Mention riding on Dartmoor and one may be forgiven for thinking such talk is all about horses and ponies. Long before the film War Horse, the national park had a strong association will all things equine. Even its official symbol features one of its famous wild ponies.
But those who prefer to ride a mountain bike
than a horse may be more prominent than some imagine in the area. The national park authority has just received a £1,000 cheque from the Mid Devon Cycling Club, as part of its £ for the Park voluntary donation scheme.
The cash was given towards repairing trails and footpaths across the national park, helping those who explore the area in walking boots
as well as on two wheels. The motivation for this was the gratitude to the national park authority for ensuring the location remains user-friendly for cyclists.
Chairman of the club Andrew Perkins explained this, stating: "We're extremely grateful to DNPA for the support they give us in the annual running of the Dartmoor Classic and proud to be able to share with the many visitors who take part, the beauty of the moors - it is therefore very gratifying to be able to make a donation back towards the excellent work they do."
Chairman of the Dartmoor National Park Authority Bill Hitchings promised the funds would be put "to good use" in ensuring this remains the case, noting Dartmoor's qualities as a cycling destination were emphasised this year when the Tour of Britain passed through. Andrew Watson, the head of recreation, access and estates at the authority said the cash will undoubtedly help with maintaining routes for organised cycling events.
The Tour of Britain entered the national park near Okehampton as part of the leg from Barnstaple to Dartmouth in September. The tour's own website noted Dartmoor offers a number of outstanding places to ride and recommended the Granite Way and Drake's Trail.