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.

Dartmoor Classic

Congratulations to all the Spinners who climbed their way over Dartmoor on Sunday – 7000ft on the Medio and 11,000ft on the Grande.

Simon & Suzie Bean and Rod Inglis rode the Grande. Simon and Rod got inside the Silver medal time with Suzie doing amazingly well to get round such a tough course with a time not far off a Silver after very few long rides this year.

On the Medio, Jennie, Kevin G, Sue J, Lin and Steve D. all did the Spinners proud. Jennie struck Gold in an impressive time of 5:22, and Sue came in with a Silver.

Beyond Wessex Sportive

On Sunday June 6th, undaunted by the threat of rain all day, Lyn, Sue, Suzanne, Jennie and Mike met at a farm near Bridport to take on the Beyond Wessex Sportive. They all completed the Medium route along beautiful undulating (hilly!) landscape, fields, quiet back roads and pretty villages in Dorset and Somerset. The weather was ideal: cool and cloudy for most of the day, with no rain at all. The chocolate pancakes at the feed station were delicious, as was the ice cream eaten in the sunshine at the end. The route was well signposted until near the end when a sign had been turned to go down a very steep hill. After about 2.5 miles of descent, a Beyond Events van filled the narrow road. Yes, we then had to cycle back up the steep hill, squeezing past a vast combine harvester on the way. In all, they completed 66.6 miles.

Somerset Dipper Sportive

On Saturday 5 June John, Roger, Rod and Jerram took on the Somerset Dipper Sportive which starts in Wells and winds its way to Weston-super-Mare over the Somerset levels with one nasty ascent to negotiate. The route has a lovely section along the coast by the Bristol Channel where an ice cream stop in Weston was called for. Then back to Cheddar with another punchy climb to sap the legs and great views over the Somerset levels. Finally, the highlight of the route is to ride up Cheddar gorge up on to the Mendips. Rod went on to ride the longer option of 92 miles with 5,800 ft of climbing and a loop around the lakes. The longer route had two stops with ample refuelling supplies, including sandwiches at the second. John and Roger opted the shorter 69 mile route with 3,600 ft of climbing. It says on the web site it is one of the hardest hundred and certainly lived up to its name.

The Finisher medals were made of eco-friendly laser cut poplar plywood.

The Jurassic Classic Sportive 2021

Rod Inglis braved the wintery May weather to take part in the Jurassic Classic Sportive. Although it was a bit of a damp day, there was no real rain. It was a great course with fantastic views, starting and ending flat from Bovington Tank Museum with a few hills in between, the highest point being a 1.8km, 7% average gradient section up along the Lulworth Range. With the efforts of the climbs comes the rewards of some spectacular coastal views down over Warbarrow and Kimmeridge Bay. Finishers were rewarded with a medal, beer from Freedom Brewery and other goodies from our partners at Jimmy’s Iced Coffee and OTE sport.

Rod found it a very enjoyable ride. He quickly found a pace buddy, a Kiwi down from Surrey for the weekend, to chat to. He pushed the pace on after the second feed stop at 50 miles while Rod decided to back off a bit and take time out to mend a flat tyre soon after restarting.

The route took riders through Corfe Castle and on to Swanage, where the whole population appeared to be wearing race numbers – or possibly vaccine certificates?

It was impeccably sign posted on route, but just in case Rod, who has a knack of getting lost, had Komoot navigation running through Bluetooth out of ear headphones, in the background.

Taunton Flyer Sportive 2021

Congratulations to Rod Inglis and Lauren Wilson who rode the 100 mile Taunton Flyer. Lauren picked up one QOM, one 2nd place cup and no end of PRs, speeding round a hilly course with 5400ft of climb, at an impressive 15.6mph. Rod could boast an impressive Gold Medal time of 6hrs 16mins.

Rod thanks the event organisers and the great food at the feed stops – including the amazing fig rolls!

COVID – information from British Cycling

Honiton Spinners do not require riders to wear a face covering during rides, but request that face coverings are used when at the start and end of rides.

From 29th March 2021: British Cycling-affiliated Club rides or recreation programme rides for up to 15 participants (can take place) on highways, trails and tracks.

Riders will be required to maintain a ‘one metre plus’ distance from others, and follow other relevant guidance on hygiene, self-sufficiency and equipment sharing.

While we know that group riding presents a very low risk of transmission (due to it taking place outdoors, with very limited face-to-face contact), we must remain mindful of the wider public’s understandable concerns around Covid-19 and ensure that all clubs and groups respect and adhere to the relevant COVID-secure guidance for safe delivery.