BB2 and beyond coffee pot, exceeded all expectations leading the ride seamlessly with no incident, i.e.:

  • Buses arriving at stops on time or early. Only one small hitch from new passenger, Wendy (J and T’s friend) who missed the Quay people – but this may have been due not being sure where on Quay to meet?
  • no unplanned multi – terrain experience
  • no lost passengers
  • no mechanical failures (although i did get a puncture as I rode into my yard at end of ride).
  • no adverse weather conditions
  • no ferocious dogs
  • no elderly tractor drivers in ditch
  • no riders fell off bikes
  • no complaints re: hills

In fact it all went so well, that on route from Crediton through Cheriton Bishop to Exeter, we had time for scientific experiments: –

  1. To determine what extra sense Ian has to locate the only cheesecake slab within a 10 mile radius?
  2. to determine the relationship between cycling speed and body density.

Recommend novice leader should now be promoted.

Bike bus route 2010 10 21.png

Bike Bus Intelligence leads me to believe that they stopped at the Woodleigh Coach House for refreshments.

Intelligence Report

Which reminds me ... one of the more disturbing pieces of intelligence received last week concerns one of our members who has previously shown herself to be supportive of the aims and ideals of the Bike Bus ...

Sue booth cruise.png

Photographic evidence shows said member quaffing a glass of champagne (which has for our more sensitive readers been Photoshopped out) whilst sitting on an electrically powered contraption (which rotates your legs with no effort on your part) whilst watching old DVDs of Miami Vice!

14 October 2010 - Uffculme, Cold Harbour Mill

Last week the Bike Bus timetables were carefully constructed so that the Rowland Feeder Service could arrive at the cafe 10 minutes before the main bus, however as Driver Rowland reports:-

A change of several faces this week with six passengers, Don,Tom, Ian and Glenis at Aylesbeare and Stephanie plus Hugh collected at Wimple. A little later a slight delay was caused by Glenis's chain block while at the same time two mad (young) tractor and large trailer drivers passed close by whilst using their mobile phones! Thought no more about it until a further high loaded truck passed near Kentisbeare. His load knocked a substantial branch of an overhanging tree dumping it just in front of your bus driver. Immediate avoiding action was necessary with just a fraction of off road as the bike rode over the foliage. Such assassination attempts are fruitless and dangerous for the perpetrator, as (is now well known) the driver has powerful senior friends in the Brownies.

John rowland tree.png

After coffee we headed along the canal to Tiverton where, given the cold weather, we decided to make use of Morrisons Supermarket cafe. Afterwards we took the ridge road back via Butterleigh and Silverton.

The report would normally end there ... but Stephanie has made a special request that I mention the hill out of Tiverton. Profile 2010 10 14.png

The hill in question is the one at 62 km. Stephanie particularly wants me to mention that the slope peaks at 22% (which she points out is more than one in five). She also wants you to know that the Ordnance Survey have incorrectly given the road just one chevron ... when it is very clear it should have two.

Mike Booth reports:-

Walking the hill gave us wise owls the opportunity to study the surroundings, rather than staring intently through a red mist at the front wheel. At risk of stating the obvious, I am sure we all noted the rocks exposed at the roadside as we climbed - the Exeter Group breccias from Tiverton to Hornhill, & the interbedded mudstones & sandstones of the Crackington Formation from Hornhill to Gogwell. A good job some of us were keeping our eyes open, eh?

Oh I forgot to mention ... Glenis, Ian, Trevor, Tom and Stephanie all rode up said hill.

7 October 2010 - Bernaville, Crewkerne and Chard

You may recall that last week we offered an attractive excursion to the depths of Somerset. Strangely this proved to be a step too far for many in the Bike Bus community and they chose to undertake a gentle excursion around Exeter ...

Mike Booth writes:

Just to explain our absence from the Bikebus 1 Excursion route today, we decided to try Bikebus 2 for a change. Sus & I rode out to the New Inn at Broadclyst & met Driver Rowland there. We were a little dismayed to be told "passengers must not talk to the Driver whilst the bus is in motion". This threw us a bit as we could not deliver our usual banter/criticism en route. We thought it was probably because this Driver is relatively new & is still sticking to the Safety Brief given at his training. However, progress through the back roads revealed an alternative more sinister reason - THIS WAS AN OFF-ROAD RIDE! We had heard rumours that Driver Rowland had a liking for such, but on the Bikebus, well really! Nevertheless, we all managed to negotiate the mud/silt/sand/gravel/potholes/fords etc & arrived safely at Bernaville.

After coffee, Judy & I took joint leadership (me leading, Judy doing a talking Sat-nav role) for 8 of us to ride via Bramford Speke, Thorveton, Silverton & Bradninch to Killerton for lunch. During coffee-time planning, the Sat-nav had assured me that "there were only a few little hills on this route". Whoa, don't you believe it! Somewhere between Silverton & Bradninch we climbed Mount Everest - well it must have been so, as we all needed oxygen when we reached the summit (actually not all, Tim cycled it - he's obviously superhuman, some sort of X-Man). The Sat-nav pretended we were only at 232m but I am now beginning to realise just how unreliable the info from these devices can be! From where I was stood, it looked like a view on Google Earth. Don't you believe all that rot about the Great Wall of China being the only man-made object to be seen from space - Stuart assured us he could see Exmouth Church!

On reaching Killerton, Stuart showed his Blue blood, heading straight for the dining room in the "big" house. He was eventually coaxed back to join us for sandwiches "below stairs" in the stables. After this sunny break, we were Exeter-bound, with various riders pealing off at different places on the way. Wonder how the Crewkerne & Chard Excursion runs fared?

On the other hand John Rowland wrote:

In spite of the Bike Bus Coach trip to and from Chard, BB2 still managed 6 passengers. Tim & Judy; Hugh, Mike 2 & Sue then Mike 1 joined us at Killerton. We arrived at Bernaville 4 seconds early! Rumours of complaints about driver Rowland (known to his friends as John) have been heard. Those who join BB2 are expected to behave and remain in their seats particularly when crossing difficult terrain. The fact that some peoples' ankles were submerged is just par for the course.

Meanwhile the more adventurous souls did indeed make it to Somerset ... a diagram might help to clarify events ...

Crewkerne dg.png

Stephanie wrote:

Kirby had planned a train assisted ride to Crewkerne and was led to believe this would be a popular choice. But with only 4 bikes allowed on one train, Ian decided to ride it alone to Chard to meet Kirby and co at Chard for coffee. Rumour got around of Ian’s planned route so Ted and I muscled in on the ride from Feniton (Ted was Sueless because she said she’d done enough miles this week – how is this possible?). Since Kirby found himself alone on the train, the Feniton arrivals sacrificed their start time in order to wave to Kirby as he passed through the station. The station master who had recently caught sight of us all near Tiverton) considered charging 10p for each wave from the platform. I managed to pull my bike alongside to offer Kirby the chance to jump off and join the group. We might even have chipped in to reimburse his Pensioners Rail Fare (before anyone judges my rudeness here, just read on). However, a rather smug Kirby declined the offer and as the train pulled away I couldn’t help but notice the young, tall, brunette in black lycra with a matching shiney black bike at Kirby’s side! Later on Kirby was heard to say that he had offered to help adjust her derailleur but must first “wave goodbye to my mum at Feniton”!

Ted wrote:

So, once we decided which way to go (left or right - eeny meeny miny mo - oh, such choices particularly with a train in the way !), off we set at a pace to warm up by, through Buckerell to Weston and, mmmm, Awliscombe. Strange methinks to arrive in Awliscombe, when Chard is not this way, and the only way from there is UP. Well once at the top of St Cyres Hill, Ian lets us into a little secret, doesn't he ? Ha ha. The route he devised takes in as many hills on the way to Chard as he could find, including deviating to find them. Well on the assumption that he is not into sado-masochism, the reason is that he wants to build his strength for 'The Devil'. Nor kidding was he, as no sooner had we reached Ewin's Ash, and rattly rattly crash bang were we into Luppitt. Then up we went to Luppitt Common, then down to Upottery, then up to the 303 at Rawridge, where, as pure luck would have it, we happened upon a maiden by the name of Glenis, sunning herself upon a seat beside the road. As she had a bicycle with her, and a little time to spare, she joined our party of masochists, now numbering four. And down we shot into Yarcombe at speeds depending on whether white knuckles had touched brakes, or not (really ?) (sorry to admit it but, yes, we did although only a little - so not TDF material). Oh, and then just after passing some well-rotted manure - no Jaguars actually - we went up another "just a little hill" (492 ft ), then down to Wambrook, then up, then down to Chard, where Kirby was hiding from us at the very back of a different cafe from the one we expected to see him in. But WE found him, just 50 minutes late.

Initially, our return started quite gently through Forton, and Hook, to Holy City, which puzzled us. We hunted and found two cottages, when we generally agreed that it takes three or more to make a city. Ian suggested that the shed behind one of the cottages would count as building three to make a city but this was disputed by others. Oh yes, then we went up - well not really up by Ian's standards - just 230 ft. Then to our amazement we went down, arriving at the Royal Oak in Stockland for chips and beer (some of the party had much less healthy food options such as fruit, of all things). After our pints of the frothy stuff, a couple of us shot up Stockland Hill (or didn't, as by this stage Ian's 'light sabre' attack injury was beginning to slow him down a little) to be greeted atop by Roger and Marilyn's grinning faces, so pleased were they that we had at last torn ourselves away from the pub. (Well, in our defence, they had declined Kirby's kind offer that they spend 3 minutes hissing down Stockland Hill to join us in the hostelry. (Seemed like an excellent use of three minutes to me particularly as no effort was involved, but there you are !!) They then joined us for the easy and whimpish bit, even using brakes (what ??) on the descent into Honiton. I (Ted) then left the main party as it took its third food stop of the day in Honiton. This enabled me to get puncture numbers 8 & 9 (in the last three weeks) without being laughed at ; number 8 caused by a flint, and number nine by incompetence (flint not removed).

Still, a cracking day, wot ???

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