The creators of the Big Bike Bash certainly lucked out when they chose the August Bank Holiday of 2017 to run their family bike festival – blue skies, sunshine and good times ensued!
The Big Bike Bash is a family orientated bike festival run at Avon Tyrell Outdoor Activity Centre in the New Forest and is the brain child of a group of guys that love bikes and want to give back to the community. Legend has it that the Bike Bash started as a BBQ with mates in someone’s back garden, ten years later growing to the charity and sizeable event you see today, with proceeds going back into the local community aiming to get more people exploring the outdoors.
With families in mind, the event is chock-a-block full of events for all age groups, we’re talking XC races for balance bike riders and upwards to the adults, night racing, bike limbo, a lake jump, bunny hop comps the list is endless well, it filled a large proportion of our brochure anyway! If you have the energy you could have, hopped, skipped, sprinted, swum or rolled through back to back events from 9am until 9pm Saturday through to Monday. After 9pm if you’ve still got the stamina then there’s live music and a thriving beer tent to get stuck into before a night under the canvas calls.
Our role at the event was to release our inner pirate and organise a treasure hunt. The rules were simple: this was a race against time to find all nine clocks, take a selfie to capture the time and report back to base with all nine selfies as quickly as possible. Up for grabs were three huge boxes of goodies, the likes of which can only be procured from the depths of a busy office where bike kit covers every available surface and where there’s a space there is usually a dog or a mug.
Bright and early on Sunday with X marking the spots the hungry hunters were set out in search of our colourful Ikea timepieces. We’d set the clocks out around the site, taking in parts of the cross country course, the lake, the climbing wall, campground and other nooks and crannies. They weren’t easy to find but remembering this was a family event it wasn’t going to take Sherlock Holmes to track them all down either.
With treasure chests going for Fastest Family, Fastest Team, Fastest Solo and there was a mixed bunch racing throughout the day with some uber competitive types taking two goes to get around what would have added up to a mile of riding! Our fastest solo rider got the nine selfies in an incredible 6 minutes 50 seconds with the fastest team managing 7 minutes 18 seconds and fastest family getting back at 8 mins 30 on the dot. Some others took it at a more leisurely pace, arriving back 37 minutes later and taking the 'longest time taken' spot prize.
The best way to get a feel for the weekend is to check out our gallery at the top of the page. If you’re not adverse to a tent and can’t think of anything better than a weekend of bikes with your kids then this is well worth putting in the diary for 2018. There’s usually about 700 tickets available and they sell out fast with families coming back year on year. Keep an eye on the Big Bike Bash website and Facebook and get booked up early!