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Photos courtesy of Mountain Bike Photos
May 20th 2012 saw the first edition of the Wild Boar Chase, a joint venture between the Lions Club and the RDFCC to provide an Offroad Sportive event in the Forest of Dean. The idea of the event was to use areas outside of the traditionally used Sallow Vallets enclosure and give riders a number of long distance single loop route options.
Dr John Linden devised the routes over the last six months, tweaking them here and there as they were passed back and forth between the Lions and the Forestry Commission. All routes started/finished at Speech House and passed through Parkend at the Kona Cafe (Dean Forest Cycles), splitting off to St Braivels/Redbrook for the Full Boar/Wye Boar, up to Bixslade for the Forest Boar or back up to Speech House for the Small Boar.
Entries were just a few short of being a sell out with nearly 400 riders turning up at Speech House on what felt more like a late winter morning than mid spring, luckily the rain held off and the course was drying out after evening of rain 2 days before.
A large number of riders from the RDFCC turned out, including Jon Batts, Jane England, Dave Pearce, Dave Giles, Ant Pollard, Adam Taylor, Neil Goddard, Henry ‘H’ McGill and John Linden (who spent most of the previous day riding the course and marking out with the Lions).
A few top names came to join in the fun, such as Huw Thomas (National/European 24hr Champion – Niner), Richard Samuel (Clee-Cycles KCNC) and Graeme Forbes (previous RDFCC Enduro winner). These guys set the pace from the start at just after 10am. The main field began at a more leisurely speed, there to enjoy the route and scenery whilst being shown a little more of what the Forest has to offer with the additional challenge of completing the distance.
Approximately an hour after the start saw the first of the riders reach Parkend, for a well earned pit stop of banana or cake, after which riders went their different routes to complete their chosen distances. All routes had their own thrilling single track and down hills, but these were shortly followed by long or steep climbs, none more so than the climb up from Mork Farm to Wyegate Hill, which had most (if not all) riders pushing at least some of the way.
Riders began to reach the finish after 2 hours, with the majority finishing within 3-5 hours for the various distances. Thirst and hunger were soon banished with the offering of a cup cake and bottle of drink. Unfortunately the event was affected by some mindless sign removal by other forest users. The marshals quickly reacted to this and overall the feedback was positive both at the event and online.
Plans are in progress for WBC 2013, see you there.
TAYLOR ADAM Full Boar 03:10:01
BATTS JONATHAN Full Boar 03:54:38
POLLARD ANTONY Full Boar 04:08:38
NEWTH ROBERT Full Boar 04:57:50
LINDEN JOHN Full Boar 05:08:34
ENGLAND JANE Full Boar 05:17:54
MCGILL H Full Boar 05:23:56
GODDARD NEIL Full Boar 05:52:09
GILES DAVE Full Boar 05:48:57
PEARCE DAVID Wye Boar 04:25:54