6th and 7th July – Okehampton Odyssey
Linsday, Tom, Rick and Pete T started out from Betty Cottles Inn which is 1.5 miles SE of Okehampton on the B3260. We headed into Okehampton, managed to miss the busy road down into to town by getting through a road that had been closed to traffic at the top of the climb from the Inn.
I bit of time was taken consulting the maps in Okehampton to ensure we started off in the right direction to pick up the cycle route 27. some very pleasant roads were travelled, little traffic and good scenery, the Dartmoor hills slowly receded from us . after 20 miles , route 3 merges with route 27 and 4 or 5 miles later enters the disused railway line which has made a fantastic resource for cycling. The partial shade offered by the trees was excellent on the hot day. A few stops are available on the way for drinks. We had planned to go into Great Torrington for lunch, but it was quite a diversion off the track. We headed for Bideford. Toms new tyre punctured, and a 15 minute stop for this, then across the bridge into the centre for some sandwiches , pork pie and cakes for later… all healthy stuff!!
The return started with retracing our route along the cycle path to Great Torrington, then somebodies bright idea was to take a slightly different route to the west of the cycle path along quiet roads. Great Torrington to Kingscott, to Roborough onto the B3217 to Monkokehampton saw some of the toughest cycling we have met, switchback roads of considerable size and gradient. Better to do this when you are fresh ( or not at all). We continued down the 3217 to Okehampton, had to face the final steep climb out of Okehampton to return to our Inn for an evenings( what was left of it ) relaxation.