Aoife Glass

Christmas gift guide & events at Pedalabikeaway

Looking for the perfect Christmas gift for the mountain biker or cyclist in your family? Planning some festival Christmas rides and family activities? Pedalabikeaway has loads of festive ideas, from skills coaching vouchers to family Christmas rides with an appearance from Santa himself!

Photo of a mountain biker on a snowy mountain, with colourful christmas decorations printed over the top and text that says ‘Christmas gift ideas and events’

Looking for a Christmas gift for mountain bikers or cyclists?

Looking for the perfect Christmas gift for your bike-mad partner, sibling, parent or child? We can help!

Wye MTB gift vouchers

Give Wye MTB gift vouchers for Christmas and they can be used on coaching and guided rides

Our friends at Wye MTB offer a great selection of coaching courses, one-to-one instruction and guided adventures in the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean. If you know someone who’s looking to improve their riding – whether that’s a beginner or a more experienced rider looking for a faster, smoother flow – the qualified and experienced guides at Wye MTB can help.

Visit Wye MTB for more information and to purchase vouchers.

Ace Bicycles Monmouth gift vouchers

Bike shop gift vouchers are the ideal gift for the cyclist in your life. They can spend them on whatever they need, and you don’t need to worry about whether it’s compatible or the right colour or size.

Ace Bicycles in Monmouth offer vouchers which can be purchased in store, and can be spent on towards their huge selection of stock, from trail snacks to full-face helmets, and from tyres to full eMTBs. They’ve got riding kit, caps, socks, gloves, rucksacks, waterbottles, lights – basically everything a cyclist or mountain biker could want.

Visit Ace Bicycles to find out more

Join one of our brilliant Christmas events

Wye MTB Christmas Ride

When: Thursday 2nd December

Where: Meet at Pedalabikeaway, Forest of Dean

Join us for a very special Thursday Late on 2nd December with our friends at Wye MTB who’ll be leading a night ride around the Forest with a difference – fancy dress! We think this is the perfect opportunity to see if reindeer antlers on your helmet make you go faster, or to add fairy lights to your night light ensemble.

For a mere £10, you’ll get a guided ride plus our special Christmas burger and a mulled cider when you get back. There are three rides; intermedia, advanced, and intermediate eMTB. Places are limited though so make sure you book soon!

And as an added incentive, there will be prizes for the best fancy dress! Time to break out those seasonal costumes…

Book now for the Wye MTB Christmas Ride

 

Christmas Fun at Pedalabikeaway

When: Saturday 18th December

Where: Pedalabikeaway at the Forest of Dean Cycle Centre

This magical seasonal celebration is a combination of some of our favourite things: a beautiful forest location, bikes, tasty food and festive fun!

Join us for a family-friendly Reindeer Ride around the family trail, then head back to Pedalabikeaway to meet Santa Claus himself – and he’s got a presents for all the children. Our Little Fodders will have a fun ride happening too. 

We’ll have our Christmas specials available in the cafe, including warming mulled cider and apple juice, which is just the thing to warm you up on a frosty winter day after a ride in the woods. 

Don’t forget you can hire bikes from us too (including eMTBs, kids bikes and leisure bikes with child seats and trailers) so you don’t even need to worry about bringing a bike down.

Santa Ride at Dare Valley Gravity Park

When: Sunday 19th December

Where: Dare Valley Gravity Bike Park

Get in the Christmas spirit at our family bike park near Aberdare in Wales. It’s time to don your best Christmas fancy dress and join in the Santa Ride! Whether you go as the jolly man himself, an elf, Mrs Claus, a reindeer, or just like to deck you and your bike up in tinsel and lights, you’re bound to have a merry time.

The bike park is perfect for families, beginners and intermediate riders, with a beautiful flowing blue that’s a whole lot of fun, plus several pump tracks. You can ride up, or there’s also an uplift available to book on which takes all the effort out of getting back to the top. And when you finish, the cafe will have some delicious Christmassy cake, hot chocolate, and mulled wine for the grownups.

For more info, visit the event page on Dare Valley Gravity Bike Park Facebook page


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Discover our autumn menu

The leaves are turning golden, the temperature has dropped and the nights are closing in. It’s time for hearty and warming comfort foods, and the new Pedalabikeaway Cafe autumn menu has plenty of tasty dishes to keep you satisfied when it’s cold, wet and windy like jacket potatoes, homemade soups and more.

Veggie versions of our most popular dishes

Photo of loaded vegetarian burger with veggie pulled soya, gerkins, cheese and salad
Go meat-free with our incredibly tasty Veggie Loaded FOD Burger – a vegetable patty, veggie pulled soya, cheese, gherkins, salad, all packed into a bun

If you’re vegetarian, or just looking to cut down on your meat consumption, there’s no need to compromise on taste at Pedalabikeaway. Our famous Loaded FOD Burger and Loaded fries have had a veggie makeover.

The Veggie Loaded FOD Burger combines a vegetable burger patty with fresh tomato and lettuce, optional cheese, and delicious pulled soya protein in a rich barbecue sauce. Or opt for our loaded fries which are crisp, hot and tasty, and also loaded with pulled soya. The taste and texture is so good, you won’t be missing out on the meaty equivalent.

Fresh salads with a protein punch

Photo of two cardboard bowls of salad, one with chicken and one with vegan pulled soya
Our new salads are tasty and fresh

Get a few steps closer to your five a day – or simply satisfy your desire for something fresh and light – with one of our freshly made salads. Crisp lettuce and tomato combined with shredded cucumber and onion, plus either chicken breast chunks, or pulled soya with a beetroot and orange salad. Whatever you choose, you’ll find it flavoursome and satisfying.

Hot, filling jacket potatoes

Photo of jacket potato with baked beans and cheese, new autumn menu at Pedalabikeaway Cafe
A wholesome and hearty jacket potato is an ideal autumnal lunch

The quintessential winter dish, it’s hard to beat a piping hot jacket potato with lashings of beans, cheese or tuna mayo, with a fresh salad on the side. Perfect for cold days, or when you’ve been out walking or riding in the mud and rain, these will fill you and leave you feeling toasty and warm.

Homemade soups

Photo of bowl of leek and potato soup with whole leeks and potatoes in the background
A hot homemade soup is just the ticket for warming up when it’s cold

On its own, with a chunk of crusty bread, or with one of our fresh sandwiches, you won’t regret warming yourself up with one of our homemade soups. The menu changes regularly, but expect choices like leek and potato or tomato and red pepper. Fresh, delicious and wholesome.

 

Introducing the Whyte T-160 S mountain bike

There’s a new rental bike on the block, and it’s pretty damn badass. The full-suspension Whyte T-160 S boasts 29er wheels, 150mm of frame travel, powerful brakes and an all-mountain geometry that means it’s ready to handle whatever you throw at it. If you want to really experience mountain biking at the Forest of Dean, this is the bike to go for.

Side photo of the Whyte T-160 mountain bike for hire at Pedalabikeaway
The Whyte T-160 mountain bike has just joined our rental fleet at Pedalabikeaway

Take your skills to the next level

The Forest of Dean is famous for its wealth of purpose-built off-road trails that make the thrills of mountain biking accessible to all. Graded trails allow you to progress from beginner to expert, developing skills along the way, and the Whyte T-160 S is ideal for that progression.

This bike is perfect for anyone who loves to ride the more technical trails in the Forest of Dean Cycle Centre; the red-graded Freeminers Trail or some of the downhill tracks in the Sallow Valets area.

It’s capable and confidence inspiring, so it’s perfect if you’re looking to progress your skills and try more technical or challenging riding, since the bike geometry and suspension travel are designed to work particularly well on steeper, gnarlier tracks (and also make intermediate technical features a whole lot easier).

Or, if you’ve only ridden a hard-tail and are considering upgrading to a full-suspension bike but want to get a feel for what they’re like and the benefits they can bring to your riding, without committing to buying one outright, then renting one is a much more accessible method.

Detail of MTB handlebars showing brake levers
Shimano SLX gearing provides all the gears you need

A premium full-suspension dream machine

The Whyte T-160 S is available to hire as a Premium Mountain Bike from Pedalabikeaway.

It’s a full-suspension all-mountain bike with a 160mm RockShox Lyric fork and a RockShox Deluxe Select shock at the rear controlling 150mm frame travel. A Shimano SLX 1X12 groupset provides plenty of gears for spinning up those Forest climbs, and also getting those sprints on along the flats.

Shimano hydraulic disc brakes provide powerful, reliable stopping power, and of course good quality Shimano wheels with Maxxis High Roller (front) and Dissector (rear) tyres provide the ideal blend of reliable traction, grip and speed.

How to hire this bike

If you want to take the newly arrived Whyte T-160 S out for an adventure, all you need to do is book it via the website.

Pop over to the Bike Hire page, choose the MTB hire section, then select Premium Mountain Bike and you’ll see the Whyte T-160 S as an option. Then just choose which size you need (full size range coming soon) and the date you’d like to hire it for, and we’ll do the rest.

On the day, you’ll need to bring a photo ID such as a driving license, as well as proof of address, then you can head off and ride all day long to your hearts content.

 

 

Join our family-friendly Halloween ride!

The nights are dark, the wind whistles through the trees, and strange lights move through the forest….it can mean only one thing. The Pedalabikeaway Halloween Thursday Late ride has returned!

Break out your scariest (or weirdest, or most heroic) costume and join us for a family Halloween bike ride on Thursday 28th October. Bring your children along from 4.30pm – 6.15pm to take on ‘Launch Pad’, one of the most fun and flowing trails at the Forest of Dean Cycle Centre.

And when you get back to Pedalabikeaway, they’ll have earned a tasty treat! We’ll be serving Finger Hot Dogs (£2) for the children after they’ve completed the ride, and there will be veggie options available too.

For the adults we’ll have tasty Monster Burgers, priced at £10 with a beer or cider.

It wouldn’t be Halloween without a good costume, so we’ll be holding a competition for the best dressed on the evening for both children and adults, and prizes will be announced on the night.

Come along for thrills, chills and plenty of Halloween fun!

Gravel cycling in the Forest of Dean

If you’ve heard about gravel biking and are tempted to give it a go, or if you’d just like an exhilarating way of exploring the endless gravel forest roads and paths in the Forest of Dean, then here’s all you need to know!

 

 

 

What is a gravel bike?

 

You can ride most bikes on the gravel paths around the Forest of Dean, like mountain bikes, hard-tail mountain bikes, commuter bikes, hybrid bikes and of course kids bikes. But if you haven’t tried one and you want to really experience the sheer joy of gravel riding, then it’s worth hopping on a gravel bike. 

 

Gravel bikes look a bit like road bikes, with dropped handlebars and a rigid frame, but they are designed to be ridden off-road. They’ll usually have bigger, chunkier tyres which help give plenty of grip and also provide lots of cushioning to make riding on a rough surface much more comfortable and fun. They’re also designed to be more stable than road bikes, with a more upright position when you’re riding that makes it much easier to admire the view, chat to your friends or just soak up the Forest atmosphere. 

 

In action, they feel wonderfully fast and fun, yet stable and confidence inspiring. The gearing goes low enough to allow you to spin up hills without busting a gut, and hire enough so that if you get a long empty stretch of path you can let loose!

 

 

Whyte Dean V2 gravel bikes at Pedalabikeaway

 

Pedalabikeaway has a fleet of Whyte Dean V2 gravel bikes available to hire, so if you don’t have a gravel bike and want to give it a go, or if you simply want to try some fast and fun exploring, book one and take it for a spin. 

 

We have sizes to suit most rider heights, and they come supplied with pedals and a water bottle. If you’d prefer to use your own pedals, that’s no problem at all. We also have helmets available if you don’t have one. 

 

 

Where to ride gravel bikes in the Forest of Dean

 

Thanks to its industrial heritage, the Forest of Dean has an extensive network of beautiful forest roads and paths that are perfect for gravel biking. Traffic free, wide and criss-crossing the entire forest, you can get between most of the major towns without having to cycle on the road, and you can easily find quieter paths to ride on if you want to get away from it all. 

 

The best introduction to gravel riding in the Forest is the Family Cycle Trail, a circular 9 mile loop that connects Pedalabikeaway at the Cycle Centre and Mallards Pike; perfect for stopping for a rest, drink and snack half-way around.

 

If you’d like something a bit bigger (or a bit smaller) we’ve created a selection of routes on Komoot, which is a free mapping and navigation app. You can use these to guide yourself on a Forest of Dean gravel riding adventure. 

NOTE: While there are plenty of paths in the Forest you can ride on, there are a few that are for walkers only and where bikes aren’t allowed. This includes the footpath immediately around Mallards Pike ponds, so if you’re there, please dismount and walk, or stick to the fire roads that are a little way back from the ponds but still give excellent views (and are much quieter and nicer for cycling!)

Summer Bank Holiday ideas in the Forest of Dean

Looking for a family-friendly activity for the August Bank Holiday weekend? Or just hoping to get away from it all in a Forest wonderland? Whether you’re an active family, or you’ve got mountain-bike mad kids – or you’re just looking for something different and fun to do – we’ve got lots of ways to keep you all entertained and happy this bank holiday weekend!

1. Enjoy the family trail

Imagine a beautiful trail that takes in the best that the Forest of Dean has to offer, with towering trees, lake views, sculptures, and wildlife galore. You might spot deer or one of the famous Forest of Dean boars as you walk or cycle around this traffic-free route. There are plenty of rest stops along the way, and tea and fresh cake (and hot food) are available at both our Mallards Cafe and the Pedalabikeaway cafe at the Cycle Centre.

It’s fun to walk, but we think it’s much more fun to ride, and we’ve got a selection of adult and child leisure bikes available to hire, plus child seats, tagalongs (in case those little legs get tired) and baby trails. We’ve even got dog trailers too!

Photo of a silver tandem bicycle, available for hire at the Pedalabikeaway centre in the Forest of Dean

2. Try a tandem

Yes, you read that right! If you want to do things differently, we guarantee riding a tandem will raise a smile and you’ll be greeted by every person you meet! Our tandem is fun, stable, and actually makes short work of hills because there’s two people working together to get up them.

In fact, the only thing you have to choose is who’s going to be the pilot at the front, and who wants to be the stoker at the back!

3. Explore our world-class mountain bike trails

The mountain bike trails at the Forest of Dean are famous. We’ve even got Olympians coming to train on them, like cross-country mountain biker Evie Richards who competed at Tokyo 2021!

For a taste of the thrills and skills involved, rent one our fun, stable hard tails, or take things up a notch with our premium full-suspension mountain bikes which are perfect for developing skills and making the most of what’s on offer. We’ve even got electric-mountain bikes which will make short work of the hills!

All the trails are graded too, from easy greens to super-technical blacks and downhill tracks, so there’s something for every rider. And all trails start and finish at the Pedalabikeaway Cafe and the cycle centre car park, so you’re never too far from a cuppa and slice of cake.

devils pulpit
Forest of Dean & Wye Valley, Tintern

4. Discover the Wye Valley Greenway

If beautiful views and historic ruins are your thing, then the Wye Valley Greenway is for you! Newly opened at the start of Summer 2021, it follows the route of the long-abandoned Wye Valley railway, taking you on a ride through woodlands above the River Wye, and through am amazing old railway tunnel, which is home to a rare species of bat – but don’t worry, they’ll be asleep during the day when you ride through! Then stop for lunch in Tintern in the shadow of the beautiful Tintern Abbey, before hopping back on for the ride back.

You can park at the National Diving and Activity Centre just outside of Chepstow where the trail begins, and if you want to hire some bikes, Pedalabikeaway has a rental shop right on the trail with adult and child leisure bikes which are perfect for exploring the route.

Photo of young girl riding a mountain bike on the gravel Dare Valley Family Gravity Bike Park trail through woodlands
Discover the family-friendly trails at the Dare Valley Family Bike Park

5. A Dare Valley Gravity Park adventure

Pedalabikeaway have just opened a brand new family-friendly bike park in the Dare Valley in Wales, and it’s a whole lot of fun! Pump tracks are perfect for developing bike and bmx skills, and the trails are all beginner-friendly and smooth. You can ride to the top and do laps, or we also have a bike uplift service; pop your bike in the truck, hop in a seat, and let us do the hard work so you can focus on the downhills!

There’s parking, a cafe and bike hire, so all you need to do is turn up and have fun.

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6. A walk, a coffee and a slice of cake

If things have all gotten a bit too much and you want to get away from the crowds, then the Forest of Dean is big enough to offer you a little slice of peace and quiet. Grab a takeaway cuppa and sandwich from Mallards Cafe, and explore the quieter trails the Forest has to offer, watch the world go by, spot some wildlife, and just breathe.

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CENTRE CLOSED MONDAY 6TH DECEMBER 

Please note we will be closed on Monday 6th December.

Toilet facilities will be open, but cafe, bike hire and shop will be closed.

Please plan accordingly

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