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Riders Show True Grit at Dark Skies Event

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PhotoCredit : Michael Kirkman

Riding into the sunset at the Yorkshire True Grit Dark Skies race

The Yorkshire True Grit Dark Skies event took place on the evening of Saturday 24th February, and was part of the North York Moors National Parks Dark Skies Festival.

Fifty riders had entered the 50 mile gravel challenge event that started from Newburgh Priory, Coxwold. At registration thorough kit checks were made to ensure all riders could remain warm in the cold weather conditions that were forecast for the night ride.

The riders departed as the sun began to set and began their journey through the forests of North Yorkshire and out on the open moorland of the North York Moors. A feed station at Sutton Bank Visitor’s Centre provided the riders with soup and sausage rolls; coffee and tea, before they continued their journey to the more exposed parts of the route. Two tough climbs in the last 10 miles ensured riders were reminded this was a True Grit event that they were riding!

On return to Event HQ, riders received pie and peas, plus a bottle of “Light Brigade” Beer from Robinsons Brewery.

Whilst the event was not a race, the fastest riders completed the route in 3hours 50minutes. The final riders crossed the line at 11:20pm – some 6hours and 50minutes after they had started.

Fortunately the weather was kind, and whilst it was cold and windy, it remained dry with neither rain nor snow making an appearance.

Yorkshire True Grit Event Director, Andrew Wright, said: “The atmosphere on the route and at event hq after the event was fantastic, with lots of riders hanging out, cheering on others as they returned. It was brilliant to see the lights of the riders on escarpment edge whilst in the valley below.  Our marshals and sweepers were amazing – we couldn’t have run the event without them.”

The Yorkshire True Grit team is now turning it’s attention to the summer “weekender” event that takes place from Friday 22nd June to Sunday 24th June, offering three different distances and multi-event options. Entry for the summer event is open via www.yorkshiretruegrit.co.uk.

Yorkshire True Grit Dark Skies was sponsored by Fenwicks Bike Cleaner, Robinson’s Brewery, Bikewright.com and Yellowhammer Ltd. It was supported by the North York Moors National Parks Authority.

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