RDFCC Youth Section


Aged 8 to 18? Then read on…….

Welcome to the RDFCC youth section

RDFCC welcomes young riders of all disciplines and hopes to offer the support and help needed to get you started on your cycling journey. Whether you are a leisure rider looking to get out and enjoy your bike for a few hours after school or a future road racer we can help you get the best start towards achieving your goals. Our volunteers enjoy and compete in events across the cycling spectrum and want to share our experiences and knowledge with you. We can help you develop essential cycling skills and give you the opportunities to put them to good use.

British cycling Go-ride accreditation

RDFCC is a Go-Ride accredited club. This award comes from the national governing body of cycling, British Cycling, in conjunction with Sport England’s Clubmark scheme. This acknowledges the work we do for young people in the club and the way in which we do it. We can offer a safe and supportive environment for young people to take part in cycling and can help develop their skills within approved national systems. We are fully inclusive and aim to give all young people the opportunity to enjoy the sport regardless of background. As long as you have the basics of riding a bike we can offer activities and support to help you improve and have fun. Our key volunteers are all DBS checked and trained to national standards for the roles that do. We have a qualified welfare officer who can offer pastoral support if needed and activity leaders who hold leadership and coaching qualifications and are all trained first aiders.

RDFCC Young MTB Rider of the Year

Every Year young club members have the opportunity to gain fame, respect and possibly fortune by winning the club’s Tim Watson Memorial shield. The winner is based on the number of club events attended and the results achieved. Your name goes on the shield which you can keep for a year and you also get a club shirt and goody bag to keep.

Free British Cycling membership for young club members

Young members of RDFCC are able to claim their first year’s membership with British Cycling for free. This special offer now includes posters and stickers as well as all the standard benefits of BC membership such as exclusive deals and retailer discounts. For full details look at the BC website or contact Dan Lewis

RDFCC Community Partners. Thanks for making it possible!

We are lucky to have the support of other organisations in the Forest of Dean in our aim to make cycling accessible to all. It’s impossible to list everybody involved but particular thanks, in no particular order, must go to:

  • Dean Forest Cycles, Parkend, for acting as host to our fortnightly youth MTB rides and supplying hire bikes and after ride goodies
  • Coleford Area Partnership for a volunteer training grant helping us to have qualified ride leaders and first aiders.
  • Forestry Commission for allowing use of the Sallow Vallets area for our XC competitions.
  • The Fountain Inn, Parkend, for their meeting room and Sunday morning car parking.

RDFCC activities for young members…. So what can the club do for me?

Every fortnight we hold an activity specifically for young riders and some senior’s events are also open to younger riders. Please check the website calendar for the date of the next event. You do not have to be a club member to have a go and can attend 2 sessions before deciding to join the club formally or not. Contact our youth coordinator Dan Lewis for further information or the person named for that activity. If you see something on our calendar and want to know more please do ask.

  • Guided forest rides. Age 8+

Every fortnight we run a guided MTB ride through the Forest of Dean specifically for groups of young people. This gives you the chance to explore the area away from the main cycle routes and enjoy the support of other young riders. We often include coaching sessions within these which may just be the basics of choosing the right gear or could be tackling that scary looking drop off for the more advanced. When possible we run 2 groups so that everybody can enjoy a ride appropriate to them. We will need a consent form completed where we also ask about your ambitions and riding experience which can be down loaded here. We can take you along independently (limited spaces available) but parents are welcome to join us too. If you are interested please contact Dan for further details.


Rides start from the Dean Forest Cycles Cafe in Parkend. They last about 3 hours before we get back to the café where you can relax and refuel with hot chocolate and cakes or pasties.  Riders will need a suitable bike (MTB with gears) and a helmet. A voluntary contribution of £3 is appreciated which goes towards volunteer training and equipment and the occasional prize for those taking part.


  • Youth MTB Racing. Age 6+

Fancy seeing just how fast you are or want to try and beat your personal best? We aim to run several races over the year on our testing but safe cross country (XC) loop at Sallow Vallets/Cannop cycle centre. The route takes in part of the Freeminers trail and sections of singletrack that the club has constructed specifically for our events. Under 10’s use a shorter circuit with good spectator viewing while a longer, more testing route is in place if you’re older. These are held as Go-Ride races but are more technical than most so provide an ideal taster before stepping up to full XC racing. The courses are well marked and marshalled allowing you to concentrate on your riding.


  • Road Time Trials. Age 12+

We run road time trials during the season on weekday evenings. The calendar can be downloaded here. Under CTT rules you can compete if you are over the age of 12 and able to ride safely on the road independently. We may ask you, or you may want to meet our Bikeability instructor or one of our coaches if there are any concerns about road safety. Road routes are fully established and risk assessed with marshals placed at key junctions. Our time trial secretary is John Linden who should be contacted before the event if you would like to take part.


  • Weekly Club rides. Age 14+

The club regularly holds Sunday morning rides for our members starting at the Fountain in Parkend. These alternate between Road and MTB with the distance and pace being determined by those attending. Regular shorter rides are also happening if you’re unsure about keeping up with the older members. We try to arrange a buddy system making sure you have known a friendly face so please contact the ride leader shown on the calendar before attending. Full guidance for these rides is here.


  • Bikes ARE for Girls. Age 14+

We want to get more girls riding and have a Breeze ladies champion, Debbie McMillan, organising rides specifically for females and ladies committee representative, Emily Ravenhill leading the shorter club rides.

If you think you would be more comfortable in this environment or need any specific advice please contact Debbie directly.


  • Wild boar sportive and Forest of Dean Enduro. Age 11+

Organised by the local lions club with our support junior riders are welcome to take part but you should contact them directly for details or any age restrictions. The Wild boar chase is non-competitive and held every May with a number of route options up to 45 miles. The shorter 21 mile course is quite possible most riders and the mass start is an experience in itself.  The FoD Enduro is held every September in the woods at Sallow Vallets using a challenging 10 loop. Normally the true test for young riders is a single lap as fast as you can.


  • Links to events from other clubs and organisations

If we are aware of any other local events that may be suitable, or if you can suggest any, we will try to get them up on our calendar and support club members where we can in them.

The RDFCC youth Team:

  • Dan Lewis: Youth Coordinator and MTB Guide
  • Martin Green: Youth Ride leader, Guide and Bikabilty instructor
  • Owain Dermody: MTB Leader and Guide
  • Charlie Haynes: Coach
  • Neil Goddard: Coach
  • Owain Dermody: Welfare Officer

Contact via the club contacts page here.