Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hound Tor return - in the sun

John kindly proposing a big Combe Raiders ride was enough to get me to Somerset for what was otherwise a free weekend - I still need to get longer rides under the belt before the end of the month, while looking after my knees. With just three of us signed up for whatever ride it was going to be, it was going to be faster (fewer stops) than other CR rides.  With an all day pass from home, John was keen to head back to Dartmoor and ride a route I led eight of us on back in March - last time the weather was atrocious, so I could see some of the point in going back in nice weather at the tail end of summer.

After dropping into the bottom of the valley, there's a big climb to get the legs & blood pumping.  It wasn't long before I was wondering how I survived on a singlespeed last time - the larger group & cooler weather probably helped.  Dartmoor has a bit of a reputation for quickly turning into desolate isolation if the weather turns, so it was odd to see it on such a lovely day.  Oddly, within an hour of each other two of the three of us riding tubeless tyres got punctures that didn't seal - I put a tube in, John just kept pumping his tyre up rather often.

We had to ride through a herd of these guys, thankfully they didn't object.

We eventually arrived at Hound Tor, which is a much bigger & impressive pile of rocks than the photos below show.  The Hound of the Basket Meals food van was back in the car park - this time we had more than tea.  One cheeseburger just served to remind me that I was actually hungry - so much to the others' later envy, I had a second.

John & Hound Tor - after we escaped from the man running after an escaped kite
Before long we were back at the van & with John phoning home to see if we might have another hour or so out & getting an affirmative - we tacked on a bit more trail that I'd loaded on to my GPS.  With a fair bit more climbing, a nice flowing bit of woodland trail and then an unexpectedly long hike-a-bike to more good views - this was the highlight of the day's riding for me.
Just nice countryside.

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