The Gathering UK, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England

 Words: Toby Monks, Forbidden’s European Sales and Logistics Coordinator

Photos: Saskia Dugon

Full Image Gallery

It’s been a while since I’ve been a part of a group ride, but with COVID restrictions lifted, it was a fitting time to host our inaugural owner’s day ride, The Gathering! A collection of Forbidden owners and their rides descended on the Forest of Dean Cycle Centre on what was to be a surprisingly dry Friday during a wet week in late October. It was incredible to see such a mixed group of riders and I was blown away by how far many had travelled with some coming as far as Cornwall, Yorkshire, London and North Wales! 

 Owners started gathering early Friday morning, the stoke was high.

The usual chit chat pre ride.

We were met by Pedal-a-Bike-Away (PABA) who took care of free tea and coffee as local guiding and coaching aficionados, WyeMTB, briefed us on the hero lap we were about to embark on - we were in for a treat! Accompanying us on this rally into the woods were a gaggle of our UK ambassadors; Billy Spurway, James Leech, Seth Barrett and rising EWS star, Alex Storr, alongside photographer Saskia Dugon

Ambassadors came to join in the fun, including factory supported EWS privateer Alex Storr.

Into the woods we go!

How's that for a party train!

Corners were slapped, good times were had!

Some were slapped harder than others, maybe even too hard...

Taking in the creme-de-la-creme of the trail centre’s immediate and ever-expanding network of trails was certainly all killer and no filler. Tyres in the dirt and a train of stoked riders were the soundtrack of the morning’s ride! After the morning lap to warm things up we dropped back to PABA for some incredible halftime re-fuel in the shape of some pizza, fresh from the oven; it couldn’t have been better! It was great to see everyone meeting fellow Forbidden owners, discussing their upgrades, tunes and builds over a hot slice of Italy. 

Hooting and hollering our way into lunch.

You get a pizza, you get a pizza...

Rate that pie?

More chit chat, shock tunes, tyre pressure, inserts, you name it. 

The afternoon began in earnest with a mash-up style format with the riders heading away from the main trail centre area to some of the lesser-known gold that’s hidden further into the Forest. Steep, tech and roots and ruts was the theme of the afternoon and arguably where Forbidden bikes excel! We had an awesome group of riders that were keen to get stuck into some more challenging terrain and it was electric with trains continuing late into the afternoon, run after run! How good are bikes?!

With full belies, it was time for more laps!

Eventually, the last run was called and we headed back to PABA for more tea, coffee and cake - what more could you want? Oh, a goody bag? Oh don’t worry, everyone left with a tote packed with goodies thanks to our awesome friends and partners; Burgtec, Crankbrothers, Muc-Off and Clif Bar, (courtesy of ExtraUK) - each rider left with some merch and snacks for the drive home. 

Muddy bikes at the end of a great day. 

On behalf of everyone at Forbidden Bike Company, thanks for coming and thanks for making the First Edition of The Gathering so memorable. If you feel like you missed out, don’t worry, this was the first Gathering of Forbidden owners of many, so please stay tuned for future dates and venues. Here’s to The Gathering, Vol II…we can’t wait!

Until next time!

All Team Members