Press report in the Forest of Dean & Wye Valley Review.
THE seventh Wild Boar Chase proved another roaring success, as more than 600 adventure-loving mountain bikers tackled five Forest trails and bridleways ranging from eight to 43 miles.
More than £14,000 was raised for local good causes as the sun shone on the annual event, organised by the Forest of Dean and Severndean Lions clubs in the Lions centenary year.
Starting and finishing at the Speech House, senior riders headed out on the 44-mile-long Full Boar, the 39-mile Hog route, the Woody Boar over 23 miles and the 20-mile Small Boar.
Children aged eight to 12 also tested themselves on the ‘Humbug’ trail, an eight-mile guided route.
“It’s not a race, but it’s a fantastic endurance challenge for all who enter and a superb fundraiser for good causes,” said Lions spokesman Alan Townley.
“And the riders all got to see the Forest at its best in the sunshine, with its absolutely beautiful bluebell woods.
“The cyclists really have a camaraderie – just like the old Forest miners, and the scene at the finish as exhausted but happy riders achieved their goal, followed by homemade cakes baked by our volunteers, created a tremendous atmosphere.
“We had fantastic help from the Guides, Scouts and other volunteers. Without our marshals and helpers, the event couldn’t happen, so it’s a big thanks to them. It was a fabulous day to mark the Lions’ 100th anniversary and everyone had a great time.
“We also have to say thanks to the Speech House, the Forestry Commission, and all the local people who cheered on the riders and were happy for the cyclists to pass by their part of the Forest.”
The ‘Humbug’ trail for children – named after the distinctive ‘humbug’ markings of the baby boar – was being offered for the third time, and again proved popular.
Senior riders headed out from the Speech House field along the trails towards Yorkley before doubling back to Steam Mills and then turning left along Hixters Ways cycle trail to the Pedalabikeaway centre.
The Small Boar riders then headed alongside Cannop Ponds before doubling back to Speech House, while Woody Boar riders tested themselves on a hard climb from Pedalabikeaway to Mile End before looping back via the Ponds.
After the climb, Full Boar and Hog riders passed through Milkwall, Clearwell, Newland and Staunton where the former descended through Highmeadow Wood to the River Wye and then rode back up from the Biblins to join the Hog riders at Christchurch, before picking up the Woody Boar route at Mile End.
Photos by John Ord https://www.kinetic-studios.co.uk/services/event-photography/