West Glos & Dean Forest
Motor Cycle Club

Celebrating 71 Years of Motor Cycling 1953 - 2024

Digresser News

Digresser! What's all that about then? Well, if you'd been attending club meetings a while ago you would have heard the cry go up "Digression!" whenever mention was made of non motorcycle specific activities. Fair enough, I guess, as we are a motorcycle club. But there are many reasons to include this activity as part of our 2 wheeled lives, some of which may be:-

  • We probably all started out riding cycles before we progressed to powered versions.
  • Engineless means we have to pedal so therefore the fitness factor come into play. Many of us would not be able to manage a Trial or Enduro event without getting fit first and in between events.
  • Cycling doesn't actually cost much money!
  • We can cycle with all aged members of our family - Inclusion wins you brownie points!
  • We have access to much more of the planet than with powered bikes. - Bridleways plus those areas the Forestry allow us access to, and now the Restricted Byways that the government have stolen from the public!

OK, So what do some of these digressers get up to? Whether trying to keep fit enough for the weekend action, or competing in Downhill Race Events, or practicing our trials moves on machines we can actually control! or exploring the many miles of superb single-track routes throughout the forest which are out of bounds to motors. Oh, and there are the 'driving licence preservation society' and those of us, too mean to buy our youngsters real motorcycles, who will only look after the kids if 2 wheels are involved somehow.

Mid-Week rides - for a number of years there have been groups of us arranging mid-week rides through the Forest. After work a quick bite to eat and hit the singletrack with some contours thrown in plus many stops for play sessions (and rests for the aged!) Somehow the groups seem to cater for all capabilities. Darker nights don't seem to put a damper on things either as there are at least 10 sets of these powerful lighting systems being used. Talk to the fit looking ones at club nights to get an invite or contact secretary@wgdfmcc.org.uk for more info. You may suspect that all the good that is gained may be lost in the finishing venue! I couldn't possibly comment!

Learning essential skills -It is no surprise that most of our talented club members learnt their skills from messing about on cycles rather than inheriting the skills from their parents, (no matter what we may claim!) I can honestly say the current sport of BikeTrial (ACU Recognised - have a look in your handbook) was being practiced every day after school around Lydney back in 1967. Goff Hannam was usually Clerk of Course, the Jones Brothers were also-ran dabbers then too! Downhill-ing was serious stuff as a teenage Frank Luther had already welded up his own pushbike complete with front suspension then. In fact they have just felled an area where some of Frank's mega jumps were. Look left as you drive up to Bream out of Lydney.

Some of our members have actually entered these Biketrial events (In the serious trial county of Yorkshire). Well, at least 2. Ben Falconer on a Fantic 20" and Viv Jones on his Onza 20". Viv won his class first time out but soon realised after his first 5 that his dad's genes really do have an influence. Ben was competing against a young Paul Edmondson, Ot Pi and Andre Codina.
As there is at least one more serious trials bike being used by a slightly more grownup member (I think I should say his name or you might not recognise that description of him - Steve Cooper) and many other suitable 26" bikes around we could consider running a BikeTrial event. The topic has been broached a number of times but needs some pushing from you lot if you are interested. Let us know your thoughts at admin@wgdfmcc.org.uk

Singletrack - There are a number of sites being created around Britain where you can ride many miles of specially prepared and natural routes that are great fun despite actually having to pedal uphill on occasions, the down hills and the twists and turn, not to mention the jumps, berms and even manmade entertaining obstacles are exhilarating to ride. We have a small one in Sallowvallets but others are within a day trip distance where you can ride for hours and climb and drop 500m or more.

Some links - If you've not actually had the cycle out of the shed for ages and need to give it a bit of spanner work then I found some handy hints on getting my derailleur and cables working again on this bike tool site for Park Tools...

Downhill - Nowadays you can find out any result and see shots and videos of everything downhill just by typing a name or event in on the brilliant Roots and Rain website by Seb Frost.

Any ACU club can organise Biketrial events, but those that have proved they can are all recognised by the British group of clubs at BikeTrial UK... you can get the low-down on rules and events on their site.
Just in case you are put-off by previous TV sightings, don't think the stuff you see at indoor stadium events is anything like you find in real countryside trials. Well, OK some of the drops and gaps are just as terrifying but there is often good old fashioned mud and water. And beginners/novice classes, plus If we cater for our local riders we should also have a class for 'Non-chainring damaging' riders where we don't need to hop too much. Ben has suggested we could try Non-stop rules!

Cycles aren't the only digression undertaken by our club members. Some Old and Infirm and possibly Insane members have fed their need for access to the countryside by all methods with the use of Bore x 4's But you are safe from that here! For now!

More Digressions:Brenig_Digression, mindownhill_dec08,