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Are you tough enough to take on Yorkshire True Grit?

Yorkshire’s First “Gravel Grinder” Cycling Event: 4th September 2016 Duncombe Park, Helmsley

Yorkshire True Grit is a new event on the cycling calendar – and is the first Gravel Biking Challenge event in Yorkshire.

Taking place on Sunday September 4th, Yorkshire True Grit starts at the stunning Duncombe Park, Helmsley and winds up to the North York Moors before returning to Helmsley via a series of private tracks and trails in Bransdale.

There are three distances to choose from: The Stampede (20 miles); The Drive (40 Miles) or The Outlaw (60 miles). All the routes feature some trails that are not normally open to the public.

This could also be one of the toughest challenges around too – with all three distances designed to test your personal endurance, and grit. The ascent on The Outlaw is just over 7,000ft – which will challenge even the best riders.

Based on the U.S. Gravel Grinder format, Yorkshire True Grit also aims to be accessible by all disciplines of cycling – there are classes for gravel, mountain, singlespeed, fat and electric bikes.

Organiser, Andrew Wright, of explains: “I’m passionate about all things cycling and it is the accessibility of gravel biking that appeals most – jump on a bike and ride, and enjoy it. We want to encourage people from the different disciplines to come together to experience something a little different. We’ve created a true test of endurance in The Outlaw and whichever steed you choose, it is going to test your spirit of adventure and determination.”

“The Stampede and The Drive are both testing rides with 2,500 and 5,500 ft of ascent respectively – but we’ve chosen the very best trails - it’s the local knowledge that pays off for Gravel Biking and I’ve been riding the North York Moors for nearly 40 years. You don’t know good trails by looking at a map, you only know them by riding them”.

Yorkshire True Grit will be donating a percentage of its profits to charities – St. Monica’s Hospital, Easingwold; Scarborough & Ryedale Mountain Rescue; and The Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Preview: Do you have True Grit?

Yorkshire True Grit is the brain-child of Andrew Wright, owner of Bikewright Cycle Shop in Easingwold near York.

Andy is a passionate cyclist and enjoys all types of riding: enduro, road, mountain biking and gravel. A Yorkshireman born and bred his knowledge of the trails and tracks on the North York Moors has been built up from riding them over many years.

Yorkshire’s First “Gravel Grinder” Cycling Event: 4th September 2016 Duncombe Park, Helmsley

There are a number of gravel tracks on the North York Moors that are open to the public, but there are also many that are used on private estates mainly to access shooting locations but also for gamekeepers to manage the land. Uniquely Yorkshire True Grit uses a combination of the public tracks and the private trails, meaning every rider will see a view that they won’t have been able to see before.

Andy has always been keen to encourage cycling and this is why Yorkshire True Grit offers three distances: 20 miles (the Stampede); 40 miles (the Drive); 60 miles (the Outlaw). “It would be great to see people take their first steps into gravel riding by just entering the Stampede. It will be a challenging ride, but an enjoyable one. The time allowed for the Stampede means that you could take the day to ride it, take in the views, stop for a drink at Rivealux Abbey. We’re pretty sure that some fast riders will also choose this option to try to smash a personal best over the distance”.

“The Drive and the Outlaw are bigger rides altogether. They shouldn’t be underestimated. People think that the North York Moors are fairly flat, however the Drive features around 4,700ft of ascent and the Outlaw a mighty 7,000. We want people to feel like they have really tested if they have True Grit if they ride this event.”

Working with the North York Moors National Park, Forestry Commission, and private land owners the routes were drawn up.

All the routes start from the stunning Duncombe Park in Helmsley and take in a mile or so of tarmac before hitting the trails at Riccal Dale and journeying through the forest on gravel tracks.

The Drive and the Outlaw split away after about 4 miles to cross the river and head north onto the North York Moors where they both drop over Rollgate Gate bank and head over towards the infamous Rudland Rigg – gravel track that disappears into the horizon.

Yorkshire’s First “Gravel Grinder” Cycling Event: 4th September 2016 Duncombe Park, Helmsley

The Drive goes across the full length of the Rigg; the Outlaw drops into Farndale via Monket House before climbing up the notorious Church Houses bank to join the dis-used railway line at the edge of Rosedale before heading west to return to Bloworth Crossing – an intersection of gravel tracks. The Outlaw drops down to Ingelby Greenhow before climbing up The Incline to return to Bloworth and re-join the route of the Drive. Both head west before turning south to pass the Badger Stone and enter the private land of the Bransdale Estate.

Yorkshire’s First “Gravel Grinder” Cycling Event: 4th September 2016 Duncombe Park, HelmsleyHeading south across the estate land brings riders to Roppa Wood where they re-join the Stampede route to ride around the edge of Newgate Bank 
with its stunning views North to Bilsdale.

and then taking in the gravel tracks around Rievaulx with the historic Abbey in the distance. Again, all routes then enter the private lands of Duncombe Park Estate to journey through the woodland before finishing back at the Event HQ. 

Taking place in early September means that the North York Moors should be a sea of purple as the heather takes over the landscape.

To enter Yorkshire True Grit visit

To follow on twitter search @YorksTrueGrit.

To Like on Facebook goto yorkstruegrit.

Entries close on 31st August and numbers are limited in this, the event’s first year.