Dartmoor Demon is coming up this Saturday 4th May and I've been out having a look at the major climbs.
One thing to be aware of is that the Standard route - though shorter - does pack a serious hill that the Epic riders miss out.
At the course split Standard go left and eventually drop down to tiny hamlet of Dartmeet. That's where you'll meet No.8 out of the 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs book. This climb starts with 22% just to welcome you and then settles down to a steady 15% all the way to the top.
Meantime if you are an Epic rider you will have gone out on a long loop before zipping through Buckfastleigh and turning left before Ashburton. This is where the return climb up onto Dartmoor begins.
On the road you'll experience it as 3 separate climbs:
|First bit - watch out for the one pot hole on|
Dartmoor just around the corner here
|Second bit - after a long 15% straight you turn, see this kick|
up - but no worries as its all over just around the corner
|And immediately after Poundsgate there's yet more up until|
the Methodist Chapel
Just be aware on the way you'll go through Ponsworthy and almost immediately after the ford there's a nasty (i.e. surprising) little climb out of the village - narrow and steep and riders will be in the wrong gear.
Through Widecombe (main danger is ice cream eating tourists loose on the road here) you drop briefly, go over a bridge and then get to No. 10 hill (out of 100 Greatest).
|Widecombe - nearly at top|
That's it for the main climbs on the Dartmoor Demon. I lost count of the number of 20% warning signs I saw whilst out on the recon...
|Cyclists enjoying the prospect of descending Widecombe|
- lucky them.