IS the forest of Dean 'worth it' for a weekend riding trip?

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  • IS the forest of Dean 'worth it' for a weekend riding trip?
  • oldtalent
    Member

    417, bmcc & fod uplift are all in that area and are all superb. Depends if you enjoy riding uphill or prefer uplifts.
    Personally I would do bmcc 1 day then I would be torn between fod or 417 on day 2.

    DrP
    Member

    Depends if you enjoy riding uphill or prefer uplifts.

    Both really…
    we’ll ride up hill and down dale, but also enjoy uplifts..

    I’ve been to 417 before – didn’t use the uplift, jsut cycled ujp and down 9 times in teh morning!!!

    Not heard of BMCC (Black mountain cycle centre, right?) will look at that..

    DrP

    IHN
    Member

    The answer is yes, especially if you can get a guide for the ‘real’ stuff.

    milky1980
    Member

    A day on the uplift then a day with a guide for the really interesting stuff would be perfect. Add in a dark ride of the blue or red on the Saturday evening before you break out the beers and you have a properly good weekend!

    Mintman
    Member

    I agree with the posters above, don’t discount the waymarked trails as they’re good fun but there’s some great hidden stuff that it would be a shame to miss.

    Quite a lot of it has appeared as segments on everyone’s favourite cycling app so a GPS unit or a guide will help unlock the secrets of the forest..!

    Hob Nob
    Member

    FOD is great for a day, going off piste makes it really good.

    417 I found boring. Won’t be going back.

    I’d be looking to do some riding at Monmouth on the other day.

    Premier Icon Rubber_Buccaneer
    Subscriber

    I thought a day of FOD uplift was brilliant and BMCC looks like it would make a good second day if you want more uplift.

    I like 417 project, it is fun, but the best bit about it is it’s closer than Wales to West Sussex. For a weekend away I’d be driving on by.

    wobbliscott
    Member

    We had a great weekend there last year. I wasn’t that impressed with their two trails, so if you want an XC trail centre type of experience you might not like it, but plenty of other stuff to be going at to fill 2 days.

    DrP
    Member

    Over, say, Afan (which we enjoy, but have been to loads)

    Looking for a lads weekend trip to the ‘west’ in mid october.. will be heading up early saturday, camping, and coming back late sunday..
    ergo, 2 days riding.

    I’m toying with the FOD trails as we’ve not been there before.
    Maybe popping into the 417 project on the way there for the morning?

    Are the FOD trails worth spending a day or two for?
    Any other suggestions in tehat neck of the woods?

    I want something a bit different to “Afan on Sat, Cwm Carn on sunday”!

    DrP

    mark90
    Member

    I find the FOD blue and red a bit meh (except the blue final descent which is ace), but that’s probably as I’ve ridden them lots.

    FOD uplift is great. Though you can ride the DH trails without the uplift, the push up track is entirely rideable on a trail/enduro bike, as are the DH trails themselves. There’s also a few good enduro trails if you can find them.

    The best riding in FOD is off the beaten track. You can find it with some research in the usual places, but a guide would be handy for a quick weekend visit to ensure you get to the good stuff.

    Personally I won’t be rushing back to 417.

    Premier Icon mboy
    Subscriber

    Hell to the power of F*** Yeah!

    Get yourself booked in here…

    http://thefountaininn.info/hostel

    And get yourself a guide for your group for the 2 days, to show you the wealth of off piste stuff.

    You can do the boring groomed trail centre stuff any time, likewise bike parks like 417, BPW, Black Mountains etc. For a real good weekend away, get out and about on the hidden stuff!

    You can thank me later!

    monkeyboyjc
    Member

    Personally I live an hour away from FOD (10mins away from 417) and go about once or twice a year to FOD for about half a day.
    The natural riding where I live is generally as good or better than the trails at FOD and the prospect of an hours drive, £7 parking and busy trails doesn’t tempt me on a Sunday morning.
    417 has a similar issue for me – my only mtb is a fat bike and is not compatible with the uplift (and at FOD for that matter) and I can’t see why I’d spend £7 riding there when I can have just as much fun for free a 5min ride out of my house.

    Premier Icon mboy
    Subscriber

    The natural riding where I live is generally as good or better than the trails at FOD and the prospect of an hours drive, £7 parking and busy trails doesn’t tempt me on a Sunday morning.

    Agree on the £7 parking and busy trails… Bypass both, drive to Park End, park for free and ride the natural stuff!

    Can promise you, having ridden round your way many times, that the natural riding in the FoD is a different league. Stroud area is better than you would expect, can have a great day out on a bike for sure. But it’s mostly CX-able, certainly all hardtail or fat bike friendly. Lots of the natural stuff in the FoD now will put hairs on your chest, and a modern trail/enduro bike is the weapon of choice for much of it!

    417 has a similar issue for me

    I’d agree there, especially as it’s only minutes away from Cranham. I’m not a fan of groomed pistes per se though, and especially not a fan of paying through the nose just to ride my bike!

    monkeyboyjc
    Member

    FoD is a different league

    You’ve ridden the wrong bits…. There are Def some mental Enduro/DH only sections, but like FOD you need to know where to look. Sure you can do a great xc bridleway loop of 30+ miles with 80or90% off road. But there are some pretty mental DH stuff too.
    My issue with FOD off piste trails is finding them – Ive done a few organised rides around them in the past but still have ridden nothing that would encourage me to find them again when Cranham/Popes wood and the woods around to Edge / Pitchcombe are as good IMO.

    Premier Icon russyh
    Subscriber

    You have not ridden the right off piste stuff then at FOD! I have ridden all round the country and I’m lucky to Live so close to FOD, it’s an endless pot of trail gold. Just need to know where to look.

    DrP
    Member

    so herein lies another question…. anyone fancy guiding a bunch of Southerners around the FOD on the 14th October??!!

    We’re all fairly handy riders, so show us your worst (best) stuff…

    DrP

    stevextc
    Member

    The best riding in FOD is off the beaten track. You can find it with some research in the usual places, but a guide would be handy for a quick weekend visit to ensure you get to the good stuff.

    I hear this but we’ve been twice and done uplift … If I went every 2nd weekend it would be different but we did 2 days uplift 1st time and 3 days the second and nowhere near bored….

    I can go out and pedal any weekend … and of course we could debate Surrey Hills vs FOD (or Swinley or Guisburn Forest which is next to my mums) but the uplift is a fantastic opportunity for someone of middling jump skills to get loads and loads of practice very quickly and be a bit less middling after a couple of days….

    for me the uplift is integral to that as I could just ride back up…. and repeat but it’s not got the same feel when you have the climb … I’ll sit in the van and think what I can improve next run… then fly down and jump on the uplift… whereas if I pedalled up I’d be thinking about the climb on the way up.

    Premier Icon mboy
    Subscriber

    You’ve ridden the wrong bits…

    Cranham/Popes wood and the woods around to Edge / Pitchcombe are as good IMO.

    Definitely ridden most if not all of that, and enjoyed it. But there’s a lot of stuff in the FoD that is a real cut above and worth traveling for!

    You have not ridden the right off piste stuff then at FOD! I have ridden all round the country and I’m lucky to Live so close to FOD, it’s an endless pot of trail gold. Just need to know where to look.

    I’m an hour away, but still consider myself lucky to live relatively close. When you throw Staunton into the mix as well…

    It does take a while to find and learn a lot of the trails you’ve got a point monkeyboyjc, but get to know it and it’s MTB Mecca! Most of the guys I ride there fairly regularly with use Cranham/Popes Wood and that area for their local rides, and enjoy the riding there, but if they want a day out on their full sus bikes on more challenging terrain, FoD it is…

    mikertroid
    Member

    I’d echo what’s said above. The trails are fine but there are some superb bit off-piste at the FoD.

    I’ve yet to sample Staunton…. maybe tomorrow 😀

    Premier Icon Rubber_Buccaneer
    Subscriber

    Remember the OP says he has never been to FoD. He isn’t on a holy quest to find the finest trail known to man, he could just spend a day on the marked trails (using the uplift or not) and have a damn fine time without any hassle. I didn’t do a single run from the uplift dropoff that I didn’t want to do again

    stevextc
    Member

    Remember the OP says he has never been to FoD. He isn’t on a holy quest to find the finest trail known to man, he could just spend a day on the marked trails (using the uplift or not) and have a damn fine time without any hassle. I didn’t do a single run from the uplift dropoff that I didn’t want to do again

    +2 (one from m and one from Jnr)

    On my 10th or 20th visit I might start looking for good places to pedal… but then again I can do that out of my front door.

    DrP
    Member

    ^^
    Plus… I’d rather ride ‘great’ trails for the first time that are weymarked and easy to find, than spend hours hunting the elusive ‘perfect’ trail.
    PLus, we’re likely to be hung over.

    Just need to sort numbers for an uplift ticket, find accomodation, and work from there!!

    DrP

    Premier Icon russyh
    Subscriber

    DrP I would be happy to show you some of the stuff, unfortunately I am racing the Fod enduro on the 15th so won’t be riding on the 14th. Maybe some other time though.

    I would recommend a guided ride if you want the most out of a day at Fod (I’m not a guide by the way) it’s good value and you will get a proper good days riding in

    jruk
    Member

    If you want something a bit more ‘big day out’ head down the M5 to Dartmoor. More than enough for a weekend of great riding.

    Premier Icon oldnpastit
    Subscriber

    Afan holds up pretty well in the rain.

    Are the off-piste bits of FoD likely to turn into a slithery muddy mud fest if it’s raining lots?

    oldtalent
    Member

    If you want something a bit more ‘big day out’ head down the M5 to Dartmoor. More than enough for a weekend of great riding.

    Is it a marked trail though? I wouldnt want to waste my big day out reading a map, trying not to get lost & looking to find good bits to ride.

    jruk
    Member

    @oldtalent – it’s not marked but plenty of routes available as gpx files (readable on phones) and lots of locals on here who have offered to guide.

    pop larkin
    Member

    Speak to fodmtb guides – used James a couple of times now he’s excellent

    ajantom
    Member

    A day in the FoD, and then how about doing the Quantocks the day after. Only
    A short drive to the South, and some excellent riding to be found. The MBR Quantocks route takes in most of the good stuff, and you can’t really go too wrong or get lost up there.

    mikertroid
    Member

    I did Cwmcarn today, because I had to go and pick something up in the area….

    Trwch then Cafall trail. I’ve forgotten how great it is there! Quiet as….

    Anyway the whole area from FoD west is brimming with good rides 😀

    Premier Icon beltaine
    Subscriber

    So where did you ride after ?

    IHN
    Member

    I wouldnt want to waste my big day out reading a map, trying not to get lost & looking to find good bits to ride.

    That would be the definition of a big day out for me. Different strokes for different folks.

    dobiejessmo
    Member

    Fod is great over by the Dowies and shutcastle live 5miles from 417 never been there not another there you might as well ride Cranham or Lecky tons of stuff all over the Fod.

    DrP
    Member

    beltaine – it’s for a few weeks time..
    I’ve booked a lodge in the FOD and we’ll ride teh trails (sans uplift) on sat, adn then maybe monmouth or more FOD on sunday..

    DrP

    Premier Icon bigblackshed
    Subscriber

    DrP.

    Do you want a guide? I can put you in touch with a local guide that knows the place inside out. Depends on when though.

    Marko
    Member

    …then maybe monmouth. . .

    Shire Hall to the Monnow?

    If you’re stuck and I’m around I can show you around the ‘Valley’ (Welsh side) if you want a change from the FoD.

    Marko

    Premier Icon russyh
    Subscriber

    What date you riding FOd drP? I may be able to show you around some stuff

    Premier Icon beltaine
    Subscriber

    Sounds good Dr P.

    mikertroid
    Member

    I’ll be there in a couple of hours to do a loop off-piste if anyone wants a look?

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