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Preview: Dartmoor 3 Day Bikecamping MTB Trip on the Horizon

MuddyGoose equipped with bags

If you’ve read much of this blog then you’ll have no doubt come across my write ups of last years trip. Last year’s trip took my mate Malcolm and I up to the North York Moors, where we rode from Cropton (where we left the car) to Whitby on our first day, then from Whitby to Guisborough and finally back to the car at Cropton on the third and final day. The overnight camping being done ‘wild’, firstly on the coast just south of Whitby and then the second night up in Guisborough forest.

So this time the plan is to do more of the same but with Dartmoor as this year’s destination. Dartmoor is unique within England in that wild camping is actually allowed. So this time rather than pitching our camp and hoping for the best, we’ll actually be confident of not being ‘moved on’. Of course there are out of bounds areas but you can download a wild camping leaflet for Dartmoor from the national park website and finding a suitable spot should be pretty simple.

The aim again will be to travel light to keep the bikes handling like mountain bikes rather than off-road tourers. This means no tents, no cooking equipment and food for the day ahead only. We will take bivi bags and a tarp and restock on food and water at towns on route, eating each evening from a suitable take away. This way we should still be able to take the bikes along, over, down and through some of the UK’s best ‘natural’ mountain biking trails with a minimal number of attached bags.

Tarp, Sleeping bag & Mat in my Alpkit bag
Tarp, Sleeping bag & Mat in my Alpkit bag

Having spent a lot of the spring/summer so far road cycling, I’m looking forward to getting back out on MuddyGoose again. I must remember to swap out my chaining before we head off though; 32 teeth up front will make the Dartmoor hills more palatable than leaving my 36T fitted. I also need to remember how I packed my Alpkit handlebar bag. My sleeping kit all fitted in there really well last time out!

This time around the trip starts at a little village west of Exeter and we’ll make our way across to Tavistock on the first day. The second day will involve a winding route down to Ivybridge; winding, because a direct route wouldn’t take all that long and we’ve a full day to fill! Then the final day will see us return to the car more directly but with a decent amount of fun factored in too. This will be my first mountain biking visit to Dartmoor, from what I’ve heard it’s an excellent location for it!

I plan to tweet along the way too, so you can follow the adventure at @muddygoose on twitter. There should be fairly regular updates where I can get signal and plenty of photos.

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