My First Trail Centre Ride

This ride is to encourage new riders, or those unsure about their biking skills, to try out a Mountain Bike Trail Centre for the first time in a small, guided group. The aim of the ride is to introduce you to the trail centre environment and then guide you around the trail slowly and steadily with a view to increasing your confidence and encouraging your off-road riding.

The Verderers trail at the Forest of Dean is an award-winning, Blue-graded trail that combines a decent amount of climbing with fun, swoopy descents and beautiful woodland. The surface is hard gravel for the majority of the trail, with the occasional rocky patch and a few muddy sections. The trail has a smooth surface and contains no unavoidable steps, jumps, large lumps of rock or any other obstacles. If you can ride Croft, you can ride Verderers. Croft is a more technical ride.

Here’s a short video of part of the Verderers Trail.

Who should come?

The ride is targetted at people who are either new to mountain biking, or don’t feel ready/able to join one of the MB Swindon Novice rides.

Riders should, however, be comfortable on their bikes, and be happy they can ride off road trails and gravel cycleways such as Croft or the Old Town Railway Path.

Who shouldn’t come?

Experienced riders, FOD regulars, confident Novices, downhill experts, people expecting a Novice-friendly type ride.


The plan is to do two laps of the trail, which will be a total of 14 miles of riding. There will be numerous breaks both out on the trail, and between the two laps.

  1. Lap One will see us head out on the trail stopping at regular intervals in order to explain what is coming next and take questions. The pace will be steady and no-one will be left behind. This will probably take us an hour and a half to get round.
  2. Lap Two will have fewer stops, but the pace will remain steady and no-one will be left behind. The idea is to grow your confidence in lap one and see you use it on lap two.

What should I bring?

  • Make sure your bike is in decent working order
  • Spare Inner tube or puncture repair kit
  • Waterbottle/Camelback
  • JellyBabies (or other trail nibble)
  • Waterproofs
  • Warm cycling kit
  • Helmet
  • Dry clothes for going home in
  • Bin Bag for wet gear
  • Sense of humour


Because the Verderers trail can be narrow, we must keep numbers low to avoid blocking the trail for other users. We’re currently have an upper limit of ten to twelve riders, but will increase this number if there is enough interest. Please sign up on the event’s Facebook page:

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