East Devon Trail - Anyone Done It?

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drewbingham
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East Devon Trail - Anyone Done It?

Post by drewbingham »

Hi Boners,

I'm planning to go out around the new East Devon Trail (https://bikepacking.com/routes/east-devon-trail/) over the Jubilee BH Weekend. Has anyone done it and, if so, have you got any experiences/pitfalls/highlights to share?

I'll be aiming for a single overnighter type affair with either a small tent or bivvi bag depending on the forecast, and will be singlespeeding on my Stooge Mk4.

Any advice or thoughts gratefully received.

D.
lune ranger
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Re: East Devon Trail - Anyone Done It?

Post by lune ranger »

Having seen your post yesterday I went out and gave it a whirl today. Rude not to as it practically passes my front door.
I truncated the Exeter part so ended up doing 150km more or less.
The route is cracking - well chosen off road sections mean the route rolls pretty well with the exception of a couple of the sections between Axminster and Honiton.
The route is good for SS in so far as it’s all up or down! The only flat you’ll have to contend with is at the start as you clear Exeter. Hope you are strong or like walking!
The only thing to say is that parts of the route will be busy as anything on a bank holiday weekend - the coastal sections go straight through some prime tourist honey pots.
My version took me 11.5hrs including stops on a geared 29er with fast rolling 2.2” tyres. I wouldn’t fancy doing it on my gravel bike with 40mm tyres - most of the ‘gravel’ is loose 2” flint cobbles.

My Strava if you are at all interested;

https://strava.app.link/gcFg4X38oqb
If you are going through hell, keep going.
WSC
lune ranger
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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:52 pm
Location: Peoples Republic of Devon

Re: East Devon Trail - Anyone Done It?

Post by lune ranger »

Not sure how long you are planning to take on route but you mention overnight gear in the op.
Don’t camp on Woodbury Common - too much nighttime shenanigans from the Nods from CTCRM. No one wants a nighttime meeting with a juvenile commando.
Stop late leave early ethos is especially relevant on the rest of the route - lots of habitation around.
Places I pinged as good possibilities were: on the coast path/cliff top after Branscombe. Each time I go there it always makes me think it’d be a great place to wake up.
Hay meadows about 5km before Honiton, near Cotleigh I think.
Before or at Fire Beacon Hill.
Venn Ottery Common.
None of these places have water that I could see.
If you are going through hell, keep going.
WSC
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drewbingham
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Re: East Devon Trail - Anyone Done It?

Post by drewbingham »

Thanks for the insight, much appreciated! I’m headed up on the train tomorrow AM. Really good to hear some more about the route - currently flip flopping between clips and flats, but I’m all packed and ready to roll. I’d consider myself a fairly strong SS rider but I’ll report back afterwards…

RE water, I’m taking 3 litres to drink and cook with but will be having coffees along the way! RE sleeping, I’m likely to get most of the miles out of the way on day 1 and jump into the bivvy around 20 miles out. I won’t be starting until 11am but will be a good way slower I’d have though - on 32x20 and on 2.8s!
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drewbingham
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Re: East Devon Trail - Anyone Done It?

Post by drewbingham »

Ended up smashing around in a oner, although I cut off the most easterly chunk between Axmouth and Lyme Regis, opting instead to head straight up from Axmouth to Axminster and pick the trail up there after I threw a hissy fit about misreading my Garmin in the rain and went down (and promptly back up) a long 14% hill around Sidcup wasting 30mins or so. Ended up at 147km and 8hrs 45mins.

Agreed on the sections between Axminster and Honiton - I spent a good chunk of that stretch hike-a-biking, but after the absolute brute of a road climb/walk just after Honiton it was fantastic, with Fire Beacon being a particular highlight. Once I realised I was only around 40km out at that point I got my head down and decided to try and make the train instead of staying out.

All in all, a cracking route if you a) like climbing, and b) don’t mind walking your bike.
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