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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:48 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:08 am
Posts: 6840
Location: Nth Somerset, UK
My son and I went down to Devon today to watch the ToB. We did the same thing last year and headed for Exmoor, which was absolutely packed, I have never seen so many people up there. This year I picked what I thought would be a quieter spot near the bottom of the climb at Mamhead, just outside Exeter.

As I know the area pretty well and often work down there, I did a quick scouting trip a couple of weeks ago and found a good place to park and then ride the last couple of miles to the bottom of the climb.

Although the peleton are only in front of you for a matter of minutes, there is a great atmosphere and it is always impressive to see the organisation both in front and behind the race itself. After the breakaway had passed, we were able to see just how imposing the Sky train is at the front of the peleton when they appeared as a long line of blue, black and gold around the hairpin bend; the rest of the peleton following in a huge bunch right behind.

The icing on the cake was being the last rider up the climb on my Concorde Astore, possibly the oldest bike on the hill today.

Anyone else been to see the ToB this year, or planning a trip?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:07 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 8:40 pm
Posts: 232
Location: Somerset
Yep,
My husband & I went to see the start at Sidmouth & then went over to Haytor to view the finish.
It was fantastic & the support along the route was amazing. A lot of effort had been put in by many, which was so nice to see, flags, bunting, decorated bikes & many school kids waving & cheering. Well done Devon! shame Somerset C.C decided not to partake in hosting a stage this year. :facepalm:


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:13 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:08 am
Posts: 6840
Location: Nth Somerset, UK
I thought the area around Haytor was full by 10.00am :mrgreen:

We were close to there last year, when the race was going in the other direction. I could not believe the number of people up there, it was fantastic to see, although some of the locals were less than co operative. :roll:


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:18 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:58 pm
Posts: 801
Location: Quantocks
I was gutted I couldnt make it. I finished a night shift this morning & I would have been a hazard if I'd driven down to watch quite fankly.

As usual the local councils & tourist board completely failed to promote the event here in my neck of the west country, but that aside it looked a great spectacle from the photo's I've seen. I'll catch the highlights in the morning when I get home.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:20 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:58 pm
Posts: 801
Location: Quantocks
Oh & the only day this week to have some sunshine!


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:08 am 
Old School Hero

Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 8:40 pm
Posts: 232
Location: Somerset
Yes Haytor park & ride was full by 10am apparently, that meant a good 30 minute detour to the next park & ride the other side of Mortonhampstead which was very poorly signposted & lead to some frayed tempers (apparently it wasn't just in our car!) I think they totally underestimated how many people were going to turn up.
At least we arrived to see a great finish, the sun was out & tempers subsided! Phew!
Looking forward to next year. :D


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:57 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:22 am
Posts: 2075
Location: Warks
Yep, we cycled up the long climb to the back of Haytor from Ashburton and got a viewing spot looking back down the climb from the 100m marker, 250,000 people at haytor apparently, superb all-round, wouldn't have missed it for the world even though I was up to the eyeballs with meds for flu / tonsillitis. Couldn't cheer but did admirable bell ringing ( :) )
Hi point was a garmin rider coming back down the climb doing a plank, belly on the saddle, flat as a board, kinda the ultimate core exercise on the road!


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