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Dark Skies night-time gravel event takes to the North Yorks Moors next February

Looking for an event with a twist next year? Add the Dark Skies night-time gravel ride to your 2018 calendar

Looking for an event in early 2018 to keep your motivation levels topped up over the winter? Looking for an event with a twist? The Dark Skies could be for you. It's an 80km night-time gravel event in the North Yorks Moors and takes place on 24th February. Piqued your interest? Read on...

The ride will start on the evening of Saturday 24th February from Newburgh Priory before taking in some well-known and less well-known riding gems in the area, taking in a mix of public and private trails through forests, open moorland and farmland. The event is part of the Dark Skies Festival that'll be taking place at the same time, celebrating the lack of light pollution in the area that makes it a stargazer's paradise.

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Course planner and event director, Andrew Wright said: “Riding at night brings a whole new dimension to cycling – we’ve been riding under the dark skies of Yorkshire for many years and it’s great that there was such enthusiasm from entrants to Yorkshire True Grit for a night-time event. I’m really excited about the route! We’re looking forward to testing riders and their bikes once again. I’ll say nothing more than a spare battery might be a good idea.”

The event is open to gravel bikes, cyclocross bikes, cross-country mountain bikes, electric bikes, fat bikes and singlespeeds and it's supported by North York Moors National Park.

Entry costs £50 via the website at

The guys over at will be riding the event. Will you?


David worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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kil0ran | 6 years ago

There's a minor kerfuffle down here in the New Forest about a planned night trail running event. They've allowed it as a one-off but looks like the NP/FC will ban future events.

Jason Kurn | 6 years ago

This has defiantly got to be a wind up.  We have festival promoting the serious issue's caused by light pollution, but then have an event that causes light pollution?

Might be acceptable if all the bikes had to have lights that met emit light above the horizontal plane, but I fairly sure they'll have powerfull torch like beams.

edit: It's probably worth adding that a lot of nocturnal animal species react very badly to any increase in light levels. Just a few seconds of light can cause them to panic and give up feeding/foraging for most of the night. There will be rare & heavily protected species in many woodlands that are seriously adversly affected by light. It's a huge problem everywhere (one of the reasons they're rare and protected). One of the ideas of 'Dark Sky's' events is to promote natural darkness, so it doesn't make sense to encourage people to move through habitat with powerfull headlights.

kil0ran | 6 years ago
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Ummm, how do a bunch of photon vomiting offroad lights contribute to a festival celebrating dark skies?

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