- 1 Exeter Bike Bus - Ride Reports - November 2011
- 1.1 Thuesday 29 November – Escot
- 1.2 Thursday 24 November – Bike Bus Third Anniversary - Orange Elephant
- 1.2.1 Saddle Cover
- 1.2.2 The 'Unofficial' White Sheep Award
- 1.2.3 The Black Sheep Award
- 1.2.4 The Maintenance Award
- 1.2.5 Award for Developing Understanding between Cyclists, Dogs, and their Owners
- 1.2.6 The Excellence in Customer Service Award
- 1.2.7 The Coffee Bean Award
- 1.2.8 The Dancing Award
- 1.2.9 The Official White Sheep Award
- 1.3 Tuesday 22 November 2011 - Teignmouth & Trusham
- 1.4 Thursday 17 November – Escot and Budleigh Salterton
- 1.5 Tuesday 15 November - Seaton, Chard & Blagdon
- 1.6 Thursday 10 November – Cullompton & Payhembury
- 1.7 Tuesday 8 November - Ashburton and Whiddon Down
- 1.8 Thursday 3 November - Crediton and Dunsford
- 1.9 Tuesday 1 November - Escot and Exmouth
Exeter Bike Bus - Ride Reports - November 2011
Thuesday 29 November – Escot
A bit of a mish-mash of a ride this week. It all started at Ian's house in Cullompton, with a ride down the Burn Valley and then the Exe Valley (with a 20mph headwind). Sue then led the team (Sue, Mike, Kirby, Ian) to Escot, prizing Don from his harem en route! John and Keith were already at Escot when we arrived, having circum-navigated a large portion of Devon to get there. Ken and Huw from the Wellington Wheelers arrived shortly after and then Yvonne and Martin half an hour later.
We all enjoyed good food and drink though - 20 pts.
John and Keith went off to Honiton - Ian, Huw and Ken went off to the pub - Martin, Yvonne, Kirby, Mike, Sue and Don stayed at Escot for more coffee!
The pub in question was The Ashill Inn - food menu looked good, drinks were good and the landlord let us put our bikes in the toilet in order to keep them dry - classy!! - 19 pts.
Only 50+ miles covered due to poor weather - next week Broadhembury and Dunkeswell!
Thursday 24 November – Bike Bus Third Anniversary - Orange Elephant
The very first Bike Bus email was sent out on 5th November 2008. Compared to the slick, colourful message you receive today it looks rather primitive and dated:-
Hello Pauline, I hope you're well ... and coping OK with front wheel quick releases. Don and I are cycling to the Coffee Pot at Credition Station on Thursday - via the direct route (Exmouth, Topsham, Exeter Quay, Cowley, plus the lanes ...) To get there by 10:30 means leaving Exmouth at about 08:15 (Exeter Quay at 09:15) - if you would like to join us give me a call and we can arrange to meet on the Quay. On the way back we often stop at Lutzy's Cafe on the Quay (Don has a serious crush on Ms Lutzy!) - or sometimes we do a loop north of Exeter (but you always have the option of catching the train back to Exeter from Crediton). Kirby
You will notice that many of the key components of the Bike Bus were already in place from the start
- a timetable
- insulting comments about participants
- multiple mentions of cafes
- mention of mechanical failures
- scandal, and
- a train option.
To celebrate the establishment of the Bike Bus we now hold an Anniversary Event in November. This year Stephanie found herself organising the event (yet) again. This year it was decided to make a presentation of awards to the most deserving (and the most undeserving) members of the Bike Bus in the last 12 months.
The Executive thoughtfully commissioned top artists and engineers to handcraft prizes worthy of this occasion. Special mention must be made of the custom bicycle seat cover which was made by Mr Roger Spurr, BSc, CEng, MInstCSCD - to be given to the organiser of the event.
The design brief was
- it must be in bad taste
- it must be waterproof (for at least one ride)
- it must be in a colour to match red hair
- it must include a lot of furry material
- it must be in much worse taste than you first thought.
I think you will agree that Roger has succeeded admirably. He is now working enthusiastically on next year's commission.
Incidentally Roger was chosen for this delicate commission because of his intimate knowledge of Howard Hughes' design of a bra for Jane Mansfield. Even more incidentally we have been unable to determine whether Roy Russell is related to Jane Russell.
The celebratory meal was held at Taverner's Farm Shop in Kennford - known affectionately as the Orange Elephant. They provided an excellent meal consisting of starter (soup or pate), a main of quiche and salad, followed by banana cake or ice cream.
After the meal came the Awards Ceremony - and Iris very kindly agreed to present the awards. Special thanks must go to Iris for, at very short notice, bravely hugging about a dozen sweaty cyclists. The results were ...
The 'Unofficial' White Sheep Award
This award is completely outside the purview of the Bike Bus, its Executive and its Employees.
Nevertheless it was awarded to Kirby James.
In addition he was puzzlingly presented with a Cub Scout 'Cycling Badge' by a Queen's Scout.
This was despite the fact that Kirby had been expelled from the cub scouts aged 9, after his first meeting!
The Black Sheep Award
This Award is Sponsored by the New Zealand Sheep Council.
The Nominees are the six people who have each received four black sheep awards.
- Jill Hockmuth
- Sue Booth
- John Rowland
- Tim Green
- Kirby James, and
- Geoff Cockram
The prize is a Black Sheep Mug and the winner was Sue Booth
The Maintenance Award
This Award is sponsored by the Bike Shed.
The Nominations are:
- Kirby James for losing a pedal
- John Rowland for organising cycle maintenance courses
- Glenis Pewsy for having three punctures in a week
- Ian Lindsay for starting a custom bike building business
- Tim Green for losing a crank set, and
- Stephanie Houghton for losing a toe clip in France
The prize is a bent crank used for eight years by the Executive's Humble Servant -
and the winner was John Rowland.
Award for Developing Understanding between Cyclists, Dogs, and their Owners
This award is sponsored by the RSPCA.
The Nominations are:
- Keith Portlock for running over a dog near Tiverton
- Kirby James for provoking the dog that Keith ran over
- Pauline Gibson for being nipped near Exeter Airport
- Mike Booth for befriending a dog and his owner on Haldon Hill
- Hugh Roberts for being bitten near Whimple
The prize is a matching set of dog bones and the winner was Mike Booth
The Excellence in Customer Service Award
This award is sponsored by Virgin Trains.
The Nominations are
- Mike Booth for producing 80% of all complaints
- Glenis Pewsy for ignoring all complaints
- Kirby James for employing a useless Complaints Officer
The prize is a blindfold and set of ear plugs and the winner was Glenis Pewsey
The Coffee Bean Award
This Award is Sponsored by the Boston Tea Party in Honiton.
The Nominations are
- Ted Gameson for developing a unique bike/coffee-machine mix
- Geoff Cockram for owning 19 coffee machines
- Penny Cockram for putting up with 19 coffee machines in her kitchen, and
- Geoff Cockram for developing positive relationships with local coffee shops, and
- Penny Cockram for developing positive relationships with local cafes.
The Good Coffee Bean Awards are a bag of coffee and a coffee cartoon which were won by Penny Cockram and Ted Gameson
The Bad Bean Awards are a set of Boston Tea Party Loyalty Cards which were
won by Geoff Cockram and Penny Cockram.
The Dancing Award
This award is sponsored by BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing.
The nominations are
- Mike Booth
- Roy Russell, and
- Sue Booth.
All for their remarkable performances under identical conditions at Exeter University.
The prize is a rare signed Joy of Dancing book and
the winner, unusually decided by a vote by all Bike Bus Members, was Roy Russell
The Official White Sheep Award
The final award is Sponsored by The Edinburgh Woollen Mill.
The eight Nominations are
- Ian Lindsay for operating the Tuesday Bike Bus
- Debbie Ironside-Smith for inviting dozens of wet cyclists into her kitchen for hot drinks, cakes and bacon sandwiches.
- Richard Eales for never having been given a Black Sheep Award
- Kirby James for operating the Thursday Bike Bus on behalf of the Executive
- Jan Portlock for inviting the Bike Bus into her garden to teas, coffees and cakes
- Richard Eales for producing the best x-ray so far
- Stephanie Houghton for regularly refreshing Bike Bus riders
- John Rowland for running maintenance courses
The prize is a White Sheep Mug and the winners are Stephanie Houghton and Ian Lindsay.
Tuesday 22 November 2011 - Teignmouth & Trusham
This week, we went to Teignmouth for morning coffee. A new cafe, Cobleys. Mike had a full english, it looked good! - the rest of us just cake and coffee. Quality was good, hosting by the owner was good - a little hilly to get there and bike parking not great in the centre of the town - 19 pts
After coffee, we went on a flat ride round Chudleigh (literally!) before arriving at The Cridford Inn at Trusham. Ian only wanted to stop for one beer, but Mike, Sue and Diane forced him to stay for a second - hosting was good, menu looked good but wasn't tasted - 18 pts.
So slightly intoxicated, a giggly bunch made their way up and over Haldon Hill via the Belvedere before descending back into Exeter.
60+ miles covered - next week a fast ride to Escot (with a slower option too!)
Thursday 17 November – Escot and Budleigh Salterton
Kirby, bored with leading the Bike Bus astray, delegated the honour to me this week. I let him down badly - failing to lose anyone! Mike, Kirby and I were just about to set out from the quay, a few minutes early, when our plan was foiled by the arrival of Ced and a hairy stranger. The latter turned out to be Gerald, growing a moustache for a bet. Debbie joined Pauline and Diane to flag us down at the Swing bridges, where Kirby informed us that he hadn't allowed enough time to reach the Blue Ball on time, but we flew up the bike path and along Rydon Lane to get to the stop with minutes to spare.
The sunshine had brought out a good crowd, too numerous to name. A few miles further on, I knew it was all going too well, when poor Glenis had her 3rd puncture in a week. Spookily 3 men decided they were in no hurry to get to coffee after all and stayed to get her roadworthy. We picked up Malcolm at Aylesbeare (despite us arriving late) and Hugh at Daisymount. Glenis and her entourage also caught us up here so we arrived positively mob handed at Escot.
Stephanie reports that after coffee:-
A couple of passengers asked for mention of the exploding bar bag which caused 3 vehicles of khaki clad pheasant shooters to grind to a halt and 4 dithering cars of Sidmouth elderly to wobble even more uncontrollably around the lanes.
Without going into details, the net result is that Kirby has been given a Black Sheep Award.
At the moment, just one week away from the Awards Lunch, six, yes six people all have suffered the ignominy of having been given four black sheep awards - they are Sue Booth, Jill Hockmuth, John Rowland, Tim Green, Geoff Cockram and Kirby James.
At the lunch you will find out who has come out on top.
Bike Bus Anniversary Prizes - Your Chance to Vote
Much to my surprise several large sponsors have come forward to provide a set of valuable prizes for our lunch. Names you will recognise include RBS, British Airways, Gucci, Google and Condor Cycles - of course none of these are involved.
As you would expect the Executive panel will choose the winner of each prize from those nominated.
The exception will be the prize donated by BBC's Strictly Come Dancing which will henceforth be known as the 'Dancing Prize'.
To decide the winner we have arranged the nominees to dance under 'controlled conditions' with the same music, the same temperature and the same humidity (we are indebted to Exeter University for making their piazza available for this purpose).
Even if you are not coming to the lunch on the 24th November you are eligible to vote. The three nominees are
- Mrs Susan Booth
- Mr Roy Russell, and
- Mr Michael Booth.
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Tuesday 15 November - Seaton, Chard & Blagdon
Ian reports ...
So this week, Ian, Richard and Keith left Talaton at 08h40 and ventured through Feniton, before climbing up to Farway Common via Gittisham. Along the top of the common and then descended into Beer, along the cliff and on to the seafront at Seaton.
From Seaton, the climbing started (obviously). It went on and on and on (15 miles!!), through Axminster , up onto Haddon Hill and then along to Bewley Down before the final climb before coffee, Snowdon Hill!!
Coffee at Barley Mow Farm Shop was good, as was the food – 17 pts.
We met the Wellington Wheelers there, and went on together to Taunton, via the long Staple Fitzpaine descent. The planned pub stop didn’t go well, as the hostellerie was closed for renovations, so we rode on to Blagdon and The Lamb and Flag. Service wasn’t happy smiley, but the food and drinks were good – 17 pts.
The ride was completed via Wellington and then the Culm Valley back to Cullompton
70+ miles covered – next week, a new cafe in Teignmouth.
Thursday 10 November – Cullompton & Payhembury
Although the weather forecast was dire – a goodly crowd of cyclists set off and were rewarded by a dry day for once!
After birthday celebrations at the Golf Club (see below) Stephanie elected to take us to Escot (or at least that’s what I thought she said).
A little while later I found myself cycling back down a street we had already ridden up. We eventually fetched up at Secret Location #1 where we discovered that Stephanie is covering the roof with solar panels (has she got a load of coffee machines we don’t know about?).
For some reason Keith was provided with an enormous sandwich (what has he done to deserve this?).
After lunch the party made its way southwards and took very little persusion to accept Glenis’ invitation to afternoon tea just around the corner from Tim & Judy’s palatial mansion.
Stephanie, in her defence, has produced a report – but it appears to be of the cryptic kind favoured by Mike Booth.
The Executive sought Mike’s advice and he says
I would have thought it was obvious - it's one of Geoff & Ted's secret coffee making formulae ... 'E' stands for Espresso, 'Q' for Quality, etc ...
I’m not sure I’m convinced. Let us know if you can decode Steph’s message.
Last week was Susan Gameson's 60th birthday.
You will recall that Ted had a super coffee machine for his birthday ...
... and we can reveal that Susan has now got a super new vacuum cleaner to match Ted's coffee machine. Ted was also thinking about taking her out to the chip shop in Budleigh to celebrate.
The Bike Bus invested in quite a large cake to celebrate the occasion. Judy added as many candles as she could rustle up ... and the Coffee Pot Ensemble sang 'Happy Birthday'.
Health and Safety
You may have noticed that this is a new section in the Bike Bus reports. This is because the Executive had not heard of Health and Safety until last week.
However your new CTC Exeter Secretary has introduced a draconian Health and Safety regime. Every activity you undertake from now on must have a risk assessment completed.
When I objected, the new Secretary pointed out the number of broken bones suffered by members of the Bike Bus (fair point).
Several misdemeanours occurred last week – the most serious being committed by a Ms Judy Knowles. Apparently she was spotted ... setting light to six candles in a smoke free zone using a naked flame in the presence of flammable lycra.
She has now been sent on a three week remedial H&S course – so you won’t be seeing her for some while. A Mr Tim Green has also decided to avoid riding with the Bike Bus in protest.
Several people have cast doubt on the veracity of reports in recent Bike Bus Newsletters. Some even suggesting that the x-ray images presented were not of the people claimed!!!
I had purposely removed the subject's name, age, sex, weight, relationship status, etc. to avoid embarrassment, and as the Premium Subscribers know only too well ... the details were very embarrassing.
Richard has kindly agreed to his details remaining on his x-ray which shows a plate and ten titanium screws in the top of his humerus. This injury was sustained in the overnight Dunwich Dynamo ride in 2010.
Sue and Stephanie’s Climbing Club
Sue and Stephanie are planning to go to the new climbing centre on Exeter Quay on Friday mornings to ... natter, drink coffee, eat cake ... and to do a bit of climbing and bouldering.
If you want to watch or even join in just contact one of them.
For some reason on a previous visit Steph’s old climbing boots earned a degree of derision.
Tuesday 8 November - Ashburton and Whiddon Down
Mike & Sue report:-
A pretty uneventful ride from Trews Weir, up Haldon Hill, tresspassing across the race course and along to Ashburton via Chudleigh, Chudleigh Knighton and the A38 bike path.
We were the first to arrive at The Lodge and as the drizzle was deteriorating into rain we thought it likely no one would join us but soon, up rocks Ian, Richard and "the new doctor" whose name I didn't catch, followed closely by 9! Peddle Bashers.
Ian , Rich and the Doc only allowed themselves minutes to slurp downcoffee before they shot off over Dartmoor.
As it was now very inclement we followed Ian Glenndining home to Greenawell Farm in order to eat our lunch sarnies in the dry. He lead us there via an historic route, off road along the old railway line, passing the aptly named "Silent Whistle" pub, and along a valley where Ian and his Dad had mined Tin and Gold 30 years ago.
The rain continued as we set out from Ian's with panniers full of their spinach and cabbage, taking a route up the Harcombe bends in mist and back across the race course. As we came up the slip road towards Kenford, Ian Ashford caught up with us as he cycled home from Glendinning's and he lead us a back route to his house in Alphington. At a sharp turn into a narrow alley Mike managed to catch his coat on a fence ripping a very large hole! ... allowing even more wet in. We devoured a whole packet of chocolate biscuits (intended for their grandchildren- sorry!) until the downpour eventually stopped and we sloshed our way home via Clapperbrock Lane. 49 soggy miles.
This week, the Bike Mini-Bus went on a fast ride. Ian, Richard and Huw (new member to the Tuesday Bike Mini-Bus from Wellington Wheelers – he’s a GP but unlike Kirby, isn’t interested in seeing all X-Rays of BB members taken within the past 35 years!!).
The Booths left Exeter early, in order to get first in the queue for bacon sarnies at The Dartmoor Lodge at Ashburton. Hospitality and quality was good, as usual, but it’s a bit of a slog to get there! – 19 pts.
After being summoned by KJ (une petite erreur avec les horaires, alors il prend le velo directement au bar), we sped over the moor to meet him at The Post Inn at Whiddon Down. We got drenched (for the umpteenth time in the past 10 days), but luckily Kirby had instructed the landlady1 to get the fire lit for our arrival. So we stood around the open log fire, with a couple of beers and discussed crashes. The food and drinks were good and you could just bimble down the old A30 rather than the oxygen needing route we took! – 20 pts.
Richard went with Kirby back to Exeter, whilst Ian and Huw returned to Cullompton via Crediton
80+ miles covered – next week a fast ride to Chard via Beer and Seaton!! (am trying to negotiate a slower alternative too!!)
1 The landlady felt so sorry for us she offered us a lift back to Exeter!
Last week we posted an X-ray of Marilyn's broken elbow. Since then I have been postively inundated with photos of injuries sustained (or suposedly sustained) while cycling. These include fractures, cuts, warts, pustules and grazes - and some appear to be on on unmentionable parts of peoples' bodies.
The purpose of last weeks article was to express sympathy for Marilyn and to wish her a speed recovery ... not to start a competition for the worst/most gruesome injuries.
Nevertheless there appears to be quite an appetite for such medical information.
However the Executive have decided that only the most serious injuries merit mention ...
... so the adjacent image is of Gerald's lower leg. The observant among you will notice a break in his fibula. This was sustained on the charity ride that Laura organised from London to Canterbury. About one mile short of Canterbury Gerald swerved to avoid a pilgrim and fell from his bike sustaining a fractured fibula.
The good news is that Gerald is on the mend and has even been seen riding his bike!
Some People Take Things Too Far!
On his way back from Dunsford last Thursday Ian was hit by an oncomming car turning right into his path in Cullompton.
His bike went under the front wing, he was thrown onto the bonnet and his head went through the windscreen.
The lady driver was more than a little surprised.
Fortunately Ian and his bike seem to have survived largely unscathed ... unlike the ladies car!
Coffee Wars Postscript
Last week you will recall that Penny cleared out her cupboards and discovered that Geoff is the owner of 14 coffee machines. (In fact more correctly Geoff has 13 and Penny has 1).
This week Penny had a major strop when she couldn't find her packet of table salt amongst the pile of machines.
Penny put two and two togethger ... and now 12 coffee machines are for sale (so Geoff and Penny will have one each).
If you are interested please send Penny a note.
Thursday 3 November - Crediton and Dunsford
A goodly group assembled at Crediton Station Cafe. We thought we had found a new rider ... an attractive young lady ... but she turned out to be Mike's daughter on a brief flying visit from Los Angeles.
It was pleasing to see Gerald out - on his first long ride since breaking his leg (see above). Someone (who shall be nameless - but not forgotten by the Executive) then suggested we ride to the Walled Garden Cafe in Dunsford.
We arrived at 12:55 to discover that the cafe is now only open between the beginning of April and the beginning of October! We then wandered along to the to Royal Oak - only to find that it is shut on Thursdays.
We then turned to the shop ... to see that it had just shut at one o'clock. Bummer!
Tuesday 1 November - Escot and Exmouth
Ian was the only Bike Mini-Buser at the Swing Bridges, with Kirby and Sue having left early, so that KJ could put Sue through her paces in order to re-validate her Bike Bus Leadership Badge.
Debbie caught up at Exeter Airport and everyone met up at Straightway Head. Sue lead us all wonderfully down through Larkbeare and into Escot (almost via the Caravan Field entrance - LOL!!)
Debbie left after coffee so that she could go and train her puppy. The surviving 3 then made their way to Exmouth for sandwiches on the seafront and then a drink in The Beach Pub - no cake here, so just 16 pts.
A trip along the bike path, over the new Topsham bridge and back to the Swing Bridges.
60+ miles done - next week, a trip to Dartmoor!