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Plymouth to Princetown (and back again)

Published: 19 January 2014 · Tags: bike, dartmoor

A day on the moor: a series of pictures from Plymouth to Princetown and back.

Over the last few months most of the Uni club rides have been kept pretty local. With what appeared to be a window of good weather this weekend we decided to head out onto Dartmoor to do one of the clubs classic rides. After meeting at 9:30 we proceeded to fix an early-batch of mechanicals before proceeding up the Plym Valley cycle path towards Yelverton. At Yelverton we frustratingly experienced yet another mechanical as one of the group snapped a chain.

 alt: Burrator Reservoir — The calm before the storm.
Burrator Reservoir — The calm before the storm.

From Yelverton we proceeded up the road to Burrator Reservoir where we paused for a quick snack. Here the group split in two, some taking the easier railroad ascent while the rest of us proceeded up the more technical route, Eylesbarrow Climb. This climb certainly tested my stamina as I was riding past the group, getting the camera out and shooting the others as the rode past. After they passed I’d then jump back on the bike and blast past everyone ready to repeat.

 alt: Approaching the top of Eylesbarrow Climb
Approaching the top of Eylesbarrow Climb.

The Eylesbarrow Climb features a few shorter decents along the way which, although rather fun, are reasonably easy going.

 alt: One of the Eylesbarrow Climbs shorter descents.
One of the Eylesbarrow Climbs shorter descents.

Further along the descents do lengthen out and become more technical, however none of these last long as the route generally sticks to the contours. Past Nuns Cross we proceeded along the singletrack towards Princetown which proved to be somewhat boggier than expected in places and proved to make for an interesting ride.

 alt: Singletrack decent towards Nuns Cross.
Singletrack decent towards Nuns Cross.

The final length of singletrack lead us directly into Princetown, where we proceeded to meet the other half of the group in the Fox Tor cafe.

 alt: Nick popping the front wheel over a drainage duct.
Nick popping the front wheel over a drainage duct.

Unfortunately while we enjoyed some food and hot drinks, the weather proceeded to turn as the skies opened up. I left the camera buried deep in my bag after this as we proceeded back down the singletrack, taking the right turn down the Widowmaker decent. After this it was a quick blast around Barrator Reservoir again, before proceeding back the the Plym Valley trail through Meavy.

This ride totalled around 70km all in, and is achievable within four hours under good condition without any mechanicals. Unfortunately today my phone battery died in the Fox Tor cafe after just 38km which, thanks to numerous mechanicals, took around five hours.


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