The Westcountry Way (Across The Moors)

Trips, adventures, bikes, equipment, etc.
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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: The Westcountry Way (Across The Moors)

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 22 Jul 2018, 3:40pm

H,
Packed :(
More later.
Priority Is Still 500K In 24..Just Dreaming...Stay Focused Guys And Keep Sharp...
You'll Find Me At The Top Of a Hill...............Somewhere...After Dark..

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Joined: 24 Oct 2012, 10:43pm
Location: English Riviera

Re: The Westcountry Way (Across The Moors)

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 23 Jul 2018, 10:06am

Hi,
Well all best laid plans (Robert Burns).
I am not sure what I would of done different, apart from of got a garmin earlier :?

Spent much time as usual getting all my stuff ready, doing last minute repairs etc.
Had plenty of food as usual and because I was not intending to stop this works best for me, down side is extra pannier.
Worried that I was going to miss the start and cycle right past wasting time I stopped and asked a local to confirm I was in the right place, always a god idea to ask someone that's waiting to go to work.
The start at Plymouth officially as per route is The Hoe, but I decided that this was not necessary for me, so I started just below sultram house on the a379.
Easy ride through the estate at sultram, a couple of wiggles to get on the drakes trail.
Drakes trail has improved and is easy and fast although up hill, because it has hedges both sides nothing much to report here.
Met a guy on a road bike with 28mm, easy going. Nattered away up to clearbroke where you head due east to nattor the start of off road proper to go over eylesbarrow to princetown, the climb up is on a track but its always been rocky, fell off twice onto grass verge and dismounted half a dozen times, when you get to the top of eylesbarrow it flattens so some rocky stuff is bearable, mtb here is easy enough but I was struggling and dispite beating a full sus mtb up the climb was left when the course flattened.
As you progress to prince town, its well paved here, a trike would be harder and slower on all the rocky stuff, also width because of a sunken path would prove very difficult. Easy on a unladen mtb but hard if carrying gear up to the top of climb. Good views and a very good view coming into princetown of the prison. 50% paved with course grit, 50 % rocks although on a track. All rideable on a mtb / hybrid with some zest.
Prince town to hexworthy, grassy / track (see pics) going north down hill most, 20 % paved track (grit) rest is grassy / unrideable at times so at least 20% pushing bike, section at farm on route unrideable without front sus bike, need some energy here.
Met a guy from Holland hiking the moors.
Hexworthy to Belever, two rivers to cross (see pics) had to push bike through water whilst using stepping stones water 18" deep, not easy unless you want to wade through on rocky bed. Mostly hard work with exposed tree routes and climbs that are too steep to ride up.
A track gravel on last mile to belever (youth hostel). At times wil test a trials mtber, you will sweat and struggle here!
Belever to challacombe, this is all rideable with tracks 99% rideable even for me on the tourer :)
Chalacombe to beetor cross, I went noth at hookner tor down a grassy hill instead of east down downhill to lower hookner, which looks steep on a grass path?
Beetor cross to drewstation, I followed the road not some of the paths? as I could not map read to that detail.
At drewstation I must of wasted a hour trying to do the impossible down a rocky path missing the bridlepath above the river :(
This path is exhilarating as I remember from past and dangerous! Two old ladies waiting for bus gave me directions and offered me a banana some water and sweets, but I declined as I had all of that on board, insisted I take the largest sweet which I did after saying a small piece :)
My inability to follow my very crude paper map, a screen shot off computer.
From hear to brushford north of North Tawton I followed road as best I could, there are paths and tracks here but I could not see or find them :?
Because of my crude maps printed off computer of route, at this point where I packed it in, I estimate now that I had added another twelve miles to my travel by going wrong way and going round incircles and retrying roads in an attempt to get back on coure, so crude was my maps that they had few names, my only saving grace was my 99p compass without I would of given up way back after getting off the moors :!:
I estimated at the time that I had another 40 miles to do, which at my present progress 9 mph would take me some five hours at now 21.00, meaning getting to minehead past 02.00 am some four hours navigating in the dark. add the 72 to get home,
Packed in after talking to missus on the mobile, battery was flat sometime back but had a spare one.
Hobbled back to a b road south and onto Crediton where I sat down for lift.

Mmm, fed up at the time but feel better now but ache a lot, painfull to sit down, hands feet and back hurt still one day on.
Bike on its own was not a problem for me but a tad heavy unsupported, carrying some 3+ litres of water at times, sweated lots right into my shoes too, if I had only had a garmin I would of been well ahead on time and 12 miles shorter too, I did not stop much but lots of looking at crude maps and compass.......................so lots of time wasting, I am patient but gave up in the end.

The ride over Dartmoor would be an experience if you have not been there before, but leaving the moor you would probably be thankfull to hit some roads, obviously taking more time at a reduced rate would be more pleasant for sure for most.
Overall my 9. something mph with the moor section I estimate at about 7 mph travelling wasent that bad, the road stuff after leaving moors would of been faster If I had not of got lost so often. 113 miles done but first 27 and last 7-9 was getting on and off course.
77 miles on coarse which included 12 or so going no where....................
Sorry for the boring old post, and not completing at all.
A more laid back approach with a group and some overnight stays would appeal to adventurous types for sure, not sure that the milage down single lane roads between the moors would not leave you a bit jaded, I might be wrong here, Exmoor route I have either walked /cycled all of it off road and would be pleasant if not very hilly, meaning pushing with puffing for all but the very fit and young.
Will post pictures :) later, camera was affected by drissel but some amusing stuff when working :)
Bike was superb as usual, it was drisselwhen I set of at 05.10 am until gone midday but mild of course.
Rim brakes will need adjusting often in wet weather for sure, dispite the 700c mich world tour tyres grip was good, But I have greelaned much on this bike, summer time you will only need hybrid tyres for sure.
Think twice at attempting this in bad weather, you will be walking lots.
Lots of grammar errors :oops:

http://dartefacts.co.uk/dartefact/winfo ... nes-284-m/
2018-07-23_001848_a.jpg
Water was 18 " deep, stones are easy but not with bike

http://mydartmoorwalks.blogspot.com/201 ... round.html
P8170287-7_Babeney_east dart.jpg
Unless it a light bike (10Ibs) you will need to push it through water.

2018-07-23_124859_a.jpg
Local wildlife - Looking south from south hessary tor, paved grit easy.
Image Attachments
2018-07-23_124048_a.jpg
Mmmmm sniff sniff - Chomp chomp
2018-07-23_124631_a.jpg
Mummy
Priority Is Still 500K In 24..Just Dreaming...Stay Focused Guys And Keep Sharp...
You'll Find Me At The Top Of a Hill...............Somewhere...After Dark..

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: The Westcountry Way (Across The Moors)

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 23 Jul 2018, 2:28pm

Hi,
113-4 miles
9.1 average mph moving
Moving time 12 hrs 20-30 mins
total time 16 hrs, I reckon I spent 2 hrs looking at map and compass.
Max HR 174
kcal 5'000
Fat 660 grams
Water at least 7 litres.
At no time was I hungry or lacking energy, I tend to overeat.

2018-07-23_124746_a.jpg
Entrance to sultram country estate easy going

2018-07-23_124812_a.jpg
Duck - Next is Hardcore from Nattor to Nuns Cross Farm - Rocks can be riden but hard - trike will be no go

2018-07-23_124935_a.jpg
South Hessary Tor to Dartmoor Prison - Looking to Hexworthy paved part most grass

2018-07-23_125432_a.jpg
Minor clapper - Looking south to Cator Common - recent part paved by farmer - otherwise bog in winter

2018-07-23_125128_a.jpg
Looking north to horizon - then off moor - Chalacombe (sign) behind is easy after Laughter Hole Steps over river (Bellever)


Will I have another try................give me a garmin and I might, the bike was not a problem if you don't mind pushing somewhat, easier but I don't think faster much.
P.S. leg was not a problem because of imntermitant movement, only normally plays up after 2 hrs instance work.
Only Dartmoor is covered in the above.
Priority Is Still 500K In 24..Just Dreaming...Stay Focused Guys And Keep Sharp...
You'll Find Me At The Top Of a Hill...............Somewhere...After Dark..

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NATURAL ANKLING
Posts: 9748
Joined: 24 Oct 2012, 10:43pm
Location: English Riviera

Re: The Westcountry Way (Across The Moors)

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 24 Jul 2018, 12:26pm

Priority Is Still 500K In 24..Just Dreaming...Stay Focused Guys And Keep Sharp...
You'll Find Me At The Top Of a Hill...............Somewhere...After Dark..

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NATURAL ANKLING
Posts: 9748
Joined: 24 Oct 2012, 10:43pm
Location: English Riviera

Re: The Westcountry Way (Across The Moors)

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 25 Jul 2018, 10:13am

Hi,
Still have pain in rear sitting down, no chance I can ride at mo :(
Not everyones cup of tea and those who have done it only mention eating and resting mid route.......I am sure that's the only thing on their minds.............

If I can get a Sat Nav then plan to beat myself up again in two weeks before the days close in.........
Priority Is Still 500K In 24..Just Dreaming...Stay Focused Guys And Keep Sharp...
You'll Find Me At The Top Of a Hill...............Somewhere...After Dark..

sbcoombs
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Joined: 24 Dec 2015, 8:21pm

The Westcountry Way (Across The Moors)

Postby sbcoombs » 25 Jul 2018, 1:59pm

[Removed duplicate post]

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: The Westcountry Way (Across The Moors)

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 6 Aug 2018, 2:59pm

Hi,
fossala wrote:Can you share the GPX for this, I wouldn't mind doing it over 2 days. How much off road is it?
Thanks.

GPX file route original I believe is here-
https://www.cyclinguk.org/article/great ... ountry-way

I am still getting my head around GPS files.
Have made some more of my own split the way into three files.
Testing out on thursday :)
Priority Is Still 500K In 24..Just Dreaming...Stay Focused Guys And Keep Sharp...
You'll Find Me At The Top Of a Hill...............Somewhere...After Dark..