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The Devon "May or May Not" Run

Linda & Chris Bowden

Well we did run - and what a great run it turned out to be.  Held in May and christened the "May or May Not" Run for obvious reasons, this was to replace our previous biannual run, the Dawlish Duck, which everyone thought had run its course.

We all assembled in the pub car park of the Travellers Rest, our new club meeting place.  It was a very good turnout for this thirty mile run, with fine weather predicted for the day.  Andy Hart and 'Snowy' came from Chard bringing their Cyclemaster and James Superlux respectively.  It was also good to see Nick Devonport all the way from Dover with his Motoconfort Mobylette.  Tony and Val Smith came down from Yeovil to support us, riding their BMW (Tony thought a thirty mile run would be too much for his Cyclemaster).  We were joined by Ian Hayes from Okehampton with his Honda P50 and Roy Couzins, our newest member on his VéloSoleX 1700, plus our regular monthly riders.  Twelve riders set off mid morning in a convoy, within three miles we had somehow managed to lose Robin Morris, riding a borrowed Puch MS50 from Alistair.

Unfortunately our first casualty was Roy Couzins's VéloSoleX, which developed fuel problems on our first obstacle, Ide Hill.  However our faithful backup team Lynda and David Swallow were on hand for a piggyback up the hill on the trailer.  As the hills got steeper Andy Hart lived up to his name and pedalled his heart out on his Cyclemaster, managing to conquer every hill he encountered.  We regrouped at the top of the steepest, fuel problems sorted on the Solex and off we set towards Dunchideock passing a rider on horseback, whose horse was getting very spooked by the pop, splutter, bang of twelve moped riders passing.  Further along a glowing fluorescent flash turned out to be a lycra clad cyclist slipstreaming Andy's Cyclemaster and eventually overtaking him down Dunchideock Hill, obviously Andy's Cyclemaster isn't that slow after all!

We stopped part way for a well earned drink at our old venue the Ley Arms, now catering for meals rather than monthly moped meets.  All suitably refreshed we set off again.  At Starcross, who should be seen coming towards us on a MS50 but the elusive Robin, who having set off in his excitement without a route map had taken the direct route to Dawlish, via the dual carriageway and was now on his way back!  Worried about running out of fuel on an unknown bike, at one point he was seeking out an old friend to raid his Atco lawn mower for emergency supplies.  Everybody eventually arrived at our destination, Dawlish, where we lined up on the sea front, attracting a lot of attention, including that of the younger generation, who would ask such questions as "is that a real bike mister?" and "how fast can it go?".

After lunch and an ice cream, we set off for home.  Unfortunately Andy's Cyclemaster had had enough and failed to start at all and it hitched a ride back on the trailer.  Just as the pack disappeared over the hill and I had travelled 10 yards my Norman autocycle popped and spluttered to a stop, but after some fettling of the points it ran fine again and I caught up with the group.  Close to the end of the run Stuart Goldsworthy on his Puch MV50 sped off to grab a well earned pint and watch what was left of the Moto GP at his favourite watering hole and we retired to the pub for a meal and a natter.

Thanks to Alistair and Andrew for organizing and routing a lovely scenic run and Lynda and David for their tireless backup.

Riders were:

First published, August 2004

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