This year I will be cycling the Dartmoor Classic on the 22nd June in aid of Exeter YMCA. I would really appreciate any money that anyone can spare to donate to this great cause. They do fantastic work helping young homeless people get back on their feet. The ride itself is a tough one and quite a challenge.
The Dartmoor Classic itself has been going for a number of years now and is extremely popular. This year’s entry consists of 3000 riders leaving in blocks of 100 from Newton Abbot Racecourse on the Sunday morning. There are three different routes, the Debutante, Medio and Grande. These are approximately 35, 68 and 107 miles respectively.
I will be riding the Medio route this year. I rode the course with Mid Devon Cycling Club on Sunday so here is my experience of the course.
The event leaves Newton Abbot and heads out to Bovey Tracey where it hits the foot of Dartmoor for the first time. We all ride out to Becky Falls and then turn up the dreaded Beckaford Hill which runs behind Haytor and pops out onto the main Haytor road at Haytor Vale where the climb continues to the top of Haytor. After taking in the view for a bit we drop down towards Ashburton and take on the worst part, Holne Chase. This hill goes right up to Hexworthy, is very steep topping 20% gradient in places with slippy corners. You often take in the smell of burning clutches and brakes from the cars going up and down this climb. The road is shiny where vehicles have suffered wheel spin on the corners due to the gradient. It really is steep.
Once you get to Hexworthy you can take a short breather and enjoy the scenery of the stream running close by before climbing up onto the high moor and head out to Princetown. It’s really exposed up there and the wind plays a big part in sapping your strength. With the huge TV transmitter visible in the distance, it gives you something to focus on. When it is windy, the rain is quite stingy on the skin.
At Princetown it’s feeding time! Here we take on food and drink but must remember that the clock never stops ticking so be quick!
From Princetown we get a welcome break from the climbing and fly down to Moretonhampstead, providing the wind is in your favour. It’s lumpy but mostly downhill. The views are nothing short of spectacular and really make the journey worthwhile. At Moretonhampstead you hit the final climb which is a long steady one which seems to go on forever. If you’re feeling tired, this one hurts. At the top you can be happy that it is all over as now it’s downhill all the way back. Fly down 6 Mile Hill and head along the Teign Valley before heading back to Newton Abbot Racecourse. Relax and if you were quick enough you will get a medal!
In total there are over 7000ft of hills to climb!
Well that’s the challenge. What about the charity?
Exeter YMCA does outstanding work in the local community which reaches far beyond the boundaries of Exeter and out into Devon.
Their main projects are Supported Housing, Job Club, Prison Project and Youth Work.
The supported housing project works with young homeless people giving them support and helping them tackle their issues for a positive outcome.
Job Club gives people the support and skills they need to help find employment.
The prison project works with offenders from the three main prisons in the area and works to help stop reoffending.
The youth work project is relatively new and provides youth clubs amongst other things.
Please look here http://www.exeterymca.org.uk/ for more information.
The Dartmoor Classic is organised by Mid Devon Cycling Club along with a host of volunteers and sponsorship organisations. Check out the Dartmoor Classic website here http://www.dartmoorclassic.co.uk/
A bit about me
I am now 40 years old and always had a massive interest in cycling. I have lived in Torbay since I was 2 years old. I am a computer programmer .
After a spell of ill health I ventured off to Plymouth University to get a degree in computing and change my career. I graduated in 2011 with a very strong 2:1 BSc(Hons) in Computing. I used this to set up a new local company called Virtucyc which finally went live in December last year.
(Shameless plug >>> ) Virtucyc Ltd. creates videos for indoor cycling such as spin classes and also the home fitness market. I developed everything myself including a unique software package that works with the videos to tailor them to an individual’s capabilities and also allow them to race themselves.
More details can be found at www.virtucyc.com
If you’ve ever been out on the road and seem a guy with what looks like the BBC strapped to his helmet and a scared guinea pig on the back of his head (that’s a microphone folks!) then that’s me.
If you can spare any money at all please go to www.justgiving.com/kristiandunn and donate.
Thank you all very much.
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