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Dirt HQ Dirt HQ

There has been a bit of talk about this, so we thought it would be best to get the official story for you all.

And yes, it is true, there will be a uplift service for the Forest of Dean starting very soon. We have just talked to Simon from Flyup Downhill and he gave us this bit of information:

“In Nov ’09, I spoke to the Forestry Commission and put the idea of an uplift forward. I was amazed when they said that they wanted an uplift service but that no one had applied. I put in a business plan, which was very well received. I had a meeting and it was decided that the service would have to go to tender. I waited an agonizing 3 weeks to eventually be told there had been no more applications and that I had the contract. The new company is called Flyup Downhill. Vehicles will be a 17 seater transit and one other depending on take up.
Launch will be April 2010, no exact date as yet. And prices will be very competitive.”

Simon also told us that the service will running from Friday through to Tuesday. The website is not live yet, but we’ll let you know when it is.


  1. willysnow

    cant be bad!!

  2. Dan Joyce


  3. Dirt HQ

    Gonna be great. We use the FoD for testing, so having an uplift there will be super cool.


  4. Taff

    Awesome news! I wonder how much it will cost and whether it will be better/cheaper/more efficient than a DIY uplift day?

    Personally I’d rather use the FoD service as you’re helping support something that is progressing our DH scene.

  5. Steve

    Amazing :), its not a Dog of a push.. but and uplift is always 5x Better :)SIIICKKKK!

  6. Jamie

    Awesome news – Best guesses on the number of runs you can do in a day here with an uplift?! 15?!

  7. marky B

    awesome news, i will be using it 😉

  8. Dirt HQ

    Yeah you can get a load of runs in. When we have done it there is usually no waiting around. It takes about the same time to ride along the fireroad then down one of the tracks as it does for an uplift vehicle to get back to the bike centre (where it will all be based).


  9. billy

    And when you’re riding Mike the uplift vehicle has to wait 5 or 10 mins for you to appear, usually covered in mud muttering about an incident in the woods.

  10. lee

    yes will be good but i hope he decides to pay the local VOLUNTEER group for the damage that will be done to the tracks.

  11. dirtbiker100

    good point there lee, but i wonder. more riders coming due to uplift – to pay more for services to put back into the trails too?

    WOOOHOOOO Cannot wait for this. i mean i’m happy enough pushing but its annoying because you get to the top and think “yeah we’ll do the top of corkscrew and sheepskull a few times while we’re here” and then you can’t be bothered to go back down the decent runs because the push up is harder in comparison to the top trails.

    any ideas on pricing?

  12. lee

    our services are free we are a volunteer group and dont get paid at all. it will be like having a race run every day, so hopefully will work out to keep everyone happy.

  13. Leon

    Wow man that is some great news , FoD has been crying out for an uplift service for a while now , a mid week booking would be mint with fewer riders on the hill

  14. willj

    Wether he pays VOLUNTEERS depends on if he actually makes any money! dont think it’s all profit coz it’s not! A minibus, trailer, fuel etc adds up to alot of cash. just be super greatfull there is someone driving you to the top.

  15. Alex

    Although I do not dig at FoD I work on trails elsewhere. I completely understand Lee’s concerns. The company running the uplift will have to take an interest in trail maintenance. Just look at the wear on the track at Cwmcarn, luckily as it is based on rock it is not too bad but the forest is a lot softer and will wear quicker. I wish FlyUp the best of luck with their venture but I also hope that they can work with the local volunteers otherwise there will be an uplift for worn out tracks.

  16. Jake the Teaboy

    I’m part of the volunteer group too. It’s not that we want paying any money for ourselves, the trails need to be maintained, and that costs money. Look at the trail damage done during a Mini DH, and then imagine that amount of riding for 5 days a week – the costs to maintain the trails will obviously rise by a massive amount. I think it’s a great thing that it’s happening, but I think some relationship with our group needs to be formed at some point, to work together in making the FOD bigger and better in the future.

  17. Joe

    You’d hope that this was considered when the application was looked at by the FC.

  18. Alan

    Solid! The downhill tracks at the centre have recently been marked with posts, so I guess this is all part of the improvements going on there.

    Map; http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=101378758141447101792.000467dad0c4904e59621&t=h&z=13

  19. BrianR

    Jake, I know Simon @ FlyUp very well, he is crazy busy at the moment and if possible would like to meet the relevant volunteer groups. Will you be @ the FOD tomorrow for the 661?
    If so Email me preachers.son@live.com and we can try and arrange something?

  20. olly

    Great news!!!! This is gonna rule, alot!!!

  21. jonesdirtmag

    The only maintenance that needs doing is making sure halfwits don’t go ripping roots up and think that some kind of man made maintenance is better. Don’t forget people have been riding many of those tracks for 14 years or more, the tracks that have kept their root have largely kept their shape. And what’s with this big…actually – GIGANTIC – talk about maintenance anyway???… I didn’t see anyone rushing to open up many tracks after a bit of thinning happened last year.

    As for the uplift…amazing news! I just hope Jody and the crew man-up and get the bacon rolls back on the go

  22. billy

    Jones, you can ride your roots but the kids want to get airborne these days and that takes maintenance.

  23. jonesdirtmag

    Hark at Thackray…..

  24. Morgan

    Though the increase on trail traffic will bring more wear to the runs, it should also bring more money into the centre, which in turn will make it’s way back out to the trails.
    When you consider a quid for the jet wash at the end of the day, a couple of pound to park (if it’s inforced properly – I know many people don’t pay to park), and then a few bob on tea and bacon rolls, that’s still a bit left over after overheads etc. If this profit is managing currently to pay for maintenence, then a fivefold increase in trail traffic should in theory see a fivefold increase in profit available for maintenence.
    Maybe if some new tracks were cut in fully from top to bottom, rather than being variants or extentions of existing runs, then the trail traffic could be spread out a bit more.
    In fairness I’ve been riding the Rockies for the last 9-10 years, and it’s not really changed that much in that time. well the top half at least. Maybe invest in bringing in some hardcore and sandy topsoil to the bottom half to stop the clay getting so riddled with weather damage and braking bumps?
    Just some observations.
    Anyway, good luck to both the volunteers and the uplift guys. At the end of the day you’re both trying to do the same thing: make riding our bikes downhill a better experience. Thanks.

    PS: I’ve managed to do 31 runs of the Rockies in one day using vans, cars, and horseboxes to mass uplift quite a big group. And I did it on a hardtail, so that makes me extra cool!

  25. Bigburd

    March 1st, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    The only maintenance that needs doing is making sure halfwits don’t go ripping roots up and think that some kind of man made maintenance is better

    That is the only problem with that bank at FoD , its great hill but people insist on taking roots out of off cambers up there , and even taking the off cambers out alltogether , me and my riding crew used to make tonnes of tracks up FoD but have given up due to people altering our stuff , seems like the younger generation of riders want it all to easy

  26. Stopadoodledoo

    Is it just me being stupid here, but it does say that there will be a mini-bus with seventeen seats and as pointed out, it takes the same time to ride along the fireroad and down the tracks back to the centre as it does for the van / pickup truck / bus to drive it. As such, surely there will be 17 places a day available (unless people are going to share and miss runs 0 unlikely). Now I understand that a few people who may not normally ride there may come along but I imagine that the majority of people using the service already ride there.

    As such, I can’t see how there will be a huge upturn in riders on the track on any one day? Even if they get two buses, the same applies; this isn’t a Dragon-style uplift with 200 places, after all.

  27. Simon

    Time to introduce myself I think.
    I ride up at the Forest lots. As it says above, I got fed up with the push. No, it’s not difficult, but it’s a bit of a ball ache and the days riding would be much, much better without it.
    I went to FC, put in a business plan and got the contract.
    The feedback has been fantastic.
    My plans are not to run 2 x 16 passenger buses till the trails fall apart, far from it so please don’t worry too much. I have spoken to Jake and am going to be actively involved in the trails an their maintenance.
    I have met with the FC today and am now at liberty to say that I am making a contribution to the FC for every rider who books. This mans that there will be extra funding for trail maintenance.
    I have been reading the forum re maintenance and have been dying to confirm the funding but until a meeting today confirmed it, I was not able to say.
    I can now also confirm that pricing is going to be in the low 20’s for a full days uplift.

    Please feel free to email me on info@flyupdownhill.co.uk and check out the site, http://www.flyupdownhill.co.uk. It’s a bit basic for now, but the booking system should be on it in a few weeks, with the aim to launch mid to late April.

    Looking forward to meeting you all in person,



  28. Morgan

    Stopadoodledoo: Valid point about the limited number of seats restricting the amount of riders using it. I guess it will depend on the pricing and how it is organised.

    With the short nature of the runs, and the quick turnaround at the top/bottom, large numbers of runs per day will be possible. Maybe the key is to only do half day hire (15-20 runs for eg), so that 34 riders can use it and still feel like they’ve had a good day’s riding.

    Or maybe do alternate groups, so have 34 riders using the service, with one group waiting at the bottom while the other group is uplifted/riding down. Again the short course and quick turnaround would work nicely with this, as the wait would not be long.

    Or pay for an hour uplift at a time and get as many runs as possible in. This will involve your mates not faffing about at the top/bottom, and nobody having any crashes or breakages.

    Or perhaps have a pay per lift system – first come first served – and buy lift tokens from the shop prior so you’re not limited to a set time to ride. I’d say you could load, uplift and return the van in 15 minutes, so that’s 4 lots of 17 per hour for 8 hours giving you potentialy 544 individual runs (so plenty of chance for multiple runs for each person) Couple that with people pushing up or DIY uplifting and you could be looking at 1000+ individual runs down the hill. Considering there are only 3-4 main runs to the bottom that’s a lot of traffic for each trail.

    The major issue will be pricing. If it’s too expensive – especially if you’re on a limited time/number of runs, then the DIY approach will still be favoured by most who are able.

    Get four riders and a van and they’ve only got to chip in a few quid each for fuel and they can uplift all day (albeit perhaps not in comfort), when they want. If they have a mechanical/need food then they can stop without loosing out on a prepaid space/time slot.

    And also, why pay the VOLUNTEERS? Surely that’s the point of being a volunteer? Perhaps get a system where people can come and dig/build/tidy for a day and they get paid with a free days uplift. Or even an evening’s help after work (when it’s not too busy) in return for a few hours uplift on the weekend when it is busy.

  29. ed@dirt

    Jesus, that’s a lot of hypothesis!

  30. Ian J

    I was one of the lucky few to be at the test day of Forest Of Dean’s FlyUp Uplift, and can I say how professional and fast the service to the top is, leaving me with more energy to hammer back down the trails.

    The owner has worked hard to get this working at FOD and I wish them all the best with this service. And I look forward to using it in the future. :0)


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