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Exeter Bike Bus - Ride Reports - April 2013

25 April - Cullompton

This weeks report seems to have got a bit jumbled ...

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Land’s End to John O’Groats

Sandy and Tony will be setting off on a great adventure this weekend. Sandy reports:-

Hi Ho Yer All

I hope this finds you all well now that the sun is out for a day or so. Many of you will already know that a group of us are cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats – we start in just over a weeks time on Saturday 27th April and all being well, we should be in John O’Groats by Friday 17th May.

There are six of us planning to cycle all the way – in no particular order there is Tim – fit outdoors man who likes to burn rubber: Steve – the Chief Instructor with Spirit of Adventure and he likes his lycra: Terri – excited about the trip and can cycle with the best of them: Kathy – great cyclist and makes exceedingly good cakes: Tony – the wrong side of 75 but will probably put us all to shame: then there’s me – slow, overweight and with a dickey ticker bring up the rear. We will have vehicle support ably driven by Roger (Terri’s Dad). Richy – my boy who say’s don’t worry Dad the first 10 days are the worst is joining us for the first 7 days or so. Gilly and Chris are cycling with us out of Land’s End up to Truro. We are hoping for a fair wind and good weather as we plan to camp if we can or use camping barns and hostels.

As a group we are not cycling for charity but three of the team are and if you feel so inclined it would be great if you could support one of their chosen charities.

This may not be the fastest LEJOG on record and it will not get the same publicity as Chris Evans & co who have just done it in a pink Rolls, but we are cycling over 50 miles every day for 1020 miles – at the very least please wish us good luck.

Regards Sandy

The party plan to be travelling through North Devon on Tuesday 30th. If possible we hope to be able to join them for part of the day. If you are interested in joining up contact Kirby on Thursday and we can agree a schedule.

Thursday 18 April - Crediton

Just as we were leaving the Quay a breathless Glenis turned up, having overslept by 30 minutes. We gave her a few seconds to compose herself and then set off westward.

Upton pyne drive safely.png

Unfortunately several motorists along St Andrews Road decided to undertake unwise overtaking manoevers and at least two cut in sharply causing riders to brake sharply. Maybe in future we should consider using Cowley Bridge Road.

We then climbed up to Upton (please drive slowly) Pyne. As we descended through the village we were joined by a Mr Norman Turner who didn't want to drive slowly. We realised this because he tooted at us and stopped to tell us so. He leapt out of his car and I wondered whether he was very brave or very stupid. It soon became clear. During his tirade we learnt

Norman turner.jpg
"you lot don't pay Road Tax"
"you've been holding me up"
"I've been following you for 10-15 miles"
"my car is only narrow"
"these lanes are narrow"
"I'm a cyclist"

Roger bore the brunt of this tirade and subsequently reported the incident to the Police. They promised to go and have a chat with Mr Turner.

After that we had a pleasant ride to Crediton where Mike received a message from his Bird Alert app.

18-04-2013 10:50  Cadbury: Rose Coloured Starling
Mike and rose coloured starling.jpg

Luckily Penny & Geoff had said that if we were near to their house we should pop in for a coffee - what a fortunate coincidence!

So Mike lead us westward - but after getting his bearings - we turned eastward and arrived at Cadbury where Penny & Geoff very kindy provided us with teas and coffees on their sunny veranda.

The Rose Coloured Starling had also made himself at home - making a nest in one of Penny's pot plants - I understand they are very fond of poinsettias. Penny has promised to look after him until we need his services again.

Thursday 11 April - Powderham

The most popular question in our post bag this week was - why does Mike lead so many rides after coffee? There was no criticism of his leading ability - people were just puzzled as to why he volunteers so often.


Well this is a rather long story ... so I'll try to keep it brief.

Before Xmas Sue was wondering what to get Mike for a present. After much thought she decided to get Mike a reference book to encourage his nascent interest in birds. Thus on 25 December Mike opened his stocking to find the latest edition i-Spy book of birds.

This kept Mike happy for about a month until he discovered an 'app' for his iPhone called Bird Alert Pro. This amazing 'app' alerts you to sightings of rare birds in your vicinity.

Rosy Starling.jpg

Now you might think that the story ends there ...

... but as Mike and Sue are currently away on a long weekend in Paris ... we can reveal one of the Bike Bus Executive's little secrets.

Bike Bus Intelligence realised that they could use this 'app' to their advantage. So they first hacked into the Bird Alert Pro database and worked out how to 'inject' bird sightings into the system.

Now on Thursdays they routinely generate sightings to pique Mike's interest.

So last Thursday they constructed the following messages

11-04-2013 12:15   Chudleigh: 2 Waxwing, Chiffchaff
11-04-2103 14:14   Exminster, Milbury Lane: Rose Coloured Starling coming into adult plumage 
Mike and Sue looking for a Rose Coloured Starling

As expected ... as we drank the last of our coffee at Powderham Mike leapt up and said 'why don't we go to Chudleigh' ...

... and after enjoying lunch at Chudleigh Mike suggested cycling back over Haldon ... via Exminster.

Sadly he didn't see any birds. I wonder why?

Thursday 28 March - Amelia's Pantry, Cockwood

Kirby James is away so the office girl has put together this week's report ...

Hi Kirby


Thought you would need a bit of help advising the Executive on Black Sheep Awards this week. Obviously you cannot publish this report - wouldn't want anyone knowing I had shopped them!

Well first up has to be Sue for dropping off the back due to a disastrous gear change at Kenton. Then Roger for delaying us whilst 'snake-dancing' on the same hill. After that it has to be the whole of the East Devon contingent for failing to turn up (this includes Keith, who did turn up but failed to bring anyone with him).

On the return, Ian's first award for deviation after we descended Dunchideock hill, and Dave for repetition of several near misses when ahead of the leader. Then I believe it was Ian and Wolf who failed to make the Devington diversion in Exminster.

All in all not a bad haul for a simple 33 mile ride. Incidentally, I may have heard mutterings about an award for 'vexatious leading', whatever that is. With the large number of compliments regarding my route today, and the colossal weight of responsibility carried by a leader desperately trying to manage such an obviously difficult group, I expect I am in line for the first of the usual glut of this year's White Sheep Awards (a good word from you to the Exec on my behalf wouldn't go amiss here).

And remember what I said above about not publishing this - I am sure I can rely on your absolute discretion here.


Competition Hots up for the David Dickinson Award

Dave (left) Keith (right)

Competition has been intense for the David Dickinson Award with over six months to go.

Keith booked a four week sailing trip to the British Virgin Islands ... and according to Janet spent the entire time laid out on the foredeck ... and even turned down an invitation from Sir Richard to visit Necker Island.

Meanwhile Dave also adopted a nautical approach (they seem to think that reflexions from the water will double the effect of the sun) sunning himself on a coaster on the West African Coast.

In order to judge the effectiveness of these two approaches we have commisioned a top photographer to take candid shots of the two of them under identical lighting conditions. I leave you to judge who is ahead at this time.

Thursday 21 March - Exmouth

You've got a variety of reports to pick from this week ... Tim says:-

Keith, Judy & I met up at West Hill memorial & made our way (by different routes!) to Kings whilst Glenis intended to link up with the Exeter branch but missed the only representative, Wolf. Robin & Pippa whizzed along their own route, as did Ted who was already ensconced at Kings when we arrived, very wet & bedraggled!

Thus there were 8 of us who cycled. Several of the more senior coffee potters had sensibly broken the rules by arriving by car! After coffee and some good chats we (cyclists) made our way speedily home to dry out properly!

Glenis reported ...

Well ... happy to report that despite the weather - some of us did make the bike bus trip to Kings. I might have missed the many Woodbury stops in the official route - but I did make the Ebford stop (and early for once!). No one there so I continued to Lymsptone - still no one there.

I bravely continued to Kings and found a be-draggled Keith having led the route from West Hill all on his own. We were shortly joined by Wolf, the Greens; Ted; Pippa and Robin. (Don't think I have missed anyone and if I have I'm sorry - too wet to count!)

Surprisingly enough, I don't think anyone continued on for a cycle in the afternoon....!!

Here's to better weather next Thursday....!!

... and finally Wolf writes rather forlornly ...

Thoughts on a lonely Bus.

Nobody at the meeting point - just rain and wind! Perhaps I am too late? No, three minutes left. So I will be the leader and the group in one. That's good: No complaints, no delays and my own pace - but unfortunately no chats. No matter, the wind would have scattered the words anyway.

What a silly idea to buy overshoes on spring equinox. But now - the first time this year - the feet are warm and dry. You don't get thirsty when the rain runs down your face. Wonderful, no stops for habitual drinking. And all this freedom! when the squalls play with the front wheel and allow the use of the full width of the path. Gone with the wind! Oh miracle, suddenly there are Pippa and Robin helping me back on track!

Eventually eight weather-resistant riders gathered at King's around the Round Table to face further adventures.

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