Axe Valley Pedallers enjoy trip to Eype
20:33 11 August 2014
The Axe Valley Pedallers took on a more challenging ride, which almost ended in disaster last Sunday (August 10), writes Robert Watson.
Four riders met at Seaton Tram Station at an earlier time than usual, linking up with a further contingent at Axminster before ascending eastwards up Cooks Lane to Raymonds Hill. The superb new road surface on the B3165 to Marshwood was admired and sadly contrasted with other poor efforts in East Devon. It was good to see that this road, that carries the Devon/Dorset border, is capable of safe smooth resurfacing, comparing well with the best in Europe.
Shortly after turning off to Shave Cross on route to Bridport the group was joined by Tim Shaw who had not only started his ride at dawn in the rain, already completing over 50 miles, but managed to locate the main group by following their tyre tracks on the damp roads. In fact no rain was encountered on the trip itself in spite of dire warnings about Hurricane Bertha, and the sun shone brightly over the Dorset valleys.
Eype is situated on the coast between Charmouth and West Bay and, after a short diversion to experience Eype’s Mouth, the group hurried to a pre-arranged rendezvous at the excellent Down House Farm café, hidden away along a single track lane. After scones, cakes and generous sandwiches, the riders battled back up the hills which had provided such thrilling descents earlier and peddled their way out through Bridport on to Broadwindsor and Birdsmoorgate.
All was proceeding well as the group neared Raymonds Hill and was approaching National Cycle Route NCN2 when suddenly, at the bottom of a descent into a deep remote valley, there was a loud bang like a pistol shot. Modern aluminium rims are softer than the steel ones of the past and gradually wear away under braking. This can cause catastrophic failure with the inner tube exploding and the rim peeling away, making a repair impossible. It was ‘man down’ and far from civilisation. However, no one was injured and rescue proved possible with the aid of Shaun Watkin’s AVP van and a mobile phone – thankfully there was a signal - and the group limped home in time for tea, wiser but undeterred.
Details of future Sunday rides and other regular weekly rides at Axevalleypedallers.org.uk or find us on Facebook.