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Hello Everyone

It is obviously still winter so this newsletter which was intended much earlier is still relevant. My computer crashed delaying the process and in the repair I lost the file with all the contributions that had previously been sent to me. An urgent request has brought in some material but not the Sunday and Wednesday rides points list


Despite the wet and now very cold weather there has been a fair amount of activity. Unfortunately both Roger Wyman and Phillip Moseling had falls resulting in both not riding for some time,. Roger broke his ankle but is now back on his bike trying to regain his fitness and Phil has just returned and went off to join the Brittany trip. A major improvement to Newton Abbot cycling facilities has taken place allowing us earlier this month to be able to use the new £1+million bridge at Newton Abbot Quay. The official opening will be in March but it was good that we could use it before this ceremony especially as we have waited long enough already with it having taken over five years from planning to completion. You may remember that it was included for finance from Connect2 should they win the Nationwide vote for a lottery grant. Many of us twisted arms of friends, family and others to persuade them to vote for Connect2, as in particular in the South West, the Eden Centre in Cornwall was a strong competitor. However, in the event Connect2 won and money was made available provided the project was completed within five years. There must have been an extension granted as the five year period ran out at the end of last year. Now built there is talk to continue the cycleway to Teignmouth which would be a jewel in the crown for Teignbridge on par with the Camel Trail in Cornwall. However, if it took five years for what we have just got, how long will this take? I cannot but think it will take far more than five years. There is an article in this week's Mid-Devon Advertiser with correspondence setting out the difficulties.. Land owners are objecting understandably to protect agricultural land and have offered alternate land on the waterside of the railway. However, Devon CC seemed determined for a route on the landside which is a much cheaper option. That could possibly involve long delays for compulsory purchase orders for the land. Also in the equation steps the Environment Agency, a statutory body, who state they would object to the waterside route anyway so the problems mount. Read all about it in the MDA.


Do not miss this event which is next Wednesday 27th February at 8pm. It will be at Boots & Laces, Torquay United Football Club, Marnham Road, Torquay


This will be the following week to the skittles on Friday 8th March at 7.30pm at Starcross Yacht Club, Powderham. I will be showing a video of the CTC Tour of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, which was the subject of my Highwayman article of last last year. I think the video conveys the joys and effort required to cycle this spectacular state of the USA. Kevin, Graham and James will then be showing edited highlights of Apennine pictures taken on their tour. The will be a bar, hot drinks and light refreshments. No need for tickets; just turn up and enjoy. Family and friends are welcome. I hope to see you there.

Please note Starcross YC is not in the village but at Powderham near the church on the waterside road. Car parking is available for normal height cars with access under a low railway bridge but this is not high enough for higher vehicles or those with roof racks.


Many of you will know that twelve cyclists on a Tuesday run in January 2012 had a serious incident with a 42 ton tanker on a narrow road near Littlehempston, which was the subject of a report to the police for dangerous driving. It eventually came to Court last month, nearly twelve months after the incident, when the driver pleaded Not Guilty to a much reduced charge. Geoff Sharpe, Geoff Hayes, John Beesley, Brian Fisher and myself were called as witnesses and were all subjected to lengthy cross-examination by the defence but he was found guilty. However, it is considered that the incident, the lengthy process and outcome is another typical example of the legal system's woeful inadequate response to bad driving (especially towards cyclists) subject of an article in the last edition of "Cycle". I have written an article, which will appear in next month's Highwayman, setting out the full story of our incident and Tom Dunn, the editor, has made that the theme of his Editorial as injustice towards the likes of us is presently very topical. You will see that there is an ongoing dialogue by the CTC and others with Government and all prosecuting agencies about this. The "Cycle" article quotes several serious case and is worth a read.

Returning to the Highwayman, Tom states the next edition, with other items and photographs from Torbay, means that Torbay members feature very heavily in it and in consequence should be especially interesting to us in particular so he has high hopes of extra ‘casual sales’ in Torbay. Therefore if you do not regularly receive a copy in the post, make sure you contact Brian Fisher to obtain one.


To date I have 3 teams signed up for this year's Tourist Competition.

Team BONKAS Geoff Sharpe, John Cooper and Rob Swayne TORBAY 1 Kevin Presland, Graham Brodie, James O'Neill TORBAY 2 Geoff Sharpe, Arnie Read, Chris Whatley

Now the first event is on Sunday 3rd March, the Mad March 100k and 200k Audaxes followed by round 3, the 50 miles in 4.5 hours (Three rivers ride) on Sunday 31st March.

If you want to be part of a team this year and you can be a member of up to 3 teams please contact me with the names of your three members and the title of your team before the first round to ensure you get your first 10 points in. Geoff Sharpe. CTC Devon Events Co-ordinator

Tel. 01803 812743 Email.


This is on Saturday 30th April. For details contact Kevin Presland

Post script - a letter of thanks has been received from the Devon Air Ambulance Trust for the donation made by the club in Chris' memory.

SUNDAY RIDES - COMMENTS BY CHRIS WHATLEY The Sunday rides are very successful, regularly attracting 20 riders plus. On several occasions recently we have divided into two groups for the ride to coffee in order to reduce the frequent stops which are otherwise necessary to avoid losing people off the rear.

We have gained several new members in the last few weeks and with our secretary Paul Harman's excellent and very professional web site in place there is a wealth of information about our rides available to anyone prepared to take the trouble to Google "Torbay cycling" or words to that effect.

Easy, Middling and Hard rides are all well supported and we are also offering the occasional rides in more distant locations such as John Beesley's car assisted to the Plym Valley Cycle Trail in April and Geoff Sharpe's car assisted to Tiverton and the Great Western Canal in June.

It is always a challenge to plan routes which will encourage people to continue after coffee to complete the whole day ride which typically finishes at about 5pm. In order to fully engage the muscles and enthusiasms of our more ambitious riders we intend to offer variations or extensions of some middling rides (arranged on the day) to challenge the faster and/or more explorational of our friends. Where we have young riders amongst us keen on speed and adrenaline but not knowing the route to coffee it would be good to see some of our faster types leading them on a route and at a pace designed to produce a bit of excitement before eating the cakes.

Our thanks to those people who regularly plan good routes and are prepared to lead the rides. The need to get the navigation right and keep the group together whilst sacrificing most of the happy lighthearted conversation you would otherwise be enjoying is not an easy thing so any more offers from people prepared to lead are always gratefully accepted.


Thirteen riders with double figures with last year's winner again in the lead.

Brian Fisher 15 points

Chris Whatley 13

Rob Swayne 13

Geoff Hayes 12

Tony Avery 12

John Dodson 11

Dave Prudden 11

Geoff Sharpe 11

Mike Taylor 11

Arnie Read 10

Nick Nichols 10

Jacky Whatley 10

Peter Wheatley 10

Everyone keep safe on the road