Dark Skies
26th February 2022
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Bike Wright

Dark Skies

Event Info

To be added to the pre-registration list for Dark Skies 2021 (20th February) then please complete the form below:

Pre-Register for Dark Skies 2021

Are you ready to take on the night sky, in Yorkshire True Grit style.

DATE: SATURDAY 26th February 2022

This night-time event will start from Coxwold Village Hall, nestled on the edge of the North York Moors National Park, before taking you on an adventure across 50 forest and moorland miles.

Are you tough enough to take on the challenge?

Just before the sun begins to set, Yorkshire True Grit Dark Skies will start. You’ll be at “England’s Finest View” when it’s dark, cycling under Yorkshire’s huge skies and enjoying the thousands and thousands of stars above.

This really is an adventure ride like no other. There are only 150 places.

The Entry Fee for Yorkshire True Grit Dark Skies is £TBC. Entry includes:

  • Way marked route & GPX file
  • Map of the route
  • Tracker – you can share the event URL with your family/friends so they can dot-watch you online
  • Feed station with warm food & drink
  • Hot food at the finish plus tea/coffee
  • Finisher’s Award
  • Mechanical support at the start and at the Feed Station


Kit List

The weather on the North York Moors can be biting at any time of year – but even more so in February and at night. We appreciate that you’ll want to get round the 50 miles as swiftly as possible; however we want you to get round as safely as possible so there is a comprehensive kit list. (we reserve the right to amend or change this, based on the weather, this version is 19.09.19).

We will check everybody’s kit at registration – missing kit = no ride.

  • A well maintained bike suitable for off-road use, that is in good working order
  • A helmet that complies with British Safety Standards
  • A waterproof jacket (taped seams) with hood (or separate hat). YOUR SHOWERPROOF/WINDPROOF is not good enough
  • A spare layer of clothing with long arms eg additional thermal top, or synthetic down jacket – something warm to put on
  • An emergency foil survival bag (not a blanket). (we will accept the Orange Survival Bags or a Bivi Bag). You can order these with your entry to collect at the event
  • Inner tubes
  • Tyre levers
  • A pump – even if you have CO2 cannisters
  • A trail tool including a chain tool and spare links/magic links
  • A bandage and dressing (first aid kit)
  • An emergency whistle
  • Front lights for your bike that are suitable for riding off-road (and a spare battery if you require one)
  • A spare light – this can be a headtorch and is a spare light for emergency use
  • A rear light for your bike (this will only need to be “on” for the road sections of the event)
  • Some change/money in case you need to use a public phone
  • The Map – we will issue a gpx in advance and you will be given a map at registration
  • Your event number (collect at registration)
  • Enough water for 25 miles
  • Enough food for the duration of the event

There will be a thorough kit check at registration – if you are missing any elements of kit you will not be allowed to ride this event.

Event Running Order

Provisional at 7th February 2020

  • 11am – Event HQ opens at Coxwold Village Hall including registration desk and kit inspection
  • 3pm – Registration Desk closes – you must have registered if you want to ride
  • 3:30pm – Event Briefing – all riders must attend
  • 4pm – Event Starts
  • 5:29pm – Sunset
  • 8:00pm – Cut off to reach the Feed Station at Sutton Bank – 27 miles
  • 9:30pm – Cut off to reach the Marshal in Yearsley Woods on first approach – approx. 41 miles
  • 11:30pm – Expected time for final rider to finish


So, you rock up at Event HQ – what can you expect?

First and foremost you’ll get a reet friendly welcome. There’ll be a coffee van so you can enjoy a flat white and scone before setting off.

After that, there’s not much else – our marquee, a marquee heater and some toilets. There is a tap in the field and whilst we (event team) have all used it in previous years, it’s not actually confirmed as being safe for human consumption, so make your own choice on that.

If the field is wet and your vehicle is heavier than a normally loaded van, DO NOT PARK without speaking to a marshall.

If you want to stay in a tent or your van after your ride you can, but we’re guessing you’ll fancy somewhere warmer – we’ll list some accommodation options shortly.

After the event you’ll get ‘supper’ (last year was pie and peas), and if you bring a mug we’ll make you a brew (The coffee van will have left by then so you’ll have to settle for instant!).

There’s only 100 places available for this event – so don’t miss out.


Where’s the HQ then?

Event HQ, Start and Finish will be at Coxwold Village Hall. This is just on the edge of the North York Moors National Park and is within the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Car Parking will be at the Gardener’s Cottage Garden, Newburgh Priory, Coxwold (unless you are directed elsewhere by a marshal.

It’s a bit more expensive than the summer event isn’t it?

We realise this is a bit of an increase after the low fees for our summer event – however we’re guessing that you’d like some heat at the start/finish and you’ll probably want something warm to eat at the feed station and the finish. Our marshals will need rewarding too – would you stand outside in the dark for nothing?…No, didn’t think so. We want to deliver a safe and enjoyable event that will challenge you, and that means we have to spend money and we don’t have a ‘money-tree’. We’re also giving each of you a tracker so that we know where you are on the route…they’re not cheap either.

How long will it take to ride? Will I need a spare battery for my lights?

The obvious answer to that is “it depends on how fast you ride”. Bear in mind that it is February and it will be dark. You’re riding 50 miles and the conditions might not be favourable. We estimate that the final rider will finish at around 11:30pm you’ll be setting off around 4.00pm. It won’t be mandatory to carry a spare battery, however we will insist that you carry a spare light, such as a headtorch/small torch. Be sensible in your approach to that! Please check the kit list for full information about what you will to carry to be able to ride this event.

How technical will the riding be? I don’t fancy the summer route at night!

The riding will be a lot less technical than the summer route – let’s face it, who wants to ride that in the dark! The route will be tough though – no doubt about that, but there’ll be less of the rocky routes and more forest riding. Debs does keep Andy’s route plans in check for this event…

Is it hilly?

It’s called Yorkshire True Grit for a reason. (See off-road.cc’s review of the summer event). If it’s not technical then it’s going to be hilly isn’t it!

What if the weather is really bad?

It depends on your definition of really bad. Someone once said there was no such thing as bad weather just inappropriate clothing.

If we have to cancel the event, we’re talking serious problems – high winds, blizzards etc., then we’ll give you a guaranteed place in the 2020 summer event; or the 2021 Dark Skies event. Or we reserve the right to run the event but use a shorter lower level route.

If the event starts but we deem the conditions to be unsafe after you have set off, then we reserve the right to amend the route whilst you are out. You must always follow the instructions of the marshals. They will have links to HQ and will know what is going on. This may mean that the route is shorter – but let’s face it if we actually shorten it then it’ll still be a reet good test of your True Grit!

If the conditions dictate that the route chosen is no longer suitable but the lower route is safe, then that will be used instead – it’s about 30 miles.

My bike has tyres on, I won’t need to change them, will I? I normally use my gravel bike for a rough road commute.

I guess it depends on your bike handling skills. This is probably not the event to use your G-Ones. A bit of grip wouldn’t go a-miss. Remember Andy is a fan of a fatter tyre and a tubeless one at that…

What if, I get a mechanical out on the route and I’m stuck; or I actually can’t cycle any more?

There will be phone numbers on the maps that you are issued at registration. Call one of these people and we will organise for you to be picked up in a van. You will be given directions by the person on the phone to a location where you can be accessed for recovery. You must have your map with you so we can talk you through the directions.

In the event of an “emergency”…on tarmac phone 999 and request an ambulance. On a gravel track/off-road call 999 and ask for the Police and then Mountain Rescue.

Riders Reviews
"Great event."
Mark Taylor
"Awesome race, top people, beautiful scenery"
Rik Simpson
"Great event with a relaxed atmosphere"
Becky Wareing
"Dark Skies - great adventure ride"
Greg Barton
"Great weekend, great rides both days!"
Andrea Latham
"Tough route...highly rewarding. I’d definitely do it again"
Adele Simpson
Shires Bridge Business Park
Easingwold York YO61 3EQ
01347 823963
Company No. 11165361
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© 2019 Yorkshire True Grit
Shires Bridge Business Park
Easingwold York YO61 3EQ
01347 823963
Company No. 11165361

Privacy policy
Terms & conditions

© 2018 Yorkshire True Grit
© 2018 Yorkshire True Grit