I didn't offer

27 May 2019, 08:26:46

Five riders names went on the list of unwitting gate volunteers and four turned up at the appointed hour.

I didnt offer to lead a ride out of the goodness of my heart, it was just a ploy to get someone else to come along to open and close all of the gates on the moorland lanes I wanted to ride.
Five riders names went on the list of unwitting gate volunteers and four turned up at the appointed hour. We did wait 15 mins for Luke from Ivybridge before setting off, but I am sure he will either get an e-mail or check the forum next time. 
The steep sided road side kerb at the bottom of 202-050 is possibly the trickiest part of this recently repaired lane. We used the 'not dedicated for public use' road to get to 202-048 glad to have more freedom than the residents of HMP alongside. The deep muddy puddle on the corner of 049 is no more so no more chugging through the sticky mud there. Short but sweet the rocky climb 008 is over before you know it. The 4x4s still blight 007 but I took the dead badger after the ford as a good omen and was pleased to see fresh pink stone where previously hedge to hedge water hid deep ruts and sticky mud. Three riders from Paignton were gathered at the end by the travellers site and we chatted before going our separate ways , them west and us east, going over 191-097 on our way to 103. 102 seems to short to be a lane.
A roe doe deer drinking from the stream running along 091 darted away through a gateway when she saw me. Little dust devils danced in my wake up 081. Sharp edged drainage channel stones threaten snake bite punctures but jumping over them going down 077 is such fun. A cheerful lady riding a young horse, and leading an old race horse thanked us for killing the engines as we waited for her to pass by. The tacky muddy part at the top of 076 has been filled with rock but the descent down the bowl shaped lane is still enlivened by the random large rocks which each rider repositions for the next to cope with.
A dog walker with a lead but no dog watched us pass down 075 and a soggy labrador looked up from the stream and watched us pass a little further on. A five minute break at the bridge refreshed us before the long climb up through the wood around the hairpin half way up and the dog leg at the top. Stunning views as always on 080, bettered only by 083 where the weather has made the short descent from the gate rather more interesting. Tea, cheeseburger and a sit down at the shed in the car park cafe fortified me for the rutted grassy climb over the moor that is 084. A sleepy dog lay and watched us pass the farm before the rocky climb to the moor on 085 where some rode over and some around the log under the gate.
Two loose sheep ran ahead of us onto the road in the direction of 086 so we went the other way around the block to the SSSI where 096 winds its way across the moorland and down the valley along the side of the wood, dry enough today for the adverse camber not to be an issue. Limbo skills help ducking under a fallen branch on 001. Biff slaked his two strokes thirst for petrol as we passed the garage after 202-043 while the four stroke riders waited patiently. No danger of sliding off 055 with dry dusty conditions affording plenty of grip. The clay splash on 056 was almost dry. Long enough to feel like several lanes with so many varying surfaces 058 is a treat. A road closed sign warned 066 may not be passable but the electricity worker cheerfully moved his van for us to pass while his mate dangled half way up the nearby pylon. Barely a splash in ford in the dip on 078.
The gentrification of 099 seems a shame but after so many long waits for those spinning wheels on the roots/rocks/ruts/slippery slope it is hard to argue, but I still feel slightly cheated. Two riders from Newton Abbot were at the top when we arrived and we regaled them with exhortations to join the TRF. A group of half a dozen other riders filtered through us as we chatted. They followed us over the hill along 100 and down the other side after the dog leg in the hard edged ruts of 102. Stunning views tempt the rider to look into the distance on 092 while loose rocks in the gulley discourage gazing. Red soil flows over the hill along 080 before the cardio-vascular upper body work out that is the rock strewn descent of 081. Another group of four riders was just finishing their ride and old acquaintances were remade there. With awkward exits at either end 073 is a delight worth finding. Narrow and often over grown but today winding sinuously uphill 077 was Biff last lane as he cut off toward home. We bypassed 082 opting for the longer and smoother descent of 083 on our way to the green tunnel that is 075. It was pleasant to see the traffic lights had been removed from the junction before 433.
The hollow tree at the top of 059 provides an interesting photo opportunity for those slim enough the to climb inside. 
We finished our ride at the end of 028 where a rural lane has become a dog walkers alley as the town has expanded around it. 58 miles 39 lanes 5 smiles, only the one, already dead, badger. A lovely day out in good company. Thank you for coming gents.
I look forward to seeing what the camera caught going on behind me....

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