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Post Info TOPIC: Adventure bike riders day out (19/11/23) - Dartmoor loop (anticlockwise)


Clubman A

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Adventure bike riders day out (19/11/23) - Dartmoor loop (anticlockwise)


Awesome ride out today on the big bikes. A loop of Dartmoor starting at Lee Mill and drawing stumps and heading for home at Tavistock as it was getting dark. Not quite the full intended loop but great fun all the same, and we got most of the decent (and challenging!!) lanes in. 114miles door to door for me and about 8hrs riding.

9 Riders in total

Jack and Bud on 890's

Dan on a 1290

Me, Luke, Callum, Ben and Keith on T7's

Tris on a 701

Starting at Tesco Lee Mill we headed to Ermington and then the infamous Devil's Steps. Several members of the group, including me, decided to opt out of this challenge ..... which certainly is a challenge on the big bikes. Still, there were a few that gave it a go and managed to make it to the top, but it's fair to say with somewhat less tread on their rear tyre due to all the wheelspinning in an attempt to gain some traction.

Onwards, and at this point the skies opened and it started to heavy shower on us. On through Avonwick and up through the boggy field which was very sideways slip-slidy which was fun. Culver lane was a nice challenge but when the 1290 got to the top the rear was punctured so a quick tube swap and we were on our way again. Rattery then Slatey Corner going down (never, in all my years riding, have I ever ridden this lane in this direction) Ben had a gentle off on said Slatey corner and needed to tweak his bars back central at the end of the lane but then we were off again. Some slippery lanes around Staverton and Baddaford then down Suicide Alley at Buckfastleigh before cutting back to Pridhamsleigh and the nice long lane at Parkfield where we met some friendly walkers who thanked us for slowing up as we approached them. They also gave us a warning of a horse and rider near the end of the lane. Heading further North we hit the lanes around Islington (not Simms today) but down the other side to the main road then up Tipley which was actually fairly easy and was even dry in places! Lunch stop at Bovey Tracy Co-op was about 13:00 and the rain had long since stopped and the weather was fairly decent.

Bikes and riders fuelled we headed for Little Johns Walk lane at the back of Bovey Tracy. Normally we go up this one but another first for me going down this lane, I just wish I'd remembered to turn my ABS OFF after our lunch stop cos the descent was ..... errr, Interesting!!

At Manaton woods we were met with a grumpy bunch of walkers who seemed to think we were riding illegally so I stopped and I took the opportunity to set the record straight and when their spokesperson realised I new my onions it turned out he was just anti-bikes so I left him to his own opinions and muttering to himself as we were never going to see eye to eye.

Onwards to North Bovey Ford which looked pretty deep but Callum went through first and proving it was okay most others followed (I'll admit that myself and two others did not, preferring to ride around). A fabulous lane next at Langdon that overlooks Bovey Castle Hotel.

A bit of back-road work to get us to Chagford then Gidleigh then another nice and slip-slidy lane taking us into Throwleigh. At the most northerly point of our ride at Okehampton now and it was 15:00 so time and daylight were against us with the realisation that we weren't gunna make the whole route before dark.

Tracking down the west side of the moor we hit the nice long lanes at Fenworthy Downs then the old railway lanes at Lydford. A blast over the open moor road to Mary Tavy then into the tricky lane at Horndon. Approaching from the north west we rode down the large rocky descent - probably the better/ easier way to ride this lane in the big bikes - but the ascent back up out of the lane was certainly a challenge for many and even to the point of claiming Keith's clutch. So, having all made it up and out if the lane - eventually - as it was 16:15 and getting dark we decided to draw stumps and call it a day. Keith nursed his bike with delicate revs back home to Roborough with myself and Luke in tow for support whilst the rest of the group headed back towards Ivybridge via the moors/ Cadover Bridge.

A fantastic day out. Many thanks to Jack Brazier for organising and leading. Until the next time



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Hi Geoff: Looks great funis such a route suitable for small pot bikes too ? Mind 114 miles on mooses and a 250 might be a stretch

Im not sure of the etiquette heredo little bikes go out with big bikes ?

Sad that some other road users on foot arent aware of the law and countryside .wonder if these individuals have same attitudes to farm vehicles ? Must admit I get it at times even on a mountain bike and like you do try to chat and at least be courteous

Thanks.

Jules

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Clubman A

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Jules wrote:

Hi Geoff: Looks great funis such a route suitable for small pot bikes too ? Mind 114 miles on mooses and a 250 might be a stretch

Im not sure of the etiquette heredo little bikes go out with big bikes ?

Sad that some other road users on foot arent aware of the law and countryside .wonder if these individuals have same attitudes to farm vehicles ? Must admit I get it at times even on a mountain bike and like you do try to chat and at least be courteous

Thanks.

Jules


Good morning Jules and nice to meet you for the first time at this month's meeting. I was the guy sat over on the far side of the room to you, the one selling the helmet.

Our ride on the big bike was fun indeed, if a little challenging at times, but it's good to have a challenge once in a while otherwise life can get boring.

This loop would certainly be suitable for smaller enduro bikes and I, with others, have done this, or a very similar loop countless times in the past on my KTM450exc (along with WR 250's, KTM300's, Beta X-Trainers and the like) Myself and moat of those other bikes/ riders I mentioned also all run mousses so dont believe the hype - as it were - that mousses are no good on the road or for longer distance rides or excessive roadwork. Mousses are the way to go to not get a puncture and add amy delay to your days riding. I generally run a set of mouses for about 3-4yrs in my 450 without regular re-lubing - just a few tyre changes in that 3-4yr period - and the mouses hold up well.

As for riding etiquette, absolutely you can mix small bikes with big bikes but it all comes down to ability of the riders and what the run leader recommends/ allows on their ride. In this instance it was advertised as an 'Advanced Bike Bike ride' by the run leader so ability was the key factor here and less so being on a smaller bike, although the guy on the Husky 701 got a bit of a jokey ribbing as his bike was more middleweight than full Adv (the categories generally being: small bikes = Enduro type bikes (four stroke or two stroke) and usually approx. 100kg odd. Middleweight bikes would be the KTM 690 Enduro R, Husky 701, AJP PR7, KOVE 450 Rally. Single cylinder four stroke bikes at approx 150kg. Then the full on big Adv bikes are the likes of your Tenere 700, KTM 890, KTM950/990, BMW GS, all with more than one cycllinder and weighing 200kg+ odd)

As for the grumpy walker, what can I say, we encounter them from time to time and despite how hospitably we present ourselves they have their opinion of us which we wont change. Shame. Still, most folks we meet are very are pleasant.

Hope this reply helps? Look forward to seeing you at the jext meeting ...... or out on the lanes.

Regards

Geoff



-- Edited by Kwaka Geoff on Wednesday 22nd of November 2023 09:33:18 AM

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You are brave men taking such large machinery and testing it for real. It shows up the big adventure bike riders who don't leave tarmac. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I have seen larger bikes getting dirty over the years. When I speak to the owners of such machinery at bike nights they usually talk of planned adventures but not past rides. I think you may find more people will be inspired by your report to take the plunge in future.

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Clubman A

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Pete wrote:

You are brave men taking such large machinery and testing it for real. It shows up the big adventure bike riders who don't leave tarmac. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I have seen larger bikes getting dirty over the years. When I speak to the owners of such machinery at bike nights they usually talk of planned adventures but not past rides. I think you may find more people will be inspired by your report to take the plunge in future.


You could have just about filled all fingers on both hands with the number of riders on this ride, ha ha

What you say is very true though Pete, about people's intentions versus actual action but taking such big machinery off-road does require a significantly large amount of confidence - in the first instance - and skill coming a close second. And lets not forget, some of these bikes cost a fair whack of your hard earned pennies (although the same can be said about the latest brand new Enduro bikes) so the realisation of any owner that their pride and joy could get significantly damaged -;as well as themselves if it goes badly wrong! - is also another factor that likely deters many.

I hope what you say is true and we're paving some inspiration for others but unlike this ride, they dont have to start off right in the deep end on such technical lanes as there's plenty of much more sedate lanes in our county suitable for the bigger bikes.



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I was impressed to see the western TET leg includes the Devil's Steps, albeit very sensibly downhill. It looks like a well thought out demonstration of how to plan a route suitable for all using the more sedate lanes, sort of, by including slightly more challenging lanes in a helpful direction. All makes it more likely people will take the plunge away from tarmac.

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Another good ride and write-up Geoff.

I was following your route description on a map in my mind as I read your report, but then I visualised Peekhill rather than Horndon when you described the clutch burning incident, and I only realised my mistake when you didn'tmention how overgrown it was!


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Thanks Geoff,

That makes sense. I suppose what is technical on an Adventure Bike of 200+kg may not be quite so on a lightweight 250 weighing 120kg ? Everything is technical to me at the moment.

I really like the look of the lightweight dual sport category and that you can get into this fantastic sport for under 4K with the Voge Rally.

Scott and I are just back from a super autumn run around Dartmoor and environs, great guiding by Scott. Luckily all we met from walkers to horse riders smiled (maybe the good weather) and responded well to a wave and smile.

we too ran the Houndtor lane into water and saw no onethat I can remember. In fact walked it on Friday and saw bikers, horse riders tree loggers and a lone GL rider all mixing it fine. Beautiful woods and track in good condition.

I am slowly dialling into mooses on the road; as you say feel ok once used to them. Off-road nice to know youre unlikely to get a tyre issue.

likewise hope to see you soonout and about or the next meet.

Jules



-- Edited by Jules on Saturday 25th of November 2023 05:58:28 PM

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