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Head to the hills, Day 2 – #ExmoorEpic

Day 2, early morning, the tarp and bivvy combination seems to be working a dream. I'm snug, I'm dry, it's raining, I got some decent sleep overnight, it's raining... Oh, no - it's raining. And so we have that dilemma moment; do I stay warm and dry where I am and slowly watch the time ticking by or do I get up and get wet packing everything away in the rain and starting the day's route in the rain? The answer is of course a scramble to find my phone, it will know what to do! Have I got a signal? Yes. Have a got a weather app? Of course! Will the rain stop? Probably, in about an hour. Time

Head to the hills, Day 1 – #ExmoorEpic

Stunning Exmoor

There really shouldn't be any need for an excuse to head into Exmoor for a couple of days of cycling.  The north Devon & Somerset coasts host some outstanding scenery and provide a multitude of challenging hill climbs.  However, for me the underlying purpose of the trip was to tick off some more of those hills in Simon Warren's book, numbers 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 in fact.  This along with the previous 45 that I'd completed so far would take me up to 50, a significant milestone for any sort of best 100 list!  The fact that I could ride this as a two day trip with my cycling mate Phil and include a bivvy overnight by the

Dartmoor Epic 2016, Day 2

A great spot for lunch

With Day 1 complete and some 60 km ridden with around 1500m of climbing under our belts it was onto Day 2.  There were plenty of new trails to be ridden on this 2nd day along a new route that would take us to a tried and tested camping ground just north of Ivybridge. 862

Dartmoor Epic 2016, Day 3

One huge grassy descent

The final day, Day 3. This is the day when the more tired want a direct route back, or maybe even one that skirts around the edges of the hills. They don't so much care whether it's still off-road or not as long as the climbs aren't too technical. On the other hand, those with energy to spare and miles remaining in the legs quite fancy finishing off in style and not allowing the trek to fizzle out at the end. I won't say who was in which category, you can make your own guesses! 872

Dartmoor Epic 2016, Day 1

But we've done Dartmoor already! In fact it was only last year too! However, in several ways, I didn't feel like I had truly "done" Dartmoor, not fully, not done it justice and so I was eager to return. Add to that the fact that I was eager to bring more people along for the ride this time and going back to somewhere that I knew had perfect camping locations just made sense. 844

Dartmoor MTB Epic – Day 2

On the track down to Ivybridge

I must say, it did seem to be very close to our camp but I also felt a little silly popping my head around the edge of the tarp and seeing nothing there. Maybe it's the way that sound travels up on the moors that makes the sound of the Dartmoor ponies braying in the morning seem so close. So I went back to sleep for a little longer, which gave the early morning mist a little more time to clear. 336

Dartmoor MTB Epic – Day 1

Dartmoor MTB Epic

Leaving behind your 'way out', the car that can take you home. Heading off into the moors, not knowing what the trails will be like, not knowing which will be ridable, which you'll have to push up and carry over and which will provide the long lasting buzz that doesn't die down for weeks.  Not knowing exactly where you'll end up camping but knowing full well that you've got the kit, the drive and the  ability to make it all work.  That almost sums up the feeling as I pedal off on the first day of one of my 3 day bikecamping epics. 366

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. 130

Exploring the North York Moors – Day 3

Open Trail, Open Moors

My main recollection of waking up on Day 3 was the feeling of getting out of bed in full view of the passing public. It wasn't that we'd slept in or that we'd mistakenly camped in the town square; it was only the odd couple of dog walkers and joggers but it still felt strange to be stretching and crawling out from my shelter at 6:00 AM in front of people busily going about their morning routine. So as we had on Day 2, we promptly packed up our stuff, back into our bags and for the final time headed off to find supplies. 181

Exploring the North York Moors – Day 2

Danby Beacon

Waking up under a 'canvas' sheet to the sound of the waves rolling in against the rocks below our cliffside, the sun up already and a day of mountain biking into the unknown ahead of us, we certainly felt no need for a 'lie in'. Yesterday's ride up from Cropton to Whitby had stretched the legs but we both awoke in high spirits and eager for Day 2. 157

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