Ghost Rides!

Kitty Jay's grave, on Dartmoor. Buried at a cross-roads, after committing suicide, following a pregnancy in a time when an unmarried pregnant woman was a scandal
Kitty Jay’s grave

I love cycling at night, on otherwise pitch-dark lanes. It’s a totally different experience, and the reason why I started Darkmoor.
However, not everyone thinks cycling 100+ miles, right through the night, is great fun, and people aren’t always able to fit in such rides.

Park that there for a moment, and consider that most people like ghost stories.
Now, combine the two, and you end up with Ghost Rides: shorter night rides, all with a ghostly tale associated.

Who dares to look into the waters of Crazywell Pool at midnight, on Midsomer’s Eve?
The first Ghost Ride will be the 2021 Crazywell Pool ride. This is based on the 2nd night ride I ever organised (then called Dark Side rides) and will be visiting Crazywell Pool, Dartmoor, on Midsomer’s eve.

Midsummer Day represents the high point of summer and the longest day of the year. Inside the artic, typically the sun never sets at all, for weeks on end, during this time.
The celebrations of Midsummer can be traced back to ancient times and the religious and spiritual elements of the day are often associated with fertility and love. And now, with cycling.

Do click the link above, to read about the curious and local to this part of Devon, story, explaining the significance of visiting Crazywell Pool at midnight, on Midsomer’s eve.

This ride will take place on Thursday, 24th of June 2021, setting off from Norsworthy bridge, Burrator reservoir, setting off no later than 23h00.

 

Midsummer is celebrated all over northern Europe, the origins are pre-Christian. It is also a celebration of St John, a Christian feast day, this is incorporated into modern times when people eat and drink a lot with friends or family.

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Paying respects to Kitty Jay, who will never be forgotten
The next Ghost Ride is the Kitty Jay’s grave ride. In case you’re unfamiliar with the story of Kitty Jay, the ever-excellent Legendary Dartmoor site has all you need to know. We’ll ride from the Hemsworthy Gate car park (click the link to the the location on What3words), setting off at 23h15.

Please bring flowers to place on Kitty’s grave? The date for this ride will be confirmed in the summer. The photo above was taken at midnight, at the grave.

Hellhounds and the evil master they serve
The final Ghost Ride (for now – I may or may not add to the series) is the Squire Richard Cabell ride. Cabell was supposedly such an evil man that they built a structure over his tomb, complete with iron bars, to try an contain his spirit. It is said that some nights a pack of wild dogs gather around his tomb, and his restless spirit goes hunting on Dartmoor with them, and this is supposedly the inspiration for the Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles story. The cherry on top is that his tomb is in the grounds of an old burned-out church.

We’ll probably do this ride on Saturday, the 3rd of July, 2 days before Cabell’s birthday. Click here to see the route, which is a bit hilly.

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