Devon in November: robjh's autumnal microtour

Discussion in 'Member's Travelogues' started by robjh, 7 Nov 2016.

  1. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    Great write-up and photo's Rob. Due to a very busy week workwise I've only just been able to sit down and read and enjoy!
    Much of that is home ground for me, I was Exeter born and bred, but my father was from S. Dorset/Devon borders, my mother from Moretonhamstead and they lived and met in Axminster, most of my extended family are still around there.
    I agree about Dorset, having done a cycling weekend from Weymouth and also cycled along that coast from London to Exeter many moons ago I can attest to its hilliness, but the views are worth it. Climbing out of Lyme Regis sticks in my mind. Devon also is very lumpy and I think rarely gets the recognition for tough cycling country that it deserves. The routing from Topsham up to Moretonhamstead has hills aplenty at up to 25% to make a grown cyclist weep! Exmoor and the Somerset levels I know less well, but you've whetted my apetite. Also means I need a better camera than an i-phone.....
    Nice stuff Rob, thanks for sharing!
     
    robjh likes this.
  2. OP
    OP
    robjh

    robjh Guru

    Good idea. My advice is choose the sunny days, and check the gradient profile of the route you're planning!
     
  3. OP
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    robjh

    robjh Guru

    I'm now London-bound on a train but here's a view from this morning. Glastonbury Tor seen from the Mendips
    DSC_0080.JPG
     
    Nihal, ChrisEyles, ColinJ and 7 others like this.
  4. Great photos and trip report, just wondered what make and model of bike are you riding.
     
    robjh likes this.
  5. Grant Fondo

    Grant Fondo Parks, Hotels and Palaces, Europe Endless.

    Location:
    Cheshire
    lovely, really lovely pictures. The ride from Poole over to Cerne Abbas and back round the Purbecks is one that never leaves you... total magic any time of year
     
    robjh likes this.
  6. Dave 123

    Dave 123 Guru

    Nice trip Rob.
    You must be losing your fitness, Devon is fairly flat.....
     
  7. Grant Fondo

    Grant Fondo Parks, Hotels and Palaces, Europe Endless.

    Location:
    Cheshire
    if anyone is planning a dorset ride next year the road from Corfe Castle to Studland is biblical, then back to Kimmeridge for some Le Tour hills....epic!
     
  8. OP
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    robjh

    robjh Guru

    Day five. I left Cheddar at 9 under a clear blue sky, and a bright sun that was burning the last traces of frost from the roofs and fields. I had the Gorge almost to myself, and in all its hundreds of parking spaces I saw just two cars
    Up on the top of the Mendips I detoured slightly to see the view south to Glastonbury, the Levels and the hills beyond. Mist still hung over the low lands, but was lifting as I watched.
    From the Mendips I dropped down northwards past the picturesque Chew Valley reservoir, and after a few last hills reached Keynsham and rode into Bath along the Bristol-Bath cycleway. I'd read a lot about this route and it didn't disappoint, but I guess roadies in the know must nip off before it turns into a canal towpath for the last couple of miles.
    I only had time for a basic foot and bike wander around Bath, but it is an impressive place, and the centre was very busy with mostly well-heeled crowds, as well as a conspicuous number of homeless and beggars.
    Then at 3.13 I was on the train back to London.

    Cheddar Gorge (poor photo as very shady at that time in the morning)
    DSC_0074.JPG

    View from the Mendips
    DSC_0079.JPG

    Bristol-Bath cycle path (by the Avon Valley steam railway at this point)
    DSC_0083.JPG

    Tourist shot in Bath - Poultney Bridge
    DSC_0084.JPG
     
    Nihal, sotkayak, ChrisEyles and 10 others like this.
  9. OP
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    robjh

    robjh Guru

    Are you confusing it with Cambridgeshire Dave? On yer bike:laugh:
     
    Hill Wimp, Dirk and Dave 123 like this.
  10. Grant Fondo

    Grant Fondo Parks, Hotels and Palaces, Europe Endless.

    Location:
    Cheshire
     
  11. OP
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    robjh

    robjh Guru

    It's a Dawes Sardar, the steel version from about 2003. At the time it was a fairly similar spec to the Galaxy but with 26" wheels, and forks that allow for (though I don't currently have) disc brakes. I've got some lower gearing on it now but otherwise I think it's pretty much as it came.
    It's a heavy beast but very comfortable for long distances and with lots of luggage.
     
  12. Grant Fondo

    Grant Fondo Parks, Hotels and Palaces, Europe Endless.

    Location:
    Cheshire
     
  13. OP
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    robjh

    robjh Guru

    Who knows, I could even have bumped into distant members of the Foodie clan without realising. I didn't notice anyone with your fine features though:ohmy:
    As for the hilliness, I think it was actually harder than my trip round the Highlands in the summer - there the climbs are long and the descents are long, and there are gaps in between, but in Devon those savage little hills just keep on coming at you, and I would say that there is a bigger percentage of 20%ers than on your average Scottish ride. Of course it may have been a bit easier on the legs if I'd stuck to those B-roads, but I'm a sucker for the little off-the-beaten-track byways that get you right out into the country. There's a balance to be struck there somewhere.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    robjh

    robjh Guru

    Re. the photos @Ian H, @Fab Foodie , @lutonloony @videoman , @Grant Fondo,
    they're just taken on a smartphone, and now I'm home this is the first time I've seen them on a big screen so I'm rather struck by how blurry and washed-out some of them are. They looked alright on the phone, without my glasses!

    I've got some others taken on a camera but even there I use a compact - I keep thinking about getting an SLR but suspect that for ease of carrying I would still end up taking the small one on bike tours.
     
    Grant Fondo likes this.
  15. Grant Fondo

    Grant Fondo Parks, Hotels and Palaces, Europe Endless.

    Location:
    Cheshire
    Bulbarrow Hill Dorset...not a big climb but epic
    its worth getting a bigger bag for... got a Canon 100d with a Sigma f1.4 30mm on, it aint that big but bloody hell its sharp!
     
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