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Torbay News - May 2015

Torbay Newsletter – Spring 2015

Well checking the web link it seems we’ve had no Newsletter since February 2013 so a bit of an update is required.

2014 was a very busy year for the club. There was a good number out on most of the rides, and a lot of us rode various Audaxes, and events both at home and away, including the Dartmoor Classic, The Nello, and Ride London Geoff’s trip to France had to be cancelled in February because of the awful winter weather ( which I missed as I was working in Sochi). But we made up for it by having a trip to Normandie in May which was great. The Vintage theme is becoming popular with members.

At the end of the year Kevin Presland was presented with the CTC Certificate of Merit, for his services to the CTC. We were sad to hear that Roy Gable is hanging up his wheels – at 82 he likes to ride fast, but now his knees are saying “No”, but we hope to keep in touch with Roy & Ba, great friends to the Torbay CTC.

Some other sad news was that Arnie Reed continued to suffer some poor health, a member who we miss a lot on the regular rides.

So to 2015. The year got off to a great start with Geoff’s trip to Brittany, staying at Perros Guirec. About 40 of us went over and had a good weekend in fine weather. Then there was the Torbay CTC Skittles evening at Boot’s and Laces in Torquay which was fun.

The Exeter Wheelers/CTC mad march Audaxes were popular with members, as were several other AUK rides. Some travelled to Bristol to ride the Jack & Grace cotton memorial 100Km, then to Chippenham to ride the Flapjack 100, and up to Chepstow to ride the Gospel pass 150Km.

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The 7th Velo Vintage Occasion and Ride was held in Barnstaple on 11th April. Several riders took the vintage or veteran bicycles up for the day and enjoyed some sunshine, but a very cold breeze, along with 100 other riders on the event organised by Alistair Cope. An afternoon cream tea was followed by entertainment at “Tea on the Taw” and a chicken curry. There were awards for the best dressed bicycle and best dressed lady and gent. The next Velo Vintage event is on 13th June 2015. [1]

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It was a glorious weekend for the Devon Dirt. Over 350 riders set out from Bigpeaks for a 50Km hilly ride around South Dartmoor. Most people were back unscathed by 5.30 p.m. Huge thanks are due to all our helpers, Roy Russell and Glenys Pewsey for help with Car Parking and Marshalling, Roger Wyman for directing the traffic, Margi Hawkins, Gavin Fothergill and Annie seward, Hilary Durbin and Gordy, Andy Endicott, Kevin Presland and Joyce Sharpe for helping at the start and finish, Kate Hattersley for helping with all the admin, Rod Pash for marshalling, Debs and Miles Barrington Ward, and Gill & Rob Simmonds for running the control at Pullabrook, and help at the finish, Roy & Ba Gable for running the control at Houndtor, David Twigger for putting up arrows, ( and putting them up again after they were taken down) and Steve Main and Richard Drysdale for helping remove the arrows from the route. Thanks also to Paul Tomlin and his staff at the Bigpeaks store for all the help at the HQ and supporting the event.

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On 25th/26th April , the Turf ‘n’ Surf Audax events were held based in Newton Abbot. The events are run in memory of Chris Bennett who passed away on a club ride on 1st April 2012. Rod Pash had worked hard on the route sheets, and this year there were 3 events, a 100Km, a 300Km and a 400Km ride. The longer rides visting Polzeath, one of Chris’s favourite places. The Bennett family were out in force running the controls, and Rod and Lisa Pash, Rob and Lynda Swayne and others all helping out. The CTC was donated a Team Sky authentic Sky Jersey to raffle to raise money for Devon Air Ambulance [2]. You may still be in for a chance to win it if you get some raffle tickets from Rod (£1 each or £3 per strip of 5)

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Dawn exe 15.jpg Dawn over River Exe, taken from the new cycle bridge at Powderham by G.Brodie during the T&S 400Km.

Car Assisted Rides: Looking forward – there are a lot of car assisted rides palnned in forthcoming weeks. These have been very popular – there was one a couple of weekends back where Bryn lead a ride in Cullompton Area. It gives the opportunity to explore areas slightly further away, and gives the option to some riders to pedal to the start and get a longer day in.

Kevin’s Off! Well a lot of us have been touring lately, trips to Mallorca, Morocco, Cuba, China and the Far East have been enjoyed by various members. Now Kevin Presland is celebrating his 50th Birthday in style with 7 week trip around Europe taking in most of the big hills. His aptly named Xeuro 50:50 started this weekend ( 2nd May) as he set off from Portugal and his journey will take him through to Spain, France and Germany, covering the Pico’s, Pyrenees, Jura and Alps.

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He’s mainly Youth Hostelling so don’t bother competing for the YHA trophy, and Rod Pash, Martin Read and James O’Neil will be riding with him for sections of the route. His antics will be updated on a facebook page, and if you’re not into that then we’ll keep you updated on the CTC website.

Steve Abraham: I’m sure many us have been watching the antics of the long distance supremo Steve Abraham, and ideed his “mate” - Kurt (Tarzan) Searvogel, as they have been knocking out huge mileages in pursuit of the annual mileage record. ( The website details Steve’s progress). Steve overcame many challenges in the early part of the season including a spill on the ice, but it too a drunk moped rider in Cullompton to bring the challenge to a halt! But only temporarily. Steve had his ankle plastered up after the crash, and is knocking out laps of the Milton Keynes bowl, on a recumbent trike ( TRICE of Falmouth) This story is by no menas over, and the challenge is very much still on, - there are option such as concurrent challenged, so it’s going to be fascinating to see how this all pans out.

Roads: Lots of issues with roads around South Devon, building of the SDLR and various housing developments have turned the area between Newton abbot and Torquay in to a nightmare for cyclists. Alternative start points have often been used for the Tuesday rides. Local CTC Rights officers have been having regular meetings with Galliford-Try ( contactors ) and Devon County Council, and some work was done to mitigate the problems experienced by cyclists. The new Clay Pits Way has also not been without problems, with large amounts of soil and debris being scattered onto the cycle track by local sweepers, and caused by animals digging at the side of the track.

Cycle ways and bridges: Good news in the area is that there is much development going on to improve the facilities for cyclists and walkers. The track at Stover Park has been nicely surfaced, and significantly the new cycle/foot/horse bridge has been craned into place over the A38 near Heathfield. Strategically this is probably one of the most significant developments in the last 30 years as it effectively links South Dartmoor Area to Teignbridge, a link which has effectively been severed in the past with the lack of any safe crossing of the A38. The old railway line past Parke in Bovey Tracey has also been extended towards Lustleigh, as part of the Wray valley Trail. There is also a development going on to link Dawlish Town centre with the Dawlish Warren trail, puttying the town of Dawlish onto the Exe Estuary Trail – Sustrans have an officer posted to work on this project for 12 months, so watch this space for developments.

A38 heathfield bridge1.jpg A38 bridge section.jpg

Forthcoming events:

Dartmoor Ghost: This year is the third year for the Dartmoor Ghost. It’s a 150Km night-time Audax ride going from Bovey Tracey to Yelverton via Okehampton and Lydford, and back over the moors via Warren House Inn and Moretonhampstead. Although organiser Kevin P is away bicycling, Chuffy Simmonds has stepped in to help with the organisational bits. If you ahven’t done a proper night ride before do the Ghost – it’s fun!

Devon Delight & Torplex 200: Devon Delight and Torplex 200 take place on 19th July this year. The usual delightful 100km route to Exeter via Stoke canon with a cream tea at the finish in Newton Abbot. The 200Km is a strenuous event going over Dartmoor to Plymouth. Some volunteers are needed to help out with the running of these events.

Wednesday Evening Rides Weekly Wednesday evening rides attract between five and ten riders. We have visited a variety of pubs within a twelve mile radius of Kingskerswell and now the evenings are lighter we will be going further afield. We try to choose pubs which serve real ale, and vary the direction of travel each week in order that everyone takes a turn having a shorter ride home. Advantages of evening rides include quieter roads, wildlife sightings (fox, badgers, bats and owls all being seen regularly), spectacular sunsets and the pleasure of moonlight riding. We meet at Kingskerswell Arch at 7PM and aim to leave promptly by 7.15PM. New riders are always made welcome. - Steve M.

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If you have anything you want to add to the Newsletter then let me have it - send to ( ideally in a format I can easily copy and paste – THANKS!)

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