Our favourite day of the year, The Gathering, is back after a brief hiatus. Why is it our favourite day? Well, it’s an opportunity to express our gratitude and give back to the amazing community of riders who support and believe in what we do. It’s a day to ride rad trails, eat great food, talk shit with friends, and round it all off with crispy adult sodas.
This year’s Gathering was a natural evolution from the inaugural event. We doubled in size and shifted the meet-up point to the Forbidden Experience and Demo Center in the heart of Cumberland. The week leading up to the event saw some classic West Coast weather. Over 50mm of rain hit the region and threatened to put a real damper on the event. However, the skies opened up a couple of days before the event and the trail conditions couldn’t have been better. The dirt was tacky and the rocks and roots were just slick enough to keep everyone on their toes.
The first lap of the day saw around 80 riders, some travelling from as far away as Washington State, Alberta, and Ontario to join in the festivities. The sight of 80 riders rolling up the main street of Cumberland was unforgettable. The ride showcased the abundant mix of flow and technical terrain that attracts riders to the Cumberland Forest.
The lap -> Truffle shuffle – Teapot – That Damn Trail – Scat/Brat – Missing/Found Link – Orange Peels. A Forbidden staff ride favourite.
Before we knew it, it was time for lunch. This year’s Gathering came with an upgrade in the food department. Moving from pizza to Japanese street food provided by Gonza, a local gem. Okonomiyaki and donburi for all! People gathered, chatted, and checked out the Forbidden radness on display in the showroom.
A Gathering wouldn’t be complete without a few lunch games. Back by popular demand, we fired up a Foot Down Challenge. Defending champion Nick Van Egmond of Bicycle Broker Insurance was eager to retain his title, but a few newcomers had other plans. Rhys Verner emerged as a formidable contender and brought a take-no-prisoners attitude that left a few would-be competitors in the dirt. After two rounds, we had two victors: Forbidden Ambassador Harry Barret in round one and Nick Van Egmond defended his title against Rhys Verner in round two.
After lunch, the squad split into two groups for two more laps. The second lap included a mellower descent on some of Cumberland’s finest blue flow trails; Top Hat – Lower 50:1 – Bone Storm. The other group took on a more physically demanding ride, ascending the challenging Upcake climb for some steeper descents, including Cupcake – Baker’s Dozen, and the infamous DCDH. Then it was back to the office for snacks, drinks, tunes, and good times.
A big thanks to Gravity MTB for guiding the group rides and letting us invade their space. Another big thank you goes out to United Riders of Cumberland for the work they do on the epic trails in the Cumberland Forest. A special shoutout to everyone who attended the ride, and for those who couldn’t make it, know that you were dearly missed. Take this as your sign to join us for VOL 3. Plans are already in the works.
You can view the full image gallery of the day here.
The Gathering Vol 2 is officially in the books.
Photography: Liam Morgan