Post written by Mark Amor
After all the wind and rain over the last few days, it was nice to see clear bright skies, with dare I say it, a little sun. We all meet at 8am on Sunday. Geraint pulls out the map and shows us the route, which looks like a lot of miles! We drove to Exford in convoy, well two vans. As we entered Exford, we go down a very steep hill and realise we’ll have to ride backup the hill; why can’t we start rides without instantly going up! Geared-up and ready to go UPHILL! Up and up and up we rode slicing through the mud and over loose stone through the gates until we reached the Beacon. Wow, with clear views, you can see for miles. After a quick break we begin our first descent; very nice, we had earned it! Chris (no brakes) Sheppard soon lives up to his reputation of getting his moneys worth, as he pulls over to let Christian pass him, he sets of down hill with only a front brake: loose rocks and lots of water, he can handle it – nice! While installing new pads, I get a text from my lovely wife asking, “Is there anything you want to say to me?” after a couple of texts back and forth, I realise it’s my 24th wedding anniversary, will I make 25!?!?
After a further decent and then up granny’s rise, she was a fit granny – it was so easy – NOT! We got to go down Exmoor’s version of the chimney that reminded Chris and myself of both the Quantocks and the Peaks. Half way through our ride, we stopped for a break in Porlock, before starting our return loop back.
Into the woods and crossing the streams we worked our way to the top of the coombe where across the valley we could see the Beacon from our morning start. We start crossing a marshy part of land when Chris’ back wheel starts sinking; he jumps of and quickly pulls the bike out of the peat marsh. Great, tarmac at last for approximately one mile, then a left turn takes us through a nice looking track. Cows from a distance looked nice and fury. However, up close, they have long horns and look menacing standing on the side of the road. Very slowly and nicely, we rode past them hoping for no trouble. Finally, back down the track to Exford. Geraint puts the kettle on and makes tea for all, what more could you ask for after four hours of riding. Can’t wait to go back and ride Exmoor, it’s great to ride open countryside, and there was no RAIN!