Hamsterley forest is known for having some gnarly and exciting trails to rip around, but once a year it welcomes hoards of MTBer's to help raise money for the Great North Air Ambulance services. The organisers have already got twice as many female entrants signed up this year than attended in 2015 - but they want to see that number grow before the big day.

The Hamsterley Beast is a pretty tough MTB event open to everyone and anyone who thinks they have what it takes to take down the beast. It's a thoroughly rewarding challenge for even the most experienced of riders.

There are two distances to choose from: 18 miles or the full 40 mile loop, however you can choose this on the day, depending on how fit you're feeling.

The aim of the event is to raise money for the Great Air Ambulance services who are often called out for emergencies involving cyclists in the area. Last year, the Hamsterley Beast raised a staggering £10,000 and hope to beat that this year.

Hamsterly ladies

Michelle Haigh is on the team of organisers, and she's determined to get more women involved this year. Having just 7 take part last year, and 19 entered this year, Michelle and her team want to promote the event to women as not being just a gruelling challenge, but a great way to socialise with other female riders and make great relationships.

Michelle says: "I am doing the 40 mile as a challenge to get fit, and do something which I would never have dreamed of just a couple of months ago."

This is an event to certainly add to the calendar this year. Amazing trails, personal challenges, a great social gathering of MTBer's and riding for a good cause, what's not to love?

Even if you can't make the event this year, you can still show your support for by donating here. More for event information, check out their website here, or watch the video below...