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Exeter Bike Bus - Ride Reports - July 2012

Thursday 2 August - Escot & First Aid

First aid.jpg

This week we had an easy jaunt to Escot where we discovered Warren and Stephanie newly back from their tour of Brittany. But we had to leave them to their cake and coffee as we had an important appointment.

The CTC Exeter Committee was concerned at the number of people falling of their bikes and so decided to send the most inept of us on a compulsory first aid course. I expected a 10 minute session on how to open a packet of plasters – but it turned out to be a much more serious affair lasting around three hours. These days this much concerted study qualifies you for a degree.

Thanks go out to Bob Ball for delivering the course in an entertaining and engaging manner and to Jan and Keith for hosting the event.

We now have to construct a database showing who wears false teeth – this is important if you are at risk of choking – so can you please let me known whether you wear false teeth or not.

Thursday 26 July - Higher Pitt

Higher pitt july 2012.jpg

Last week Jan & Keith Portlock very kindly asked us round to their house for coffee and cakes. Jan subsequently wrote:-

I really hope everyone enjoyed their coffee stop yesterday. The weather was absolutely perfect and it was so nice to see so many familiar and new faces. The pity was I didn't get to chat much as I would have liked because I needed to help my stalwart crew in the kitchen!!!

The amount donated totalled a fantastic £248.44 so Keith 'generously' made it up to £250. Please thank everyone for their contributions every penny, of which, will be devoted to providing riding lessons for the riders of East Devon. The day finished well as Keith came home from hospital early and so far so good!!!

Keiths scan july 2012.png

Keith has also made a contribution:-

I am very sorry I was not able to join you but I hope to be back in the saddle very soon.

Jan thanks you and coffee pot members for their very generous support of the RDA at the Higher Pitt Coffee Pot on Thursday. She was delighted with the result. I understand that the sad but necessary sale of Paul's cycling gear was also very profitable. I just wanted to thank all those who sent me their good wishes in my 'get well' card. It certainly lifted my spirits at the right time. Would you please pass on my thanks through the medium of the Bike Bus circulation if you felt that would be appropriate.

I have been aware that something of a Bike Bus 'tradition' has been established regarding the publication of documentary evidence of injuries, ailments etc preventing members from riding. Given the nature of my indisposition, however, I'm sure colleagues will understand my reticence in allowing my scan into the public domain. Jan, however, has persuaded me, in the interests of medical research, to put up with any personal embarrassment. I have, therefore, attached a copy of my scan hereto.


As you would expect the Bike Bus Executive have reviewed the, admittedly contradictory, evidence surounding Keith's absence on a day when Jan was faced with an enormous pile of washing up and over forty guests ... and decided to award him yet another Black Sheep Award.

Monday 23 July - Shep & Jo Interview

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Folowing Bradley Wiggins' victory in the Tour de France Ian Lindsay, proprietor of Devon Bike Builders, was interviewed on the Shep and Jo program on BBC Radio Devon.

Apparently Bradley's bike costs in the region of £15,000 - and if you want one Ian will build it for you!

The interview is available as an MP3 file or as a Microsoft WAV file.

Saturday 21 July - Stallcombe House

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As the camping weekend had been cancelled a large number of cyclists were at a loose end. In a rare display of generosity the Executive decided to organise a day out to the Stallcombe House Fayre.

Kirby asault course certificate.jpg

Tom and his colleagues at Stallcombe had arranged an amazing day out including cream teas, donkey rides, a dog show, cake stalls, fresh vegetables, face painting, morris dancing and the highlight - an assault course run by the Royal Marines.

Now it's not clear whether the bike bus passengers are amazingly brave ... or amazingly stupid.

Nevertheless the following entered and succesfully completed the course and received commemerative certificates from Colonel Blashford-Snell (as well as the offer of short term contacts with the Marines) - Tim, Maria, Judy, Glenis, Sue and Kirby

Thursday 19 July - Escot

For the first time in months the sun shone and a good sized party made their way to Escot where coffee was taken in the warm courtyard.

We bade farewell to Stephanie and Warren ... who were heading off to a cross channel ferry for a short jaunt in France.

After coffee things got a little more interesting ... Mike reports ...

Muddy track.jpg

Hi Kirby. Sorry you had to miss the post-coffee ride today, but thought I ought to let you know about an exciting new product offered by the Bike Bus...



What this report omits to mention is the lack of attention of one rider which resulted in a serious incident.

Which of course means that Mr Rowland has attracted yet another Black Sheep Award.

Thursday 12 July - Woodbury


Tim and Judy report:-

We were delighted that so many braved the dreadful weather last week and according to Jean we had 39 attendees and was impressed that so many cycled ! - so thanks to all those who donned their wet weather gear & made it to the wilds of Cottles Lane for our morning tea.

Donations shared between Force cancer charity & Shelterbox came to £132.50 so many thanks to everyone for being so generous!

Hope everyone got home safely & the weather is a bit kinder to us next year!

Tuesday 10 July - Dartmoor (the very top!)

Tom's Facebook Report

Ian relates:-

Ian, Richard, Tom, Mike & Sue left Exeter in bright sunny weather and then encountered almost every season during the 10 mile ride to Dunsford!!

Mike & Sue waited at the Walled Garden for it to open, whilst Ian, Richard & Tom pushed on to Okehampton and Dartmoor. An unofficial pub stop was had at The Drewe Arms (medicinal purposes for liquid replenishment) before a visit to Wheddon Cross en route to Okehampton.

What followed, was the never-ending climb of death up onto Dartmoor. Fantastic views, but hard work!

A flattish ride home via Crediton – official pub stop at The White Hart – 20 pts (they do all day English Breakfast for £4.99 – bacon sarnies for £2.30!!)

85+ miles covered (not even half of it was uphill!, so almost entirely flat then!) - next week Exmoor!

Thursday 5 July - Stallcombe House

© Exmouth Journal

Last week Tom Roncarelli very kindly arranged for us to visit Stallcombe House. Tom has subsequently written:-

Christine (Deputy Manager) and I very much enjoyed meeting and assisting all the passengers on your bus yesterday! Please give our (that is both Residents & Staff) most heartfelt thanks to all the bike-bussers who hopped aboard and made the trip up Sanctuary Lane to Stallcombe House cafe terminus!

It was really great to see so many folks out-displaying each others latex and spandex shirts, shorts and other accruements**. When we emptied the "ticket collectors" box of the voluntary fares paid at the terminus we found £182.60 had been raised, once again "many thanks" to everyone aboard your bus.

Certain others have also offered to bring various items from home to be used by Sam in the Weavery, she will turn ANYTHING into a silk purse! ... once again "Thank you"!

I hope we can look forward to welcoming you all back again in 12 months time!

P.S. For next year official photograph, please advise all bussers that there will be an inspection to ensure everyone has indeed fully cleaned behind their ears, as stated in your previous email!

I'm sure you will agree with me that last Thursday was one of the more memorable Bike Bus experiences. We got to eat lots of gorgeous cake - and the special bonus was that we had a break halfway up Sanctuary Lane. The Bike Bus Executive have sent their heartfelt thanks to Tom, Christine and their helpers for organising such a wonderful occasion.

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** The one sour note relates to the dress of some of our participants.


The Executive put out explict instructions that participants should wear neat, clean clothing and pay special to their personal hygiene.

Unfortunately a large number of participants fell rather short in these departments. One specially egregious example was the pair of socks worn by a certain rider. Even Sam in the Weavery declined to accept the matching pair.

I rather doubt we will ever be asked back.

Thursday 28 June - Collumpton

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Sometimes I despair ...

...today was supposed to be a simple jaunt to the Golf Club at Cullompton ... but I didn't reckon with the navigational abilities of Keith, Wolf and Tony.


All three missed the turn for Clyst Hydon and shot down the hill through Clyst St Lawrence. And we all know what that means.

Last year the overal winner of the Black Sheep Award (Sue Booth) attracted four individual black sheep awards ... just over half way through the year both Keith and Wolf already have three each.

After coffee a party of 19 headed towards Otterton for lunch in the sun.

Where are Stephanie and Glenis?

Stephanie and glenis opposite directions.jpg

Stephanie and Glenis still haven't returned after setting off on their 100 mile ride a week ago. Glenis' children are getting on fine ... but Warren is rather put out by not having his dinner on the table when he gets home.

We have obtained some more evidence of their movements on that fateful Sunday. It appears that, due to a small misunderstanding they set off in opposite directions. Bus Bus Intelligence have obtained a photo of the point where they met about half-way round. It appears that Glenis was cycling clockwise (the wrong way) and Stephanie anti-clockwise (the right way).

We have not heard of them since.

Warren has put up a reward of £5 for any information received.

Tuesday 26 June - North Curry

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Ian writes:-

Not the most successful Mini Bike-Bus! Just Ian went off to Somerset to meet up with the Wellington Wheelers. A route up and over the Blackdowns and he found his way to North Curry – cakes still superb!

Colin then lead us over to Milverton via Hestercombe, where we bumped into Huw at The Globe in Milverton. His leg is on the mend**, should be back cycling in August. The pub did good sarnies – 18 pts.

A steady ride back to Cullompton, 80 miles covered, next week an East Devon ride!

** We have finally managed to hack into the Somerset NHS's computer to find Huw's X-rays and notes. From these we have discovered that Huw's BMI has increased from a 'normal' 24.5 to ‎26.5 whilst he has been imobilised.

The sooner Huw is back on his bike the better!

Thursday 21 June - Crediton Station

Yet another wet day!

Sue eating her birthday cake

Still it turned out to be Sue's birthday. This means that we have to broach the sensitive subject of Sue's age. Now Bike Bus Intelligence has discovered that the sum of Mike and Sue's ages is 120. We also know that Mike has a Bus Pass making him 60 or more. This gave Bike Bus Intelligence a chance, for the first time in 45 years, to exercise their 'O' level maths skills. We know

  M + S = 120
  M >= 60
rearranging we get
  M = 120 - S
and substituting gives
  120 - S >= 60
subtract 60 from both sides and rearranging
  60 - S >= 0
  60 >= S
  S <= 60 

One noteworthy event was the appearance of Dougal who was doing a final training session for the 55 mile Force ride ... how will he get on?

The other noteworthy event was Sarah turning up on the train, drinking her coffee, eating a cake, and then returning by train. We are currently examining the Bike Bus small print to see whether this is allowed. The fear is that she has discovered a loop hole which will allow hundreds of train passengers to gate crash Coffee Pot meetings.

Force Cancer Charity Ride

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Whilst not strictly a Bike Bus event several Bike Bus regulars rashly entered this year's Force Charity ride from Topsham.

We know that both Debbie and Dougal completed the ride. This was brilliant as Debbie has only just recovered from a nasty bout of dizzyness and it was Dougal's first 50+ mile ride. Well done to both.

Roger glenis stephanie force 2012.jpg

For those who have never done the Force Ride - one unique feature is that the organisers photograph the entrants at the start wearing dummy medals. This is so that they look fresh and presentable and so that even if they don't finish they will have something to show their mums.

We have managed to obtain the start photos of Stephanie, Glenis and Roger ... but we have not heard from them since (as of Tuesday evening). If we don't hear anything by Thursday we will have to arrange a search party.

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