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Newton Abbot and Totnes, Monday 29 May, 2017

June 11, 2017

The morning is a bit of a blur. During the night, I had sustained my first injury of the tour by falling out of bed, so over breakfast I’m nursing a sore back and the irritation that it wasn’t caused by anything to do with cycling. Steve is also tiring, having used up extensive reserves of energy cycling up hills without having gathered much speed on the previous descents.

Waiting for them to weigh in

We decide to split this leg of the tour into two, and do Newton Abbot and Totnes as a separate leg altogether. This means getting a train from Morchard Road (not far from Zeal) to Dawlish Warren, then cycling to Newton Abbott and Totnes  – shorter than originally planned but long enough to meet our ten-mile rule. Fortunately the guards on trains prove nothing less than helpful, and we soon get to Dawlish Warren.

Regular readers of this irregular blog may remember that Dawlish is also a destination, and that we’ve visited it before. Well, here we are again, as last time we never made it to Newton Abbot and Totnes. On leaving Dawlish Warren, we’re informed by some bloke that “the tornado’s coming through in a bit”. Laughing this off, but still concerned that we may be in for some very high winds, he quickly explains that the Tornado is a steam engine which is about to arrive on a special excursion. Sure enough, the roads are lined with rail enthusiasts and even BBC TV cameras, but as we’ve got destinations to cover, plus normal trains to catch home from Totnes, we don’t hang around.

Newton Abbott Racecourse is huge, and it’s nice to see that they’ve chipped in to help maintain the cycle path that runs alongside it, which we of course make use of.

After waiting for them to weigh in (but not for long, as there’s no racing on today, so no horses to weigh), we return to the town centre and set off on a final maze of back roads towards Totnes.

Enjoying non-organic food in Totnes

We don’t encounter any Bickering Fairs, but there is a heritage railway centre where we eat some non-organic food before returning to the modern-day station to get us and our bikes back home (thankfully without let or hindrance this time).

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  1. Joan Varc permalink

    Good to hear you’ve been out and about again, mes braves. Yes, getting back on a bike after an injury and cycling into heavy traffic isn’t the most pleasant experience. in fact, no one would blame you if you gave up on this lad rock thing and got into tweeds. Bob Flowerdew’s on in a minute so must rush….

  2. Thanks – yes – very tempting to switch on our folk antennae and spend more time with BBC4.

  3. Steve Hill permalink

    Hi. I can’t find a contact on the site so hoping you see this. I briefly spoke to one of you at The Rutland Arms after the Sheffield gig (I was the longhair in a Dukla Prague). I’m writing an article for The Guardian about Biscuit fans – if you’re going to Notts would be keen for an interview/photograph. Drop me an email if so.

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