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MLJ I BCQ


Devon Diary


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hat rain fell during the preceding 24 hours! After packing a very wet tent and loading a dry bicycle,


Barnstaple was my goal. First, the purchase of a new tube, then a second breakfast while awaiting a two-hourly bus, finally a 90 minute bus ride, using my bus pass! Retirement is good! Tiverton provided lunch and food shopping. Next camp site was at Sampford Peverell, where 20 years ago I had stopped for the night during my LEJOG ride. Now, instead of green sward surrounding the ablution block, there is a grey expanse of gravel hard standings! The site is affiliated to the Caravan Club. I was made very welcome and given a sheltered spot, the grassy patch of a hard standing pitch. Whilst erecting the tent, a disaster occurred: the rip-stop flysheet ripped.Staff provided some duck tape for a temporary repair, which did well enough for the duration of my stay. On my return home a new tent was purchased, the replacement Hilleberg flysheet costing considerably more! With only one more answer to find for my Devon quest, I could go on other rides and visit relatives. I chose to complete the


90 www.cyclingworldmag.com


quest first. There is a cycle route through Tiverton Parkway station to Willand. Lanes then connected me with Ottery St Mary where the church was my salvation, in providing the requisite answer. This was followed by a friendly break in a cafe, full of fun and laughter. Ottery people seem a breed apart.


The cycle route into Exeter, NCR2, 4 PART By Mark Jacobson


Monday saw me cycling into Tiverton along NCR3, first a canal tow path, then a rail bed, the latter being a bit rough in places, directly into the town centre. After a leisurely and tasty coffee, I tried to follow a written cycle route northwards along the Exe Valley. This is very picturesque, particularly before the trees are in leaf, the rushing water all you hear in places. Despite an error in the description, which led to my making a longer ascent than envisaged and an extra 3 or 4 miles, I reached the Halfpenny Bridge which crosses the Exe prior to arriving in Bampton. No pub lunch here on a Monday! However the Art galley and Cafe was serving food, at least what was left from the mothers’ gathering! After a good repast, it was by lanes back to Tiverton, much easier than the outbound run, and a return


is fairly well signed, but two junctions were not, so I used some roads to keep me on track. In the city centre Drakes cafe gave a good value lunch, after the queue had shortened, and I shopped - including the purchase of another tube (the Barnstaple shop had had only one left on stock). I decided me to give in and bus back to Tiverton.


to my tent. In all, a successful visit despite the difficult weather and minor disasters.My British Cycle Quest in Devon was complete.


INFORMATION:


British Cycle Quest www.ctc.org.uk/british-cycle-quest


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