A snapshot of a normal working day in the Forest of Dean, and the riders that go there


The Forest of Dean has dozens of mini downhill tracks, an uplift service (www.flyupdownhill.co.uk) a series of trail runs, a blue run that culminates in a descent more like a giant pump track, cut through’s and single track, a brilliant place to hang out on any type of bike – a microcosm of riding on so many levels. And its got a café.

The uplift gets a huge range of riders riding a variety of bikes from hardtail, trail to downhill. Every week I meet blokes having a day off, shift workers, Dad’s with their sons on road trip’s, pro riders, the occasional crazy mountain bike club, such a variety. This summer the car park has seen unprecedented numbers flocking to the new blue run, forty-five minutes of flat out, the café is being revamped and its buzzing.

Life goes on, whilst Danny Hart will be tanked up in a Vegas club, for the rest of us it’s a case of getting in a ride when we can. A short feature then on….people out riding in the woods really.

By: steven jones

Name: Andy Brown

Age: 38

Job: Run a Kitchen and Bathroom Company

Location: Barry

Bike: Santa Cruz V10

What types of riding do you do?

Mainly Downhill. Bought a cheap Muddy Fox from Costco about 2 years ago to try and lose a bit of weight. Did a bit of trail riding but after upgrading to a Felt compulsion and giving the uplift at Forest of Dean (F.O.D.) a go I was hooked on downhill.

Where do you go usually?

F.O.D. & Cwmcarn usually as they're both pretty close.

Who do you ride with?

Work Colleague Mark. We both bought a bike at the same sort of time and both enjoy the same sort of riding.

Are you a track builder?

Not yet, might give it a go in the winter when I have a bit more spare time.

Tell me about your bike set up?

Up until recently I was riding a Nomad set up pretty heavy for downhill but I was itching to build my first full on downhill bike. So I bought a beat up 2007 V10 frame. After a new set of bearings, a shock service and fixing it up with Fox 40's, Saint Gears & Brakes, Diabolus Cranks and a set of 721 wheels, It's a pretty awesome ride now.

How do you manage without the uplift?

I don't get to ride that often but when I do I want to make the most of it so I don't want to waste time pushing up. I could probably do with the exercise although I am pretty nimble for a fat bloke!

What pressure you got in your tyres?

30-35psi usually with re-enforced tubes. I've been pretty lucky so far as in 2 years I've not yet suffered with a puncture, which is pretty good going considering my size.

Tell me about your week?

Running a business means I don't get that much spare time. I work all week and spend weekend with my family. I try and cram in an uplift day once or twice a month depending on how busy we are but that's about it. I do get to ride the Nomad at the weekends though with my daughter on the Tag-a-Long. Strictly family trails only!