All guests can borrow a free bike (child and adult sizes available) when staying at Wheatland Farm’s Devon eco lodges. Kids love to ride around the paths to and from the lodge field all day. Adults often pick a bike with the basket to go to the local farm shop (or the pub, or the local cider factory…). All the bikes have been rescued from Devon’s recycling centres and refurbished. So they are not sparkly new, but they are serviceable and fun.
These are standard bicycles, not electric bikes. They’re good for short journeys in this part of Devon, but might struggle on a full day out. Devon can be notably hilly in places! But we’ve found that serious cyclist guests at Wheatland Farm usually want to bring their own bike, and ‘day trip out’ guests generally hire a bike at the start of a trail. So our free to borrow bikes fill the gap.
You can’t book the Wheatland Farm bikes, but we’ve never run out (we have more bikes than we have bed spaces in the eco lodges, though of course if everyone wants the same size we’ll have difficulty).
Most of the children’s bikes are stored in the big open-sided shed in the old farmyard, along with the ride on toys like the little tractor and the go carts. Adult sized bikes are in the shed at the corner of the lodge field. If you can’t find what you need, talk to Ian. And if there’s a bike you want to use that’s got something wrong with it, whether a flat or a saddle at the wrong height, Ian can generally help with that too.
‘Find me a Devon cycling day out’
If you’re staying here and thinking about a cycling day out we have lots of information, and can unlock the detailed local route notes pages on our website for you – they have a variety of trips we’ve tested ourselves, usually taking in a tea shop or two. These are aimed at competent adult cyclists (but not necessarily serious athletes). They range from about 10 to 40 miles (about 16-65km). The longest is a full day out, starting at Wheatland Farm, biking to Meeth, picking up the Tarka Trail to Barnstaple, then catching the train to Eggesford, and completing the loop back to Wheatland Farm. It’s a fun adventure for almost anyone – there’s just a short stretch on an A road at a couple of points, so you need to be past the wobbly stage.
For family days out, Devon’s Tarka Trail has some really excellent routes. Puffing Billy is one of our favourite starting points, but there are several options. The Tarka Trail makes good semi-independent adventures for teens too – you can’t get lost, it’s fairly flat, and non-cycling members of the party can go ahead to meet the bikers at a chosen destination.
‘Borrow a bike’ Wheatland Farm House Rules
But back to borrowing a farm bike… There are some simple house rules – please check them out in our Terms and Conditions.
Basically, you ride at your own risk – please check brakes, tyres, and steering before setting off. We have a few children’s helmets you can use – but we recommend you bring your own. Please don’t use the bikes on the road after lighting up time – they don’t have the lights you’d need to be legal (unless you’ve brought your own).