Descent World – Scottish Mountain Biking | Film Production | Photos | Adventure Stories

Northern Downhill Hamsterley TT

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  •  NDH, Photography, Reportage


Alex Scarre showing some sublime skills. Last time I snapped this lad he was doing a superman and dressed up in fancy dress for christmas

Sunday saw the return of the Northern downhill crew at Hamsterley forest for their biannual TT race. This race whips up a bit of a storm to locals as it’s a well known section of forest trail. To the strava slaves it’s known as total triple tranny (who thinks up these names). This is one of the forest’s best red graded downhill courses, taking in transmission, accelerator and finally nitrous. The two top sections are separated by an evil little lung bursting fireroad sprint.

The Screw Loose racing team turned out in force


Finley Wright hard on the peddles and lining up for some table top jumps

The course was approximately 1 mile in length with a drop of 390 feet, not the steepest or most technical trail, but this one’s about break neck speed and serious fun. To excel on this trail requires nerve, perfect timing on when to put in peddle strokes and taking split second risks.

Staying low out of the bombholes keeps the speed up.

One awesome factor for the race was the stunning spring weather, with light winds initially and great sunshine, it was a stark contrast to the enduro they hosted earlier in the year.

Towards the top of the course the heat was on under the sun

With fine weather leading up to the race as well, the course was dry, dusty and seriously fast.

Tom keeping control of his Orange Alpine 6 on dusty slippery corners

The top 4 fastest times of the day were hotly contested with barely 3 seconds between them, all 4 riders grabbing their fastest times on their second runs. Brad was the fastest of the day in a staggering 3:27.21, the man is a rocket on a bike! Second place was James Risker and third Mat Moseley, all three riders in the 30-39 category.

Brad, taking the overall win, leaning in big on the berms…..this man is a rocket on a bike

Again, the TT races are all about bringing new blood to the racing scene, Martin Reavley, racing for the first time, let’s hope he’s caught the bug.

Martin racing for the first time, familiar trails become so different when your smashing down them with the race mentality

Another real credit to Carl and Amelia and his Northern Downhill team is the number of women who entered on Sunday. 35 women out of 218 racers in total. Sian Dillon taking the fastest overall time in a superb 4:04.16 and barely 6 seconds separated her from Jenny Nuttall and Melody Fife, the top 3 fastest women of the day.


Sian Dillon dropping into the final bomb hole, Sian taking the overall win in the women’s race.


Nicola Young, taking 3rd in her category, you can’t miss her with that bike and that smile

It was great to see the area packed out with so many riders racing for glory on Sunday. The racing fever seems to be really picking up in the North East, with so many great races coming up, the future is looking bright!

A massive shout out to John who not only came 6th in his category but literally 1 year ago had a heart bypass operation. To quote John “If this time last year, less than a month after my heart by pass, someone had said I’d be entering the ndh hamsterley tt this year and coming 6th in my age group I’d have bust my stitches laughing, but that’s what happened”. Kudos!!

For a full run down of the events placings and photos head over to roots and rain here

There was definitely a great buzz about the forest on Sunday, not only the weather but a well organised race that brought so many riders out of the wood work to have a go racing at a venue and trail so familiar to them all. Next up for the Northern Downhill is another funduro event at Chopwell woods, near Newcastle/Gateshead. Tempted to enter? Just enter here and put your money where your mouth is.


Jade, racing for Screw loose waits for sign in


Mechanicals are a bitch, but with 2 race runs there’s always a second chance


On the top section “Transmission” wherever you look there’s a feature to negotiate


Megan one of the many women who turned out and showed us the fairer sex is a force to be reckoned with.

So there you have it, if you are tempted to have a go at a race, don’t think….just do. Until next time, see you at Chopwell on 7th May 2017.


Andy Hudson chasing down the rider in front


Here’s Ross, another total inspiration. Having undergone surgery and chemo to name a few, racing again. Check out #fitforthefight.


Ben Smith-Price proving that the Hard Tail ain’t dead.


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