Yorkshire True Grit is the brain-child of Andrew Wright, owner of Bikewright Cycle Shop in Easingwold near York.
Andy is a passionate cyclist and enjoys all types of riding: enduro, road, mountain biking and gravel. A Yorkshireman born and bred his knowledge of the trails and tracks on the North York Moors has been built up from riding them over many years.
There are a number of gravel tracks on the North York Moors that are open to the public, but there are also many that are used on private estates mainly to access shooting locations but also for gamekeepers to manage the land. Uniquely Yorkshire True Grit uses a combination of the public tracks and the private trails, meaning every rider will see a view that they won’t have been able to see before.
Andy has always been keen to encourage cycling and this is why Yorkshire True Grit offers three distances: 20 miles (the Stampede); 40 miles (the Drive); 60 miles (the Outlaw). “It would be great to see people take their first steps into gravel riding by just entering the Stampede. It will be a challenging ride, but an enjoyable one. The time allowed for the Stampede means that you could take the day to ride it, take in the views, stop for a drink at Rivealux Abbey. We’re pretty sure that some fast riders will also choose this option to try to smash a personal best over the distance”.
“The Drive and the Outlaw are bigger rides altogether. They shouldn’t be underestimated. People think that the North York Moors are fairly flat, however the Drive features around 4,700ft of ascent and the Outlaw a mighty 7,000. We want people to feel like they have really been tested; they have True Grit if they ride this event.”
Working with the North York Moors National Park, Forestry Commission, and private land owners the routes were drawn up.
All the routes start from the stunning Duncombe Park in Helmsley and take in a mile or so of tarmac before hitting the trails at Riccal Dale and journeying through the forest on gravel tracks.
The Drive and the Outlaw split away after about four miles to cross the river and head north onto the North York Moors where they both drop over Rollgate Gate bank and head over towards the infamous Rudland Rigg – a gravel track that disappears into the horizon.
The Drive goes across the full length of the Rigg; the Outlaw drops into Farndale via Monket House before climbing up the notorious Church Houses bank to join the dis-used railway line at the edge of Rosedale before heading west to return to Bloworth Crossing – an intersection of gravel tracks. The Outlaw drops down to Ingelby Greenhow before climbing up The Incline to return to Bloworth and re-join the route of the Drive. Both head west before turning south to pass the Badger Stone and enter the private land of the Bransdale Estate.
Heading south across the estate land brings riders to Roppa Wood where they re-join the Stampede route to ride around the edge of Newgate Bank with its stunning views North to Bilsdale.
Then, take in the gravel tracks around Rievaulx with the historic Abbey in the distance. Again, all routes then enter the private lands of Duncombe Park Estate to journey through the woodland before finishing back at the event headquarters.
To enter Yorkshire True Grit visit www.yorkshiretruegrit.co.uk.
Entries close on 31st August and numbers are limited in this, the event’s first year.
Event date is Sunday, 4th September, 2016.