From http://lkjh.biz
Jump to navigation Jump to search
CTC Exeter Sunday Rides Coffee Pots Bike Bus Devon News
Bike Bus Reports Leaders Awards Competition

Exeter Bike Bus - Ride Reports - December 2010

30 December 2010 - Stoke Canon ~ Pete & Jean’s

Last Week

Last week two Bike Buses made their way to an excellent spread at Pete and Jean's house in Stoke Canon. After coffee Stephanie offered to lead a party to Secret Location #1.

Mikes finger.png

Mike Booth reports

Whilst some may view Thursday's "Cycling on Ice" episode with concern, I would like to offer a more positive & innovative slant on the proceedings. So it is with great pleasure, & anticipation of future substantial achievements, that I announce the formation of the "Over 60's Low-Level Aerobatics Team". It is early days, & the recent inaugural display by the 3-man team on a specially prepared surface in the vicinity of Payhembury (thanks to Steph for this) shows that there is still much work to do co-ordinating the exploits of the various team members. Nevertheless, all 3 members did manage to get airborne, albeit not necessarily at precisely the same time. Thus it is hoped that with more practice the Team can in future make some sort of effort to retain control of their machines, & so provide the awe-inspiring spectacle one would expect to see from a highly-trained group of dedicated Aerobats (i.e. Aero = of the air, bats = ......).

This rather sketchy report fails to mention that Mike lay down in the road and was run over by half the Bike Bus. Those of a sensitive nature should avert their eyes now ...

At Secret Location #1 we were treated to an excellent lunch and refreshments by the Secret Owners.

Amazing Invention

Rogers toothbrush rim scraper.jpg

Many of you will know that Roger has patented many useful devices - including a terraced multi-occupancy bird house. He has recently turned his attention to bikes and has addressed the problem of filthy rims. As someone who gets through one set of rims a year this is welcome news.

As the World Wide patent rights have recently been granted - we can now exclusively reveal details of Roger's latest master stroke. Superficial inspection suggests that two toothbrush heads have been attached to a bent piece of wire which then presses them against a rim.

Much closer inspection reveals that they are Sainsbury's economy toothbrushes.

Jelly Babies & The Media

Jelly babies.jpg

We have recently been collecting mileage figures from Bike Bus members - and I can reveal that, without all the figures being in, we have smashed last years totals. The current totals are on-line.

It's interesting that the top three Exeter places are all taken by women!

When I was out cycling this afternoon (Tuesday) I was phoned by Shep and Jo and asked about jelly babies. I'd no idea who they were ... but it seems that they are Radio Devon presenters ... and I was live on-air! MP3 Format or Windows Media Player format.

Pete Luxton has submitted a late entry ...

Pete Luxton - Mileage for 1948
Name Miles Tonnes CO2 Hours (12 mph) kCalories Doughnuts Pasties Jelly-Babies
Pete Luxton (1948) 16,037 6.41 1,336 400,925 1,604 729 20,046

MTB Ride - Sunday 16 January 2011

John Rowland is planning to lead a MTB ride in the Quantocks on Sunday 16 January - please note that this a change of venue from that listed in the Highwayman.

Weekend Away - Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th July 2011 - Marlbourough

John is also organising a weekend away near Marlborough in the Berkshire / Wiltshire Downs. Options will be available for both B&B accommodation and camping.

<googlemap lat="51.421" lon="-1.730" width="500" height="350" type="map" zoom="11"> 51.421,-1.730, Marlborough </googlemap>

Australian Bike Bus

Richard mary xmas card.jpg

You'll be aware that Richard & Mary have been operating the Australian Bike Bus franchise for the last 9 months.

They have recently decide not to take up the option to extend their contract for a further year and without paid employment their Australian visas will expire.

Thus we expect them to return in April.

MTB Training

On Thursday 20 January the Coffee Pot is being held at the Safeway/Co-op in Broadclyst.

On this day there is the option of taking part in a 2 hours mountain bike training session on Haldon Hill. The cost of tuition is £5. You can use your own mountain bike - or hire one at a discounted price (the full price is £10 for half a day). The course is run by Josh Scillitoe, with the following schedule

 10:30 Tea & Coffee in Haldon Ridge Café
 11:30  Check gear, discuss safety, ground rules etc.
             Skills session, learn new ones
             Ride around Blue Trail
             Ride around Red Trail
 13:30  Finish

Numbers will be limited to six participants - the first six to contact me by email will be offered places. If demand is sufficient we will organise another course.

23 December 2010 - Crediton Station Café

Cancelled due to snow and ice.

16 December 2010 - Alternative Ride to Joshua's, Ottery

Bike Bus Driver Suspended

Ebay Entry

It has come to the attention of Bike Bus Management that one of the valuable Bike Bus Leaders' Badges has been offered for sale on eBay.

We discovered this despicable activity just 51 minutes before it was sold when bidding had reached £87. We contacted eBay management who promptly withdrew the item from sale.

You will no doubt share our outrage at this turn of events - but you will be relived to know that one of the leaders has now been suspended and the badge recovered.

Ride Reports

Mike Booth reports:-

Wednesday pm phone call from a flu-encumbered Judy, & an alternative-appointment report from Bike bus Driver Nombre Un, produced last-minute Driver rota changes, leaving two bike-buses in the capable (?) hands of Team S&M. I volunteered to do the Woodbury run, leaving Sus to cover the Exeter stops. As my usual bike is in hospital, I set out early (in case of problems) on the heavy-duty tourer which I had not ridden for several months. Of course there weren't any, so I arrived very early (pre-9) at Woodbury Arch. Whilst buying a paper in the local Londis, saw Glenis who paraded a myriad of excuses why she was not riding today - not sure if they were genuine so we may need an 'excuse letter' from a parent! Read the paper until 9.35, then with no passengers appearing, I set off to meet Sus et al at Aylesbeare X.

Meanwhile Sus had checked her usual bike to find a puncture from the Tuesday run (Ian's fault, of course, as he had led them through all that flailed hedge debris). With no time to fix it, she too took her heavy-duty tourer & proceeded to request stops The Quay & The Swing Bridge at the allotted times - but alas, no takers. Better luck at The Blue Ball stop, where Jill, Ian & Keith joined. Then a sprightly ride through the lanes via Farringdon & Perkins Village to Aylesbeare X. As timetable stops Woodbury Arch to Aylesbeare X had been set up for the high-performance Judy bus, I struggled to get there in the 15 minutes allocated, but they kindly waited for me. All 5 of us then off to Ottery, fortuitously bumping into Ted near Daisymount, on his way to Willand lunch (no sign of Susan, although he assured us she was somewhere around!). Slight rain as we approached Ottery.

Joshua's provided their normal service, so coffee etc took some time, but Robin (by bike) & Steph (by car en route to Willand) were both there and the usual varied chatter ensued. Robin set off solo ahead of the rest, whilst Ian & Keith obviously felt too near home so decided to head up Dunkeswell, despite the impending poor weather. Jill, Sus & I headed back towards Exeter via Whimple, Dog Village, Clysts Honiton & St Mary & the Blue Ball, whence Jill to Topsham & us to Trewsweir. Don't think there would be any new routes in that home run! Getting wetter & colder by now, so good to get in by 2.00pm.

Ian Lindsay has provided this (somewhat technical) report:-

The steep section we rode up (Shoots Lane between Dunkeswell and Sheldon) doesn't get any chevrons on the OS map (although the downhill section leading up to it does!! - I think our section is too short to qualify for a chevron). I have measured it as 350 metres long and a vertical climb of 70 metres - 350/70 = 5 - so the climb is an average of 1:5 - likely to be 1:3.5 in places and 1:6.5 in places!

9 December 2010 - Bernaville Nurseries

Alan Harding reports

As a passenger who recently dared to make a complaint about the bike bus, I was appointed driver for a new route starting from Bernville Nurseries. Started with 12 passengers and was heading for Brampford Speke.

It was here the new route started and Stephanie commenting the whistle should have been blown, but apparently the said whistle mislaid by Kirby. Passed by a dog motel expecting to cause a pandemonium, but unlike a previous occasion when I was passing here, I did not hear any barking. A little further on, an icy patch was found on a corner, but fortunately all were able to stay on their bikes. Continued along more lanes unknown to the bike bus, until we arrived at Thorverton.

We continued on existing bike bus routes, passing by Stumpy Cross near Silverton and it was around here we found one or two really nasty patches of ice. By then I had dropped 2 passengers, Mike Bowden and Nick Gillon. Also by then, Kirby found the whistle and gave it a good blow!

Continued to Ellerhayes, Broadclyst and Clyst Honiton along gritted roads, as I thought the passengers may have had enough of slippery roads today. Stephanie and Judy got off the bus before reaching Broadclyst. Was aiming for St Bridget Nurseries to have a lunch break, but to do that we had to go along more minor lanes and found even more black ice. Thankfully, no one fell down.

The day was nearly ended with 4 remaining passengers (Kirby, Pauline, Ian and Keith) and the driver at the lunch stop. Thank you to all the passengers for your support.

Alan had quite a difficult task as the coffee stop was close to Exeter and so most of the roads nearby had already been covered. Nevertheless with some inventive route finding Alan discovered an unused back road out of Brampford Speke. Alan brampford speke.png

Tuesday Bike Bus

If you are not a Premium Subscriber you may not be aware that there is also a Tuesday Bike Bus which has a very select clientèle. Ian Lindsay is considering taking out an option on the franchise for this business - and over the last few weeks he has been operating the Bus on a trial basis. If you would like more information about the Tuesday Bus or if you wish to be added to their weekly mailing list please contact Ian Lindsay.

Alternatively if you have an interest in competing for the franchise - please contact me directly.

2011 Audaxes

Ian and a few other Bike Bus members have entered the Jack & Grace Cotton Memorial 100 km Audax on 15 January. It starts on the outskirts of Bristol and loops up on relatively flat roads almost to Gloucester before returning to via a tea stop in a prison! If you would like to join Ian on this ride please contact him - it may be possible to share transport or to ride in small groups to provide mutual support. Ian Lindsay

A Confidence

Warning: Trevor Bishop should not read the following paragraph aloud.

Trevor has confided that he 'reads out the Bike Bus emails to his partner'. I think we can all help Trevor. If you find an interesting article or anecdote in a newspaper or magazine maybe you could cut it out and pass it to me. I can then provide Trevor with some interesting reading matter.

Cease and Desist Order

The Bike Bus Executive have received the following threatening letter from an attorney in Los Angeles

Alexander Porteus Kestenbaum & Associates
Attorneys at Law
Suite 2650
23001 Van Nuys Blvd
Santa Monica

December 10, 2010

Dear Sirs,

Photographs of the Betty Ford Foundation

It has come to the attention of our client, the Betty Ford Foundation, that you have been publishing photographs of a Ms Susan Claire Booth standing outside the Betty Ford Clinic in Santa Monica.

Whilst neither confirming or denying that Ms Booth is a client of the Betty Ford Clinic we request that you desist from publishing such pictures.

The Betty Ford Clinic prides itself on the confidential way in which it handles clients who are inevitably going through a difficult period in their lives and they do not wish to cause upset by inappropriate publicity. Their clients also have a high standing and reputation in society and the Betty Ford Clinic do not wish to give the impression that just anyone is allowed in.

Thus we request that you desist from publishing such material - otherwise we will take appropriate legal action.


Alexander Porteus Kestenbaum Jnr.

The Bike Bus prides itself on publishing the truth - and so will not be frightened off by such intimidatory tactics.

Post-Coffee Leaders Required

We are gradually filling up the list at http://www.lkjh.biz/index.php?title=ExeterBikeBusLeaders#Leaders_Schedule Richard Eales is the latest cyclist to try for a Leader's Badge - but we still require volunteers for the 23 December (Crediton) and 30 December (Stoke Canon). Let me know if you want to take on this challenge.

2 December 2010 - Uffculme

Last Week

Last week I received two phone calls before I'd even stuck my head outside my duvet! From these I learnt that Devon had been blanketed with snow overnight and that even our restricted ride around Exeter was at risk.

Nevertheless at the start on the Quay I found Pauline was waiting patiently by the Bus Stop.

Pauline bus stop.png

We agreed to head up to the Cathedral to see if there were any takers. Here we found Stephanie had picked up a young man called Nick (of whom more later) who she was, successfully as it turned out, trying to convince of the merits of Bike Buses.

Pauline kirby cathedral.png

After a brief discussion about possible routes we decided to head for the Plant Cafe - which is 18.5 metres from the war memorial where we started. En-route we inspected a snow-man (at 6.3 metres) and we met Ian and Keith (at 11.7 metres) - who had amazingly cycled in from the east Devon wilderness.

Exeter cathedral snowman.png

We have now carefully examined Pauline's ride ... which seems to have slipped between all the current rules for a qualifying ride (ref: http://www.lkjh.biz/index.php?title=ExeterBikeBusLeaders#Some_Rules) which don't exclude short rides (Pauline's was 18.5 metres) nor do they exclude rides on consecrated ground or in public spaces. Thus reluctantly we will have to award Pauline a bar for her leader's badge.

Paulines route from cathedral.png

Keith Portlock has kindly provided a fuller account of the day:

After Kirby’s very wise decision, given the very icy conditions, to cancel the bike bus trip to Uffculm, and thereby deprive Keith of his inaugural ‘leadership’ opportunity, it was decided to take the much safer option of a meander around Exeter led by Pauline. This, of course, presented those members, namely Ian, Stephanie and Keith, from the outer reaches of East Devon, with something of a dilemma.

Undaunted, in true Bike Bus spirit, they set about solving this tricky problem. The brave Stephanie, only recently recovered from a nasty virus attack, decided to battle her way to Feniton railway station with her bike (not the new one of course) to let the train take the strain. Ian and Keith decided to ignore Kirby and the weather and meet at Aylesbeare as usual.

Come about 6am Thursday morning, Keith, looking out of his bedroom window at the beautiful white carpet which had appeared overnight, went down and got his mountain bike with its big fat knobbly tyres ready and set off for Aylesbeare. 6 miles of struggling through the snow and ice later, just 100 yards from the designated meeting place, he received a 'phone call from Ian, who was obviously still in bed, asking if he would mind meeting at Ian’s house. Undeterred he peddled on through virgin snow and eventually arrived at Ian's place where it was agreed that they would take a main road route to Exeter as Ian's mountain bike was 'hors de combat' and it was road bike or nothing.

Keith would have preferred 'nothing' but off they went with Ian serenely cruising along the Sidmouth road and Keith’s tyres providing him with an interesting type of massage, vibration therapy!

They eventually arrived at the Cathedral Green virtually incident free where they met Kirby, Stephanie, Pauline and Nick Gillon, who is working to encourage cycling in Exmouth and adjacent areas. We had a nice coffee in the café on the green where we discussed his work and how we might contribute to it. Stephanie was heard to say "this is more like working". Kirby has sent out an email explaining the contribution we may be able to make.

Information pack.png

After coffee, apparently intoxicated by the caffine, Stephanie, Ian and Keith decided to attempt to get to Budleigh Salterton for lunch, via the main roads, of course. What then transpired, despite the conditions, was an extremely enjoyable ride via Topsham and Woodbury to the 'Coffee and Tittle Tattle' café in Budleigh where a hearty luncheon was enjoyed.

Keith ian budleigh.png

The return route via Newton Poppleford, allowed us to enjoy the wonderful winters scenes as we travelled on. Ian parted company with Stephanie and Keith at Straightway head leaving them to set off on the old A30 back to Fairmile. This proved a very treacherous and therefore slow last few miles but both reached home safely having agreed it was a very memorable ride.

Free One to One Sessions


As mentioned by Keith above - Nick Gillon the Project Officer for the Exmouth Cycle Project - is seeking to encourage a wider range of participation in cycling in East Devon. As a special concession to Bike Bus members he has given us a number of free vouchers which entitle you (or your best friend) to a free two hour one-to-one session to address any concerns you have about cycling (be it right turns, roundabouts, fitness, confidence, etc.). These training sessions are delivered confidentially and there is little chance (well maybe some) of embarrassing details being obtained by Bike Bus Intelligence.

If you want to take advantage of this offer please contact Nick on 07813 314 274 or take a look at their web site and print off your voucher here.


The training provided by the Bike Bus is now starting to have a demonstrable effect. At the recent CTC Devon Dinner awards were announced to the following Bike Bus members.

  • Stephanie Houghton - won the best photo prize for her picture of Pauline wandering off forlornly with just two wheels left from her damaged bike
  • Stephanie Houghton (again!) - won the prize for the best article in the Highwayman Magazine for her description of her first Audax ride.
  • Pippa Wheeler - won the prize for the highest number of points in the CTC Devon Events competition
  • Roy Russell - won the opposite sex award (I'm not too sure what he did to deserve this?)
  • Roy Russell - also won the Treasure Hunt prize.

Sue Booth - An Update

You, like me, will have been saddened by the slow decline of Sue Booth as documented in previous Bike Bus reports. Mike has just written from outside the world famous Betty Ford Clinic in Santa Monica, California as follows:-

Brief report on champagne quaffing bus passenger (see photo - I have Photoshopped out the drink to save you the trouble of doing it). Sorry to report same passenger had previously launched herself off the bike & made sharp contact with several bits of her anatomy on the concrete bike path at Muscle Beach. There seems to be no lasting damage (although as you can no doubt imagine, this is difficult to verify) & I believe the alcohol was only taken after the event for medicinal purposes.

Sue muscle beach.png

You will observe the bent down tubes - indicating the severity of the accident.

Tim and Judy's Quest for Lightness

Again attentive readers of Bike Bus emails will know of Tim's obsession with reducing the weight of his and Judy's bikes. Tim has shown me a spreadsheet (he is an accountant after all) listing the weight of every item on his bike (including every bolt and even the paint and transfers!). Over the summer he had commissioned Argos cycles to do an extensive re-build of their bikes - but even the 237.5 grams saved failed to satisfy his mania.

He has since been experimenting with removing from their bikes items which most cyclists would regard as essential. Bike Bus Intelligence has obtained exclusive pictures of the latest experiments ... be prepared to be amazed when you next see Tim and Judy. A full video is available to Premium Subscribers.

Tim judy woodbury review.png

Bike Bus Reports Leaders Awards Competition
CTC Exeter Sunday Rides Coffee Pots Bike Bus Devon News