Which would you enter?
Sure, we all love riding on our local trails with our mates but if you want to really push your limits we think you need to start getting into mountain bike events.
Whether it’s watching some of the best riders in the world or competing against fellow amateurs there’s so much you can learn from an event. Plus there will always be a warm atmosphere and the chance to meet other riders whatever you decide to do.
Here’s our pick of the best the UK has to offer:
The best British mountain bike events of 2016
Strathpuffer, Scottish Highlands
An 11km course may not sound like much but when you factor in that you have to ride it for 24 hours in the Scottish Highlands in January, the Strathpuffer soon seems like madness.
It’s listed as one of the 10 toughest mountain bike events on the planet and with good reason – the combination of the cold, wet weather and fatigue are sure to take their toll on even the most hardy of riders. It takes a certain type of person to even consider testing themselves against The Puffer but those that do often come out the other side exhilarated
When – 23 – 24 January
How much? – £65
MTBMeetup, North Wales
If racing really isn’t your thing then MTBMeetup could be for you. What started as a simple Twitter hashtag has blossomed to become the biggest group ride in Britain. Last year 150 riders turned up and this year there promises to be even bigger with the likes of Wiggle, Silverfish and Sealskinz all pledging their support.
The MTBMeetup this year will be hosted at Llandgela and there’s no real rules, it’s just a case of turn up andride as much as you like with whoever you like.
When – 23 – 24 April
How much? – Free!
Tweedlove International Enduro, Peebles
There’s no British round scheduled for the Enduro World Series next year but that doesn’t mean that the world’s best enduro riders won’t be making the pilgraimmage to our shores.
The Tweedlove International Enduro will carry on the great work of the Tweedlove EWS and show that UK riding can still compete with the likes of Finale Ligure and Whistler.
Many of the biggest EWS teams have been invited and you can take them on too if you fancy!
When – 19-22 May
How much? – Entry is £60 and spectating is free
Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup, Fort William
If any event was going to be on this list it was always going to be the Fort William World Cup. This isn’t us just being lazy though, Fort Bill is one of the most physically demanding tracks on the downhill World Cup clanedar and the atmosphere is second to none – there’s nothing quite as exhilarating as the Aonoch roar that erupts when a British rider crosses the line with a fast time.
It’s not just downhill though, there’s also a 4X race, a chance to see Danny MacAskill’s Drop and Roll Tour and an expo area to get your hands on a load of free tat.
When – 1-5 June
How much? – A day ticket will cost £26.00 on the day with weekend deals available
‘Ard Rock Enduro, North Yorkshire
The ‘Ard Rock enduro started as a small race in Yorkshire but has now grown to become a mini-festival with events occurring throughout the year.
The popularity stems from the quality of the trails that are 100 per cent natural and normally closed off to the public. Not only does this mean they are pristine examples of British singletrack but also it’s a level playing field for all the riders.
The main event has already sold out but there’s also the ‘Ard Rock Marathon or the ‘Ard Moors enduro coming up later in 2016 if you want a slice of the action.
When – 5-6 August
How much? – The ‘Ard Rock has already sold out and prices for the ‘Ard Moors and Marathon are still to be announced.
British National Downhill Championships, Merthyr Tydfil
The British National Downhill Championships are a much more low-key affair then the Fort William World Cup but the racing will be no less fierce. This year, for the first time, they will be held at the Revolution Bike Park in Llangynog.
A new track should provide some hectic action and Danny Hart and Rachel Atherton will be hard pushed to defend their crowns.
When – 16-17 July
How much? – Entry fees are yet to be announced but spectating is free
Epic Cymru, South Wales
The Epic Cymru is Britain’s only multi-day stage race, think of it as the Trans Provence but with more sheep…and rain. The inaugural Epic Cymru toured south Wales last summer and this year the organisers have taken on rider feedback to make it even better.
Riders will tackle roughly 50km of trails per day with the winner being decided on a series of timed XC sections that encompass the whole spectrum of mountain biking.
When – July 30 – August 3
How much? – Prices TBA
Rachel Atherton’s Foxhunt, Edinburgh
Sorry guys, this is one for the women only. Rachel Atherton had had enough of her brother stealing all the limelight so decided to organise her own competing Foxhunt event.
Rachel’s takes place in the Pentland Hills near Edinburgh and sees her try and chase down over 100 vixens over a five-minute course.
When – September
How Much? – Details for the 2016 Foxhunt are yet to be released but it will normally include a donation to the Wings for Life charity and a camping fee.
Steel City downhill race, Sheffield
Steve Peat’s Steel City DH is known as the biggest little race in downhill and with good reason. On a weekend in May the entire riding community of Sheffield heads to Greno Woods for a weekend of fancy dress, heckling and maybe even a bit of bike riding.
When – TBA
How much? – TBA