Category Archives: Devon C2C

Devon Coast-to-Coast

I sometimes submit articles to journals and, in the undefined period before publication (next month I’ll have another one published by Cycle Magazine that’s been in the editor’s archives for three years), I forget that I’ve written and submitted them.

So, a few weeks ago, when I opened the current Tandem Club Journal, I turned to a page and began reading an article, wondering (at first) why it seemed so familiar to me (had I read it before in another journal?)……then it dawned on me……I myself had written it!!

I submit it here for your perusal……Tandem article Jpeg


C2C, E2E, S2S, A2B….

Why do cyclists (well, some at least) have this inexplicable yen to do straight-line routes that begin in one place and end in another, and they have to use transport, other than the bike, to get to the start and get away from the finish? And when it involves a tandem, you have to use your imagination to do just that. Buses, trains and planes are not happy about taking tandems unless, of course, there is a clever way of either folding or splitting your machine. We have neither, so we have to be a little more creative still.

As I key in these reflections about our tandem adventure cycling the 100 mile Devon C2C (Ilfracombe to Plymouth), I am sitting on one of two trains and a bus that will take me back to Ilfracombe to retrieve the car, to shoot back to Plymouth in order to pick up both Jenny and the tandem. We did the same for the Way of the Roses, the Thames: Source to Barrier and, more recently, Bristol to Newbury. It kind of works (usually), but it’s an additional logistical hassle that we could do without.

Having said all of that, it doesn’t detract from the excellent, challenging ride we’ve just had over four days, following the Tarka Trail, continuing along the Granite Way from Okehampton, and finishing off by an astonishingly fast descent to Plymouth over 12 miles on Drake’s Trail, most of the four days spent on former railway tracks, much of them asphalted and traffic free.

The trails climbed and descended through woodland, over the lower reaches of Dartmoor, through parks and along rivers. The climbs were short but very steep….horrendously steep, sometimes……and so we dreamed of electric assist. We were overtaken several times by cyclists gracefully gliding up impossible climbs, whistling their favourite tunes, or chatting to a buddy when they should have been panting…..but the characteristic whirring sound of the electric motor gave them away. Will we cross over into the wonderland of electric-assist one day? The big attraction will be keeping open the possibility of touring in hilly, indeed mountainous, terrain which, on a tandem, is particularly challenging.

Our accommodation was a mixture of B&Bs, Youth Hostel, and one night being hosted by a fellow cyclist through Warmshowers (a 26 year old dairy farmer who was a great cook, to boot!). Each location had its own special character, and its own unique brand of hospitality. One of our B&Bs was a remote farmhouse where we were served pork and bacon from their own pigs. The YHA was a converted railway shed by the old 1960’s station in Okehampton, that also had an excellent cafe on the platform where we tucked into their small breakfast called ‘Branch line’……guess what the full fry-up was called?

The café at Barnstaple was similarly situated on an old-style station, underlining the reality that this part of the country still revels in railway nostalgia, with teams of enthusiasts helping to maintain old rolling stock and preserve an environment that some of us remember from the 50s and 60s.

As I sit on a train to Barnstaple, listening to the clickety-clack of wheels over rails, and wishing they had even a minimal catering service, I try to ignore the hunger pangs by dreaming of the uphill speeds we’ll achieve one day when we get a vra-vra-vroom electric motor on the tandem.

And I conclude by uploading our routes:

Ilfracombe to Bideford:

Bideford to Okehampton

Okehampton to Tavistock

Tavistock to Plymouth

Cycling | Travel | Adventure | Podcast

The Adventures of Grandma & Grandpa

One big world, 2 bikes, 6 grandchildren many postcards…

Vintage Bicycle Odyssey

Ocean's world from the saddle of his 1984 Specialized Expedition

It is health that is the real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver - Mahatma Gandhi.

Matildas Musings

A blog written by Matilda - the "old lady" classic tandem - and her Musings about her adventures, trials and tribulations with the "old git" and Chief Pilot, aka Colin and the "old gal" and Chief Stoker (as well as Chief Engineer) aka Diane.

Fit Recovery

Stay Clean Get Fit

Northern Walker

Lightweight backpacking, hillwalking and bicycle touring adventures in Northern England and Scotland

Looking For 42

Traveling the world looking for the meaning for life (and whatever else I might find along the way)

Off The Beaten Path

All contents ©2019 Rene Herse Cycles.


KITESURFING, CYCLING, SUP: ramblings, idiocy and not much more

Cycling Dutch Girl

the only certainty is change


Brians Blog...


On a bicycle from coast to coast across the USA

Self Propelled

Self propelled adventures through life; blogging on cycling, touring, micro-adventures, general shenanigans, and environmental news


Cycling across Europe, Cornwall to Munich

The Vicious Cycle

A man searches for between leg shavings

2 l o v e c y c l i n g

It's about cycling ... and other travels

There And Back Again

Life at 15 miles per hour

As Easy As Riding A Bike

Well it should be, shouldn't it?

Bike Around Britain

Blog on cycling around the coast of Britain

David Noble's Blog

Life, Loves and Living


The Weston Front - the destination of a road less travelled...

The Innocent Bikestander

It can be better

Bike, Banjo & Baby

They go together so well

Something for Kiki and the Pok

the adventures of Christopher Yardin - by plane, bike, through a lens, or the eyes of a child


Cycling Blog

Richard Tulloch's LIFE ON THE ROAD

Travel adventures on wheels and legs


................."Cherry picking the nicest places in the world to cycle"

Gippsland Granny

Musings from Metung

Serendipities of life

Taking the road less travelled

I Do Not Despair

When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

Tom’s Bike Trip

Adventures and experiments in two-wheeled travel

All Seasons Cyclist

Real World Product Reviews For Avid Cyclists

machacas on wheels

Taking the road less travelled

%d bloggers like this: