2 day rides in Devon

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tallgirl
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2 day rides in Devon

Postby tallgirl » 12 Nov 2012, 8:59pm

Hi all, I'm new here, and fairly new to cycling and hoping for some help. It's my fella's birthday in January, and I'm looking to organise a circular 2 day ride for him in Devon or at a push, Somerset, with a nice cosy bed and breakfast for the night we're out. I'm thinking of maybe up to 30 miles a day. Bit of a cheek really, posting this under 'expedition', but it will be for me! :) Any suggestions please peeps?

Barrenfluffit
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Re: 2 day rides in Devon

Postby Barrenfluffit » 12 Nov 2012, 11:16pm

What's your start point? Generally people do about 10-14 mph so your looking at about 2-3 hours riding. Maybe there's a Sustrans route for clues; google maps show them if you click on directions.

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BeeKeeper
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Re: 2 day rides in Devon

Postby BeeKeeper » 13 Nov 2012, 10:51am

As above, where you want to start from is key but as a suggestion, you could do a bit of the coast to coast route, although it is not of course, by definition, a circular route. There is a map of it here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/intera ... -route-map You could do Plymouth to Barnstaple, both of which have train stations, staying in Okehampton on the middle night. The daily distances would not be too far off you target. Worth mentioning that there do seem to be different interpretations of this route. This lot for example, show a slightly different route: http://www.cycleactive.co.uk/cycletours ... tAodk1MAgQ

If you want to see Dartmoor, this page might give you some ideas: http://www.dartmoor-npa.gov.uk/visiting ... or/cycling At least if you are visiting Dartmoor in January you won't need to carry the extra weight of sun hats, midge repellants or sun screen.

iviehoff
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Re: 2 day rides in Devon

Postby iviehoff » 13 Nov 2012, 12:00pm

tallgirl wrote:I'm looking to organise a circular 2 day ride for him in Devon or at a push, Somerset, ... 'expedition', but it will be for me!

Are you aware that Devon probably has the highest average road steepness of any county in Britain? It is covered in steep little hills, and the roads mainly go up and down, up and down, steeply, usually with a corner at the bottom of the hill so you don't get much run up the other side. Whereas places that otherwise appear to be hillier, the roads tend to go around the hills, or up them more gently. So if a 30-mile bike ride is a bit of an expedition for you, a 30-mile bike ride in Devon could well be surprisingly hard work.

Perhaps you could instruct us as to whether this is what you were anticipating, or whether you have a different requirement as to the hilliness of your little expedition.

By what means of transport will you arrive at the start of your ride? Also, given that you are planning this ride in January, do you have any thoughts about the weather?

tallgirl
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Re: 2 day rides in Devon

Postby tallgirl » 13 Nov 2012, 6:39pm

Ah yes, see, there are more than one ways in which I haven't really thought this through! Taking queries in no particular order:
I don't have a particular start place in mind, it's not too important because I can drive to any start position with somewhere to park.
I am aware of the hilliness etc. of Devon, because I live here, but... as a novice cyclist I kind of hadn't let that bother me, doh!
The weather I had thought about, it's an inconvenient time of year to have a birthday but there it is. If the weather is too wet/ windy it just won't happen, and maybe I shouold think of a different 'treat' instead :oops:

Thanks for your thoughts, I think being a novice might include making some bad choices in route planning, and I hope you don't feel I've wasted your time. I'll keep thinking :roll:

dodger
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Re: 2 day rides in Devon

Postby dodger » 13 Nov 2012, 7:20pm

Have a good look at the Tarka Trail from Meeth through to Braunton and local small roads (plus another old railway) into Ilfracombe. The best bit is that you can ride and chat together and some of the scenery is wonderful. Plenty of diversions on small roads possible and plenty of places to stay. Good markets at Bideford and Barnstaple.
PS The Rail link from Okehampton to Exeter (Also called the Tarka Trail) is closed for maintenance at some stage this winter but can't remember when.
Have fun. If you're well wrapped the weather doesn't matter too much.

andymiller
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Re: 2 day rides in Devon

Postby andymiller » 13 Nov 2012, 8:00pm

Not that I want to put you off Devon, but you mentioned Somerset. One possibility is the South Somerset cycle route:

http://www.visitsouthsomerset.com/media ... ersion.pdf

80-miles - which might be one and half days rather
than two full ones - but if you are travelling back Sunday pm that might work out just fine (nice pub lunch on a wintry Sunday).

Two days cycling in January counts as an expedition in my book.
Italy Cycling Guide - a resource for cycle touring in Italy.

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BeeKeeper
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Re: 2 day rides in Devon

Postby BeeKeeper » 13 Nov 2012, 8:10pm

tallgirl wrote:I hope you don't feel I've wasted your time.


Certainly not! It was a thought provoking question.

You might find basing yourselves at one spot and then doing day trips from there would be a safer option - given the unpredictability of the weather - you might plan it all and then it snows! You might also want to consider basing it all from your home. Either doing a couple of rides or packing up the suitcases, give them to a taxi driver to deliver to say a nice pub with rooms and then cycle there the first day, have the birthday bash and then cycle back the next day.

If you are in South Devon Totnes would be a good place to stay. If it is wet and horrible you can just wander around at stare at the locals if you get bored with the shops. Here are a few possible rides from the town:

The Dart - either down one bank and return up the other or use the ferry which is running now in winter (as a trial) for a few days each week to get to Dartmouth or Dittisham and then cycle back. There is a nice path from Sharpham to Totnes for example which you could work into the route.

A "taster" into South Dartmoor from Totnes

Totnes via the castle at Berry Pomeroy to Berry Head and back.

Or cycle to Kingsbridge or Salcombe but this would have a few steep hills.

I can give you more details of these routes if you want.

phil parker
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Re: 2 day rides in Devon

Postby phil parker » 13 Nov 2012, 9:55pm

I would recommend the Tarka Trail and you can start or finish wherever is the most convenient to leave the car. It is comparatively flat for Devon and is traffic free etc. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ln9i7y-8abc

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Mick F
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Re: 2 day rides in Devon

Postby Mick F » 14 Nov 2012, 10:03am

I've been giving this question some thought.

The trouble is January. :oops:
If it's like the last two or three Januarys down here, I wouldn't even venture out on a bike at all. Bad enough on foot.

However, if the weather is ok, there are hundreds of cottages you could rent and go out cycle-exploring. There's a small holiday village very near here at Honnicombe open all year round.
http://www.honicombemanor.co.uk/

Although the dreaded A390 isn't far away, there are many little lanes and villages to visit. Also, the good thing about round here for the holidaymaker is that the north and south coasts aren't far away. Get the bikes in the car and drive out to cycle along gazing at the stunning scenery. Also there's the Camel Trail to get you to Padstow for Rick Stein's fish and chips, or let the train take the strain on the Looe Valley Line to Looe and cycle back to where you left the car. You could take the Tamar Valley Line to Plymouth if you wanted to, but city cycling isn't fun! Perhaps instead hop off at Bere Alston and cycle round the Bere Peninsula. Quiet tiny little lanes - but hilly in places and a lovely coastal ride along Weir Quay.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bere_peninsula
Mick F. Cornwall

ChrisButch
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Re: 2 day rides in Devon

Postby ChrisButch » 14 Nov 2012, 11:54am

The Blackdown Hills in East Devon are (by Devon standards) surprisingly good cycling country. Paradoxically, they have some of the flattest and straightest roads in the county. That's because the area is, in effect, a dissected plateau, and once you've gained the initial height you're on long, flat-topped ridges, where you can relax and not be constantly concentrating on bike-handling problems. There are a few quite busy through routes, but also lots of quiet lanes. Surfaces are also not too bad for a county which in general has the country's worst-maintained roads, alas.

Russcoles
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Re: 2 day rides in Devon

Postby Russcoles » 14 Nov 2012, 3:02pm

Bear in mind that if you can't get a circular route to your liking, it is relatively easy to start and finish near train stations. Devon and Somerset have 1st great western trains, I find they are one of the better train companies for taking bikes on trains.

tallgirl
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Re: 2 day rides in Devon

Postby tallgirl » 15 Nov 2012, 6:38am

Thank you all so much for all the ideas! Even if the birthday do doesn't come off, I have plenty of options for next Spring :) .Several places I hadn't thought of at all such as the Blackdown Hills, and I'll certainly be looking into all of them. The weather will probably be the defining factor, and if it snows my nose won't even poke itself out of the door I assure you :roll:
Thanks again,
F.

Smudge
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Location: Blackdown Hills Devon

Re: 2 day rides in Devon

Postby Smudge » 2 Dec 2012, 4:03pm

ChrisButch wrote:The Blackdown Hills in East Devon are (by Devon standards) surprisingly good cycling country. Paradoxically, they have some of the flattest and straightest roads in the county. That's because the area is, in effect, a dissected plateau, and once you've gained the initial height you're on long, flat-topped ridges, where you can relax and not be constantly concentrating on bike-handling problems. There are a few quite busy through routes, but also lots of quiet lanes. Surfaces are also not too bad for a county which in general has the country's worst-maintained roads, alas.


I live up on the Blackdowns and i can quite easily go out for a 30 mile ride on the flat through some beautiful countryside on very quiet lanes .. another area to consider which i ride a lot is starting out around the Honiton area and making your way down to the coast at Budliegh or Exmouth, if you follow the river Otter its surprisingly flat riding

Smudge
"It never gets easier ~ You just go faster"