LIFE-SAVING medics will take on a 40-mile charity mountain bike ride and urge others to saddle up alongside them.
Bikers are being encouraged to test their skills in Hamsterley Forest, County Durham, while raising funds for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).
The ‘Hamsterley Beast’, which is back for its second year, is set to attract hundreds of entrants from across the country on May 15.
The event organisers – a small group of mountain biking enthusiasts – set up the challenge to “give something back” to the air ambulance which comes to the aid of many injured cyclists across the North of England. They hope to smash last year’s £10,000 total raised for the charity.
GNAAS doctor Jeff Doran from Hurworth, and paramedic Jamie Walsh from Bowburn, will tackle the gruelling ride.
Dr Doran said: “We’re both really looking forward to the challenge and have been putting in some good miles leading up to the ride. We are urging others to join us.
“We airlift many bikers from busy city centres and remote locations such as forests. The aircraft is crucial in getting severely injured patients to hospital quickly.”
The event is not a race and riders can complete an 18 mile or 40 mile route through the forest.
Brian Harrison from Bishop Auckland is one of the event organisers. He said: “The Beast is a gruelling ride, no question about it, but with shorter routes available, there really is something available for everyone. Whether you are out to smash a personal best or to enjoy the ride, it is not one to be missed.
“This year sees the introduction of timing devices for each rider so you can stay competitive whilst enjoying the event. If you are back for a second time, new routes and different options will be available to keep you enthused and raring to go.”
The £30 entry fee will go towards GNAAS and participants that want to raise extra money for the charity will receive an official sponsor form, guidance in setting up an online sponsorship page and a GNAAS challenge t-shirt. Fill in a form here to receive your fundraising pack.
Prizes will be presented to the biggest fundraisers.
Mr Harrison said: “GNAAS helps many bikers every year and so we felt it was important to give something back. It is a fantastic and vital charity.”
For more information and to sign up visit hamsterleybeast.com