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Devon TRF

Teign 2 Tamar 2019

Extracts from Devon TRF Forum

Two full days for me and a group of 6 from Hertfordshire..

Dartmoor on Saturday with a few attempts at Simms ( including 2 for the run leader ) all very good riders with well prepped bikes.

No offs or miss-haps that I was aware of and it was a cracking pace. All back by 5 pm.

It was great to see Sam Manicom again. Its been 9 years since he had a kidney transplant and he is in really good health.

I demand sight of the calibration certificate for those scales ........ 9.5 kg ? pffffffft

Sunday was a bit different as we went south and west from base camp, blindly following a route Jim Pinnock had loaded in the sat nav for T2T 2018.

Got a bit confused at a complex junction near Tally Ho and turned around after Broadhempston as it was becoming obvious that it was taking us back to the start.

Early lunch at Totnes Steamer Quay cos we got there 1.5 hours quicker than I did with last years group and on west as far as Bow Bridge where we had the biggest laugh of the weekend . The last rider to cross the ford had a series of wobbles that had him carving massive arcs, first upstream then downstream ( we thought he was going under the bridge at one point ) to remain upright and finally reach terra firma. All with a good audience sat at the picnic tables and a group of riders who knew exactly what was going on......

Then as we passed Broadhempston Church for the third time, I had do do an emergency stop or hit an oncoming car, the compromise was for the front wheel stopped rotating and left a lurid black mark on the road with a dig from a footrest to tell the story to those who came after. The front wheel ended up about 6" short of the front bumper of the car (so no paperwork) and I headbutted the tarmac to crack my helmet peak and scratch the handpainted camo paint )-: Ive had that helmet 15 years too .....

Then not long afterwards I had a high speed, highside off. towards the north end of Parkers

 Bike and rider facing the opposite way to directon of travel and rider further along the trail than bike.

So mild headache. grazed elbow and knee and a mobile phone shaped bruise probable on the ribs (-;

But we all got back in one piece and agreed that it was a fantastic weekend.

A huge thank you to the few who worked tirelessly in the background to make the event work so well (-;

ps. if Bobs inner tubes show up and he's given up hope of finding the fender bag ..............

Noel Squibb

Home again, after another fantastic weekend in Devon - most ably hosted by you all at Devon TRF

Thanks for all your time and effort, for organising and leading runs.............special thanks to Kirstie for doing the paperwork and to Chris and Jacki Cole, plus any other organisers I missed out

Travelling down on Friday from the Yorkshire Dales area was grand, with fine weather until WSM on the M5 and then I hit the rain which was incessant from then on, hope it would clear by Sat am

Arriving at Parker's Farm by mid afternoon, I was greeted by Chris and Kirstie, who had the adopted Kiwi Rob Black in tow (he was one of my fellow caravan sharers)

Rob was a great chap, who made us laugh all weekend

Down to the Bar to get some food & drink and a good night was had by all

Next morning it was dry - Yay !!!

We met up on the start field and found our group, I was billeted with fellow Yorkies - Tim & Lek, plus Stuart from my home group, together with aforementioned Rob Black and very ably led by Ray Tribe and John Heal

We set off on familiar ground for me, being a Devon boy - born in Newton Abbot (in the year John Heal met his wife) and schooled in Teignmouth at the same school as Chris Cole, albeit a few years after him

Saturday's ride around Ipplepen/Marldon/Stokeinteignhead/Teigmouth/Dawlish/Ashcombe/Teign Valley and Widecombe was fantastic

Some of the lanes in the Teign Valley were all new and I had trouble on the one with the well on it, near Christow - stuck on a root/rock (bloody knobblies)

Lunch at the Clipper, brought back memories of youth, messing about on our boats at Shaldon

The lanes on south Dartmoor, near Manaton and Hound Tor were some of my highlights and very similar to the ones we have up here

Saw the farmer Jon Dracup, as we went through his farm at Hound Tor woods, not seen him for 30 years

Simms was as tricky as ever, although I did manage to get up it, albeit with legs akimbo - however I got baulked on Tipley and chose to turn around and meet the others at Blackpool school, with Lek, who had a bad fall

Day 2 dawned dry, but overcast and after the exertion/beers/food/banter the night before we were a bit weary, but excited at the thought of more lanes.

Today we headed into the South Hams/Totnes/Dean Prior and Stoke Gabriel areas and the lanes were a bit harder, I thought................with plenty of slate bedrock again

Back via Berry castle and onto Redpost and Broadhempston, weaving our way through the tiny lanes

Disappointing to see the 'deliberately' stuck Landcruiser on a lane, near Younghouse/Ron Greet's and I cannot see what pleasure they get in driving into a drainage ditch and wrecking the drainage system, we get it up here too

Anyhow...................THE END, tired and muddy

This is our 'Easy' group plus TEC Rob, at the Sunday lunch halt in Dartmouth. Unlike some groups ours increased from Saturday as we gained one from a faster group.

Saturday was the longer day when we did both south of Teignmouth (where we kept meeting Trevor's group) and then north and across to Dartmoor where after another stop at the Widecombe Cabin I had a gentle lie down in one of the ruts on 084.

The group was given the choice of cutting Simms, but it was agreed that we would go and have a look. Whilst the men were standing at the bottom our lady rider Bonnie had decided that looking would only put her off so as we scattered she made a valiant attempt and made it to about three quarters of the way up. That decided it for the men who now had to make an attempt. All succeeded (eventually) and we headed back to Ashburton.

Sunday was heading south to avoid the Torquay Trial, but somehow I managed to do my route backwards! I had suggested morning coffee at Totnes, but although no one said anything we didn't get there till mid-afternoon!

Although we had an 'Easy' group we did all of the lanes, but probably at a slower speed than some. The only worrying time was when Trevor and bike fell sideways into the big puddle that bikes had been drowning out in on the day before. Sorry no photos!

A total of 162 miles was ridden and without exception everyone we met was happy and sociable, especially when they saw how old we all were (with the exception of Rob!). All are looking forward to doing it again.

Thanks to David and the team for putting it all together. Nick

“Just wanted to say thank you to you and the team for a great T2T weekend. Sorry it's a bit late but I've only just got all the mud off and put my body back together.

Cheers, Pete Cameron”

“!Would just like to thank you and team for organising a great event at the weekend.

It was just brilliant, our guides Group 10 were Dave Clark & Rick, they made us very welcome with laughs & stories all weekend.

Thanks again.

Regards, David Swatton!”


“Just a quick email to say Thank You to all involved in the Teign to Tamar event. The hard work was very much appreciated.

A superb weekend at a great location.

Looking forward to next year!

Best Wishes, Vernon Glashier”


Just like to say what a great weekend I had, tough but enjoyable. Please pass on my thanks to all who helped out at the venue, everyone was very friendly and helpful. Also my thanks to Ray and Simon for leading, and to Amyas who was our very patient TEC. Hope to be back next year

Kind regards,Tony Barrows”

“Hi Kirstie

Just to say thank you for a brilliant and well organised event. Had a terrific time Kevin and Vic were both great on the trails and I had a terrific time, need a rest now though. Best wishes John Allen

Hi, Alison, Dino & I would like to thank you, Chris Cole and all the Devon TRF members for a great weekend. I hope to see you all next year. Regards Bob Moores

Another absolutely brilliant, fantastic T2T! Thank you so much. Really appreciated, Bonny Collingborn”

Firstly, well done to those involved in the planning and organising of this year's T2T. It is a great opportunity for fellow TRF members across the country to discover the best of our lanes and hospitality, plus it benefits our group and charity funds, and was great fun.

John Heal (TEC) and myself had a great gang mostly from the Teesside and North Yorks group, who underplayed their hands by choosing an 'easy/ave' tag, but handled all that was put in front of them. Two were familiar with some of the area, one being born in the same hospital as John, at Newton Abbot, but not in the same year apparently!

We had planned to do a South Hams loop on the Saturday with Teignbridge and the Moors on Sunday, but Brian's timely forum mention of the Torbay Trial, allowed us to swap the routes around in time.

We wondered our way cross country from Ashburton to Ipplepen. Early on we had to wait at the bottom of Gale Hill (202-005) for 3 other groups who were coming down in a great long line. The wet patches near Channingswood looked deep, but were easily manageable. We continued on towards Kingskerswell, but my depth gauge malfunctioned on Windthorne Lane (202-081) in the usual Compton Mud Plug and my engine stopped and refused to re-start.

A quick inspection revealed no water in the airbox or exhaust, and as I have T pieces in my carb breathers, it should have coped with the wading. The group having pulled me out of the lake, insisted that they would wait whilst I fixed it. A quickish plug change, and it re-started so we U-turned to continue on.

We wondered around the Stokeinteignhead lanes and then had a lunch stop at The Clipper café at Shaldon, overlooking the river Teign.

Across Shaldon Bridge, through Teignmouth and to Pitt Lane (192-199) at Dawlish Water, one of my favourites, but dealt with easily by the whole group. Up to Long Lane and including the loop around Pitt Farm, where stinging nettle hill (192-230) was thankfully clear of stingers.

We continued on to Ashcombe Cross and there were some quizzical looks from the group and I rode towards the whitey just off the roundabout.

We rode down through the forest (192-216) and the group looked wide eyed at the James family encampment. Fortunately, the old bear of a dog has gone and there were no kids were wondering. If the price of scrap metal ever improves, they'll surely be millionaires!

A quick loop around Ideford and Luton and we were off to Harcombe for fuel and Robs chocolate biscuits.

I decided that Ruggadon did not fit the 'easy/ave' description so carried on to Bennah were again a stock gate was tied across the opening.

We passed Tottiford and Trenchford noting the warning notices for the Torbay Trial for Sunday.

Across to Trendledown and up through Houndtor Wood, another favourite of mine, and on this occasion, different to my last visit to this lane when a friend riding with me needed the services of the Air Ambulance following a low speed off.

We paused at Houndtor for a break, and unlike in Yorkshire, Stuart learnt that a hill with a rock on the top is called a Tor.

It was such a nice day we hopped across to Bonehill and then Widecombe, where we met another group enjoying the view whilst one rider lower down the hill, with a busted radiator awaited recovery.

We then made our way across to Ilsington via Leighton, and after a great build up of what was to come, tackled Simms. One rider made himself a roadblock near the top which stalled the progress of the 3 behind, but with another run up, all were safely at the top. Tipley was a tougher task and two of the group who only made it half way up, decided to retrace their paths and go around it.

We re-grouped and got back to Parkers farm at 6pm after 98 miles in much need of a rest, and ham egg and chips in the restaurant.

The next day came around too quick as I had stayed up to watch my recording of the Exeter Chiefs rugby game. The weather wasn't quite so welcoming, unlike the bacon and egg bap from the breakfast van.

This time we were heading to the South Hams, but our route was immediately thwarted by the fire-wood sellers trucks blocking the first lane of the day Gallows Wood Park Lane (202-025). Undeterred we headed into Ashburton picking up Bowden Hill (202-045) and around Lavender House. We re-fuelled at Pear Tree Cross before heading to Dartbridge and 'suicide alley'. Last year I had waited 15 minutes at the top for my group to join me, this year I only had a couple of minutes to bore the first riders with my explanation as to why the junction was called Five Lanes Cross and the existence of Claim lane 143.

Onwards to Riverford and Staverton, across Huxhams Cross and down Watery Lane so we could then face the challenge of going up Brownstons (202-096). Last year's record wait at the top for me of 20 minutes was not challenged, with John B claiming his slight delay arriving was nothing to with his going sideways on the bend, but his need to photograph the bank of snowdrops! A quick breather here for the riders on knobblies who'd struggled and we were off towards Lower Dean, where I was briefly able to inform the group of Wackys hard work with PROW which resulted in a new fence and an unlocked gate.

Dropping down to Deancombe (202-085) I'd let everyone know to remember the best route, as they'd be going back up in a couple of minutes, but having gone down, two of the group opted to go around.

Having re-grouped again we headed across the A38 and Marley Head road and up through Blakemore (202-131) but I chose to miss out 202-142 for fear of drowning my bike again. We took in Belsford, Dundridge Steps and Harbertonford before arriving at the newly cleared Lane of Pain. What a difference to ride, and I'm sure also preferred by my visiting riders over hip pain and a bramble bashing. We dropped down through Allaleigh to Corkscrew Hill where, on the steepest slippery stony section we met 3 horse riders, who all calmly walked past us once we'd switched off our engines.

Everyone took the water crossing at Bow bridge without event, although some of the zig zag routes were interesting.

We then headed to Totnes via Peak Cross (202-144) where I was again able to show off the hard work of some of the DGTRF members, although I was surprised to see a new pool about 300mm deep at the A381 end.

Lunch at Steamer Quay was like a T2T re-union with several other groups already there. Long awaited cream teas consumed, onwards to Fleet Mill and Glazegate before the compulsory photo with Berry Pomeroy castle in the background and stories of ghosts.

We then made our way across Shadrack and Bittams lanes to Tally Ho, where John and I tried hard to explain to the group how challenging this lane had once been.

Across and through Broadhempston where, whilst waiting for oncoming traffic to pass, I explained to Stuart that the front tyre striation marks and apparent foot-peg dig in the tarmac in front of us, suggested to me that someone had come a cropper off their bike a bit earlier. Across through Beaston and Parkfield, to Woodland and taking Bremridge Lane (202-026) as our last one for the weekend, arriving back at Parkers for quarter to four as requested.

Thanks to John the reliable TEC and whoever arranged an improvement in the weather.

Ray Tribe

Easy, easy, easy, easy easy.

Well I thought it was, after practicing my route a couple of times and convincing myself all was ok, I sent my GPx thingy to my tech and prepared for the 6th.

i had planned a steady route east from the farm, over towards tally Ho and the Compton submarine pen. Then Coffinswell Shaldon, Teignmouth, Dawlish, Haldon, Bishopsteignton and back via Denbury to the camp site.

I missed out all the tricky lanes and did the steeper ones down hill, the bias was on more of a motorised sightseeing ramble than a bike breaking thrash around our beautiful county.

We met our group and after a quick briefing, where everyone declared their perceived ability, set of for the first lane.  I stopped at the end and asked if they were Ok, 'I found that quite hard' came one answer.  There were murmurs of agreement, oops.

Anyway moving swiftly on (or steadily in our case) we did a few more lanes.  The mood was quite jolly after my initial worries.  Ian a chap with a CCM shod with road tyres found the going tough but soldiered on bravely, stooping every now and again to pick up his bike.  The group were actually quite capable and we soon settled into a steady rythm.

We avoided the bog at Compton, as I had previously experienced its murky grip, and found out very soon that not everyone had been so fortunate.  We pressed on through Coffinswell and stopped in the worst place ever On the top of the hill. I usually stop here to admire the view but it was like the M25 with bikes everywhere.....funny that.

 It was soon time for some sustenance so we stopped at the Whistle Stop cafe in Teignmouth; along with another group and some other random guys out for a ride.  The two ladies behind the counter, just about managed to cope but they were getting a bit tetchy with each other trying to serve everyone.

All in all we had a great day out with superb weather, we all made it back to the farm reasonabley intact, the only casualties being a clutch lever end, a tail bag ripped of it's mounting and a slightly bent ally front mudguard.

Pippa, one of our guests said our lanes were 'awesome'!, I would agree.

I would like to echo the previous comments in thanking the folks who organised all of this weekend.  Taking people out for the day was the easy part, the real work was done before.

cant wait until next year