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Two strokes in the drizzle


Only one other rider replied to the post amongst the runs/rides out on the forum and Sparkie86 was waiting when I arrived to fuel up. His orange 300 two smoke complemented my red 250 stroker perfectly and we puttered along 202-028 carefully crossing the road part way before a long dusty spurt along C-071 slowing by the cars parked by the football spectators. The next nearest lane was 059 but when the van we were following turned right I chose left and we climbed over 060 instead and enjoyed the view before going down 433 and swiftly crossing the traffic light free deserted junction. An apt pigeon flew down the green tunnel ahead of two seated riders on 075. No guinea fowl on 353 today, but a big badger hiding up a tree snatched the camera off my helmet and the CRM had a lie down while I re-attached the Contour after picking myself out of the hedge.

My goggles were so steamed up going down 074 that steering was more an act of faith than choice, and vision was restored in time for the blind exit from 073. Simon almost followed the new tarmac into the field next to the misleading home made Footpath/Bridleway sign pointing to 081, but made short work of the red mud splash before the rocky branch strewn climb. We zigzagged down 094, paused on 105 for a dog walker waiting for his elderly lurcher, and romped down 106. The forecast rain arrived and the Contour went into its waterproof box on 125 where the red puddles were unusually shallow. The repairs on 134 and 334 are less tidy these days and many large rocks have escaped to make the bowl shaped lanes more interesting, and the stream down the middle of the lane near the mid point brings out the schoolboy wanting to make a splash. Deep sided ruts on 155, but no mud to speak of. The puppy the sign on 156 tells of must be getting on by now. For a road not on the map C-074 sure has a lot of tyre tracks, and we turned left at the crossroads climbing over the hill on 160. Skipping the ford we corkscrewed up the hill on 164, 428 & 310. Slithering down 435 past the new landslide we spun the mud from our tyres before the stream on 166 washed them. Keeping both wheels in the same rut as we climbed 187 we began descending 201 after the gate. Simon suddenly turned sideways on some slippery slate and drove into the hedge for a closer look, and struggled to extract the bike from the overhanging greenery while I struggled to smother the laughter.

 

No harm done we climbed 200. I was very lucky the driver of the silver car into whose path I drove at the crossroads had the presence of mind to cross the white line and miss me, phew. We enjoyed climbing 167. The loose rocks on 186 seem bigger these days, and 162 is as beautiful as it is long. Freshly churned mud betrayed the passing of 4x4s along 161. The open gate beckoned at the bottom of 333 and we opened and closed another four gates as we enjoyed the grassy 183. Deep grassy ruts on 206 took us to petrol and pasties before 198 where Simon's knobbly skittered from rock to rock making the bike wag it's tail like a happy dog all the way up the slate climb. More mud than slurry today on 176. Dry rock and dry hollows on 149, I didn't see gloves on the glove tree on 148 where the mud wallows have been filled with stone, but the steps on 147 are fun wet or dry. Two grinning cyclists passed us as we entered 141 looking to have enjoyed descending the road as much as we enjoyed the climb. Limbo under a fallen branch on 142

Before the submarine pen, where Simon charitably dug a new trench alongside the lake to drain the pen for me as he crossed, and I waited out of range of his rooster tail.

 

Red byways signs at the junction of 132 & 134 pointed us toward 311 with fresh stone and no mud for once, then the sinuous 123 delivered us into Totnes. 3rd gear up 118 slowing on 322 before passing the 'travellers' (who never seem to travel) on 115 and slowing past the stables car park on 114. Wild garlic on 326 made my me look forward to my dinner. The rocky climb on 324 made me grin and the tosser on the crosser on 102 made me frown. Dry red mud on 079. Thumbs up from a 4x4 pilot exiting 080 where we were glad to ride at out own pace up and over the winding hill.


Descending the branch strewn rock garden on 081 is more tiring than going uphill. Likewise going uphill made 073 and 074 even more fun. I skipped 082 in case the badger was still lurking and we rolled from bank to bank down 083, but no exotic birds on 353 today, and no cryptic pigeon on 075. We took the hairpin left after 433 and this time went over 059 using the gears as brakes tacking down the hill. The Long lane let us get into top gear for a while before slowing for several appreciative dog walkers with cheerful waves, before ourselves bidding each other farewell and going our separate ways
Thank you coming Simon it was a pleasure