1st Cycle To Clearbrook

Last Saturday I made my first trip to Clearbrook and back, on my bike. I enjoyed it very much as the weather was sunny and not too cold, and I took my time to take in the scenery as I cycled along. Here is the cycle recorded on Strava.

The upward trip to Clearbrook was interesting as once I had gone through the tunnel on Drake’s Trail (which wasn’t as dark as previous), there was a sign up to say that the cycle path was closed ahead due to a fallen down tree. So I had to leave the path and go on the road and up the steepest hill you can imagine! It was hellish and I couldn’t ride up at all, so had to push the bike up the majority of it! It wasn’t just me though as some road bikers up ahead had to push their bikes up as well and they were clearly fitter than me! Once I got to the top, I had to have a bit of a rest as was dead on my feet. Once I had recovered though, I made my way along the road and cycled down into Clearbrook, stopping outside of the village hall for a rest, an energy drink and some biscuits. The sun was shining and I have to say that it was a lovely scene (photographs can be seen below).

After about 15-20 minutes, I got up and started on the journey home. It only took about 40 minutes to get to Clearbrook, which was a lot less time than I thought it would be, so I knew roughly how long it would take me to get home. I let Kelly know I was on my way back and set off. The trip home was eventful as, whilst I was probably going along at my top speed, a big dog jumped out at me on the cycle path and I ended up skidding for about 2 metres and only just missing it! The owner could only grunt and didn’t apologise at all so I wasn’t best pleased, especially as my rear brake had locked so I had to give it a bit of a kick to get it loose again! Wasn’t happy at all!

When I had made it back to Bickleigh, and was just cycling up the hill towards Roborough, I heard an Owl hooting in the trees nearby. I decided to stop and turn around, so cycled back to where I had heard the noise. I waited and listened for several minutes, and even tried to make some hooting noises of my own, but couldn’t see or hear an owl anywhere. In fact the only birds I saw were a Jay and a Wood Pigeon. I have a feeling it flew off just as I stopped the bike to turnaround, as I think I caught a glimpse of a large bird fly off out of the corner of my eye. Shame really as it would have been really cool to see a wild Owl, especially as it was mid-morning and they wouldn’t normally be out and about at this time.

All in all, it was an enjoyable first trip to Clearbrook, and I am looking forward to doing it again and possibly even further up to Yelverton!

Cycling on Drake’s Trail

A few weeks ago I went for my first cycle on Drake’s Trail which runs from Plymouth all the way to Tavistock, which is a distance of about 21 miles. You have to be pretty fit to do the full distance and back, but I bet it is really good especially on a nice day!

My first cycle started from Bickleigh, across the Viaduct, through a very dark tunnel (see video below) and then almost on to Clearbrook.  I wasn’t exactly sure where I stopped and turned around, but I am sure I must have been almost at Clearbrook.  The path I took was slightly uphill and towards the end I was on a rough path as I chose to carry on along it instead of turning off on to a road to finish the trip to Clearbrook.  Cycling back to the access point at Bickleigh was a lot easier as it was all down hill and I was going pretty fast, only really stopping to film myself cycle through the tunnel (see below)!  So I made it back pretty quick although it was a struggle getting home as that was all up hill until the last half a mile when I could free-wheel again!

For my first cycle, I had a great time and the weather was perfect.  I stopped several times to take some photographs, which you can see below, as the views in certain parts of the trail were great.  I recorded my cycle on Strava and the whole trip was just under 10 miles, so a good exercise as well!

Here is the first part of my trip to Bickleigh Viaduct.

Here is the rest of my cycle.

Here are some photographs that I took between Bickleigh and Clearbrook, from the trail.

Here is the video of me cycling through the darkest tunnel I think I have ever been in!!

My second cycle along Drake’s Trail was after work, so I wasn’t at my fittest! This time I cycled from work down to Plym Bridge and then on to the cycle path. I wasn’t sure where I was going down there and had to follow some other cyclists to get on to the trail, but I found it in the end! It was all uphill from there all the way to Bickleigh, and took longer than I thought it would. Half the reason for that though, is because I stopped off to take a look at a breeding pair of Peregrine Falcons along the way at Cann Quarry.  The National Trust have a hut and some telescopes pointing at the nest, so I took a look and was amazed to see the female parent and two chicks.  It was a great watch and I had to tear myself away from it in the end to continue my journey to Bickleigh.  I would recommend stopping off there and taking a look – here is the link to the website about the Plym Peregrines.  And here is my write up of it on my Birding Blog.

The rest of the journey was pretty steady but I wasn’t going too fast as I was trying to take in the wonderful surroundings.  I didn’t take my camera with me so didn’t take any photographs, so I will have to do that on my next cycle along this part of Drake’s Trail.  Once I did get to the access point at Bickleigh, I was pretty shattered, and did a bit more walking for the rest of the way than I would have liked! 😉

Here is my cycle from Plym Bridge to Bickleigh.

Next time I go out for a cycle along the track, I would like to go from Bickleigh and then down to Plym Bridge and back, and hopefully I will be doing this soonish!