Yorkshire True Grit #100k #mtb #Gravel #Cross
Some of the best events are right under your nose….
An early start Sunday morning and an 80-mile drive up to Helmsley in North Yorkshire would be the start of my next Fatbike adventure. I was in two minds whether to enter or not as I dislike driving to events, particularly so early in the morning, but having not ridden much on the North Yorkshire Moors this was my opportunity to explore new trails, without the hassle of trying to map my ride.
The event started at 7.30am and I arrived at around 6.45am I had porridge and bananas whilst getting ready for the rider briefing at 7.20am
This was billed as a #gravelbiking event so on the start line as expected there were plenty of cross and gravel bikes but no #fatbikes apart from my #SonderVirFortis by Alpkit.co.uk.
You could choose to complete a 20, 40 or 60-mile route with the latter climbing over 6,000 feet.
The start was at Duncombe Park Helmsley. A massive stately home with over 450 acres of land and the owner Jake Duncombe had kindly allowed us access.
I was at the front and led the riders out of the park knowing that on the tarmac I would quickly be overtaken by the lighter, thin wheeled gravel/cross bikes.
We quickly turned left and were off road riding through a forested area. The fatbike loved the trail overtaking gravel and cross bikes with ease.
We started climbing just after 5 miles (Pinderdale) of the event and I was loving it. It felt remote, the scenery was beautiful and the banter with the other riders all added to the fantastic atmosphere.
The first water stop was much needed as the climb up to it in a headwind was hard work but the banter with Mike Metcalfe made it much easier. Mike was on a gravel/cross bike so before reaching the top he was off and I was on my own. I was feeling a niggle in my lower back when I looked up and realized that I had reached the first water stop which was 18 miles in. I filled my boots with ChiaCharge flapjack and bottles of water. The trail would now descend off road on a loose, rocky and wet trail which is ideal for fatbikes and mountain bikes and brings you out at the bottom of Blakey Bank, a 12% road climb about a mile long. Twenty minutes later I was at the top and reached down for my water bottle only to see I had lost my only hydration on the fast Monket House descent (oops!!!!). The next bit of the course was a 5-mile gravel bridleway (old railway line), which would thankfully bring me to a water stop where I could re-hydrate. The volvic bottle was a superb fit in my bottle cage #result.
I loved this event everything clicked into place. Yes it was wet, yes it rained, yes it was windy but the trails were still rideable and my fellow riders were all a joy to be with.
We laughed and joked around the course as I had the electric bike chaps pass me on the climb until they ran out of juice 3 miles from the end, which resulted in them pushing a 20kg bike up the hill to the finishing line.
I met Simon who was running his gravel bike on only the rear brake. We shared some banter and laughed about how good the course had been.
I didn’t want the ride to end as the sun decided to make an appearance and warmed things up a bit.
The medal was a bit different and really worth the effort for completing the 100k.
I would recommend this event to all cyclists who like it off-road. In my opinion it favours a hardtail/full suspension mountain bike as the trails vary from road, forest, rocky, and gravel
The organisation was second to none, the Marshalls were spot on and the signs were all in the right places even though I had the .gpx file as back up.
So, a big thank you to Andy Wright and his team for creating one of the best 100k events I’ve done and I’ve done plenty!
This should be on your bucket list for 2017 yorkshiretruegrit.co.uk