This weekend, we had the privilege of participating in the second annual Forbidden Bikes owners’ group ride, known as The Gathering Vol2. This event is a refreshing departure from an industry often driven by profit at the expense of people. Forbidden Bikes has taken a different approach, creating this day as a heartfelt “Thank You” to its dedicated customers. The day was jam-packed with a schedule of awesomeness.
The day kicked off just before 9 am as we arrived early at the Gravity Garage. Stephane Pelletier, representing Forbidden Bikes as master of ceremonies, and the rest of the team were busy with the final setup, preparing for the festivities. As riders checked in, picked up their swag bags, and enjoyed treats and hot coffee, it was evident that Forbidden Bikes had cultivated a devoted following. The wide variety of attendees, ranging from families to blazing-fast teenage riders, retired enthusiasts, and everyone in between, underscored the community’s unique spirit. What made the gathering even more remarkable was the sight of custom-painted and spec’d bikes, reflecting every rider’s personal touch. It truly was a mountain bike nerd’s paradise.
With everyone organized, Stephane took the microphone to welcome the crowd and provide an overview of the day. Soon, we were off to explore the trails. For those who’ve never been to Cumberland, the trail network, which is meticulously maintained by the United Riders of Cumberland, is conveniently located near the town center, and it was quite a spectacle to see around 80 riders pedalling, pulling wheelies and exuberantly making their way to the trailhead on matching bikes!
Time To Ride
The first lap covered approximately 15 kilometers, with about 400 meters of climbing, and took us about three hours. We traversed a mix of classic Cumberland trails, including Truffle Shuffle, Teapot, Scat, Brat, Orange Peel, and more. The combination of pedalling, engaging conversations, and the superb trail conditions kept everyone’s spirits high, even though a large group on the same trails sometimes led to minor traffic jams. Nevertheless, it was a memorable experience.
After the first substantial lap, we returned to the Gravity Garage, where the local Japanese food truck, Gonza Okonomiyaki, offered a delightful array of lunch options and drinks. With satisfied stomachs, it was time for a thrilling game of “foot down.” For those unfamiliar, it’s a game where cyclists must remain on their bikes within an enclosed area while the space shrinks. If you put your foot down, you’re out. As expected, our very own CEO and the winner of The Gathering Vol.1 foot-down competition, Nick, once again claimed the last-man-standing title this year!
In the afternoon, we embarked on a second lap. As we headed out to the trails, our bellies full and pace slightly more relaxed, we divided into two groups: the easier and the harder route. The Bicycle Broker crew opted for the challenging path, which picked up the pace and led us to Upcake (or Upchuck, as the Strava segment suggests), known as one of the steepest and most challenging climbs in the network. After catching our breath, we ventured onto a rarely seen, fully downhill, Cumberland lap that promised a thrilling time. Cupcake, Bakers Dozen, and DCDH delivered steep sections, technical features, high-speed jumps, and a sense of stoke at the bottom that warranted all the fist bumps shared among riders.
With spirits soaring, we reconvened at the Gravity Garage for high fives and storytelling, all while enjoying well-deserved beers. As the afternoon transitioned into evening, the drinks flowed until the keg was empty, and the allure of the nearby pizza place became irresistible.
A massive thank you to Forbidden Bikes, Gravity Garage, and UROC for orchestrating this incredible event. An extra thank you to Liam Morgan for taking all these amazing photos. Click HERE for Forbidden’s own event post and for more photos.
We’ll definitely be back next year!