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  Southern Section diary

Planned for June to coincide with the Royal Cornwall Show then moved to September when the show was re-scheduled, the club response was a little “thin”. Only three bikes - Mike & Lesley, Erica and Trish, plus Godfrey & Chris in four-wheeled transport, took part. Others who had tried to book late were unlucky – all caravans were taken due to the rush for staycations.
The show was cancelled because the site was being used for COVID vaccinations, but we all decided to go ahead with the weekend.
Making ready for the ride
Thursday 9th
The journey along the A30 to Honiton was a bit frustrating due to slow traffic in places where we couldn’t overtake, but Trish provided entertainment when she took the wrong exit at a roundabout in Yeovil. She went past the College three times before she finally made her way to where the rest of us were waiting, just one roundabout further on!
Trying to vary the route after Honiton, we headed north of Exeter toward Barnstaple, then southwest from South Molton. The ride from this point was great fun – fast and flowing, steeply up and down and very little traffic.
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...but the unseasonal mist rolled in occasionally
Sadly, as we slowly entered the car park for the local shop, Erica’s bike went sideways (last minute decision on our part, adverse camber, and loose surface). Erica was fine and the damage to the bike was minimal. Scratches and a broken indicator lens, which was temporarily repaired with clingfilm.
Godfrey and Chris had made their own way down and had already arrived at the caravans to greet us. After settling in and gathering for a swift aperitif we headed for the Old Inn and a substantial evening meal.
The Cornish road proved a joy to ride ...
Friday 10th
Because the show had been cancelled, we had planned rideouts for both days. The theme for today’s ride was “Places with Rude Names”. The day didn’t get off to a good start when we had to queue for breakfast at Strong Adolfo’s, although it was definitely worth the wait.
From there the traffic towards Penzance just got worse and worse. Our first rude name target was Cocks, but we couldn’t stop because it was so busy, so we headed to Greenbottom. We managed to get a photo there, but by then were so behind that we abandoned Pork Street, Cockwells Lane etc and headed straight for Trelissick Gardens where we had planned to meet Godfrey & Chris for lunch. The gardens were pleasant and, although not at their best at this time of year, we enjoyed a couple of hours exploring. We never did find Godfrey & Chris.
Then we took the Kings Ferry across to St Mawes (having unintentionally jumped the queue!) and a long route back to base. At least the traffic had eased a bit!
Saturday 11th
Today we had planned to follow the coast north to Ilfracombe.
As we arrived at Boscastle a drizzly rain started and none of the cafes were open for breakfast, so we carried on to the Boscastle Farm Shop. Once again, we had to wait for a table and the service was slow, but the breakfast was good when it arrived. From there we followed the coast road to Bude. The sun had come out, it was warming nicely and we had expected another day of filtering through traffic jams, but there was very little traffic and we thoroughly enjoyed the ride.
King Harry Ferry
Erica - bruised but not beaten
Brightness at Bude and Boscastle
Bude is very pretty – even when the tide’s out! A sea lock, lots of sand, paths and rocks to clamber over, and, of course, an ice cream barge. Yes, we succumbed.
After Bude we headed towards Westward Ho! You just have to visit a place with such a strange name. They tried to charge £2 per bike for parking, even though we only wanted to stop for a few minutes. We said “Westward No!” and didn’t stop.
Time was getting on so we decided to turn back at Barnstaple and head for the B3227 from South Molton, to repeat the route to St Breward that we’d enjoyed so much on Thursday. It was just as good second time around.
An excellent day, followed by another huge meal at the Old Inn.
Sunday 12th
We said goodbye to our hosts, Steve & Julie, with promises to see them again next year. Breakfast was at the Strawberry Fields Farm Shop in Lifton, where we said goodbye to Godrey and Chris and started our journey home across Dartmoor under overcast skies. After Exeter traffic was light, the sun came out, Trish made it through Yeovil and we all arrived home safely. Another successful club event, thanks to those who took part.
Dartmoor with cows taking up calf the road