Forest Of Dean

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.

 


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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!

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.

Top Tips for your Weekend Away in the Forest of Dean

Redbull recently highlighted the Forest of Dean as one of the best places in the UK to spend a ‘dirty’ weekend, and it’s not hard to see why!

The FOD, as it’s known locally, is a bit of a mecca for off road cycling.

Starting with the Family Cycle Trail, a 10 mile circular route that starts and finishes here at Pedalabikeaway, it’s perfect for all levels! The gradients are gentle, and it’s a very scenic amble around some historic parts of the forest.

The Family Cycle Trail in the Forest of Dean

If you don’t fancy the whole loop or have young children cycling, you can do the shorter length Hicksters loop, which is under half the distance and fully way-marked too.

To extend it, then why not take the short diversion down to the beautiful Mallards Pike Lake?  It’s the perfect place for a picnic, and there is even an amazing cafe on site as well! The below shot was from the mini freeze we had this time last winter!

You also have the option of accessing the Family Cycle Trail via the Lydbrook,  Coleford and Parkend links so you can ride to and from your accommodation!

Talking of accommodation, there is a massive amount of choice in the Forest for your stay.  The Wye Dean tourism site is a great place to start, but a personal favourite is the Fountain Inn run by Alan, who helps dig and maintain the trails here in the FOD, while Broadstone Farm is a fantastic little campsite with great homemade cider and superb access to the Forest!

Group enjoying the Verderers Trail

If you are a little more adventurous, then the mountain biking on offer is almost limitless.   All the way-marked trails start and finish here from the centre, including the blue-graded Verderers trail, the red-graded Freeminers trail and several downhill tracks. There is also a pump track and advanced skills area with jumps and drops, and a huge amount of off-piste tracks to explore!

Little Fodders mountain bike club in the forest of dean

You can get an idea of what some of them are like, by checking out our You tube site

To maximise your riding time, you could hire an e-bike (check out our previous blog on the Whyte Bikes E-150 ) or book on to one of Wye MTB’s uplift assisted trips to explore the beautiful Wye Valley. They also offer trips further afield into the beautiful Welsh Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons, which are less than 45 minutes away.

You’ll have loads to do for the little ones as well. There is a Go-Ape Mini’s site just a 10 minute walk from the centre, Puzzlewood – the enchanted forest (where some of Star Wars was filmed), Canoeing on the River Wye, Clearwell Caves or why not try Battlesports?

Fun for all the family

When you are all done, then don’t forget to call back into the cafe! We pride ourselves on serving the best coffee and cake in the forest. Perfect for that caffeine hit to keep you awake on the drive home!

 

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