Wild Boar Chase 2019 – report in Forest Review

Wild Boar Chase 2019 – report

THE eighth annual Wild Boar and Humbug chases took place at the Speech House Field and organisers are hoping it has raised a five-figure sum for charity.
More than 650 adults rode one of the four distances ranging from 23 to 45 miles, while 50 eight to 12-year-olds took on the nine-mile Humbug Chase.
The riders gathered in fine weather with the wide range of the Forest covered looking at its best.
The Humbug Chase, sponsored for the first time by Frog Bikes, was a challenging but rewarding ride for the young riders.
The Wild Boar Chase, sponsored by Pedalabikeway, again attracted a diverse group of riders from serious mountain bike experts pushing themselves on the 45-mile route to tandem and electric-assisted who wanted to experience the Forest on the 23- to 39-mile routes.
The previous seven events have raised more than £80,000 which has been distributed within the Forest by the two Lions clubs that organise the popular event.
A spokesman said: “It is hoped that the sums raised this year will again add £12,000 to the total.”
The sum has been boosted by the sponsorship of a wide range of local companies which will enable more money to go to good causes.

Wild Boar Chase – Start arrangements

Staggered Start

We have a large entry with a wide range of ability and experience. To reduce delays at bottlenecks we ask for the co-operation of all of our riders.
Generally the quicker and more experienced riders will have entered the FULL BOAR. We will have an area at the corner of the field, nearest the gate for FULL BOAR riders.

Full Boar

We ask that FULL BOAR riders split themselves into 3 categories
A) FAST likely to complete the full distance in 3-4 hours (At the front near the gate)
B) MEDIUM –FAST likely to complete the full distance in 4-5 hours (Behind the Fast riders)
C) DURABLE BUT NOT SO QUICK likely to take over 5 hours (Behind the Medium Fast riders)

Hog and Woody Boar

Behind the FULL BOAR riders will be an area for THE HOG and WOODY Boar riders

Small Boar

And behind them those riding THE SMALL BOAR

EACH AREA WILL BE MARKED

The mass start is one of the highlights and features of the event so there will be a minimum delay in starting all of the groups in turn. The whole thing should only take about 3-4 minutes. It is NOT a race.

GPX route downloads now ready – distances revised.

Forestry England have now approved the 2019 Wild Boar Chase route. We had to make some late route adjustments due to identification of sites of Schedule 1 nesting birds near to points on our original route. We have re-routed well away from these sites. We are grateful to Forestry England and their partners for their helping us protect wildlife in the Forest. This has added approx. 1.5 miles to all routes:

Small Boar now 21 miles

Woody Boar now 24 miles

Hog 40.5 now miles

Full Boar 45.6 now miles

GPX downloads are available from this page.

Two tandems in 2019 Wild Boar Chase so far.

A photo of 2 riders on a tandem
Two tandems entered so far – Photo: Shannon Cotrell. (singletracks.com)

Some years ago local crew Dave and Jan Miles rode the Small Boar on their tandem. This year so far we have 2 tandems entered, one is from TROG MTB coming over from Suffolk. The other is a team from Berkshire.

Wild Boar Chase update

Many thanks to all of you that have entered the Wild Boar Chase so far.
We still have plenty of entries left, so please mention that you have entered the event in your social media feeds.
Although J K Rowling drew some inspiration from her time in the Forest of Dean we are not social media wizards, in fact we are more like social media ‘woodentops’ 🙂 but your posts can help make up for our lack of social media wizardry 😉

Wild Boar Chase - Control sign

Although on the entry form you are asked what distance you wish to ride, you may change your mind on the day – no need to inform us. We will track your route by scanning your event number at a ‘Control’, so when you see a sign like this one, stop and get your number scanned.

Riders at the start of the Wild Boar Chase.
Riders at the start of the Wild Boar Chase.

Clubs and rider locations so far?

3 Pint Thursdays
Aberdare MTB
Avonlea Treasure RT
Bigfoot MTB
Cardiff JIF
Chaingang cycles
Cheltenham and County Cycling Club
Chepstow Cycling Club
Clevedon & District Road Club
COGS
CTC Northampton
Cycle – tec
Cycle Bores
Darksiders MTB
EVT
Fat Bustards
Fishface cycles
Gloucester MTB
Gloucestershire Eldersfield
Kenilworth Wheelers
KTM UK MTB TEAM
MB SWINDON
Mbbas
Mission MX
Mountain Biking and Beer Appreciation Society
old timers
PADYAK UK
Performance Cycles Club
Prestbury Twice Weekly All Terrain enthusiasts and…
Royal Dean Forest cc
Reservoir Cogs
Ride 24/7
Riding on tandem
Ross on wye CC
Rush Cycles
SAMTB
SAS cycle club
SGCC
Shipham Gentleman’s Cycling Club (SGCC)
Shipham MTB
Sikad Gloucester
SMTBE
Stratford Cycling Club
Swindon Mountain Bike Enthusiasts
Swindon mtb
TBBC
Team Swindon Cycles
The Fat Bustards
TTGYT
TWA Prestbury
UK Gravel Bike Club
Viney Hall
Weston Wheelers
Winchcombe Cycling Club
Witney Mountain Bike Club

An image showing the Wild Boar Chase logo
Wild Boar Chase MTB ride.

Riders so far are from:

Gloucestershire86
Oxfordshire14
Wiltshire13
Worcestershire12
Herefordshire11
Somerset11
Gwent11
Avon10
Warwickshire6
Monmouthshire4
Rhondda Cynon Taff3
Derbyshire3
Bristol3
Essex3
North Yorkshire2
Ceredigion2
Northamptonshire2
Powys2
Suffolk1
West Midlands1
Cardiff1
South Glamorgan1
Hampshire1
Hertfordshire1
A photo of the start of the Wild Boar Chase in 2013
Start of the Wild Boar Chase in 2013

So, What on earth is a humbug?

Photo of a young wild boar (c) Robin Ward
Photo of a young wild boar (c) Robin Ward

Locally, we refer to young wild boar as “humbugs. This is due to the light brown stripes that they have running across their back. The coat becomes darker and a more uniform colour as the humbugs grow up.

A photo of a humbug sweet
The other type of humbug

When you visit the Forest please never feed the boar.

How many wild boar in the Forest?

When we prepare for the Wild Boar Chase we often see Wild Boar – or evidence of where they have been – in the Forest There are an estimated 1,645 wild boar in the Forest of Dean this year – the highest number estimated to date. The figures are calculated annually by the Forestry Commission. When riding in the Forest please treat all wildlife with respect.

When you visit the Forest never feed the boar. Please do not leave unwanted food in the Forest.

A photo of a wild boar taken by Robin Ward.
A wild boar in the Forest – photo (c) Robin Ward