Road cycling takes people to locations all around the globe for various reasons and in pursuit of many things, epic climbs, cruising in the sun, breath taking views and so on. Well I’m sure you’re aware all of these things exist in the UK, the sun on occasion being an elusive being. Dartmoor National Park provides a picturesque playground for the road cyclist, and here are 3 reasons you should seriously consider it for your next cycling escape.
- The climbs
Devon is a jigsaw puzzle of climbing, and all the pieces come together on Dartmoor. With lanes creeping around every backwater reside on Dartmoor they all eventually lead to a climb of some sort. Some start slow, creeping up and out of the valleys onto the open moor; whilst others ramp up into the sky ahead of you. Start searching and it won’t be long before you’ve found yourself a 20% road arcing away as you stand out the saddle and attempt to tackle it.
Alternately one can find themselves realising they’ve been steadily grinding away for some 15 minutes, the gradient just inching up small increments, tricking your legs into potential surrender. There’s something for any cyclist here, and there are flat rides if you want!
- The views
It’s a national park, so you expect beauty, but Dartmoor really is something special. The scenery gliding by will be constantly evolving, little pockets of wild flowers and gorse amuse you temporarily before transitioning into a sweeping hillside of purple heather and stunted trees. Tumbled heaps of granite provide rough ornaments for moorland vistas, standing perpetually still for thousands of years. Cruise over stoic stone bridges standing sentinel above deep flowing rivers, pockets of forest gracing the banks before dissipating once more into bracken fields and gorse thickets. It really is a unique place to indulge the eyes, a just reward for conquering the climbs.
- The quality of riding
Dartmoor provides you an area where you don’t compromise on rides. There aren’t roads which you have to endure, only enjoy, partly due to there being only small amounts of traffic it means you can relax into your ride and don’t have the incessant worry of constant cars. Whilst road surfaces aren’t always perfect, and one must avoid the odd pot hole and suffer some undulations generally routes are easy enough to sweep along on without stress. Good long rides are available and you can happily spend a day sauntering across the moor, rarely if ever feeling compromised by the boundaries of the rolling hills. It has everything you desire from a solid ride, offers opportunity for any ability of rider, and there are plenty of pubs and cafes at which to partake in a well deserved break.
All these work in harmony to concoct a simple conclusion, that Dartmoor is a special and truly great place to ride a bike. Jetting off somewhere exotic isn’t necessary, it’s here in the UK.
Oh, and the beers good too.