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CTC Exeter - Newsletter July 2008

Kirby James

CTC Exeter Sunday Rides Coffee Pots Bike Bus Devon News


Debbie makes it to Paris

Debbie in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower

After months of training under overcast skies and on wet roads in Devon ... Debbie set off on her 400 kilometre London to Paris ride to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Trust.

Debbie ... with sufficient strength remaining to lift her bike

Just four days later ... after coping with tremendous downpours and wet roads ... many hills and two crashes ... she arrived successfully in Paris on Saturday 6th July.

So far Debbie has raised an amazing £5,000 ... if you would also like to contribute to this very worthwhile cause please visit her fundraising page.

Debbie will be writing about her adventure on her blog ... so check there for more information and pictures.

Congratulations to Debbie and to her family for supporting her in achieving this target.

CTC Exeter New Forest Weekend

19th to 21st September 2008

John Rowland writes: "As previously announced it is intended to conduct a Club weekend in the New Forest on 20th and 21st September. Initial enquires have been made and several members have shown interest, so this brief is to take the planning a stage further.

Accommodation is the single most important planning factor. I am arranging to B&B near Brockenhurst and could advise anyone who wants to do the same. However most enquires have been about caravanning or tenting. The most convenient site with 600 pitches is Hollands Wood (Grid SU 303034), which caters for both and has all facilities except electrical hook up. None of the Forest sites that meet our needs offer every facility, and many are too small to cope. The cost of Hollands Wood is £17 for non members and £14 for members per pitch. The telephone number is the Forestry Commission line at 0845 130 8224 or site number 01590 622967. You are advised to make your reservation before the end of July. There is an on-line description here."

<googlemap lat="50.848221" lon="-1.568131" type="map" width="500" height="350" zoom="11"> 50.848221, -1.568131 </googlemap> "This site is ideal from the off road cycling point of view. It is central and allows quick access to forest tracks. Also it is close to Brockenhurst for major sustenance! I leave it to individuals to make their own booking.

I am happy to lead the off-road team on both days. Those who want to cycle on-road will have to select their leader in due course. The plan is to meet at the camp site at 10am each morning to start the day.

We have eleven people taking part so far so you can see there is plenty of room for additional riders. Please let me know if you would like to join us."

John Rowland - 01395 232610

Cycle Sunday - Exeter - 20nd June 2008

Zsolt Schuller persuading the Teign Valley Pedal Bashers to wear reflective armbands

Cycle Sunday this year was held on the Flower Pots Playing Field in Exeter. Around 350 people took part in the charity ride and it is estimated that over 1,000 people attended the event.

Some pictures and a brief report on the event are on-line.

Recent CTC Exeter Rides

CTC Exeter continues to arrange rides on Sundays and Thursdays as well as Wednesday evening rides until the end of July. If you are interested in any of these rides please just turn up.

Reports on some recent rides are available on-line. John Rowland organised an excellent off-road ride in the Quantocks, and Kirby James led an on-road ride which proved to be more challenging than most of the off-road routes we have tackled recently.

Family Rides?

We have asked by a few cyclists whether we offer rides for families with young children (0-10 years). At the moment we don't - but if you are interested in such rides (or even in organising one) can you let the CTC Exeter's Secretary know and we can put you in touch with each other.

No Cycling on Budleigh Seafront ...

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Recently new 'No Cycling' signs have been put on Budleigh Salterton seafront from the Raleigh Wall to the Lime Kiln Car Park.

Anyone caught cycling in this area risks a £30 fixed penalty.

... but Cycling on Exmouth Seafront Allowed

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Meanwhile in Exmouth work is almost complete on extending the sea-front cycleway from near the Railway Carriage Cafe to Alexandra Terrace.

Just remember which town you are in before cycling along the front ...

Recent Tours

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CTC Exeter riders have been known to cycle outside Devon ...

Roger and Marilyn Spurr have returned safely from their five week tour in France.

Roy Russell joined a CTC Cycling Holiday around the Dordogne which was led by Pam and Dave Pilbeam. A selection of Roy's photos of the trip are on-line

Meanwhile Kirby James spent a week based in Lucca exploring the Alpe Apuane in Northern Tuscany. The city of Lucca sits within Renaissance walls and most of the old centre is pedestrianised. The locals use bikes as a primary means of transport ... and pedestrians and cyclists seem to mix harmoniously.

The Alpe Apuane contain the marble quarrying centres of Carrara and Massa. They also support a 130 km cyclosportive ride called the Gran Fondo del Diavolo or the Devil's Ride ... which climbs a series of hills called Paradiso, Purgatorio, and Inferno ... (Paradise, Purgatory and Hell). I wonder if they got the idea from the Dartmoor Devil?

A report on Kirby's trip is available on-line.

Lucca amphitheatre.jpg

The Tour of Britain

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The Tour of Britain returns to the South West on Tuesday 9th September when the 185 km Stage 3 runs from Chard to Burnham-on-Sea.

The route passes through Hemyock, Willand, Tiverton, Witheridge, Meshaw, South Molton, North Molton, Withypool, Exford, Wheddon Cross, Dunster, Williton Bishops Lydeard and Bridgewater. A map and further details can be found on the Visit Somerset Web Site and on the Tour of Britain web site.

Approximate Timmings
Event Place Estimated Time
Start Chard 10:15
King of the Mountains Staple Hill (south of Taunton) 10:40
Sprint Tiverton 11:30
Sprint South Molton 12:00
King of the Mountains North Molton, Mile Hill 12:25
King of the Mountains Cothelstone Hill 13:50
Finish Burnham-on-Sea, Marine Drive 14:30

David Rendell Memorial Ride

A ride in memory of David Rendell is being held on Saturday 19th July. The ride will be setting off from outside the Odeon cinema in Sidwell Street, Exeter at 6.30 pm. James Fishwick of Sidwell Cycles writes "The ride will be going down to Exmouth (David's hometown) along the road and the new cycle route, and there will be a speed limit of 15mph imposed - so probably best to leave the racer behind and jump on the commuter or MTB for this one. We would also like to mention that black will be necessary as a mark of respect. Thanks for your help on this one."

David was tragically killed while cycling on the A379 Exminster to Dawlish Road on Sunday 6th July.

Exeter Cycle Forum Issues

Exeter Cycle Strategy

As announced in May Cycle Exeter has received funding for a further three years. However the Cycle Forum is keen to ensure that the positive work undertaken by Cycle Exeter is extended beyond 2011.

To this end the Forum is developing a Cycle Strategy for 2020. The current draft of the document is available on-line.

If you have any suggestions on items that you would like to see included in the strategy - please send the to CTC Exeter's Secretary before 30 August in the first instance.

New Member

There has been a welcome addition to the membership of the Exeter Cycle Forum - Shivaji Shiva is the chair of CTC's Cyclists' Defence Fund and is also a member of the CTC National Council. Shivaji is also setting up a new Bicycle Users Group (BUG) at Michelmores Solicitors in Exeter.

It is believed that there is significant under-reporting of incidents involving cyclists and Shivaji is currently exploring options to estimate the true extent of such events.

Sharing Joint Use Paths

Twenty is plenty.jpg

Zsolt Schuller and the local police community support officer (PCSO) spent a day on the shared use cycle/pedestrian path between Countess Wear and Topsham. This route has been subject of a number of complaints about anti-social behaviour so cyclists were given advice together with a copy of the Road Code, cycle maps and reflective arm bands. Those cyclists without bells had them fitted.

In a corresponding initiative targeted at motorists a '20s Plenty' campaign is being rolled out in some of Exeter's residential areas.

M5 Junction 30 Improvements

Work on the new signaled crossing on the northbound on-slip is scheduled to start in January 2009. This will complete an off road link from the motorway services to Clyst St Mary.

A new signaled crossing of Sidmouth Road, where there is currently an 'agricultural' crossing (50 metres east of Junction 30, opposite Clyst Road), is planned. It is not known when work on this crossing will begin.

Exe Estuary Trail

Exmouth - Lympstone: The Council are aware of the various soil stability problems (landslips in English) which have affected the path during the recent wet weather. These are being dealt with as they arise.

Lympstone - Exton: Work has been ongoing clearing the route and placing fencing alongside the rail line. Construction of the trail will involve several boardwalk sections and a good deal of earthworks. Completion is scheduled for Autumn 2009.

Exton - Topsham: Planning consent was obtained in the Spring but work is not planned to begin until 2010.

Bridge Road - Turf Locks: A new bird viewing platform is to be added shortly.

Turf Locks - Powderham Church: No planning application has been made. Concerns of the Environment Agency and Natural England have been met but the stumbling block is the landowners' objection to a new bridge over the rail line. An alternative proposal which involves taking the trail under the rail line is being investigated.

Estuary Road: Consultants are monitoring traffic flows and speeds along this section prior to making recommendations on how the infrastructure can be improved.

Estuary Road to Starcross: Work is underway on an off-road section of the path from where Estuary Road joins the A379 down to Starcross Station. Here a new signaled crossing will lead to the back road through Starcross.

Starcross to Cockwood: Work is underway on this off road route which will terminate at a signaled crossing just north of Cockwood. Completion is expected by October 2008.

Cockwood to Dawlish Warren: A planning application was first made for this section in March. Recently a slightly revised proposal has been resubmited. No date is available for when construction will start.

Cycling in Schools

At Ladysmith School regular cycle usage has increased from 4 to 40-50 (and a maximum of 90) as a result of Cycle Exeter's BikeIt programme.

At St Luke's School 18% of pupils cycle on a daily basis with a maximum of 37%.

New BUGs

New Bicycle User Groups (BUGs) have been established at

  • Exeter City Council
  • Michelmores Solicitors, Pynes Hill, and
  • the Landmark Information Group in Sowton.

Bike Sheds

Eight major new cycle parking facilities have been installed at sites across the city - these include the RD&E Hospital, Health Centres, workplaces and ... St James' Church.

It is understood that the vicar of St James' has, in two sermons, encouraged his congregation to cycle to church.


  • 5,000 new students at Exeter University and 2,500 new students at Exeter College will be provided with cycle maps and public transport information when they arrive in the Autumn
  • Both Exeter College and the University of Exeter will receive more intensive support from Cycle Exeter to plan year long cycling promotion and activities
  • 1,300 children in Exeter will have received cycle training during the current school year


A large number of cycle schemes have been completed or are underway

  • a new 1.5 m wide contraflow cycle lane allows cyclists to descend Paris Street
  • a new route is available along Western Way from Bradfield Road to the Courts
  • the new lighting from Exeter Quay to Gabriel's Wharf and Trew's Weir Suspension Bridge should be compete by the end of August
  • a new route behind Exeter Arena from Beacon Heath to Exhibition Way
  • a new shared use path along Thornpark Rise
  • new links between Avocet Road and Osprey Road and Moor Lane and Bittern Road on the Sowton Industrial Estate
  • modifications to the cycle route along Prince Charles Road
  • Balls Farm Road now has traffic restrictions (which are being enforced) and children are being encouraged to use this as a route to school
  • the 'curley wurley' bridge over the A30 between Ide and the Twisted Oak is now shared use (cyclist/pedestrian)


CTC Exeter Sunday Rides Coffee Pots Bike Bus Devon News