Beast Unchained – Information



Below you will find important information about the event weekend along with event rules, sign on and start times, visitor information and other advice to help you make the most of your event weekend. 


If covid has taught us anything it is that things can change fast. Should we need to make any changes to our event arrangements between now and the event date we will update the information here, send updated information to participants via email and post a notice to our instagram and facebook

Event Location

The event is located at Coed y Brenin Forest Park, North Wales. Situated on the A470 between Trawsfynydd and Dolgellau.

Arrival and Parking

Natural Resources Wales operate an entry/exit gate vehicle number plate recognition system for parking. Payment for parking should be made just prior to exiting. This is done by entering the vehicle number plate details and making a payment at one of the machined provided.

You are charged for the length of time you park at Coed y Brenin visitor centre.

The charges are: £2 for 2 hours then 40p for every additional 20 minutes to a maximum charge of £7 per day.

Pay for parking when you are ready to leave – To do this enter your vehicle registration into one of the machines in the car park and pay the parking charge by card or cash. Once you have paid you should exit as soon as possible. The exit barrier will raise as you approach if you have paid for your parking.  

Natural Resources Wales staff will be on hand to help if there are any problems.

Sign on (Mini Beast Challenge)

We have streamlined the sign on process to make it significantly faster. A signature is no longer required for waiver acknowledgment, instead you will find our event waiver printed on the back of your number board and by affixing this and participating in the event you acknowledge and accept all our terms of participation.

This means you just need to collect your board and you are ready to go.

This year, event numbers are pre-allocated

boards will have the riders name printed on them along with a number. Boards for the main event will also have an RFID timing chip fixed to the back (no chip for kids event). It is very important that this stays in place and is not damaged as it is used to record timing entries for each individual rider as they cross the start/lap/finish timing mat.

Click the image below to find your number 

Number collection (All events)

Sign on will be located in the room above the bike shop and will be clearly signposted as you approach the visitor centre. Please follow all signs and directions from event and visitor centre staff.


E-Bikes are permitted to ride Sunday’s The Beast Unchained so long as they meet the following conditions:  (1) The bike must be a UK road legal pedelec that must be restricted to 250w/15.5mph and must not be chipped, de-redistricted, re-mapped or modified in any way. (2) The rider must have purchased an E-Bike entry ticket and declared that their bike is UK legal as outlined in 1. above.  (4) Riders must start their ride in the e-bike start wave (details will be issued prior to the event).


YOU MUST BE 14years old to legally ride an EBike in the UK. 

Ebikes are not permitted to be used by any child entrants in Saturdays Mini Beast Challenge (although it is fine if the accompanying adult rider is using one and there is no need to declare this). 

Number collection

Number allocations will be sent via email in the weeks prior to the event with final joining information. Number allocations will also be displayed on the approach to the number collection area (aka sign-on) and at the number collection point itself. 

At the number collection point, state your allocated number clearly with your full name.

When handed your board, please check you have been handed the correct board. The spelling of the name on the board is taken directly from the data supplied in the attendee’s name field in Eventbrite so please take care when signing up for the event to enter these details correctly as it is not possible to reprint or change what has been printed on the board. However, we can change the name listed in results – to do this you should email or message us as event organiser via Eventbrite or speak to someone at the information point in the number collection area. 

> Please observe all rules and follow signage that is displayed 

> Follow all directions

> Be patient and polite with event and visitor centre staff. 

Once you have collected your number board, please leave the board collection point as quickly as possible in order to help us rapidly process all entrants.

If you have any further problems or queries regarding entry, an information desk is also located in the board collection area. You will be able to speak to a member of our team here.




>  SATURDAY [ Mini Beast Challenge ] – Board collection from 9.30am to 11.30am

On Saturday, you can also collect number boards for Sunday’s The Beast Unchained event to avoid the Sunday sign on rush.

>  SATURDAY [ The Beast Unchained ] – Board collection from 9.30am to 4pm


>  SUNDAY [The Beast Unchained ] – 8.30am to 10.30am


Attaching your board (All events)

We offer cut lengths of string, for attaching your board to the bike because it is biodegradable. You will need 3 pieces to attach your board. Pre-cut lengths will be available to collect on the way in and way out of board collection. Please attach your board so that the number is clearly visible from the front and make sure it is the correct way up.  Take care not to damage or remove the RFID timing chip.  

For durability reasons our number boards are constructed of plastic but they have been designed so they can be given a new life after the event, repurposed as a bike fender. Instructions on how to do this can be found at – The boards can be recycled but only where specific facilities exist, the materiel is vinyl/PVC [3]. Please do not put into normal household recycling.


Feed station (The Beast Unchained only)

There will be a feed station located on the course, details of where this will be sited will be released in the rider joining information that is sent to participants by email (and available from the event page). 

The feed station will offer a selection of sweet and savoury snacks, water and hydration drink. However we still advise riders to carry with them the fuel and hydration that they feel they will need to complete the ride as accidents or mechanicals problems can occur that could hinder ride progress. Preparing for a self sufficient ride is always sensible. 

Mini Beast Challenge – Please note, there are no feed or water arrangements for the children’s event, parents/guardians should make their own provisions for food and water for any child entrants they are accompanying.  


Event start – Mini Beast Challenge (Saturday)

Mini Beast Challenge is a kids non competitive MTB challenge. The event is open to children 4 – 14yrs old who must be accompanied by an adult parent or guardian to ride in the event. The accompanying adult must remain with your child entrant at all times during the event and agree to all terms and conditions and our release of liability waiver.

The event is a fun ride-challenge that offers 2 course distance options 5km or  13km . The parent(s)/guardian(s) who will be accompanying the child entrants should select a suitable loop distance and challenge level for the child/children’s ability.

If you have any questions regarding route suitability for your child’s ability level, please contact us or ask at the board collection information point.

Number boards should be collected from event sign on and boards should be fixed to the children’s bikes using the string provided. Make your way to the start when ready. The event is a fun ride challenge and is non-competitive and not timed.

All registered child entrants who complete their challenge can expect a little reward for their efforts.

Planned start times (Mini Beast Challenge)

The event start will be open Saturday, from 9.30am to 11.30am. You may begin your ride at any point that the event start is open.

Event start – The Beast Unchained (Sunday)

The event is a staggered start format where each rider’s times are individually recorded. Each participant will have their own start and finish times recorded when they cross the timing mats.

Your event does not start until you cross the start line. Once you cross the timing mat for the first time, your event had begun and the clock is ticking. When you join the course your start time will be recorded as the RFID chip located on your number board is read by the timing equipment. You are then on course and being timed until you cross the mat again a final time.


Event start wave opening times will depend on what type of bike you are riding, regular MTB or E-bike (emtb). Each start wave will have an opening and closing time. Participants are permitted to begin their ride at any time during their allocated start wave. There is no advantage to starting earlier as all times are individual, with the clock beginning when a rider crossed the start line.

Event starts will begin from 9.30am. Start  times will be confirmed with joining information in the weeks prior to the event. E-bike class will comprise the first start wave, all e-bike riders must depart in the e-bike start wave. 

Planned start times (The Beast Unchained)

The Beast Unchained (Sunday) E-Bikes – 9.30am to 10am

The Beast Unchained (Sunday) Regular bikes – 10am to 11am


When ready to start

When you are ready to start, head for the course start located in the area below the visitor centre. It will be clearly signposted.  You will then be fed onto the course by a starting marshal. Follow their instructions and remember there is no need to rush as your times are individual, your event starts as soon as you cross the mat.

> Please follow all signs and instructions.

> Riders may start at any time that their relevant course start is open. 

**Please note**  There will be a cut-off time for the Sunday’s long route. All riders reaching the split point after the cut-off time will finish at 25km. If you intend to attempt the longer route and are concerned about time it is best to try to start as early as possible in your start wave. The cut-off time for the long route will be published closer to the event date.


The routes 25km / 36km

The course offers a good mix of Coed y Brenin’s best trail sections plus some less familiar additions from off the trail map. THE EVENT IS NOT A RACE. Please be polite and courteous to other riders at all times. If you wish to pass another rider do this only when it is safe to do so. If there is a rider behind you that wishes to pass, please move aside and allow them to pass when it is safe.

The route will be clearly marked with YELLOW ARROWS and other signs that highlight particular hazards and give route instructions. A route map is available to view at sign on.  The route comprises a lot of singletrack so a little congestion may be experienced in places, please be courteous and pleasant with your fellow riders and ride with care at all times. Remember, it’s not a race, we are all here to enjoy the trails and have fun together!

25km or 36km?

You have the option of taking on a 25km “Beast Mode” or 36km “Mega Beast” route challenge. You don’t need to decide which distance you want to attempt before you start, but a way into the course you will reach a route split point and it is at this point that the 2 route options will go separate ways. At this point you need to decide which you will ride and then follow all subsequent signage for that route option. 

You will pass timing points on route where your time & route choice will be recorded by your RFID chip. Your result will be allocated to the appropriate event when we release final ride times (usually a day or so after the event). 


Visitor information


The café is open serving hot food, snacks and drinks. There is indoor table space (limited) plus plenty of take away options. Please be patient and polite with café and visitor centre staff and make your food & drink selection in a timely manner. If indoor seating is unavailable when you are served please consider a take-away option or using the outdoor seating area.

Toilets & Showers

Toilets are available at the visitor centre with additional portable toilets situated around the site. Showers are available downstairs in the main visitor centre (round) building but there are a limited number and demand for these is likely to be high.

Bike Wash

A bike washing point with hose is situated below the visitor centre. 

Visitor Centre

Coed y Brenin has walking and running trails, a play area and nature discovery trails. More information about the centre and facilities can be found on the Natural Resources Wales website. 


Further information and advice

Below you will find some additional information about the event and advice to help you prepare for your ride and make the most of your event weekend. 

There is a feed station offering drinks & snacks but it is normal common sense practice for mountain bikers to make their own provision by ensuring that they set out on a ride with adequate food and hydration to sustain them for the duration of their ride, with a little extra just in case of emergency. A selection of bars, gels and hydration products are also available to buy from Beics Brenin.  Below you will find further general advice on what to carry. Essential spares and tools like tubes, pumps and patch kits are available from Beics Brenin to purchase before you head out but its always a good idea to have these things in your kit bag ready so its better to buy them before you head to the event. Likewise make sure you have riding clothing sorted and its in good shape along with helmet, gloves and any other protection you will use. Most importantly of all, check your bike is in good shape, you’ll find more on this below in the rider preparation section.

Marshals & First Aid

Marshals will be stationed at key intervals on route and will be in contact with course HQ and first aid. Mobile first aiders are on course and able to attend if required during the event. Please see the route map for the location of marshals and alert them if you have witnessed a medical emergency. If you believe the emergency to be serious or life threatening, please alert emergency services by calling 999.

Other trail users, walkers & spectators

The event takes place mostly on the forest’s way marked trail network which remains open to other users. Please ride with care and be respectful of others. 

Some sections of the route may be shared accessed. Again, please ride with care and remain in good control. Regulate your speed around other users and be respectful and careful around other forest and trail users. 

Event T Shirts / Event mementos 

There is no event T shirt for this year’s event.

Mini Beast Challenge (Saturday) – All registered child entrants who complete their ride will receive a little something as a reward for their efforts. 

The Beast Unchained (Sunday) – An event memento is available to all finishers as they cross the finish line, make sure you pick one up at you exit the finish point. 


Helpful tips..

Pre event checks

Before the event it’s a good idea to do final checks and preparation to your bike.  Clean and thoroughly looking over everything for damage or wear. Pay particular attention to anything that has the potential to fail during the ride like damaged or worn tyres, frayed cables, worn chain or cassette, loose or notchy rotation at bottom bracket or headset.


Do the M check:

What to carry

These are the basic essentials we recommend you carry (NB: Helmets are compulsory):

> Bicycle pump (if you use CO2 then you need to carry a pump as a backup, it’s a long ride and very rocky in places, its not uncommon to have multiple punctures).

> Spare inner tube

> For riders with running tubeless you need tubless repair kit AND spare tubes & puncture kit.

> Puncture repair kit (for when you run out of spare tubes)

> Bike multi tool with chain link extractor (or multi tool and chain tool) – always a good idea.

> Spare quick-link chain link for fixing a broken chain (be sure to get the right type for your chain).

> Food – Enough to fuel you for the ride and extra in case you have a mechanical or other emergency that could result in a lot of standing around or a long walk home. Energy bars are a great choice as a compact energy source but on a long ride like this you may find yourself craving something different or more substantial. Think self sufficiency and you’ll be better prepared.

> Water/Hydration – The amount you need is dependent on conditions but its never good to run out. Many riders choose to use an electrolyte powder of tablet in their water to help prevent dehydration. Whatever you use, bottles or hydration pack, just make sure you have enough. A feed & hydration station will be located on course (see joining info for where), here you can refill your bottle(s) if needed. 

> Clothing – It’s always a tough call at this time of year. This event has seen rain, snow, sleety and blazing sunshine. You’ll have climbs and descents and exposed sections can be very different to the shelter of the forest so flexibility is often the name of the game. A good waterproof jacket offers warmth and protection from the elements and an extra warm layer can be wise should you have a mechanical or other emergency.  What you choose to wear to ride in on the day will be dependent on the weather and outlook so keep an eye on the weather forecast and dress accordingly. Carry backup clothing in case the weather gets worse, this is Wales after all.

> Protection: A helmet is mandatory, gloves are a very sensible addition. Many rider now choose to ride in additional knee and sometimes elbow pads for added protection and there are many on the market today that can be worn comfortably for long rides. Always check your helmet is in good condition without damage, fits and is adjusted well.

> The event is timed but it is always wise to carry a watch or mobile phone, or use a cycle computer to monitor your own progress and stay aware of the time. This will allow you to adjust your ride plans according to progress and how you feel.

Useful additions

> Tyre boot (for emergency repair to big cuts in tyres)

> Mobile phone for making emergency calls. Be aware that phone cover in the forest can be limited. Should you have to make an emergency call you may not be able to do this from all locations.

> GPS (could be watch, cycle computer or a smartphone app) – You don’t really need this as the route is well signposted but in keeping with the mountain biking self-sufficiency ethos it provides a great modern tools for tracking your ride and can be helpful in providing location information.

> Warm hat. This is the ultimate luxury if you end up stuck with a broken bike for any length of time.

> Route map. Again, not an essential as the route is signed but can be useful to refer to when you need to figure out your location or progress. The route map will be displayed at sign-on and you can simply snap a picture of it before you depart. That way, should a situation arise where you need it you have something to refer back to. A very useful ride security backup that takes just a few seconds. 

And finally…

We suggest you write a pre event packing check list. List all the kit you need to bring and then tick things off one by one as you pack them. We can’t tell you how often people forget obviously very important items like shoes, pedals or helmet and while we are sure our retail partner Beics Brenin will be happy for the trade, it might make for an unexpectedly costly event.

On the day…

Eat a good breakfast on the day of the event.  Double check your gear and bike before you head to the start line and make any final adjustments that might be required.

After that, the most important thing to remember is to have a good time. You’ll be riding some of Wales finest trails in very good company, smile, whoop, sing and enjoy every wonderful mile of the event. 

It doesn’t matter what level of challenge that you end up tackling, 25km or 36km, ultimately this event is about getting the most of the challenge, enjoying the ride and savouring the challenges that you encounter. Ride carefully, be polite & friendly, leave the woods as you found them, above all, have an amazing time at the UK’s Original Trail Centre. 

Have fun,

Good luck from the Dyfi Events team.

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