This section of our website features a recent ride report from our members, updated monthly.
The Novice Run, lead by Martin "Hoops" Hooper
Following on from the popular evening novice runs lead by other members, I thought I'd offer a weekend outing as these are easier for me to do, and I was in need of a spin myself having missed one of Snafu's rides. A brave bunch of four new members volunteered, and RichT4 kindly offered to bring up the rear for an outing around what I now call my East Devon short loop.
We arranged to meet at 10.30 for the off, and Harty had already ridden through a downpour to get to us. No problem, as 113 (all lanes start 192) was going to be our first and included water I had ridden a nice boggy lane on the way to meeting up, and I think Rich had as well. Here we are getting ready to go, L-R Lionel (KrazyBiker), Mark (Harty), Steve (Spud), Steve P (not on forum?), and Rich (RichT4):
Everyone made it through 113 successfully, we then hit the road and headed off to 105 where I heard a rumour of a badger being spotted (note to readers: a "badger" is Devon TRF-speak for gently falling off when riding in a lane). Everyone coped really well with this lane, getting through the stony section at the bottom, then up through the grassy and slippery ruts to the top. Well done guys
We then headed over to the loop of 100 and 102 where there was a bit of water but nothing too bad. More of a worry was a new sandy section on 102 which almost caught me out as I rode over it (front slipped away). There was also a black pickup driving along 100, so we had to stop for a couple of minutes to let it get ahead. We then rode up 108 and 106, then back round to 114 where a quick breather/drink/cigarette break was called for:
So far, so good, and everyone seemed happy with the pace. Off we headed down 114 where we encountered our first flooded section. We then took in 115 where the puddle at the end was surprisingly deep, but unfortunately I wasn't quick enough to get the camera out. It was then through Hampster (Devon TRF Member) territory to pick up 241 and 242, then we dropped into Sidmouth to fuel up. I had a bit of a brain fart here as I recalled a café on the beach, then realised I was thinking about the wrong beach, so we followed RichT4 down to Sidmouth seafront to eat the goodies bought in the petrol station. RichT4 decided to have a kip while everyone else had something to eat/drink:
L-R: RichT4 (Zzzzzzz), Steve P, Spud, KrazyBiker, Harty:
A quick public toilet stop followed, then back up through Sidmouth to pick up where we left off (sorry about the last minute exit on the roundabout boys), taking in 244, then a revisit to 241. We then did the bumpy climb at 156, and prior to starting everyone was told it gets a bit bumpy further up, and after riding the softer earlier section everyone made it to the top. Fair play to everyone who hasn't ridden this one before, I found it a bit of a worry when I first rode it (and still do) Its a dead-ender, so back down we went, and made our way to 168 which now has quite a deep water-carved channel, so we tried to ride the flatter, higher section of the bank. The overgrowth here wasn't too bad yet, but it won't be long before it gets crazy again. There was another rumour of a badger spotted, but everyone made it out of the lane safely:
We then continued along 245 which has a nice rut carved into it, with a nice step caused by a tree root crossing the rut. After a bit of pulling and pushing, we headed off to the obligatory view point at the top of 170 for a rest and to take in the sight of the sea. I was greeted by several nice young ladies who asked me to take their photograph with the view behind them, and I was happy to oblige Once everyone arrived, we had a bit of a well deserved breather at this point and admired the view:
And what a view it is :
When we decided to set off, Harty said he was going to call it a day and headed back down 170 and 169 to make his way home. The rest of us went down 170, back down 168, then along 167 and 166 before heading over to 184. I absolutely love that lane and have cleaned it before, but was disappointed to have dabbed this time round. After a bit of difficulty getting out at the top, and one badger moment, things were getting slippery as it started to rain as we went along 183 (passing the ladies whose pic I took earlier), then 182, and 181. We then did quite a bit of road work to get us to the long wet rut that is 136, then double-backed on ourselves to finish the day off with a surprisingly dry 159 and 158 taking us deep into TTR country (another Devon TRF member) No badger moments here despite it being quite slimy. At the end of the lane we parted company, Steve P and I headed off to a local jet wash (we went different ways) but when I got there it was closed, so I headed off home and cleaned the bike by hand
All in all a great part-days ride in good company, these boys all signed up for a novice run but I'd say they're more than novices as everyone coped really well with everything, especially as some of the more muddy sections were slippery following the rain. That, combined with some riders having knobblies on the rear, can make traction hard to come by!
Thanks to everyone else for coming along and making the ride what it was, hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did, and thanks of course to RichT4 for being "Tail End Charlie" for the day. The standard of riding by everyone was great and it was good to meet some new riders
Some useless stats if anyone's interested:
Miles: 52 (door to door for me)
Lanes: 25 (if you include ones we did twice)
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