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Biking comes full cycle in Hamsterley with exciting new event

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Cyclists on 'The Loop', Hamsterley Forest

Bike chiefs in Hamsterley Forest are going back to basics and offering local cycle fans an offroad challenge with a difference.

Hamsterley Trailblazers are runing a first ever 1-2-1 competition, where bikers compete over a cross country loop in the 5,000-acre Forestry Commission woodland, near Bishop Auckland, County Durham, before taking on an exhilerating descent on the popular downhill course.

The event takes place on 25 and 26 September.

Mountain bike techonlogy has come on leaps and bounds in recent years and there’s a cycle to suit all disciplines these days, whether it's gobbling up the miles over rough terrain, or speeding down a hill. 

But this event is designed to find the best rider – not machine - as entrants have to stick with the same bike throughout.

“It’s something different and will help showcase the wonderful trails we have in the forest,” said organiser Dave Nicholson, 28, from Darlington.  “We will be competing in various age catgeories, so it’s a chance to race against your peers on a level playing field, whether you are a junior or senior biker.”

The cross country event will use the newly built red and black route sections constructed in recent years using backing from the County Durham Environmental Trust (CDENT).

Alex MacLennan, Recreation and Tourism Manager with the Forestry Commission, commented:

“This is a fabuous event and breaks new ground.  The growing network of trails in Hamsterley makes it one of the north’s real hotspots for the sport, while the downhill course is legendary.”

Racing starts at 11am on both days.  The race is sponsored by RedApe Bikes of Bishop Auckland who will provide technical support on site. Camping is available in the forest on Friday and Saturday nights. There will also be a BBQ on Saturday night.  Entry costs £42 for two days. Entry forms can be found at For more information contact Dave Nicholson 07989 531834.

Media calls to Richard Darn on 01226 246351. Mobile 0775 367 0038.

Notes to Editor

The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands. For more visit