Two time Brake the Cycler Jenna Willcox reflects on her Dartmoor Dream on one of the hottest weekends of the summer.
I’d persuaded my sister Anna to come Dartmoor Dreaming, a yoga and cycling weekend with me after I’d had such an awesome time on Brake the Cycle's Amsterdam to Berlin trip in 2017. She’s more of a commuter cyclist, so was a bit nervous about going on a cycling weekend. I reassured her that there would be a relaxed vibe, a minimum amount of lycra, and some super lovely people to get to know. And of course, I was right! Highlights of the weekend included yoga, wild swimming, walks on the moor, fires, wine, interesting chats and delicious food…oh, and quite a bit of cycling.
It was in the middle of the summer heatwave. But we decided to ride from Exeter train station to the weekend’s venue, nonchalantly expecting that we’d be there in plenty of time for dinner. ‘It’s only 19 miles!’ I kept saying. ‘We were doing 90 a day in Germany!’ It turns out that cycling up and down the hills of Dartmoor is somewhat different to cycling across the flat cornfields of Germany. The afternoon sun gave us some beautiful views across the Devon countryside, but the heat, and the 1,289 feet climb, meant that our ride took us quite a bit longer than anticipated. When we arrived, sweaty and knackered, we were greeted by a table full of friendly faces munching the remains of their dinner. Our food was waiting for us and we were given a glass of wine. Everyone told us they were impressed that we’d cycled up. We felt better. After some more wine, cake, and getting to know our new cycling buddies, we went to bed.