UNKNOWN Event Website
Darkmoor is an overnight bike ride from Plymouth to Okehampton and back over Dartmoor.
First held in June 2014, the ride is inspired by the Dunwich Dynamo, and similarly is a semi-organised, non-competitive event bringing together like-minded people for a spin through the night.
Unlike the Dunwich Dynamo, the route is a loop; the course leads from Plymouth to Okehampton via Tavistock and back to Plymouth via Moretonhampstead and Princetown. It is not a race nor a sportive, the route is NOT signposted and there are no checkpoints along the way.
The total distance on the current (longer) route is 100 miles, with a shorter option of starting in Okehampton, reducing it to 64 miles to those that don't quite feel up to the full distance. There are a fair few hills in between Okehampton and Plymouth, so even the shorter distance is still a challenge.
The organisers say:
PLEASE NOTE: All participants on this ride do so entirely at their own risk. You and you alone are responsible for your own safety, well being and behaviour while on the ride.
WHY THIS RIDE?
It all started with the Dunwich Dynamo, which is a ride through the night from London to Dunwich, 120 miles away from London on the Suffolk coast. Whilst a well-established and excellent ride, getting back from Suffolk is a bit of a problem, especially for those coming from Devon or Cornwall.
It is for exactly this reason that the Exmouth Exodus was started. The Exodus is a 105 mile through-the-night ride from Bath to Exmouth. Although shorter than the Dynamo, it is also quite a bit more hilly, which more than compensates for the shorter distance. Admittedly it is far easier to get home from Exmouth, if you lived in Avon, Somerset, Devon or Cornwall, but we believed there was need and room for a through-the-night ride that ended in Plymouth.
Plymouth has far better transport links than Exmouth and massively better links than Dunwich, so having it as a start and end location would also help those that live further away.
Darkmoor is a loop because to do 100 miles roughly in one direction would mean cycling Devon Coast to Coast, from Ilfracombe to Plymouth. Having the start and end in the same place also means transport to and from the ride is simplified. Believe us, after cycling over 80 hilly miles, with no sleep at all, having to deal with transport back to the starting point is the last thing you want to do.
Darkmoor makes this a whole bunch easier, by being a circular route, so you end back where you started.
The next Darkmoor ride will take place on the 20th of July, 2019, four days after the full moon.
THE 1ST DARKMOOR - 2014
The very first Darkmoor ride started from the Okehampton railway station at 23h55 on Saturday, 14th of June 2014. Twelve riders, who will henceforth be known as the Twelve Pioneers, participated.
Of course, that created the problem of getting to the start, and several riders decided the best and easiest answer was simply to cycle to the start, thus creating a longer and better ride in the process.
The good people from Cap'n Jaspers, where the ride ended, kindly opened up from 05h00, and even offered free coffee to participants, apparently as a reward for being "nutters". We believe that is Cap'n Jaspers coded language for "highly respected and esteemed customers".
There was a full moon on the 13th of June 2014, and we ended up under mostly clear skies, with moonlit roads. Several riders switched off their main lights at some point, enjoying the experience of cycling by moonlight instead.
This is a turn-up-and-go ride and there is NO support available as such. There is no broom-wagon to sweep up stragglers, and no support vehicles following behind. If you break down along the way, you're on your own.
Having said that, according to the standard cyclists' code, we'd expect you to stop and assist other cyclists in need, just as we'd expect them to assist you if you were in need.
You will need decent lights that will keep going for at least 9 hours. Twilight will start at 03h13 but it will be a long time before you can safely cycle without a light.
You also need rear lights, but try for a balance between getting-seen-from-a-distance and burning-the-retinas-off-the-rider-just-behind-you.
The route is NOT signed! It is easy to take a wrong turning and you alone are responsible for any navigational errors. The route is linked to below, from where you can also download the GPX track to use in whichever digital navigational device you prefer.
We will be passing through towns and villages at stupid-o-clock, so do be responsible and keep noise down to a minimum. There will be plenty of opportunity to sing as loud as you want to while cycling across Dartmoor.
There's no entrance fee payable, though we suggest you carry some cash for when you may pass by a 24-hour shop, or for coffee and breakfast at Cap'n Jaspers on the Barbican at Plymouth, where the ride will end. Unlike the rather excellent Exmouth Exodus, there will be no feed stations along the way. In time, when the ride has been more firmly established, we hope to remedy this.
We will leave Cap'n Jaspers on the Plymouth Barbican at exactly 21h00.
The following link will take you to the map for the route we'll cycle: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29237677
It is a stunning route, well worth riding in the daytime, when the views will do it justice. Riding it in the dark, in your personal bubble of light, however, is a very special experience.
Event date is subject to change