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CYCLECAR AND MOTOR CYCLE NOTES.

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CYCLECAR AND MOTOR CYCLE NOTES. [By CELERITER.] WHITSUNTIDE TOURING. THE NORTH DEVONSHIRE HILL. The weather at Whitisuntide was disappoint- ing in some parts of the country, whilst in others it was all that could be desired. I spent the week-end in Somerset and Devon, and there we had very little sun though at the same time there was practically no rain. Perhaps I took the bad whether down with me, for when I left Birmingham at 4 o'clock on Friday afternoon it was raining hard, and it rained the veholeof the 135 mile journey down to the pretty little place near Yeovil which was to be my centre for the week-end. Not- withstanding the rain and the heavy roads I reached my journey's end by 10.30 after half-an-hour's stop on the way, which is not bad running for a 9.5 h.p. light car over a billy route such as tbis. Though I had no human passenger, I had a dog and a good weight of luggage, almost equal to the weight of a passenger. On Saturday with passenger and dog but no luggage we made an early start for Holne Chase, near Ash burton, one of the beauty spots of South Devon. We first made for Chard with its long wide main street. Just before running into Chard, the road runs on a rirlgeway through a long avenue of trees on the right of which the country stretched away in the valley a wealth of trees and farmland, whilst away across the valley on the left rises Golden Cap, one of the highest hills in Dorset. A sharp drop from this ridge brings one into Chard, then a long pull out of Chard rising all the way for nearly two miles-a level stretch of a mile or two then a steep drop into Yarcombe, the famous Yarcombe Hill, one time terror on the Loudon-Lands End trials, must now be climbed. The hill is over two miles long, and ha3 one rather steep pitch round a left band hairpin corner, though it should be climbed by almost any modern sidecar machine or ligbtcar. The worst terror of Yarcombe is its surface on a wet day. It consists of a soft, slimy, yellow mud which will not allow the driving wheels to get a grip, but, however, it was almost dry on this occasion so we bad no trouble in gaining the summit. Another i- hort run on the level, then an easy fa ting grade brings one into Honiton of lace fame. We are now in Devon, Somerset having been left behind Chard. Honiton is a curious little place with a very and long main street, not very pretty, but wide lying iu a lively wooded country. From the top of Yarcombe Hill, right away to Exeter, the roads are excellent, tar macadam for the most part, or excellent ordinary macadam in other parts, wide and well kept, they are a credit to the County Surveyor. This Surveyor also evidently has an eye to getting a job done quickly, for in two instances we came across no less than three steam rollers all working within 100 yards of each other, one pair working together in tandem to put the finishing surface, and the other doing the rough rolling as a prelimin- ary. From Honiton we sped on to Exeter 15 miles away. There are one or two slight rises, but as a whole the road is almost level. Exeter, the city of narrow streets, tramlines, and heaps of slow traffic is a most exasperat- ing place to get through when one is in a hurry as we were. There seems to be a great deal of country traffic, the drivers of which are too sleepy to under- stand the ways of motorists who travel from afar and through many towns and cities in one run. Perhaps time will alter things, though. The unique Cathedral with its two Norman towers should be visited by all who enter Exeter, for it is a charming building inside and out. From Exeter we took the main road for Plymouth, via Ashburton, going down Fore-street and over the bridge at its foot, then taking the left fork for Chudleigh. Before Chudleigh is reached there is a pretty stiff climb up through the woods to the summit of Great Haldon Hill, on which lies the old race course at a height of 750 feet above the sea. Moorland scenery surrounds one for a mile or two, and then comes a drop down into the green meadows until Chudleigh is passed. About a mile beyond Chudleigh a turn to the right brings one to Teignrnouth, and though this is not the usual road from Exeter, it is, I think, the prettiest and has the best service. Teign- mouth was not, however, our destination on this occasion, so we kept straight on for Ashburton, a quaint little town with narrow, winding main street. Three miles beyond we came to our journey's end at Holne Chase. The road from Ash burton to Two Bridges for Taverstock is very narrow and winding to the top of the Holne Chase Hill. It lies in most lovely scenery. Holne Chase is a show place and visitors go there from many of the South Devon watering places by coach and motor char-a-bancs. Two miles from Ashburton the River Dart is crossed by a fine old hump back bridge. The river deep below flows swiftly on through a perfect woodland setting, half a mile further on comes the sharp hairpin bend of a bank. This calls for careful driving and seems even more difficult when one is making the descent. After the hair- pin there is a level run for about half a mile, then comes the famous hill. It is widened every 30 yards or so to allow horses to zig- zag across the road with their loads, and this curious formation is quite useful for motorists as well. I saw a big Minerva car taking every advantage of the widening, and it needed it too. Near the summit the road forks, the right fork going to Two Bridges, and the left fork, which is the steepest part of the hill. goes on to Holne, the birthplace of Chas. Kingsley, right on the fringe of Dartmoor. The 65 mile journey ended, the car was turned round and a quick run home by the same route too soon came to an end with not a single incident as regards the running of the car. Another run was to Lynmouth via Ilminster, Taunton, Minehead, Portlock, and Countisbury. The road from Yeovil to Ilminster is good for the first 10 miles, then it becomes narrow and winding, but from Ilminster to Taunton the surface is excellent. From Taunton to Minehead the road is very poor, narrow, bad surface, and fairly hilly. From Minehead, a quiet little watering place, with more inland than seaside attractions as regards the scenery I always think, the road is fair to Porlock. At Porlock the fun begins. The famous Porlock Hill with its terrific gradient and great length should never be attempted either by car or motor cycle unless one is out simply to make the climb instead the new road through the woods should be used. A shilling toll is charged for cars, and 6d for motor cycles. The magnificent scenery and the drive through the woods is worth the money apart from the comparative ease of the climb as compared to the old road. The surface of the new road is quite good now except in one or two patches, and far better than it was when I went up it a year or two ago. The climb is nearly three miles long, the gradient is never Wurtie than 1 in 10, and my car took it all on second gear except one hairpin bend about two-thirds of the way up which I had to take a double lock on. From the top of Porlock, over 1,400 feet above the sea down to Nynmouth, the road is bad, loose, pot- holey and and narrow. We passed the Minehead coach and there was not half an inch to spare though I ran the car against the bank until the coach had passed. Countisbury Hill is another teaser especially when wet, and I decided to try the car on it and nearly ruined the driving tyres as a result. I dropped my passenger, then tried to rush the steepest portion which was wet, slimy and loose, torn up by the coach drag. Three attempts forward and two backwards simply resulted in the car sliding into the ditch each time with the wheels spinning round. I was about to put on a studded cover on the spare wheel when I was informed that by paying a shilling I could go up the private road to the Tors Hotel, and avoid this worse bit. I did this and found it a tip worth knowing. The old Porlock Hill was taken on the return journey and though lowest gear was engaged and the engine switched off, it took both brakes to hold the the car on the steepest part, so I think I shall come down by the new road another time. Lynton and Lynmouth are charming places—in fact I should vote for them as being the prettiest spots I know in all England-their only drawback is their inaccessibility, but none the less they are worth a visit, even though it knocks a good deal off one's tyres to get there. When one is in Lynmouth, there are three ways of get- ting out. One is by climbing the hill to Watersmeet, and going to Simondsbath, Exford and Dulverton, where a good main road is joined again going North and South. Another is to go back up Countisbury, whilst the third is to take the lift up to Lynton, nearly 700 ft above on the hill side. The charge for cars is 10s 6d, or two motor cycles can be taken up for the same charge. The' road from Lynmouth to Lynton is almost impossible owing to its surface which is generally inches deep in stones and dust. The road is simply torn up by the coach drag. From Lynmouth to Simonsbath and Dulvetton, the road is in a very poor state, but it is being rebuilt, and in time this no doubt will be the most popular route to Lynmouth. The road from Lynton on to Ilfracombe is in a good condi- tion as a rule, though very dusty, and there is a stiff hill at Parracombe and a drop from Blackmoor Gate to Combe Martin, which is rather trying when taken in the reverse direction. North Devon scenery is exception- ally fine, but the roads unfortunately do not lend themselves to motors, though if one goes prepared to travel slowly, there need be no more barm done to one's machine, than when travelling fast on good roads.

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