Tarka Trail

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  • https://tarkatrail.org.uk/

    A northerly and southerly loop from Barnstable around Devon totalling 180 miles. Good views, pretty flat and no cars. Anyone done it? Any tips? I’m waiting for the LaVita to drop but would an XC bike be overkill in the meantime?

  • gravel bike really.

    The offical south route here - https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid­=1bONbOAEWkNoebh5vq6nnC3HD9xX-VrI3&hl=en­&ll=50.978518535547096%2C-3.753475939025­8365&z=12

    is a straight line from Eggesford > Barnstaple - thats 20 mile stretch on flat tarmac b road. Its pretty road but i'd want a road bike for that section. Gravel bike for the tarka trail / dartmoor bit. Bit from Barnstaple to lynton is a road route and quite hilly but pretty.

  • Official North loop has quite a few footpath sections..

    If you want a road / gravel bike friendly north loop from barnstaple take the EV1 / NCR 277 / Route 51 to Ilfracombe then pick up the tarka trail back to barnstaple.

    I grew up around the Tarka trail so know it pretty well. Shout if you have any more questions.

  • xc bike for Exmoor / Dartmoor trails. There's plenty.

  • Is that just bad writing, implying that the entire North and South loops are a cycle route? Some of that coast path is full sus territory...along with loads of narrow muddy footpaths and permitted paths.

    AThe shared use from Barnstaple to Torrington is pancake flat, and the A377 is downhill back to Barnstaple. Traffic varies greatly depending on the time as it's the tourist route from Exeter. But other than that it's pretty rolling.

  • Just got back from a week down there based out of Combe Martin and did a lot of riding often spotting Tarka Trail signs.

    Thought about planning a few routes taking bits of the tarka trail but every time I saw the tracks they looked knee deep in mud - the kind of stuff I wouldn’t even bother on the gravel bike which I was riding, with 60mm tyres….

    It’s honestly not surprising because I’ve often found myself on ‘road’ routes round there that are knee deep mud, especially given the weather has been particularly awful down there recently

  • The roads are beautiful enough, but brutal - 1000m of climbing per 30k or so is very normal


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  • I wouldn’t ever take the road bike down there; although it’d make the rides a bit faster I’m often very glad of big knobbly tyres as a lot of the ‘roads’ that are regularly very steep can deteriorate in to gravel tracks without warning

  • Those are the roads I grew up riding they are ace but the lanes often more gravel bike than road bike though, especially when tractors have dumped loads of mud on them or it's rained and it is like cycling up a stream. Grit and gravel built up on corners at bottom of hills can be terrible. However the descents can be stupidly grin inducing which somehow makes it all seem worthwhile.

  • This is a very good summation - my girlfriend was a little less trigger happy on the grin enducing (read: white knuckle / am I going to stack it because I’m going way too fast for this surface) descents and got a little angry with me a lot of the time on almost all of the rides 😂

  • came here expecting this:

  • I mean - That picture is making me want Dahl for brekkie

  • That picture is making me want Dahl for brekkie

  • Hahaha - an honest mouthful of Roald

    Good autocorrect

  • You didn't happen to ride the East Lyn valley? We were passed by a lady who looked less than impressed 🤣.

  • Nah - there were generally smiles all round, she regularly went on to get comeuppance when it came to going back up the other side!

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Tarka Trail

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