A new addition to our calendar for 2014 see’s head to Tavistock on the edges of the Dartmoor National Park, for our RIDE IT Dartmoor Sportive. Expect a tough ride with some big climbs which start almost as soon as you leave Tavistock with the route heading up into Dartmoor via the Rundlestone climb as featured in Simon Warren’s Top 100 Climbs. Riders on the long and medium routes also get to tackle Haytor Vale, the same climbs the pro’s will battle it out on for KOM points a few weeks earlier during Stage 5 of the Tour of Britain.
The route isn’t all about climbing though, there are some wonderful descents and some amazing views across the moors and with route options ranging from 15 to 85 miles all abilities should be catered for.
More details and entry links can be found at – RIDE IT Dartmoor Sportive
You can also keep up to date with the latest event information here and on Facebook via the RIDE IT Dartmoor Sportive Facebook Event Page
We’ve been out do some set up today and have discovered some road closures on the long route neat Tottisford Reservoir, we’ve looked at a couple of options to divert around it but some of the lanes in that area are really narrow and really poorly surfaced. The best option seems to stick to the main B-road rather than trying to head over to the reservoirs which means the distance on the long route drops by a few miles down to 76 miles and you save a few feet of climbing. But don’t worry, all the main climbs remain so I don’t think anyone will finish wishing it was a bit longer with a few more hills!
By Car – The event centre is at the Tavistock Community Sports Centre on the campus of Tavistock College. The entrance is via Crowndale Road which is reached from the A386. The postcode is PL19 8DD but it doesn’t seem to work great in some sat navs, if it takes you onto the A390 Callington Road and into the housing estate you’re going the wrong way! Take the A386 Plymouth Road and then follow our signs or signs for the College.
Parking - When you arrive please follow directions from our marshals to the correct parking area. We’ll be using an area to the left of the sports centre rather than the main car park, please don’t park in the bus stop area or the small visitors parking area in front of the College reception.
By Train – Unfortunately Tavistock doesn’t have a train station, the closest is Gunnislake which is around 4 miles away.
By Bike – The Devon Coast to Coast (Sustrans Route 27) heads through Tavistock connecting Ilfracombe and Plymouth or there are plenty of local roads that connect Tavistock to the surrounding towns.
The event will be hosted from the Tavistock Community Sports Centre, when you arrive follow the parking signs and directions from our marshals.
Registration is in the main sports hall, please follow signs to registration heading up the ramp to the rear entrance rather than the main sports centre entrance.
There are changing facilities available at the sports centre should you want them.
It’s important to remember that the sports centre will be closing and locked up at 5pm so don’t leave anything in the hall or changing room lockers if there’s a risk you’re not going to be back before then.
REGISTRATION & TIMINGS
Registration will be open from 8:00am to 10:15am but long route riders should aim to arrive and register before 9:30am. Please follow the signs for registration after you’ve arrived.
Please ensure you bring your helmet with you to registration, you will not be allowed to register without one so bringing it with you will save a trip back to your car or bike collect it.
Once you have registered and are ready to ride please head to the start area near the main entrance.
First riders start at 8:30am, the last start for riders on the long route is 9:45am, the last start for riders on the shorter routes is 10:30am.
There will be a time cut off at the long ride split, which is approximately 20 miles away from start. You need to pass this point before midday, if you arrive after this time you will be diverted onto the medium route.
It’s important to be aware that the sports centre closes at 5pm so all riders should plan to return before then. If you start in one or the earlier start groups that should give you over 8 hours to complete the ride.
Teas, coffees and snacks will be available to purchase in the morning before your ride. After the ride there will be hot food available to purchase should you wish to refuel before your journey home.
There’s no hiding from the fact that Dartmoor has some of the toughest riding terrain in the country, expect hills and quite a few of them. The reward for all the hard work is some stunning scenery, grin inducing descents and hopefully a warm glow of achievement once you finish
The routes offer a brief chance to warm up as you head out through Tavistock then it’s on to Rundlestone, the first big climb of the day which takes you up into the Dartmoor National Park. The short ride splits shortly afterwards whilst the medium and long riders head further into Dartmoor over to Bovey Tracey before starting to head back via Haytor Vale, probably Dartmoor’s most famous road climb and regular feature in the Tour of Britain King of the Mountains.
The approximate route distances are -
Fun – 15 miles with 1,650 feet of climbing
Short – 30 miles with 3,400 feet of climbing
Medium – 64 miles with 7,400 feet of climbing
Long – 82 miles with 9,350 feet of climbing
After completing the route please head back through the finish timing point to register your finish time before returning to your car. If you don’t head through the timing point you won’t register a finish time and will show as a DNF when we publish the rider times.
PLEASE REMEMBER THIS IS NOT A RACE – There are no rankings or prizes on offer, all times will be displayed in a non-sortable format in rider number order. Please help us to continue running popular and friendly events by not riding in such a way to obstruct the road and upset other users. The majority of the ride is on the public roads so please obey the Highway Code, stop at junctions where appropriate and obey any traffic lights. Do not ride at silly speeds around blind bends or on steep descents. Although we have event insurance it does not insure you for your actions so if you do hit a car or pedestrian you will be responsible for any damages caused by your riding.
WEATHER & ROAD CONDITIONS
At the moment the weather forecast is looking good but please bear in mind the weather in Dartmoor can be very changeable, the last time I rode it there was blazing sunshine at the start but still cold and misty at the top of Haytor. You may want to take a gilet or lightweight jacket with you and be prepared for changeable conditions.
Most of the B-roads through Dartmoor are really well surfaced and a pleasure to ride, however, we do also use some of the smaller lanes which have some sections of broken tarmac, poor surfacing and gravel to look out for. Always keep alert and if riding in a group signal any hazards to riders behind you.
Some of the descents are long and steep and you can build up speed really quickly, on some of them you can see the road ahead for miles but on others they’re twisty with blind corners. We’re not trying to stop you having fun, we all love a blast down the hills, but remember the roads are shared with other traffic and you can’t always assume the road around the next corner is going to be clear.
We’ll be doing our final course inspection on Saturday so will update if we find any specific areas of caution.
MAPS & GPX FILES
All riders will be given a printed copy of the route map at registration. Please keep this with you, even if you’re using a GPS, as it has useful information such as emergency contact numbers and the location of the ride splits and feed stations.
Everyone who has pre-entered will receive a pre-event mail by Friday evening with links to the final GPX files. If you do not receive this please remember it will have been sent to the email address you used when booking the ride and do check it hasn’t been trapped in your junk emails folder. If you still don’t have them then email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll check your entry and send you a copy.
If you have any queries or questions relating to the ride that aren’t covered then please email email@example.com or get in contact with us via the facebook event page.
You can also keep up to date with the latest event information here and via the Dartmoor RideIt! Facebook event page.