It wasn't exactly sunshine and blue skies for the Brentor Competitive Endurance ride but at least the rain held off. The mist, which can cause major difficulties for riders on Dartmoor, came and went all day but was never low enough to be a real problem for the 80 riders who had entered.
Some of the Endurance South West rides are organised by a single ride organiser but most are a joint effort. For Brentor, the entries were done by Erica Young, Janet Lander did the paperwork and Jo Chisholm looked after the route.
This gave some major problems, not least because of the dreadful summer, which had left parts of Dartmoor too wet to ride across but also because the route (all 20 miles of it) had to be marked on foot. The land around Gibbet Hill always drains well so that part of the route was unchanged but it was decided that the land across Doetor and Willsworthy would not be used. Competitors would stay mainly on the Lydford side of the River Lyd on the drier ground, so as not to damage the Moor.
Thanks to the generosity of local farmers allowing riders to cross their fields it was possible to reach Nodden Gate from High Down and return the same way.
Volunteers walked out across the moor to mark the route, with the usual orange flags and tape, on the Saturday and the ride went ahead and was thoroughly enjoyed by all competitors on Sunday.
This year prizes were, very kindly, given for each of the Competitive classes by Dales Western, with the results based on the French Formula and worked out by Technical Steward, Stevie Martin.
In Class 2 (64 km), the winner was Vicky Ham on Thea's Lass. In Class 3 (51 km) Lynn Harvey on Vlasta Weiner was the winner and in Class 5 (40 km) it was Sue Speed on Destiny's Child. In Class 6 (40 km Novice) Gill Plumbley on Avonbrook Green Rose had the best results. In Class 7 (32 km) the winner was Jan Prettijohn on Astral Mystique and in Class 8 (32 km Novice) it was Megan Cross on Latek.
The next and last Competitive Ride of the season, in Devon and Cornwall, will be the Camelford Ride on September 30. Ride Organiser, Jan Kane, always seems to have good luck with the weather for this ride over Bodmin Moor, and this year will, hopefully, be no exception.
Mainly ridden over open moorland around Rough Tor, and along quiet lanes, this is a gorgeous ride that shouldn't be missed.