Aka PBA, or ‘Pedals’ to our friends!
We love welcoming visitors to the area and our locals. We have wide array of top quality hire bikes for both the family cycle trail and the mountain bike trails, and we are the only hire company based directly at the trailhead at the Forest of Dean Cycle Centre. We have a café that caters for all dietary needs including famous homemade cakes and exceptional coffee, a workshop to fix any repairs your bike may need and a shop to sell you lots of lovely cycling related things. Essentially, we are a one stop shop!
We pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service, investing in our staff, investing in the trails, offering coaching to the next generation of bikers, building the biggest youth MTB club in the country and sourcing products from as many local suppliers as possible for both the café and the shop.
We also have a lovely cafe at the beautiful Mallards Pike lake, just a short distance off the family trail, and the perfect place to stop for some refreshment, lunch, cake and coffee. And there’s our second bike hire centre on the brand new traffic-free Wye Valley Greenway next to the NDAC (National Diving and Activity Centre) on the outskirts of Chepstow just over the M48 Severn Bridge and a short hop from Bristol.
PBA (Pedalabikeaway) has a long history at the Forest of Dean. It was born in the late 1980’s by Fred and Hilary Carpenter. Bikes were initially hard working hybrids designed for the Family Trail, but before long downhill trails, then illegal, started popping up all over the Sallowvallets Enclosure. Early hire mountain bikes were 90mm travel hardtails with long stems and narrow bars (not forgetting the toe clips).
Over time, the downhill trails became a permitted feature of the cycle trails at the Forest of Dean Cycle Centre, and more graded cycle trails were built including the award-winning Verderers blue trail. Now, people come from all across the country to ride here, and we’ve even got World Champions and Olympic racers that come here to train! There’s something for every level of rider, from beginner to elite racer.
Fred worked tirelessly to create a loyal customer base and loved nothing more than to chat bikes with everyone. Jo and Ian took over the business in 2011 and were joined shortly afterwards by Gareth, together building the PBA we know today. Both had been riding locally for years, with Ian having been the Operations Director at PGL, and Gareth the Performance Manager at British Cycling. Gareths first ever race was in 1992 at the Forest!
Essentially, we were there at the beginning of mountain biking in the UK. The sport has grown and so have we, but we’re always at the heart of mountain biking at the Forest of Dean.