Sunday 28th Update

The weather last Sunday was just perfect for a run around the quieter roads in North Devon. We followed exactly the planned route and arrived in time for a lovely cooked breakfast at the Eggesford Crossing Cafe. We sat out in the sun right by the railway tracks!
Welcome to Simon on his Yamaha MT-01 ; I think he enjoyed the day.Justin couldn’t make it as he says he was picking up his new bike – a Multistrada I hope!?Pete then had to depart to catch a train to London… hard luck!
We then headed up on a ‘loop’ around South Molton via Witheridge and back to Torrington and on across quiet backroads to Hartland Quay where some of us ate our roast beef dinner (have to keep ‘fuelled up’!!) There’s a toll road down to the hotel and tourists were being relieved of £2 each, but, ever thrifty, I rolled up to the barrier and told the guy that we had a table booked, and besides ‘ you don’t charge bikers DO YOU!’ (combined with a threatening look!). He waved us on…
Jo pumped up her suspension to cope with the extra weight (only joking) as we set off back via Bradworthy and Holsworthy to Tavistock and dispersal.
See you all next time,

Sunday Run Fun

We have tried to pick roads which are not too bogged down with tourist traffic (famous last words!)
Roborough to Bere Alston via Denham BridgeGulworthy to Chillaton to Lewtrenchard.Take old A30 towards OkehamptonNorth Tawton to Winkleigh to Eggesford Crossing Cafe for coffee/breakfast
B3041 towards Nomansland then left for South MoltonUmberleigh to TorringtonStibb Cross, Woolsery to Hartland Quay Hotel for lunch
Meddon to BradworthyHolsworthy to LiftonMilton Abbot to Tavistock
Robin and Annette

This Sundays Fun

We will ride out this Sunday, meet at Sainsbury’s 0900 for a 0930 depart, we will be going for a breakfast and banter to be decided on the day..

Hope to see you there. 

Biker Pete

Pete Mackay

Sunday 23rd June Ride

Hi bikers this Sunday sees another Plymouth Biker ride out. We have special guests joining us this Sunday all the way from up North, yes our good friends Robin and Chris riding out on the lovely Kawasaki 1400.

So Dave Prout of PB will be taking you out for a Sunday jolly and will make the route up on the day as not having 5 mins during the week to plan anything :-()

Probable route, is a breakfast stop at my old favourite Strawberry fields, via some nice flowing roads, followed by a trip up to Exeter via the back A roads for a good look around Bridge Motorcycles, Coffee and cake.
Then well work our way back via some good roads.

So if you fancy a ride then see you at Sainsbury’s Marsh Mills. And if you can’t remember Robin & Chrissy I have tagged a video of the group back in the day. Enjoy

Ride Update

Hi all,

5 intrepid bikers set of On a semi open navigator day, clearly having not learnt the lessons of last ride Biker Pete took on the first leg. Bear Grylls was due to turn up but he had sent a text I didn’t quite understand saying he wouldn’t be there.

I didn’t leave anyone in the petrol station, or if I did they didn’t catch up with us this time. We set out towards Roadford Via Yelverton and all went really well to start. The new road around the mine at Hemerdon was as sporting as ever and we managed to miss all of the suicidal sheep that wandered across the road and we arrived at Yelverton in good order. I scanned the car park but there were no hopeful bikers in sight so we pushed on.

I was a little worried that the route could be a little boring so I’d decided not to go directly to Tavistock but to cut through towards Bere Alston and use a route around Tavistock. And before anyone asks it was not because I am frightened of getting lost in Tavistock it is only Launceston that scares me. All went well, but as I so often say you can see the early warning signs of disaster if you look hard enough. In this case it was a sign saying no access for vehicles over 6’6, the second a sign saying unsuitable for road vehicles access only. The third was actually that text Bear Grylls had sent “Sorry Pete that route is way to hard for me I’ll give it a miss”.

Anyway the PBS are nothing if not loyal and they followed on behind me getting deeper and deeper into this road that was not a road including some hairpin turns that defied belief. Once we had rejoined a proper road I stopped to join the group up. I could see everyone couldn’t wait to take their helmets off and tell me just how great an experience the road had been but I decided that we didn’t have time for praise so I shot off again before anyone could speak, but trust me I knew what they were thinking!

We then hit some really nice roads as we pushed up to Roadford, with some very inviting straights were we resisted the urge to show how quick our bikes were. Mostly. I will say no more than mojos have been found! I’d actually forgotten how good the roads were and I think we all enjoyed the sweeping bends as we made it in to Roadford.

I had a sense of disaster occurring again as the place was so quiet I thought it was going to be shut, but we were lucky and it was just really quiet. We discovered the delights of bacon poached eggs on brioches, definitely a 1 between 2 dish, I am still full hours after. We then discussed the pros and con of running out to Bude and then down via Red van hill. We terrified Magic and Dave and Jayne with our stories, but having experienced my shortcut we were confident we could cope with Red Van hill in the dry (no one would dare try in the wet)

Having decided that my navigating had a real chance of affecting my health given what I had been told would happen if I took us down any more non roads I gladly handed off the navigating to Dave. Which is when it started raining. But fortunately not for long as we rediscovered sunshine as we entered Bude and set off down the coast road. 

We navigated Red Van Hill successfully. At this point successfully probably should be expanded. I term successfully being nobody died. If you consider lots of swearing and maybe even having a couple of goes at the bends not to really be in the definition of success you might not want to say successfully. Safe to say Red Van Hill continues to write fresh chapters in PB folklore.

As we were a little damp Dave decided to stop off at Crackingon Haven which was an excellent idea. This provided an ideal opportunity to do some advance PB training. It is PB rules you cannot have cake and ice cream. However, bread and butter pudding is not a cake, clue is in the name, and hence you can have ice cream with it. That’s my interpretation of the rules and I am sticking too it.

Refreshed we set off for the final leg, down to Boscastle (slightly less swearing at the bends) and then back up and across Davidstow before picking up the A30 and heading to Launceston for a quick fuel stop. We then followed Dot down to the engine rooms for a final cuppa and farewells. Dot was so taken with the cake she wanted she put in a brilliant overtake on a car and car with horse box together and disappeared into the distance.

Final tea and cakes were taken before we bomburst back to home. Not the longest ride we have ever done but it was certainly a true PB eventful trip!

Thanks to all who came for the company and good humour. 

Next ride out will be 23 Jun, I have a Monday train so I should definitely be out. If anyone fancies leading please let Dave know, we had a couple of old favourite routes suggested so if anyone fancies being out front but doesn’t know where to go give me or Dave a shout and we can suggest something.

And as ever the Watsapp group seems to be working better (ie less noisy) so if you want to be added let me know on 07598681157

Happy biking. 


Sunday 9th Ride Out

Hi all, 

Second Sunday so we will be riding out probably for an open navigator day (ie somebody steps forward to lead each leg).  I’ll be at Sainsbury’s and happy to lead out a first leg if required; I don’t propose anything too adventurous this time, if there are no other takers I will lead us up via Tavistock to Roadford Lake for a first stop – Lifton is also very close so if we want we can easily change our mind.  This leaves a lot of options of where to go second leg, Fremington or across to Bude or along the coast spring to kind. I have to catch a train so I would like to head back early but if no one wants to lead on from Roadford I will do a second leg.  

Hope to see you all out, if anyone wants me to give them some ideas for a leg let me know and I’ll be only too happy to help. 

Pete Mackay

Watchet Ride Update

12 plucky bikers set off on Petes’ magical mystery tour of Exmoor bright and early on Sunday morning.  (Well 11 as I left whilst our final joiners were getting petrol but they soon caught up). We picked up another bike from Callington and joined up as the full party outside Launceston.  Having been warned what would happen to me if I got lost in Launceston (I don’t know why you all don’t find the firestation as interesting as I do), I decided to skirt round Launceston despite the risk Dave’s Lifton Farm Shop auto homing instinct would kick in.  Chris C almost fell off his bike when he realised I had successfully navigated around Launceston without getting lost.

The rest of the run up to Torrington was pretty uneventful with very little traffic and good roads. Parking as ever was interesting but we all got in without too much trouble.  Confusion reigned as they now do table service not order on arrival.  I think they coped really well with our group and the bacon sandwiches and coffee were just what was needed after a nice reasonably brisk 90 min run.

At this point I was starting to think I had got the hang of this leading thing and I have to say I was feeling confident if not a little cocky as I outlined the next part of the route.  To show how much effort I had put into this I pointed out it was a Bank Holiday weekend and so Withypool Tea rooms would be jam packed, but I knew a quiet little town that would be IDEAL for a stop.  Remember this bit – it is important later.  And so we set off and I was convinced nothing could go wrong.

A good run saw us up onto Exmoor, the weather started to be a little unkind and those in full wet weather gear felt vindicated.  I was a little concerned that as we went higher onto Exmoor we would get some wonderful views of the inside of clouds and morale would drop, however, after no problems crossing the raging torrent of the ford through the Ex outside Exford (I guess the clue is in the name) we started across the highest points on Exmoor and whilst not perfect the rain just about held off and you could tell there was a great view, you just couldn’t quite see it.  

Justin had been struggling a little with his hydraulic clutch, and no that is not a euphemism.  Fortunately Plymouth bikers is jammed with engineering types who quickly decided they knew nothing about hydraulic clutches other than they needed hydraulic fluid.  A quick check of the reservoir showed this was the problem and so began the hunt for hydraulic fluid.  It’s really fun riding old bikes you get to do all sorts of stuff you don’t get to do if you ride a bike that works is reliable is modern.  (Sorry Justin but you knew you were going to get your leg pulled).  Having failed to find a garage in Porlock I decided that what was needed was a quick stop.

After a bit of tooing and froing I finally made a decision to go to Minehead and then changed my mind and decided to continue with the route having realised there was a petrol station on the route and Justin’s clutch was in no state to cope with traffic in Minehead.  I was pleased Justin tucked in behind me as we set off then I realised that the effect of his clutch problem was he couldn’t stop so I was defacto his crash barrier and so I spent the remainder of this leg braking very gently and trying to make sure we didn’t have to stop.  We had to stop as we came off of Exmoor and turned to Wheedon Cross.  It was terrifying and funny at the same time as Justin came past me unable to stop, walking his bike forward and trying to get a gap in the traffic.  All was well in the end and we arrived at Wheedon Cross.  Fluid was found, reservoir topped up, chaos created around the petrol pumps and then we set off for Watchet.  I sensed that this leg had run on a bit so I decided to try and be clever and get to Watchet as quickly as possible , however, Murphy’s Law of Tom Tom kicked in and we went a more scenic route than intended until I decided to bin the sat nav and follow the road I knew.

We were late getting to Watchet but as we rode in I consoled myself that the ire of the team would more than be made up for by how tranquil Watchet would be, half empty tea rooms, carparks and no queues for massive ice creams.  Remember I mentioned earlier I had been really proud of the decision not to go to Withypool.

The first sign of disaster was a small sign, easy to miss, saying Wheelbarrow race expect delays.  The second was the flashing blue lights of a police car, the third the queue of traffic and the fourth the man in the hi viz jacket saying turn your engines off its going to be at least 10 mins.  A quick glance down the road showed the town centre was PACKED.  Apparently we had arrived with the Watchet Music festival in full swing (don’t ask me why they race wheel barrows as part of the music festival) and the town was over flowing.  This was off course totally unpredictable, I mean who would think to Google Watchet whats on this weekend?  Certainly not me!  Chris showed his natural charm and really hit it off with one of the locals.  I can say no more other than he was at the end of a repeated universal greeting but not the one you’d want to use the first time you meet somebody you are hoping isn’t going to punch you.  We did discuss setting off to find this individual and defending Chris’s honour but we decided that whilst we valued Chris’s honour we didn’t value it more than getting a cup of coffee.

Fortunately I was able to find the motorcycle parking this time as I don’t think we would have got into a car park.  Whilst the town was busy we did do our best with ice creams, some really good sandwiches, fish and chip and ice creams being hunted down and dispatched by the hungry bikers.  There was a special request for the route home, namely that we used a road that had a white line down the centre and not grass.  We saw a wonderful old steam engine, but then had to spend quite a bit of time explaining to Ian (who comes from Dartmouth) that steam trains weren’t normal and there were new diesel and even electric trains.  I am still not sure he believed us.

With time running on we did a quick run back down the A396 to Bickleigh Mill for a final cuppa.  I’d forgotten how good that road is, you certainly have to keep your wits about you, there were a couple of bends where my braking definitely wasn’t for comfort.  We dropped off a small team to grab petrol in Tiverton and then we split up even more as Ian decided not to stop with the main group.  Having collected Ian the main group arrived into Bickleigh Mill before the refuellers, but sadly this didn’t stop Dave P missing out on the last piece of key lime pie.  After farewells we went our separate ways, all in all I think we did over 200 miles and I arrived back into Plymouth around 1800 so a good days riding.

It was especially good to see new faces out, forgive me I am awful at names so I won’t name check you all but I hope you had a good run.  Our normal Sundays don’t stretch quite as far so please do keep on coming along.

I know this update is getting as long my ride, however, a couple of reminders.

If you want to join the Watsapp group for rideouts please let me know.  This group is gently policed to stop it getting too noisy and is a great way of keeping up with what is being arranged for rideouts and any info during the ride.  Drop me a line on 07598 681157 and I can add you.

If anyone wants to volunteer to lead a ride please do not hesitate, drop Dave a line and he will get your route published.  Leading is not stressful, and if you get lost no one will know but you, and even if you get totally lost there is always somebody in the group who will be able to get us to a coffee shop.

Finally if anyone wants the Tom Tom tracks for the routes I ride please just ask and I can e-mail them to you.

Thanks for a great day and see you next time


Sunday 26th Bank Holiday Motorbike RIde

So it’s a Bank Holiday and I don’t have to rush to catch a train and I have amassed enough brownie points with Mrs Sailor Biker to be allowed out for a good run up to Exmoor. 
I propose to set off from Sainsbury’s at 0930 and head up to the Puffing Billy via Launceston. For those who live to the North i suggest we consider doing a pick up in Callington. There is a car park just as you enter Callington we could use, please let me know if you’d like to take up this option. 
I promise not to get lost in Launceston and we will head up to Stibbs cross and then across to Torrington. These are familiar roads to us and should be nice and open but I won’t push the pace as I know many are still getting into the season (myself included). 
From Torrington we will push across to South Molton and then up onto Exemoor. I am thinking of heading down to Watchet, there are a few cafes there so even if it is busy we should be ok and the ice creams are massive. 
From Watchet we will run back down via Tiverton to Bickleigh Mills for a final cuppa. This gives us a few choices for how we get back, our normal route would be across to Credition and then back down via Oakhampton. Indeed if we make good time we could make Bow Garden Centre our final stop, I will play this leg by ear depending on how people are feeling. 
I’d also like to re advertise the watsapp group. I know it got a little busy and chaotic (dead fish discussion anyone?) but it is a lot quieter now. I’d like to propose we agree to limit use of the watsapp group to ride updates and not general chat.  If anyone wants to rejoin the group let me know on 07598681157 and I’ll re add you.  I’ll also monitor the group and try and suggest people use it appropriately. 
Hope to see you all on Sun. 

Pete Mackay

Can’t wait for Sunday

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