Switch backs with a sea view


The weather turned good just in time for the bank holiday. Kind of a blessing in disguise though, as it meant I had to get up early to avoid the hoards of red-socked walkers descending on Exmoor.

Was worth it though for views like these


Though, living at sea level means all my rides start with a huge climb. Everyone thinks that England is flat and boring, but on Exmoor you can easily descend 400m in one go, which isn’t too far off real mountain status.

I chose the easy route today and rode the road to the top.

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I started from Lynmouth and headed up the watersmeet valley to Hilsford bridge. Managed to avoid being run over by about 5 caravans; I am in constant awe/sympathy of people who have never even reversed a trailer before, and then think they can drive a 20ft caravan down a Devonshire country road. August wouldn’t be the same without you!

Clouds looked angry today, but they burnt off pretty quick

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Myrtleberry cleave overlooks Lynton and Lynmouth from a height of about 380 metres. after the first road climb, you hit some singletrack that is just starting to dry out after two weeks of constant rain.

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from the top you can see Whales and the Brecon beacon mountains, and Lynton and Lynmouth below (all downhill from here!)

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After a mile or so of open singletrack you drop down into the trees.

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The switch backs which follow are sublime. This is the only trail on Exmoor which perfectly captures the alpine switchback, instead of relying on steps like most other paths around. 15 switchbacks in total wind down Oxen tor, reaching sea level about 10 minutes later.

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And what better way to end a ride than a swim in the sea? who needs an ice bath when you’ve got the Atlantic ocean?!