So Yorkshire True Grit Dark Skies is our new event. You asked for it at the summer event and now it’s a reality – or it will be on Saturday 24th February 2018. The inaugural event will be pretty low-key in comparison to the summer festival feel of the June event, but we’re hoping that it’ll grow. We’re sure you’ve got some questions…we’ve tried to answer them here: 


Where’s the HQ then? And why isn’t it at High Paradise Farm?

Event HQ, Start and Finish will be at Newburgh Priory, Coxwold. This is just on the edge of the North York Moors National Park and is within the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We’ve chosen this as the location as Newburgh has a private estate which the event will have access to – lots of private trails to ride! 
It’s great working with the team at High Paradise Farm – but we want the Dark Skies event to be a little different to the summer event and locating at Newburgh gives us more options to develop the event in the way that we want. The summer event will be at High Paradise still! 


£50, that’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 at the feed station. We reckon that we’ll probably have to pay our marshalls something 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’. 


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 midnight, you’ll be setting off around 4.30pm. 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 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 doubts about that, but there’ll be less of the rocky descents and more forest riding. Debs is trying to keep Andy’s route plans in check…


Is it hilly?
It’s called Yorkshire True Grit for a reason. (see’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 refund 25% of the fee and give you a guaranteed place in the 2019 event. 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! 


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 but we were out on the route on Sunday 18th February and given the weather forecast for the coming week we are now suggesting that you might like a tyre with some grip. 


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.