Cycling from Follaton
Cycling is fun. People who cycle live longer, have improved health and help to reduce traffic congestion!
There is free cycle training available for both children and adults through Devon County Council. The children’s courses are usually delivered through schools, while a free two hour cycle confidence session is offered to adults and can include:-
- learning to ride a bike
- brushing up on your skills
- getting tips for riding as a family
- asking an instructor to ride a route with you, for example, your trip to work
- get advice on suitable routes
You choose whether you want to go out with an instructor on your own or with a friend. Contact them through their website and they will tailor the training to meet your needs:
Bikes can be hired from Hot Pursuits on the Totnes Industrial Estate.
Tel 01803 865174 | www.hotpursuit-cycles.co.uk
The shop is well placed for both the cycle trails described on the next page.
Hot Pursuits on the Totnes Industrial Estate also maintain bikes
In addition you may wish to visit Dr Bike, a very experienced bike enthusiast and mechanic (real name Ben Brangwyn). He is often on the ramp leading to the Civic Hall in Totnes Market Square most Saturday mornings from about 9.30am fixing bikes in exchange for timeswap, barter or Totnes Pounds. Go to the Dr Bike facebook page to check that he will be available on a particular Saturday.
Cycling locally can sometimes be challenging. The South Hams is a hilly area with rather limited opportunities for off-road cycling, especially for families. Cycling is mainly on roads and lanes. However, Totnes does have the benefit of being at the pivot of two contrasting mainly off-road leisure cycling routes which together make up part of Sustrans NCN Route 2.
Heading north is the mostly off-road cycle path between Totnes and Dartington, which is a level route to the Shops at Dartington (previously known as the Cider Press Centre) and the best choice for families with young children. It is about two miles (3.2 km) in length with an optional extension to Hood Manor and the Steiner School. The other path is in a southerly direction from Totnes to the village of Ashprington, about three miles in length. This section is more strenuous and does include pushing your bicycle uphill and through a wood. It provides lovely views of the River Dart. There are a variety of other routes to try in Devon: over 150 miles of the National Cycle Network are in the county. The Devon County Council website has also a good range of cycle map pdfs that you can view, download and print before your visit. The Totnes map is shown on the page?
Electric bikes or e-bikes are bicycles with an integrated electric motor. There are a great variety of e-bikes available worldwide, but those in the UK usually have a small motor to assist the rider’s pedal-power and the batteries can be simply and very cheaply recharged. They are a great way to tackle the Devon hills!
In the UK you must be over 14 years old to ride an electric bike but you don’t need a licence, nor do you need to register it or pay vehicle tax.
E-bikes are relatively expensive to buy – expect to pay at least £1,000 for a reasonable model – and you may wish to consider hiring one before taking the plunge. If you are a patient at Leatside Surgery you can hire a community e-bike (part of the Tranisiton Town Totnes ebike project) from there for just £5 a week.
Alternatively, you may wish to consider sharing an e-bike. Transition Town Totnes currently runs a community e-bike project which involves groups of neighbours sharing an e-bike. If there is sufficient interest the Follaton Oak Green Travel project may be able to facilitate some shared e-bikes on the estate. Contact Mary Popham if you are interested:-firstname.lastname@example.org or 07815 799996