Cycling in Devon
Devon is extraordinarily diverse. Lush rolling countryside punctuated by two bulbous National Parks, a wildly jagged north coast, battered by the Atlantic and extreme tidal surges of the Bristol Channel is complemented by a south coast of endless sand and pebble beaches and more miles of road than any other county. The result is a beautiful labyrinthine network of routes of almost infinite possibility. But don't be fooled, for the charm of the landscape only acts to soften the blow of the hills which rollercoaster into each other. The beauty of ever-changing light and stark contrast of the seasons belie the effort required to tackle it. But this makes the challenge evermore satisfying. This stunning arena delivers a natural hit of stimulation to the senses like a double espresso.
Devon offers the perfect training environment and if you want to put some tough miles in your legs it's easy to score chunky elevation gain. But it's so much more than that. It's a fully immersive experience, more subtle than a slap-you-in-the-face Alpine Col. It's gliding along a silent country lane, past dry stone walls and feeling the cooling impact of a light morning mist. It's passing lazing indifferent moorland animals, chocolate box villages and appreciating every contour of a road laid ribbon-like across the land with scant regard for the easiest way. It's coming indoors after a day on the bike and feeling the satisfying warmth on faces left open to the elements.
The riding: what to expect.
Let's get real - Devon ain't flat, and you should be prepared to embrace that. To see the greatest views you'll have to conquer the toughest climbs, but it's that challenge which delivers such momentous reward. Honestly, the riding is not easy, just varying degrees of hard, but we don't design routes to be as tough as possible (we really don't want to pummel you), it's just the canvas we've got to work with. There's no escaping the climbing, but that's all part of the charm. Nobody ever sat around a dinner table at the end of a long ride and discussed the 'flat bits', so believe us when we say that there will be no shortage of topics for conversation when we're back at the house.
And then there's the weather. If it's raining, we go. If it's windy, we go. You can warm up in the sauna back at the house or immerse yourself in a deep bath, stewing gently in Devon grit. Deep down we all love those long rides of attrition anyway. Devon can be deceptively wild, cantankerous almost, as it takes the prevailing Atlantic weather on the chin, but sheesh is it beautiful too. No two rides are the same, no two days are the same, so come and ride some of our remote and glorious routes and get a fresh dose of appreciation for cycling in the UK.
More than anything a Moor Retreat is a cycling bubble. Somewhere to get away from normal mundane routes or commutes, to reset goals and recharge souls, to plan for the year ahead or enjoy the end of the season on new roads.