Yorkshire True Grit Dark Skies
Part of the North York Moors National Parks Dark Skies Festival, “Yorkshire True Grit Dark Skies” took place on the evening of Saturday 24th February.
Kit Checks and Dot Watching
Fifty riders lined up for the 50 mile gravel challenge that started at Newburgh Priory, Coxwold. At registration, thorough kit checks took place. You don’t mess about on the Moors at night, in the winter. It was imperative that everyone could stay warm in the (forecast) cold weather conditions. As an extra safety precaution, all riders were issued with a live GPS tracker so the event team could keep tabs on everyone. This gave friends and family back home the opportunity for a spot of dot watching from the comfort of their warm homes!
Roll Out and Sausage Rolls
As the riders rolled out to begin their trip through the forests of North Yorkshire and across the open moorland of the North York Moors, the sun began to set and soon they were riding in the pitch dark.
A feed station at Sutton Bank Visitor Centre provided the riders with soup and sausage rolls, coffee and tea, before they continued their journey through the more exposed parts of the route. Two tough climbs in the last 10 miles reminded riders they were in True Grit territory!
Pie, peas and a pint
On return to Event HQ, riders received pie and peas, plus a bottle of “Light Brigade” Beer from Robinsons Brewery.
The fastest riders completed the route in 3 hours 50 minutes. The final riders crossed the line at 11:20pm – some 6 hours and 50 minutes after the grand depart.
Fortunately the weather Gods were kind, and although cold and windy, it stayed dry throughout.
A word from event director Andrew Wright
“The atmosphere on the route and at event HQ after the event was fantastic, with lots of riders hanging out, cheering on others as they returned. It was brilliant to see the lights of the riders on the escarpment edge from the valley below. Our marshals and sweepers were amazing – we couldn’t have run the event without them.”
Our Man in the North
Friend of ADVNTR, Russell Miller, was brave enough to head up north and take on the challenge while we all sat back in our armchairs watching dots slowly moving around the Yorkshire Moors.
“The course was great with a bit of a mix of gravel , bridleway and one section which was like the Somme, but it added to the event.”
The course was tough going. It wasn’t quite cold enough for the trails to be frozen solid, and there was the occasional sloppy section to navigate. This made things somewhat sketchy for those on gravel bikes. As with the Yorkshire True Grit summer event, the mixed terrain means that you’ll never be on the right bike. You can therefore, quite confidently, ‘run what ya brung‘.
Roll on Summer!
The Yorkshire True Grit team is now turning it’s attention to the summer “weekender” event ., Make a note for your diary and book off Friday 22nd June to Sunday 24th June. There will be three different distances and multi-event options. Entry for the summer event is open via www.yorkshiretruegrit.co.uk.
All photos credited to Michael Kirkman.
Last modified: 1st March 2018