Two new groups 2023!

Two new groups / rides will be taking place in 2023 for Spinners

1; There will now be a dedicated E-bike group on SPOND so if you have an E-bike you will now be able to ride as a group. This is not to say that you aren’t welcome to join the others groups if you so wish. I am hoping that we will encourage new members to join us without feeling snubbed because they are on an E-bike. Times move on and we must accept and encourage this within our club. You can use an E-bike on sportives now and as Griff says ” it’s the future “

2; There is going to be a women’s only ride once a month, lead by Jennie & Lyn ( and I would like to think with the support of fellow lady Spinners ). We are looking at a Saturday morning ride. More details to follow in the new year. Personally I believe this to be a bold step forward within the Spinners club. One of which I hope will encourage a lot more ladies to join the Spinners. So if you know of ladies out there who have been put off joining in the past due to the pressure of riding in a mixed group then maybe this will be the entry into joining us. A more gentle and relaxed entrance into the spinners.

Tony Peek

Spinners Sunday social ride to Exmouth

Starting at 9am from the old A30 we headed along the Old A30 turning off at Fairmile, past King School , out through West Hill before dropping down through Aylesbeare coming out at the Airport roundabout. We then took the back road across to Clyst St Mary and the out past the Ball ball coming out at the Railway station roundabout in Topsham. From here we used the cycle path over to Exmouth.

We made it to Exmouth at 10.50am. , perfect timing for us to watch some of the Remembrance parade and observe the 2 minutes silence.

We then picked our way through Exmouth picking up the start of the route2 cycle network. This starts by going through the park were the golf is. From there we followed the route to Budleigh and much to Stephen Driscoll delight we stopped at a cafe in Budleigh on the route 2 way. As it turns out this was the 1st day for the new owners so they opened up just incase. They definitely didn’t expect 8 spinners to turn up ordering coffee, tea, double helpings of cake, bacon sandwiches and more.

Once we had had our fill it was on to Otterton and the gentle inclines of the rolling East Devon County side back to Tipton St John , Ottery St Mary and the Old A30 layby. Many thanks to John Burgess , Stephen Driscoll, Julian Gigg, Sue Jones, Mark Griffin, Michael Bowring , Liz Polley, for joining me today (Tony Peek).

Awards Evening

Honiton Spinners held their annual celebration evening at The Heathfield Inn on Tuesday
evening. After the AGM and buffet, teams were challenged with a very engaging quiz written
by club members Claire Barrow and John Burgess. After that, club awards were presented.
This is the first time that trophies have been awarded, so there was much excitement. As
expected, the results were very close, but the winners were Mark Griffin (Monthly Award),
Malcolm Street (Huff ‘n’ Puff), Lin Grady (Queen of Members), Tony Peek (King of Members)
and John Burgess (Members’ Member). The awards recognise contributions from members
who went above and beyond for the club, offering support and encouragement to others.
Jennie Sleeman, who is stepping down as Chair having led the club since it began in 2016,
wished good luck to Tony in his new role as Chair of Honiton Spinners. She also thanked the
club for presenting her with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a generous gift voucher –
which she will enjoy spending!

Donation to local school

Jennie Sleeman and Roger Saunders presented a cheque for £80 to Payhembury School on
behalf of Honiton Running club and Honiton Spinners. The money was raised as a result of
the joint club Duathlon in July. The school plans to use the money to start cycle training for
the younger children who don’t get funding from the county unlike the older ones. This will
be an excellent opportunity to encourage younger riders.

Honiton Spinners coast to coast ride

John Burgess, Roger Saunders, Tony Peek and Steve Carpenter were the 4 cyclists from Honiton Spinners who attempted the Devon coast to coast route from Plymouth to Ilfracombe on Sunday 25th September. A massive thank you for Mark Griffin without whom the ride would not have happened. He was our minibus driver for the whole day. Collected by him at 7am with the bikes loaded with gear it was off to Plymouth. They were dropped off as near to the route start as possible, all they had to do was follow the route 27 signs with a backup GPS on the Garmin and a map. What could possibly go wrong! As they were about to set off a cry was heard from John Burgess. Oh no ‘ I’ve forgotten my helmet and gloves!! ‘ Hhhmmm drive back for the helmet or ride without. Without it was. 

They started following the route 27 signs and within 3 miles had gone wrong. They ended up on a trail only fit for MTBs which they had to walk down steps carrying our bikes. Once back on the trail it was over to Yelverton for the 1st pit stop. From Yelverton they followed the route to Tavistock. What should have been easy turned into another drama until they found the signs out of Tavistock going in the right direction towards Peter Tavy. Now this is where they really went wrong. To be fair the signs were rubbish at this point, or should we say hidden? They were meant to have taken an off-road section but missed it and went up a long climb of 2 miles before deciding to return back down to Peter Tavy again delaying them. This time they turned into the pub car park -no not there. Try what looked like a private drive? Yes, another 30 yards and there was the route again. So we following this gravel path which got very rough with big stones before they were forced to get off and carry our bikes again for a short distance. Finally, they got to Griff at Mary Tavy for a pit stop with food, water and refreshments.  From here it was more straightforward to Okehampton. However, this did take them up over Brentor and down into Lydford and more climbing before getting onto the Granite Way cycle route to Okehampton. Here they had an unplanned coffee and cake stop which was gratefully received by most. However, within a mile they hit a 16% climb on legs that really did not thank us for the coffee stop. From Okehampton they made their way to Hatherleigh where they met Mark once more. It was here that Steve decided to stop and get on the bus ending his day’s ride. Here they also made the decision that they would call it a day either at the Puffing Billy near Gt Torrington or a 5pm cut off. It was just a case of 9 miles until they joined the famous Tarka Trail, but this 9 mile ride seemed so hilly, they climbed and then climbed some more and even Tony had to walk. Finally joining the Tarka Trail only to find out to Roger’s horror that it was still a gradual climb of about 3% for probably 3 miles. But this did mean they finished on a slight descent to the Puffing Billy. The ride was 71 miles with 5000 ft of climbing and most of it was very scenic on dedicated cycle trails and would be worth revisiting again next year.

Tackling the ‘Lost Lanes SW’ Route 18 by Tony Peek

On Sunday 28th August five optimistic Spinners set off from Honiton Railway station.
This was always going to be a challenging route as the first major climb was out of
Gittisham up to Putts Corner. The route then took us down to Sidford before we
tackled the second major climb which brought us out on a crossroads down into
Branscombe. From here it was the third major climb over to Beer, before stopping at
Seaton Hoe for coffee, cake, cokes, bacon & egg bap and a toasted tuna and
cheese sandwich. I’ll let you decide who you think had what!

From here it was through Seaton to Colyton before heading towards Whitford and
Musbury. This is where we then went through a farmyard and turned a corner to see
the awesome sight of the viaduct: an impressive structure to say the least. Passing
under it and looking up was brilliant. From here we ended up in Uplyme where the
fourth major climb was Concorde. We then crossed at Raymond’s Hill and then it
was a left down to the tea room for an ice-cream. From here we dropped down into
Axminster, then onto Whitford and back to Colyton. This left us the fifth major climb
of the day from Colyton to Honiton golf club. From here it was down into Honiton
were we split for our homes and a rest. Many thanks to Claire Barrow, Jennie
Sleeman, Mark Griffin and Nick Gregson for joining me today. It was a tough
challenging route, but we were pleased to have done it: a tick off the bucket list.
Never again.

Next time John Burgess changes his mind after looking at the route I will be taking

50 miles with nearly 5000 ft of climb.

NELLO 2022

Three Honiton Spinners had signed up to do the Nello this year, back as an event after
being held as a virtual event for the last couple of years due to Covid.

The event was well organised from start to finish. It was nice to get a bowl of porridge for
breakfast before setting off.

Due to the event being held in Topsham, we were set off in small groups to limit the
effect on traffic.

Stephen Driscoll, Kevin Goss and Tony Peek set off together with a small group. After
leaving Exeter, they were soon in country lanes for about 20 miles, taking it in turns on
the front to save the legs for the climbs later on.

There are two different options. The Nello 55 and Nello 100. Both take the same route
over to Tiverton before splitting at the first feed station.

It was here that Tony took the 55 route whilst Kevin and Steve took the 100 route.
The 55 mile took riders out of Tiverton heading towards Crediton. This meant that there
was some challenging climbing involved, with three long climbs within the next 20 miles
before arriving at the next feed station. Tony managed to overtake a good number of
riders on route to the feed station. Once past the feed station it was on towards Black
Dog. There is a drop down into Black Dog from the top of a climb, which put you straight
into a head on buffing wind. It was here that the wind really took hold and Tony was
fighting to hold onto the bike after being blown across the road at a gap in the hedge.
Scary stuff.

From Black Dog it was on to Morchard Bishop and then Crediton taking the back lanes
to bring you out on the main Crediton road a couple of miles outside of Exeter. This was
at 55 miles which meant another few miles through the city back to Topsham. Reaching Topsham and the event station just shy of 60 miles.

Tony was in 3rd place with an amazing average speed of 16 mph with 3780 ft of climb in
only 3 hours and 45 minutes.

Steve and Kev completed the 100 in 7 hrs 27 and climbed 5761 ft at an average of 13.2

Kev said there was a “brutal headwind climbing out of Simonsbath, battling headwind all
the way home.” It was the toughest Nello Kev has ever ridden.

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: