Spinners’ Activities 2022

Honiton Spinners have been enjoying the lighter evenings and (slightly) warmer days by doing long social rides, challenging sportives and adventurous mountain biking. We welcome familiar faces and new riders to our Tuesday evening club rides, which now include a thriving group for those wanting a shorter and (a bit) less intense ride.

Tony Peek set off early on April 10th to drive to Somerset for the Somerset Sportive Sunday ride. He had planned to do the medium route of 85 miles, but having recently had COVID and suffering with a knee issue, he dropped down to the short route of 46 miles. This still meant climbing Cheddar Gorge which he had done before so no worries. The big question was, would Tony be quicker this time ?

Thinking the Gorge was near the end of the ride like last time, he was surprised to start the climb half way round the route.

Having climbed the Gorge, riders stayed on the main road which was, surprisingly, a hilly, quad-burning route. Tony couldn’t believe there could be anymore climb once up the Gorge, but he was so wrong. With a head wind that start half way up and stayed with him to the finish line, it got to the stage whereby every time riders looked ahead there was yet another climb. Perhaps a few choice words were, allegedly, uttered.

However, Tony did complete the ride and was the first rider to complete it, having managed to knock over 4 and a half minutes off his time for climbing Cheddar Gorge. That was a nice birthday surprise to himself!

Average pace 16.1 mph Total climb 2382 foot 47.21 miles.

After that experience, Tony Peek challenged himself to the 64 mile route and Sara Trumper braved the 37 mile route at the Taunton Flyer, a local sportive starting just outside Honiton at Smeatharpe. Although, says Tony, it was good not to set off in the early hours, the weather was not kind. From the time Tony left home to getting back home it rained. It was so cold that his legs were freezing and never warmed up all the way around. Maybe long leggings should be worn next time! The route, which took riders around Devon and Somerset, with lots of hills, formed a figure of eight. Despite recent injury and then cramp slowing him down, Tony achieved a Gold Time in 4hrs 16 mins. After the climb out of Hemyock – again – Tony received a medal and a welcome can of ale, but asked, ‘Why is there always a hill at the end?’

Sara Trumper also got very cold and dirty and wished she’d worn long trousers. It was a beautiful scenic route, but marred by the relentless rain! She achieved a superb Silver Time, but missed out on a Gold Time by just 3 minutes! She put this down to have spent so long trying to warm up at the food stop! Gold next year, then!

Craig Boyde has been tackling huge distances this season already, including a superb attempt of the 2022 Brevet Cymru, achieving 350km of the 400km overall distance. Craig diverted to Aberaeron instead of New Quay and then headed straight back to Llandovery. Poor food choice at the Tregaron control and a lot of faffing in Aberaeron meant that he lost a lot of time. 

He had thought about pulling out at the coast, but having looked at the options, he decided to continue. Despite the lost time, he made it back as far as Abergavenny, but, being short of time, It he finally decided to cut the ride short. 350km is an amazing distance to ride in one day!

After the driest April for many years, several Spinners set off early on May 1st to catch the ferry and cycle all round the Isle of Wight in the pouring rain. As they are a friendly group, they encouraged each other round the hilly route despite the cold and lack of anticipated views. The Isle of Wight Randonnee is a predominantly self-guided rather hilly route, with food stops at the checkpoints. 
Dawlish is a popular destination for Spinners, so one Sunday morning, an enthusiastic group worked off their coffee and cake with a climb up Mamhead and then, just in case they had any more energy, they took on the rather steep Clapham climb near Haldon Forest.

Payhembury Duathlon 2022

Honiton Running Club and Honiton Spinners are planning a Duathlon on a Sunday 10th July 2022 from Payhembury Village Hall (post code EX14 3HT) starting at 10:30am. The route is a 6.1 km run, 25 km bike ride and 3.9 km run. Its a ‘club members only’ event (so we are covered for third party incidents) and to cover our costs we will only be asking for donations on the day (£5 per person is suggested). Any profits will go to the local school which is allowing us to use their playground for the transition area. Refreshments and toilets will be available in the Hall and there are plenty of parking spaces. Early birds can park in the Hall spaces. Later park in the space opposite the Hall entrance. 

Participants can either do all 3 legs themselves or there can be a team of 2 or 3 to do separate legs. Juniors below 18 yrs must be accompanied on the bike ride and below 15 yrs for the runs. There will be prizes for the first solo male and female and first male and female teams and finally one for a mixed team. To help us prepare it would be good if you could complete the signup form for your team either on line click here or print out form click here and give to Roger or Jennie on a club night. The 2021 results are below. 


The start of the new evening ride season is fast approaching!

Back in October 2021 we decided to trial using Spond. This is a system used by clubs and groups to organise their members, club activities and events.

After successfully using Spond through the winter, we are now adopting it as the go-to place for ALL official Spinners rides and events.

Reasons for using Spond:

  • Spond is a one-stop shop for all Spinners groups to which all members have access.
  • Insurance purposes. An event on Spond is a Honiton Spinners club ride (excluding Sportives and holiday events).
  • Ride leaders will know who is riding. Anyone turning up who has not indicated ATTEND should do so before setting off – via the App or via reply if they use email.
  • Spond records data of who attends a ride which can be downloaded from the Spond website as an Excel file.
  • Gives access to a rider’s mobile number if they become detached from group (providing the rider has agreed to share the mobile number).
  • Emergency contact details can be stored and accessed.

You can join Spond…

On your phone via the Spond App. Once you have installed Spond and created your account you will need to enter our Group Code BBODK.

There are currently 10 sub-groups: 

  • Group 1
  • Group 2
  • Group 3
  • Group 4
  • Group 5
  • Winter Weekday
  • Weekend Social Ride
  • Spinners Holidays & Weekends
  • Off Road Ride
  • Night Ride

Initially users will be addded to the groups that they rode with last year. Please contact Hannah via messages in Spond to request to be added to or removed from any additional groups.

If you have any issues with setting up or using Spond, please let Hannah know via messages in Spond.

The Spond Help page is also very useful: https://get.spond.help/l/en

To anyone thinking of cycling again in 2022…

Are you thinking of doing some cross training as part of your fitness plan, or can’t run as a result of injury, or just looking for a gentle spin on your bike with a social group?

Honiton Spinners has a new group aimed at those who are thinking about extracting their bike from the depths of the garage and are looking for a gentle, short social ride. It would suit anyone who wants to build up riding stamina, or who hasn’t ridden for ages, or who just wants a bit of fresh air after work with lovely company.

We have 5 pace groups, so there are plenty of options. We meet at 6.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays near Honiton, starting on 29th March. If you can’t join us for club nights, we also have a social ride on Sundays, with a compulsory coffee and cake stop somewhere nice!

Honiton Running Club and Honiton Spinners hold a joint Duathlon every year, so this is a good way to get to know us and to make up a team.

Spinners Evening Rides 2022!

The sun is shining. It’s the Spring Equinox. Evenings are getting lighter. The clocks change next weekend, so let’s welcome Honiton Spinners evening rides 2022! Members will be sent an email with specific details, but as a warm-up, here’s what your committee has in store for you:

  1. Evening rides will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting on 29th March.
  2. Five pace groups, all starting from the old A30 layby at 6.30.
  3. Spinners Mile Challenge on Long Range Hill/Birdcage Hill on the fourth Thursday in each month April to September
  4. Spinners Loop Challenge on a six-mile local route on the second Thursday in each month April to September
  5. Spring family BBQ on 7th May near Cotleigh.
  6. Longer Sunday rides starting from places such as Exmoor, Dartmoor, the Somerset Levels.

The committee encourages you to download the Spond app, or website (ask John or Hannah if this is new to you) so details of club rides, sportives and contact details etc are available. Finally, membership is due on 1st April via the British Cycling website. You don’t need to be a member of BC. Ask Ben if you have any questions.

See you soon!


Tony’s Spinners Sunday Social ride to Starcross

On Sunday March 13th, 10 brave souls turned up for a 9.30am start at the Old A30 layby and in true style it rained on us right at the start. We were going to go to Dawlish but I cut the ride short due to some strong blustery winds and heavy downpours. On the way out we cut through West Hill and down Aylesbeare coming out at the airport. Then taking the back lane across to Clyst St Mary before turning up past the Exeter Chiefs . This brought us out by Countess Wear so a little Wiggle through the houses and we joined the main Rd using the cycle path over the Exe and canal. It was whilst crossing the bridge that Tony in the lead got a proper drenching by a car soaking him through to his skin.

We then followed the canal path past the Turf locks and onto the back of Powderham. There was then a debate on where we should stop for coffee, having none of it our leader rode on to the next stop which was a hut which sold coffee and cake at Starcross carpark complete with shelter from the sun. Yes that’s right. We stopped and the sun came out.

We then headed back along the canal path after observing the deer. Following the cycle path right up past Middlemore and turning right to follow the path to Blackhorse Lane. It was here that JB needed a rest so he got a puncture.

Being a gent he told the ladies to carry on leaving 4 guys to fix it. I went with the ladies to make sure they got back OK. My excuse and I am sticking with it.

A very windy blustery wet raining pouring soaked dry gusty sun shining ride. Tony rode with John Burgess, Roderic Inglis, Jennie Sleeman, Liz Polley, Lyn Pike, Nikki and Julian Gigg, Kevin Goss and Sue Jones.

Spinners ride to Moretonhampstead

On Sunday 19th September, Tony led a hardy bunch of Spinners on a 60 mile ride to Moretonhampstead and back, climbing over 5000ft. The good weather kept up their spirits and the cycle through Exeter High Street was interesting. Rod took the wrong route when he went off with a guy who was cycling by himself. Rod thought it was Dave who was also riding in a red top! Tony apologised for the climb out of Moretonhamstead, but blamed Garmin for the route.  They set off after the coffee ‘n cake break to drop down a little hill before hitting a climb that even Nikki & Julian moaned about. It was brutal after the rest, as the legs were not ready for it. JB got cramp with10 miles to go so Kevin, Stephen and Tony nursed him back, only for JB to beat the 3 of them up to the top of Long Range.

Well done to Tony Peek, John Burgess, Stephen Driscoll, Roderic Inglis, Dave Hawton , Julian & Nikki Gigg and Kevin Goss for completing a challenging ride.

The Way of The Roses – Spinners Holiday Jaunt

The Way of The Roses – Spinners Holiday Jaunt

In early August six members of Honiton Spinners headed north for a very enjoyable five days riding the Way of the Roses, a 170 mile cycle route that crosses the UK from Morecambe on the west coast to Bridlington on the east. The holiday was booked through Saddle Skedaddle, who arranged all the accommodation, transported us to the start and from the finish, and took our luggage from one stop to the next. We assembled at a hotel in York and the following morning were transported with our bikes to the start on Morecambe sea front.

First, a photo at the Eric Morecambe statue and another at the official start and then we were off on the first leg, a 35 mile ride to Settle in the Yorkshire Dales.

The first miles were on a cycle track alongside the river Lune but then the hills began with a testing climb onto the northern edge of the Forest of Bowland. A rolling route in perfect weather and with glorious views of the Yorkshire Dales took us to a welcome lunch stop in the village of Hornby. On then with the Yorkshire Three Peaks, Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent away to our left until a final climb gave us a nice descent into Settle. In the evening we had a good meal at an Indian restaurant and explored the start of High Hill Lane, a notorious climb that was the first course on tomorrow’s menu.

Leg 2, Settle to Pateley Bridge, starting with that hill, the hardest climb of the whole route. 2.4 miles long and a leg-sapping 20% at the bottom. After 50m of slow grinding effort you reach a bend and a 12% sign. If you can still breathe, you heave a sigh of relief, but round the bend the road rises up like a wall – 12%? Never! You either walk or keep forcing the peddles round. But at the top, the sun was out, the views were glorious and the long descent to Airton was great fun. We took a detour to Malham for a welcome coffee and cake stop, before riding up to see the very impressive Malham Cove. 

Back on the main route the sun, took his hat off, dark clouds loomed ahead, and thunder rumbled. A few short miles from our lunch stop in Burnsall, we were riding in heavy rain and Sod’s Law came into play – Mike punctured! Eventually, after very welcome hot drinks, hot soup and chips at the Red Lion, we set off again, trusting our Met Office guru, Roger, that the satellite image was giving the all-clear for the rest of the day. 10 minutes down the road we were sheltering from more torrential rain under sun umbrellas outside a pub! 

Nothing to be done but to ride through it and tackle the last major climb up onto Greenhough Hill, followed by a long, tricky, steep descent into Pateley Bridge. Another great, adventurous day riding this fabulous route. 

Leg 3, Pateley Bridge to York was the longest ride at 50 miles. A steady climb took us out of the town but then came a long climb with 18% ramps as we headed up to the spectacular Brimham Rocks. The reward was a lovely, long, fast decent- steady Claire! – to Fountains Abbey visitor centre for coffee and cake. Then a short ride took us into Ripon and a quick photo outside the cathedral before we headed off on flat roads and cycle paths through the Vale of York battling a head wind all the way. Beningbrough Home Farm cafe provided an excellent lunch stop before we set off on the final miles to York. A cycle trail alongside the River Ouse took us into the city, where had one more stop while Mike dealt with his second puncture. Another perfect day, nicely rounded off with an Italian meal. 

Leg 4, York to Wolds Village (not a village). After leaving the hotel, we soon joined a cycle path that took us out of York and on into Stamford Bridge via an old railway line. A few miles further on we stopped at The Hide café, Pocklington for a coffee and with cakes to die for – my choice, a pastry with blackcurrant filling and oodles of cream. Then on into the Yorkshire Wolds with steady climbs and increasing rain. We pulled off into a lunch stop just as the heavens opened. As we rode the final miles the rain had ceased but the sky was darkening ominously and a mile from the finish all hell broke loose – thunder, lightning and torrents of water bouncing off the road made riding a bike a bit of a challenge. As we rode into the Wolds Village yard, water was streaming down towards an open door where the owner was waiting. He quickly ushered us into a stone-flagged passage, bikes and all as the water threatened to overwhelm his drains. But we were soon warm and dry, and the accommodation & food were top notch – a fine end to another interesting day.

Leg 5 had no obvious coffee stop so we rode 30 uneventful miles to Bridlington, arriving in sunshine on the esplanade at the official end of the route. After a few photos we celebrated an excellent week’s cycling holiday with a welcome seaside meal of fish and chips. 

The Way of The Roses is a ride that should be on every cyclist’s bucket list, and you couldn’t do better than booking through Saddle Skedaddle who were excellent in every way.

Payhembury Duathlon 2021 Results

On 15 August 2021 Honiton Running Club and Honiton Spinners came together at the annual Payhembury Duathlon which consists of a 3.8 mile run followed by a 15 mile bike ride and finally a 2.4 mile run from the Payhembury village hall. This was the first ‘real’ event the Running Club had hosted for some time due to the Covid restrictions. The weather was mostly dry and not too hot which was ideal for the runners and riders.

There were 30 athletes comprising of 17 teams either of a single person doing all 3 legs or 2/3 persons per team each doing the run or ride. The winning team of Steve Davey (runs) and Julian Gigg (ride) in a time of 1:32:43 only entered the event 30 minutes before it started so the secret in winning maybe being unprepared for doing it! Husband and wife team Ceri and Warren Oak won the mixed team prize in a time of 1:38:48 after coming back from walking in Snowdonia. David Hatfield-Shaw was the first male back to do all three legs in a time of 1:39:46 and Hannah Brown the first female back having done all 3 legs in a time of 1:47:40. Finally mother and daughter team Judy Davey and Jo Buxton won the ladies team in a time of 1:47:59. 

Mention should also be made of Julian Gigg for the fastest ride around the route and Mike Mears for the fastest times in both runs.

There was much cake on offer to be consumed afterwards to refuel the athletes. Thanks go to Jennie Sleeman and Roger Saunders for organising the event and to Payhembury School for allowing their playground to be used as the transition area. All profits from this event will go to the school.