Mud will not stop fund-raising cyclists

Hamsterley 1Good luck to all the cyclists raising money today for the Great North Air Ambulance.

The weather’s not the best, but I suppose getting covered in mud is part of the fun!

Organiser Chris Carr was on BBC Radio Tees this morning and papers are running the story. and

Glad to help and I hope you reach your fund-raising target.

Hundreds of mountain bikers are taking to the forest today to raise money for the Great North Air Ambulance Service.

The event, organised by a group of local riders, is called The Hamsterley Beast and is being held to thank the helicopter crews for flying to the aid of fellow mountain bikers.

Riders from all over the UK are expected to arrive in County Durham for the sponsored challenge which organisers hope will raise more than £10,000.

One of the riders behind the event – Matthew Snowden, from Brandon – said: “There’s been a lot of interest already so we’re expecting a great day and the best possible thank you.”

The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) has three helicopters operating 365 days a year and responds to around 1,000 emergencies a year across the North East, North Yorkshire and Cumbia.   It costs £4 million a year to run and relies on charitable donations.

On board it has specialist trauma doctors and paramedics and this month it announced that its helicopters are also going to carry blood for in-air transfusions to help save more lives.  It is estimated that in the region 50 people a year die of blood loss before they can receive transfusions.

“Because of what we do and where we do it, the air ambulance is often the only way to get help for an injured rider,” said Chris Carr, from Prudhoe, another of the organisers.  “That’s why we want to give something back.”

Participation in today’s event will cost £25 and there will be prizes for the biggest fund-raisers.

“There’ll be a bit of everything: some of the fun fast red/black routes; some technical single track riding through the forest as well as some lung-shattering climbs.  There’ll also be more gentle rides available on some well-surfaced trails,” added course designer Brian Harrison, who lives in Bishop Auckland.

“It’s not a race.  So it doesn’t matter what you ride or how you ride it.  We’re all just going to be there to have fun and make as much money as possible for a great cause.”

For more details visit—Great-North-Air-Ambulance-Fundraising-Ride