The Dartmoor Way

When I first bought myself a road bike in 2009 (as opposed to the hardtails MTBs I rode throughout my teens) I soon started to fantasise about idyllic bike camping trips or credit card tours, with just the bare minimum of gear, plenty of cake stops and a cosy B&B to roll to at the end of every day. I never really got around to this somehow, and then suddenly I've found myself pretty much exclusively going on longer and longer lycra-clad 'training' rides which, though hugely enjoyable, are not the only style of cycling I'm interested in.

I've recently been reading through back issues of cycle touring e-magazine Bunyan Velo, as well as watching this video pretty much on a loop for the last fortnight, and I've caught the cyclo-camping bug again. Last week I took my stove and espresso maker out along the Thames Estuary just for the thrill of making a coffee in 'the wild'. The next step is, of course, to camp out overnight but the thought of getting woken by doggers in Epping Forest or harassed by a Surrey farmer is too much to take. One of the only legal paces to wild camp in England is Dartmoor, and a bit of research brings up the Dartmoor Way - a 150km/2648m ascent loop around the National Park on traffic-free bridleways and quiet lanes. You can see something of a plan forming here. To kick things off I've created a GPX file of the route, which is also viewable over at MapMyRide and I thought it would be something of a public service to share this with the internet.

I'm also pulling together the requisite gear for the trip, so far still filed under 'pipe-dream', but do expect more of this sort of chat soon...

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