I met up with MikeFule yesterday evening for a quick loop from Princetown. I had two routes in mind, one quite long and one not so long - Mike had done a lot of riding over the week and was feeling slightly knackered, so we opted for the shorter route. This route involved a section of track that I had never unicycled before (but biked loads of times) from Merrivale, along the valley below the famous Vixen Tor. It turned out to be mostly pretty rideable, although not easy in places causing us a few UPDs. I’ll have to go there a few more times and practice.
I won’t go into much detail of the ride because I’m sure Mike will do a much better job of it that I would (although I reckon my thread title is almost up to his standard :D), but the weather was kind to us and it was a very pleasant ride of about 13 miles or so. Nice to meet another forum member, and I’m sure we’ll be doing it again sometime.
You should see if Paul and Sarah would be interested; then you could use “The moor the merrier” too…
Or even the moor the merrivale?
Hah! Exposed as a fraud. The shame!:o
So I met this young chap who told me he’d only been unicycling for a year or so, and we agreed to go for a ride. I’ve been riding 18 years - and quite seriously for about 4 years. Who fell off most often? Me. Who couldn’t keep up and had to stop for a rest? Me!:o
It was a fantastic route, with a short burst of main road through Princetown, past the prison whence the prisoner escaped in The Hound of the Baskervilles, then along a narrow gritted path to an old railway track bed. The track bed had a steady gradient, and required caution with the uneven ballast crunching under the wheel. Then there was an interesting section of granite railway sleepers. Fantastic views to the left across the moors.
We then swooped down the main road, past wild Dartmoor ponies, and cut through a lovely little bridlepath across rocks and mud. Here I felt like Eddie the Eagle in pursuit of Eddy Mercx as I parted company from the unicycle time and again, and eventually found Rob patiently waiting at the bottom of the hill.
Then the steep climb up the tarmac road. About a 17% gradient. Rob said he was a bit nervous about this climb - so that must be why he got it over with so quickly!
The character of this ride was different from all of the others that I had done on Dartmoor over the preceeding couple of weeks. The railway track bed presented an easy route through the wonderful scenery, and is a real “find”. There were odd sections which Rob described as “spiky” and I still have the bruise on my upper left arm from one flying UPD.
Great fun, but it really did show me up as slow and unfit. That’s what complacently bumbling about on my own on a flood plain does for me. I’m now back in Nottingham and planning to work on my fitness.
Will be back down in Devon from time to time, so hopefully we can ride again and I’ll do rather better.
Glad you liked the route Mike - it was nice to ride with somebody else rather than always being on my own. And thanks for making me sound like such a hero… I think it was just a case of being a route where brute force and ignorance paid off more than experience and skill, but I won’t tell anybody that - oh bugger I just have
Hopefully we’ll meet up again sometime - perhaps do the Burrator route I had in mind, or somewhere over Okey way?