Frequently Asked Questions

Have a rummage and if you can’t find the answer to what you’re looking for, simply send an email to robin@bigbikebash.co.uk

What is it, where & when?

The Big Bike Bash is a fun long weekend event that benefits charities including ‘UK Youth’. It’s open to all ages (families encouraged) and involves bikes, bands and beer…It takes place on the late August Bank Holiday weekend at Avon Tyrrell, UK Youth’s activity centre near Bransgore in the New Forest, Hampshire BH23 8EE. It’s in its 7th year, usually attended by 500+ people and has so far raised around £60,000 for charity including towards new facilities and activities for young people who use Avon Tyrrell. You can buy tickets off this website, funnily enough on the tickets page.

Who’s behind it?

It started as a party in Nick’s back garden and when this got too big, Nick met Louis then from UK Youth (another bikes, beer & music lover) who suggested doing it for charity at their Avon Tyrrell venue. Seven years later it’s still going strong and growing – to make it happen an army of local keen biking volunteers from in and around the New Forest kindly give up their time for nothing to make it happen, and some really great sponsors who give discounts and or donate loads of fantastic prizes and freebies. Oh yeah, plus various bands who all come along and play for nothing. If you can help raise money, organise and scrounge stuff etc, we always need help so get in touch. In 2014 the volunteers behind it formed ‘Action Academy’, a not-for-profit ‘sports & social’ club with a view to more formalising the organisation and as vehicle to look at putting on other fun events elsewhere in the future. The voluntary organisers/marshals on the event are easily identified by their tasteful bright green BBB t-shirts.

What does the ticket price include?

Erm, entry to the Bash, camping all weekend (3 nights Friday-Sunday). Spectator tickets don’t get a race number for specific events so can be on site to enjoy the beer, music and general atmosphere but won’t win any of the great prizes our kind sponsor donate. Some people decide to change from spectator and enter stuff when here, that’s fine but we’ll charge you the difference of course. Due to a lot of requests we’ll be introducing day tickets in 2015 and thanks to help from the New Forest National Park Authority we’ll have a free minibus shuttle service available to pick up and drop off people from Brockenhurst and Hinton Admiral railway stations so those without cars etc can get to and from the event. You’ll get a colour coded wristband depending on age and type of ticket, you’ll need this for getting served on the bar and entering events etc.

Can I get a refund if I can’t make it ?

The short answer is no! Sorry. We make a number of commitments based on ticket sales to make the event all it can be. We have transferred tickets in the past to other families so why not gift it to someone else. All profits go to charity so you can feel smug that you’ve at least made a donation.

How do I get there?

Well most people drive – all the info on the venue, and directions, can be found at www.avontyrrell.org.uk Be wary of using the official BH23 8EE postcode in Sat Navs as they often send people up a drive to the west of Avon Tyrrell where this no access, so please enter the site from the east via ‘Braggers Lane’ – BH23 8ED works better. Some people have come by train before, as above, we are happy to encourage this and will help with lifts to and from the stations if you don’t want to ride and carry all your clobber.

When can I arrive? From 3pm Friday….

The various events and activities take place from the Saturday morning onwards but we know how eager people are to turn up early so we open the campsite from late afternoon on the Friday. Registration takes place from about 4pm on that Friday to early evening, and then again on the Saturday morning from 9am. Please don’t turn up before then as the Avon Tyrrell staff are still turfing out previous visitors and tidying the place up. Can I bring my dog, it’s friendly, small and never poos etc etc? NO, Avon Tyrrell is a dog free site (or any other kind of pet/person that is likely to poo or wee everywhere and annoy other people).

Can I pay for extra nights, hire lodges or extra bikes or book other activities at Avon Tyrrell?

Yes, but at extra cost – contact and pay Avon Tyrrell directly on 01425 672347 or info@ukyouth.org and say you are coming for the Big Bike Bash. Be quick though as they’ll all go in no time.

I’m sad and have a caravan, is there electric hook-up for it or my mates beat up home converted T4 VW camper van (who wishes he had a T5)? Or for my over-priced Bongo Friendee that overheats?

There are about 8 hook-up points on the top campsite and similar on the lakeside site, they are currently all sold out – but contact us to go on the waiting list.

I want to camp with my friends in a big western style wagon train circle, is that okay?

We have limited space for camping pitches and it’s first come first served so unless you all arrive at the same time, this might not happen. There are no bookable pitches, it’s a simple case of finding a space and putting your tent up. We aiming to keep cars away from camping areas to help with space, and… have marshals/helpers on hand so it doesn’t get too chaotic. Please be considerate to others trying to pitch their tents. The site rules will be sent to via email when you book your tickets, it includes things like expected pitch distances, so please read them so there are no surprises when you get here. We have secured another field again to use at the top west side of the site to give more space, thanks to the generosity of a kind neighbour, great views west across the Avon Valley. Please respect the camping fields by not leaving litter. There’s plenty of bins and recycling points on site.

Can we light fires and burn the forest down?

NO. We’ll give out site rules, as above, which says absolutely no ground fires, we’re not party poopers, it’s just too risky on a site with peaty ground and lots of trees. There are a few of those big ½ oil drum BBQ’s on legs around the site which are okay to burn dead stuff in, and, down by the lake there is an open campsite fire area where we sometimes the Wicker Man is re-enacted.

Are there toilets, showers and water stand-pipes on site?

Yes plenty of toilets plus we hire in extra portable loos, and plenty of mains water stand-pipes. There’s also a new award-winning eco ‘Boathouse’ loo and shower block down by the lake – thanks to previous visitors, funds from BBB events have gone into this! If we say now though (to stop the odd person moaning) there are a limited number of showers so be prepared to not wash or long waits and please don’t give us a hard time.

Where are the nearest shops for supplies or cash points?

There’s a small shop on site at Avon Tyrrell stocking basics but best bet is Bransgore village 2 miles down the road where there is a Co-op open till 11pm, chip shop, post office, newsagent and even 2 hairdressers if you need a pink rinse, mullet or 70’s Kevin Keegan perm. Bring plenty of cash to spend on food and beer, there’s no cash point at Avon Tyrrell but the Co-op does have one in the village (if the ram-raiders haven’t got it again). If you want bigger shops, try Christchurch or Ringwood, both 5 miles away and with Waitrose & Sainsburys. Christchurch has a Lidl too if you like cheaper weird brands (their jam and pickles are nice).

You say “I want to set up this new bike event that involves…etc etc”

That’s great, you can organise it. Just run it by us, if it sounds daft enough and people want to do it, go for it. Ultimately we just want people to get on their bikes and have fun. That’s how most of the event works. A lot of what happens is organised by the dedicated team of volunteers; mildly chaotic and mostly sticking to the timetable. Don’t expect a slick overly officious event, it isn’t.

Do you have timing for races?

No, too much hassle and time consuming. 1st, 2nd and 3rd places will do. You’ll get a good prize so why worry?

And prizes?

Lots of fab prizes kindly donated by our awesome sponsors mean nearly everyone gets something great. Last year we gave away £10,000 worth of bike related bling! Tons of spot prizes too, first to be stung by a wasp, most inappropriate bike etc. Occasionally we get someone so athletic/lucky they win loads so, we have a rule of giving prizes back for others if you get more than three. The prize giving at the end has dragged on a bit in previous years so we’ll give at most prizes straight after events with a shorter closing ceremony.

Any music?

We’ll have a music tent and stage. Local volunteers organise the bands. It’s quieter on the Friday night as we haven’t officially started, maybe a couple of acoustic sets. Saturday and Sunday nights have the main bands playing. Tend to be cover bands as these seem to go down well as opposed to thrash metal shouty bands (we’ve had a few….and learnt a lesson). Although Avon Tyrrell is pretty remote we don’t want to upset distant neighbours with noise (or campers with little kids) so we tend wind the music up by 23.00 hours.

What about insurance?

UK Youth does of course have full employers and public liability insurance in place for the Avon Tyrrell site and the event is risk assessed, with marshals briefed and procedures in place. We ask you to accept and take similar responsibility for your personal possessions and actions if you are attending.