Thursday, 28 July 2011

Hamsterley Forest- My Way

I love Hamsterley Forest.  I love it as its my home in terms of riding.  Its really changed over the last few years and some excellent trails have been made there including the new Tansmission and Section 13 Routes.  Like all good forests there are the usual graded routes, from Blue, to Red and Black.  Black being the most technical but at the same time the most rewarding.  There's lots of climbing around here so if your only used to flat riding this may come of a bit of a shock!  Still you shouldn't let that ever put you off.  You will always get a good reward with rolling singletrack, berms and sometimes challenging sections.  All the things bikers love!

There are lots of ways of riding around this forest but recently I've found my favourite way is to head out straight to Transmission first. It's a swine of a climb to get up to it but as they say what goes up must come down as this video above shows!

After this I tend to hook up to the red trail which leads back up to the top of the downhill course but aslo Section 13.  This is really fun too, lots of swoopy berms much like Transmission.  Then it onto the black route and the singletrack route back to the car park.  Its not really as quick as I've described this bit alone will have taken about an hour or so to do.
After this I climb back up and away along the black route before hitting this nice decent which you view on the right.  This bit of trail has been around for years and often been used in mountain bike races of older.  More recently its had a face lift making it more of an all year around trail and still gives plenty of smiles.After this its time to follow a quick fire road section to Beehives which is a twisty nadgery and sometimes slippery route and a good tester of handling skills.  I'm bad at this.  Technical stuff is not my strong point so usually I'll have a crash or something to amuse the guys......I nearly once mucked up the stream crossing at the end and fell in!
This probably the last of the descents before hitting the valley road and riding back.  Its all very good stuff.  There are much better places than Hamsterely for sure but this has some real gems in it, and those willing to look there are some great hidden trails too as well as a great downhill track, play area and Jumps.  No doubt people have better ways of getting around and I'd love to hear them as I always like to vary what I do to keep me interested.  This is just a way I like at the moment!  Hope you get the chance to try it out one day!!



Nice write up jez, hope this helps more riders too know the forest. This is probably the best route too take in all the forest has to offer in a single ride. This way your nice and warmed up for the black hill climb near the forest entrance.
The whole route took me around 2 and a half hours. It gives you plenty of hill climbs to get your lungs workin but some nice views from the top of them and some really nice downhill sections make this a very fun and rewarding ride out. happy riding ppl.

Cheers Ste, thanks for taking time to leave comment. This is my favourite way for the moment until I find new sections or a better way up to transition!
Not sure how long it takes me. Last time I did it I cut it short before the climb out of the car park due to little light. That took an hour n half by that point.
There is some good riding out of hamsterley but that involves more hills!!

Jez, great rite up, im discovering more and more in hamsterley after moving here last year,im struggling to work out where beehives is, can you give me a pointer? it looks like you pick it up after pikes teeth?

Hi Kev, thanks for reading and leaving comment. Yes Bee hives is a tricky one to find and it is after pikes teeth.

Once you have ridden down pikes teeth and are on the fire road follow it a short while till you reach a green barrier. There is a sign for black route which takes you left. Ignore it and keep riding straight on. Eventually the fire road will come to a split. To the left will be a downhill to the river crossing. Go right and past some bee hives (think they are still there!) eventually you should come to some single track off the fire road taking you on the 'bee hive' section

It can be a bit muddy and not great unless in the summer. Some good bits in it though :)

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