Teign Valley

Valleyntines Run - 13th February 2011

Written by Roy Best

We were due to have a run out on part of this route last year to see if this was a suitable for the bikes also maybe making this part of our yearly calendar, due to happenings of last year it was cancelled until this year. It was brought up to have this run out in the winter months and February 13th was given as a date for the run and as we were going along the Teign Valley and near to Valentines Day the name ValleyNtines Run was mentioned and was adopted.

Steve took up the challenge in organising and planning the run with Steve's daughter Shani and partner Pete offering to have the run from their house in Teigngrace. Teigngrace is a small village which is known to have had a flood or two in its time and the flood marker outside Shani & Pete's house is a reminder of this.

Weather was not looking too good for the run as weather forecasts was for heavy rain over night and slowly improving later in the morning, sadly the rain never really stopped all day and gladly it was not too cold. We arrived in Teigngrace and caught up with Keith looking for the House, follow me I said and quickly took him through the village. Soon realized things were not right I asked directions from a local who said follow me, it was a slow ride back through the village following a tractor who took us back where I said to Keith follow me. David and Steve were already there sat at a lovely large wooden kitchen table drinking tea and munching on the biscuits; Pete was out doing some chores and arrived later. John R was next to arrive with his Moto Guzzi Trotter firmly attached to the inside of his Citreon 2CV car, it took Steve and John sometime to remove it and now John needs a new back light if you have one. John G with Margaret who was hoping to ride but was not able to offered to follow on as the back up, sadly Rick was unable to come along for the ride as he was looking forward to this for some time.

We were still sitting around the table waiting for things to improve and eventually we decided to make a move about Twelve o'clock, it took a little while to get weathered up for the ride with David making his mind up whether to ride in his sandals or dressing up for the rain. Theresa who was not well at all, Shani and Margaret waited our return, Shani and Margaret managed some photos and off we went to the pub.

The ride took us through the village towards Preston and past the clay workings near Chudleigh where John R was having a bit of a problem and ended up sat with John G in the van with bike in the back, sadly not really knowing which pub we were going to, spent some time looking for us and ended up back around the kitchen table. The ride along the Teign Valley and river was great with some tricky stones from the cliffs left on the road from the storm during the night, Steve manage to ride over two in succession and it was some luck he stayed on his Quickly. We soon approached the Royal Oak in Dunsford which was set at the top of a hill, turning off the road we were looking at a long incline to the car park which was a little slippery due to the nature of the type of track (Steve kept this bit quiet). The view from the car park of Dunsford and surrounding country side was beautiful but we were glad to pop in for a beer.

Apart from the two locals who we had a bit of chat and banter with the pub was quiet, there was a warm welcome from the landlady and the beer was good. We had been there for about an hour with things now quite busy when someone who had just come in asked if we were with the bikes, yes we said and he said well they are lying on the floor. This prompted us to make a move but no panic, when looked three bikes had sunk into the hardcore and were lying very neatly side by side. Gladly the bikes had missed each other and had just missing a car, thankfully no damage to the bikes, this is when it was noticed that the NSU Quickly that Steve was riding had a badly damaged rear rim which must have happened when he hit the rocks.

David was having a little problem starting his bike with the stand firmly stuck in the ground and back tyre leaving a hollow in the hardcore, soon realizing that a rolling start back down the slope to the road was the best option. The return journey was much the same as the outward route with tremendous views down the Teign Valley and Teign River in flood, still raining and now a bit cold Teigngrace soon came into view, this ride although wet and cold was one of the best I have been on.

The two Johns welcomed us back and after a talk on there exploits of the morning we made our way into the kitchen to see the women folk, remember that large wooden kitchen table well it was crammed full of food. Shani had really worked hard with jacket potatoes, homemade soups and nearly everything you could of wished for, thankyou Shani and of coarse Pete as well. This finished off a good day and thanks to Keith and David from Dorset who came down on such a poor day and it was very late afternoon when we made a move. Thankyou to Steve, Shani and Pete for organizing the day and welcoming us to there house, also for John G who took care of the backup, sadly Theresa was still not well and kindly gave it to me the following day, Thankyou Dear.

What are they up to?
...now you know!
Celestine, it's a Trotter
David Benn
Pete and Steve
David and Margaret
Not so much oil this time, Keith
David, Margaret, Roy and Pete
Slow slow Quickly
View from the Royal Oak, Dunsford
Looking at Steve... we want a beer
David, you've sunk
The Devon Autocyclists