Time For A Proper Ride
Pete is coming to visit this weekend, but he was on the train and not due until lunch time. An old friend, Sarah, was also visiting, in Devon with her kayaking club, so I was up early to see Sarah off, and thought I’d take advantage of a few spare hours to go off on a more exciting bike ride.
I chose to go out via Tedburn St Mary, a chance to say hello to a very good friend, Hugh Vincent. He’s been an incredibly generous benefactor to The Chain Gang in times of need, and is a keen thespian. He’s not the most sartorial bloke you’ll ever meet, but he’s one of the nicest, and he’s great in pantomime.
From Tedburn, my route followed a road I’ve never been on before, out via Cheriton Bishop to Whiddon Down, the aim being to turn left down to Moretonhampstead where I know a handy little cafe.
Shortly after Cheriton Bishop I was caught up by two guys on some very nice bikes. I thought they looked a bit familiar, and it turns out they’ve been on some of the same rides as me and Dr Bike, for example the Dartmoor Devil and the Dartmoor Classic.
Andy and Keith (Andy’s in front) now of Chudleigh. Andy’s riding a Trek Madone, like me, but he’s got the next model up. Horrible man. We’ll see them again in May on the Dartmoor Classic. I hope you had as good a ride as me guys.
An uneventful ride to Moretonhampstead, a cup of coffee and a massive slice of fruitcake, and back to Exeter on one of the most beautiful stretches of road I know, past Steps Bridge, through Dunsford and Longdown.
Have a little look at Moretonhampstead , and if you’re ever there. the cafe on the corner is wonderful.
There are still some stiff climbs, but Moretonhampstead is at 700 feet (205 metres) and Exeter is at sea level, so somewhere on the way there is some serious downhill fun to be had.
The postcript is that I enjoyed myself a bit too much, Pete had been sat here for over an hour when I finally got home. Tant pis, Pete. I’ll pretend I got a puncture – it always works in France if we’re going to be late for a vineyard visit.
The French are amusing like that. They tut-tut if you’re late, but if you try the old gallic shrug and claim ‘crevaison’ (puncture), all is sweetness and light again. Maybe I won’t try it on Pete, I’ll stick to the truth – sorry mate.