Thats us for another year!

What a weekend. Everyone had a fantastic time, camping was a blast, all of the bands were great, the atmosphere was brilliant. The ride itself was as beastly as ever but there were plenty of smiles all round.

​If you missed out, keep it dialled for next year!

Click the image below for an improved timing sheet compared to the one released by the timing company.

 Welcome to The Clan!
The big day is almost upon us

Hopefully this post will give you all of the info you need in order to enjoy/suffer your Beast experience. If there’s anything you need to know that isn’t covered here you can always get in touch via the website  and we will do our best to help you out.

The Ride takes place at Hamsterley forest, Co Durham OS Grid ref: NZ091312, Postcode: DL13 3NL
The Ride starts from the grove area and will be clearly sign posted. Marshals will be on hand to help you to the optimum parking place. Please bear in mind that we have a LOT of riders this year so parking is going to require a bit of patience. Depending on what time you arrive, you may have a bit of a pedal to the registration/start point.
The way in will be sign posted from the road, please follow these signs even if you know the forest and think you may know a short cut.
If you do know the forest, we are going via the top entrance windy bank road, forest drive will be closed. If you don’t know the forest, don’t worry, you will be pointed in the right direction.

The forest will charge a £6 parking fee per car, something of a bone of contention with some people but please bear in mind that this is the regular parking charge and that the FC have agreed to donate 50% of parking takings to Hamsterley Trailblazers to go toward the funding of new trails and the upkeep of those we already enjoy. Trailblazers will be on hand to collect parking monies*having correct change is going to make the process much easier* .
If you have a Discovery pass, this will of course still be valid on the day. Discovery passes are available from and are well worth the investment if you plan to return even a handful of times.
We would recommend car sharing wherever possible.
Registration opens at 0700 and the 40 mile ride will commence at 0930 Riders must register before commencing the ride. At registration you will receive your rider number and a timing chip. After registration, riders will be gathered for a short briefing before the ride commences. We will have some sharpie markers if you would like to write any important medical info or emergency contact details on the back of your number board.

If you are joining us on Saturday evening you are free to arrive from midday onwards. Follow signs for parking to the grove and you will be guided in the right direction. Someone will be on hand to take payment, if you are camping you don’t need to pay to park.

You will be told where to pitch your tent/park your van and will receive a wristband and camping pass for your windscreen. Put the wristband on, you will need it to get your grub and to prevent you being hassled for money!

You will get a most delicious burger as part of your camping package and whilst it is huge, you’re probably going to want to bring some other grub. There are pubs reasonably nearby that do food but you can bbq/cook on site as long as you don’t make an open fire ie. You use a bbq or similar. You should also bring your own water.

Music will start around 6 and there will be alcohol available, you get a free bottle with your burger but after that a donation would be graciously received for any other drinks you have (we will have a suggested donation list to take the pressure off you). Pound coins might come in handy. You are more than welcome to bring your own drinks. Please be respectful of the countryside and those of us that have to tidy up afterwards when discarding empty vessels and any other rubbish. And remember you have a big day ahead of you, don’t go daft! We won’t be policing you, we are in it for a good time too but if anyone gets rowdy to the point that they are ruining everyone else’s enjoyment and/or preventing riders getting a decent night’s sleep, they will be respectfully asked to leave the site and will have to go into the forest and live with the squirrels. Either that or the police will come.

All campers should come equipped as they normally would for a night outside. Keep yourself warm, have a torch and whatever other little luxuries you can think of. Midge spray is probably a good idea.
The course is clearly marked with unmistakeable Beast signs, please follow them. There will be marshals at regular intervals, particularly at points where there could conceivably be confusion as to which direction you should go or where there is the possibility of things getting on the techy side. Please listen to them.

You seem like a nice bloke/lass so it probably doesn’t need saying, but bear in mind that every single one of the marshals and people there helping out are doing so for free and are doing so in order that you can enjoy your time with us as safely and hassle free as possible. Treat them with the respect they deserve. If you can manage a smile through gritted teeth, all the better!

If you choose to ride off course, that’s your decision and you will not be covered by the event. If you find yourself going in the wrong direction by accident, stay calm retrace your wheels until you find a marshal and they will set you right.
Depending on conditions on the day, there will be certain points along the way whereby if you aren’t going to make the end in time, we will ask you to return to the start. I can’t tell you the times or places now as I don’t know the conditions on the day!
This is for your safety and for the safety and comfort of those marshals and helpers that will be tidying up etc. Please don’t worry about this, it’s not a race and you are under absolutely no pressure whatsoever. Even going at a fairly slow pace you should have plenty of time.  However, should this happen for whatever reason you should definitely listen to the advice given. If it brings out the inner Rambo in you and you absolutely must ride 40 miles we will ask that you immediately hand over your timing chip and acknowledge that you are no longer part of the official ride.
Please take all rubbish home with you, there is no excuse for throwing gel wrappers etc. on the trail. SOME LAND WE WILL BE RIDING IS PRIVATELY OWNED, IF WE DO NOT TREAT IT WITH RESPECT, WE RISK THE FUTURE OF THE EVENT. Do not ride private land outside of the event. Close all gates where required. Slow down for wildlife, people, and cars. We have a zero tolerance policy toward knobs.

When on moorland it is especially important to stick to the marked trail in order to minimise disturbance to nesting grouse.

Here is some equipment we think is essential:
         Personal medical kit
         Rain Jacket or windproof/softshell, depending on conditions
         Fluids, enough for at least 6+hrs of riding
         Energy food
         Fully charged mobile phone
         Suitable repair kit, including multi tool, inner tube or patches and pump.
You are of course free to carry any further equipment you deem necessary to complete the ride. Food and water stations will be situated along the course.

These items may either be carried in a backpack or on the frame of the bike. Cycle computers and GPS may also be used although we will not be giving out any GPS details of the course.
Paramedic cover will be provided and full medical cover both on course (In a 4x4 vehicle) and from an identifiable Base Station in the event arena. A paramedic and assistant will be onsite.

 Gear Recommendations.
Any full suspension or hardtail bike of good quality will be able to complete all sections. Suspension bikes with 3 -6 inch of travel are deemed ideal. Remember the downhills are one small part; you will also need to peddle over undulating ground, in fact, you are going to be spending a lot of time going uphill! Choose whatever gear you feel most comfortable in but remember it’s going to be a long day!

Here are some General Rules, have a read of them. When you sign in on the day we are making the assumption that you are agreeing to the following:
1. All riders must be self sufficient
2. Helmets are compulsory and must be worn securely at all times during the event. The helmet must be free from damage and meet the latest international safety requirements and carry either the Snell or Kite Mark. You may wear either open or full face helmets.
3. Gloves, knee or elbow pads are recommended, but not compulsory.
3. Moving or removing any course marking will result in disqualification. Also not keeping within the designated route or course markings will also result in disqualification. Obey all course markings and warnings at all times and exercise caution when approaching all crossings and junctions.
4. Bar end plugs must be fitted throughout the duration of the event.
5. Foul or abusive language towards event coordinators, officials, marshals or members of the public will result in instant disqualification.
6. Retirees must inform the event organizers of their retirement.
7. Any injuries incurred during the event, no matter how slight, must be shown to the event medical staff before leaving the site or reported to the event officials on the course. Event officials have the right to stop you continuing until seen by official medical staff if they deem your injury too severe. It is the competitor’s responsibility to ensure they do not continue to riding whilst injured, if by doing so they may incur the risk of further injury. Please stop and help fellow riders if they are injured. If the rider is unable to move and is in danger of being struck by other participants then please call the emergency numbers given and warn those riders following to stop if safe for you to do so. Do not attempt to move the rider or give aid unless qualified to do so unless the situation is life threatening.
8. All instructions given by event officials must be observed.
9. Your ride number must be clearly displayed on the front of your bike at all times.
10. All equipment used by you must be of suitable construction, mechanically sound and safe to use for its intended purpose and used at your own risk.
11. You must hand back your ride timer chips at the end of the ride or, in case of retirement, return to the event village return your chip and inform an organiser that you have retired from the ride.
12. Please inform friends or family members that come to spectate to stay a safe distance from riders
13 . If you suspect a marker has been removed please inform the nearest marshal.

Looking forward to seeing you all on the day, stay safe and look out for one another.

Team Beast


Cancelations & Refunds
The Hamsterley Beast organisers reserve the right to modify or cancel any event if circumstances beyond the control of the organiser should arise. This includes cancellation of event due to extreme weather, acts of God, violence, civil disobedience and war. 
If the event is cancelled we will not be liable for costs of travel fares, hotels, or any other expenses that may be incurred, just out of interest, let’s do an experiment. The first person to post on the hamsterley Beast facebook page the words: “Brian East is a Prince among Men” will win a free tshirt. Something, something, rights reserved.
It is your responsibility to ensure the event is going ahead before travelling. We will do our best to inform you if the event has to be cancelled but we do not accept liability if we are unable to contact you. We strongly advise that you check before making travel and accommodation arrangements.
If the event is cancelled we are unable to refund or part refund any entry fee. We are also unable to transfer your entry to another event.
We reserve the right to make changes to the rules on the day should we encounter problems beyond our control.

If you missed out on a place in this years ride but would still like to help out, you can volunteer t be a marshal or hand out food and water to riders. We also need help tidying up afterwards.

All marshals are eligible for free camping the night before and recieve a goody bag as reward. If youre interested just drop us a line via the contact page. You dont need any previous experience, you just need to be able to get around on forest terrain and be willing to give up a day of your time to help out.

Speaking of camping, this year we have four local bands to entertain you on the saturday evening along with the usual Burgers and Beers thrown in. See the camping page for booking info. Due to space constraints we need to limit the amount of camping spaces available and as such, there are only approximately 30 spaces remaining.

​ The Hamsterley Beast is a mountain bike ride based at Hamsterley Forest. Established in 2015 with the aim of raising funds to support  the Great North Air Ambulance, our first event attracted over 150 riders.
 The 2016 event sold out and saw over 350 riders descend on the forest to tackle the beast and raising an incredible 17,500  pounds for the charity.
  As always, the mission statement is "lets go bigger" and this year with the support of the Forestry Commission we have decided to  cap entries at five hundred. Camping will be available the night before the ride (bookable through this website) on a first come, first  served basis.

  In the space of just one year the Beast has become the forest's biggest and most talked about event with riders travelling from all  over the country to take part. The whole organising team is  extremely proud and passionate about the event and what it stands  for, not only in terms of the charity we support but also as an  event in it's own right. 
 From the start our intention has been to create one of the most challenging and rewarding mountain bike rides  in the region, at  the same time keeping it accessible for riders of all ability levels. Staying true to our grass roots beginnings, we place great value on  the feedback we recieve from our riders meaning that we are always looking to improve on our previous efforts.

 Most of the team are mountain bikers local to the area and got involved out of a desire to put something back into an area that has  given us all so much pleasure over the years. Its also an unbelievable buzz to see that many riders all in the same place doing what  we love to do.

The ride itself comes in two flavours, a full and half Beast, both of which take in the best areas of the trail centre as well as some  trails that the majority of riders will not have seen before. There are punishing climbs, fantastic descents, some lovely technical  riding and some out and out slog. Our trail gurus also go to great lengths to switch it up each year, getting a balance between  everyones favourite trails old and new.

 The full Beast is 40 miles with the half coming in at (unsurprisingly) around half of that distance.
 If you are new to the forest, there is no better introduction to the riding on offer and even if you are a regular, there is a good  chance you will see some thing new. One of the most common things we hear is "I've been riding here for x amount of years, but  i've never seen that!"

​ Entry  fee is £30 via British Cycling and entrants can sign up for a sponsorship pack via GNAAS links to both can be found on this  site.

 Sponsorship is not mandatory but highly encouraged, a huge amount of the money raised comes through sponsorship and puts  you in with a chance of winning some great prizes.

 Have a look around the site and if there is anything we can help you with dont hesitate to drop us a line. Also keep an eye on our  social media sites for up to date news and chat.