I’ve been cycling a bit more than usual, of late on my trusty steed, a 1999 Haro Vector V1 hard-tail mountain bike.

It was only 22 miles, but last Saturday’s route was one of the toughest for a while, given the hot conditions which we’re not used to any more in England.

Four of us intrepid hackers made our way past Wembury and down to Warren Point, where we crossed to Noss Mayo and followed the trail around the headland to Revelstoke and Mothecombe Beaches. The seasonal ferry costs £3.50 per person and bike, which may seem a lot, but I believe it is unsubsidised, hence the seasonal operation.

Much of the trail was built by Edward VII for his nefarious liaisons with his various “lady” friends and, like them, it is quite an easy ride.

The toughest parts of the route were a couple of climbs, lifting and pushing the bike up steps. One climb led to a rocky promontory where several vultures circled above, waiting to pounce, should any of us pass-out in the heat. I exaggerate, of course; they were only buzzards, but such is the gallows humour of the tired, hot and thirsty cyclist.

One odd moment was when we got to Revelstoke Beach car park and had a short break the shade of some trees; on the gatepost was a sign saying “Mountain-biking prohibited”. It was strange that there weren’t any signs at the other end, but don’t tell anyone!

There are outstanding coastal views to be had looking ahead to Hope Cove, Bolt Tail and Bolt Head.

We pushed on, on foot, through the soft sand of Mothecombe Beach, which was rammed full of lazy sunbathers. I was quite tempted to go for a cooling dip in the sea but, for some daft reason, I just pressed on with the others.

At Battisborough X I turned left while the others turned right for the main road.
I like to think my route (coastal, almost traffic-free, more scenic) was the better, and it probably was; Membland and Bridgend are beautiful little hamlets and it was a nice, shady and fast road.

After a five minute break at Bridgend, where I took in the view down the tidal creek, before making the assault up the killer climb to the ridge. I hurtled down to Puslinch Bridge and made another tough climb to the A379 at Kitley.
It was then a road slog through Brixton back to Elburton and a couple of well-earned pints of cider at the Ships Tavern.

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