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


Time to take five. With the World Cup spun out of and very much in control by Gwin it’s probably a good time to get some perspective before the circus gets pulled down at Champery World’s next weekend. Life goes on.

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 f 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.

This begins a new series on weekday warrior’s… features on…well…I guess people out riding in the woods really.

By: steven jones


Name: Matt Holt

Age: 37

Years Riding: About 23

Job: Quality Manager with an asbestos consultancy

Location: Swansea

Bike: Orange 224. Also got an Orange 5 set up pretty light for trail centre riding.

What types of riding do you do: A pretty even mix of DH and XC.

Where do you go usually: Kilvey, Clyne and Afan. I work near Margam Park and there are some great tracks to be found there with a bit of exploring.

Who do you ride with: A fairly regular Sunday morning Dads ride with mates Tom and Jim. Up at the crack of dawn, ride for a couple of hours then back to family life. I also sneak the odd midweek trail centre ride in, usually on my todd.

Are you a track builder: I do an occasional bit of digging here and there but I should do much more given the fun I have on tracks built / maintained by others. I had a load of tools stashed in the local woods a while back but they all disappeared / got broken.

Tell me about your bike set up: Mostly second hand off ebay. Pretty standard set up I think but a bit heavier than I would like. I’m planning to replace the bombers with some new boxxer RCs and would like to lighten up the rest of the bike. Got a set of old Deemax wheels which seem indestructible. Short stem, 750 bars, Minion DHF and front and back.

How do you manage without the uplift: Push up is fine if you’re having a bit of banter with some mates. I used to go to France for a week of uplifts each summer but haven’t made it out since the kids came along. I reckon you can do a pretty good uplift trip in the UK with a bit of planning and travelling though.

What pressure you got in your tyres: 32Psi ish. I don’t check that often unless I’m banging the rims.

Tell me about your week:

Monday – Wednesday work, work, work.

Thursday - uplift at Cwmcarn in the rain and mud. Camped over at Cwmcarn.

Friday - FOD. Dry, dusty trails and a sweet uplift.

We booked on the uplift at Mountain Ash on Saturday but it’s been cancelled.

It’s not a normal week for me though. We’ve been planning this uplift trip for a while.

Bike History: Orange 224, Orange 5, 2006 Specialized Demo 8, Cotic BFe, Specialized BigHit, Specialized Enduro x2, Stumpjumper Hardtail, Dawes Edge, Specialized Hardrock, Raleigh Extra Burner.