We were approached earlier this year to take a group booking for a bunch of mountain bikers attending the Forrest Festival.
Always happy to make registration easier I quickly found out this is the return of the Tasweigans - about 30 of them in fact.
Adam Clayton the ring leader, so of course I asked a few questions!
The Tassie crew have been coming for a few years, back with Scott Bowden and a few others, it was awesome so have the young boys riding up and down the streets at 10pm at night doing nudie runs and all ;)
Adam, have you done Forrest Festival before, what brings you back in 2016?
This will be my 3rd tour as I couldn’t buy a late bed in 2013, and now I book early, so I missed the legendary sixth race (nudie)
Forrest is a sleepy little village that is all about riding awesome trial and having fun with your mates, and of course there’s Norm
For me the 4 different races Saturday with time to recover and reset, allow some of us older 40 plus folk to wear down the more enthusiastic younger versions of ourselves, that go at 100% like there is no tomorrow, but there is.
Saturday is a series of speed humps, Sunday is Everest. Dehydrated from one to many frothy’ s and feeling generally second hand, there are no passengers, the 50km is many different trails in one with ever changing scenery which helps keep my mind from the ever posing threat of my legs falling off. Great satisfaction to complete Forrest Two day, and good food and beer is one of many reward.
We are aware you are bringing down a whole crew - in fact nearly 30? Why the pilgrimage?
There are a few others back for their 3rd and 4th , a hand full of 2nds and the rest are noobs, the base crew is a riding group called the Crank Addicts and we generally hunt in packs, I believe we are around the 120ish strong, and we all like pushing the pedals and having some laughs. We have Derby and you have Forrest it’s that simply. People hear others talking about Forrest being a must do, and when I said early this year I was booking some accommodation who’s in, bang 30
Can you tell us about any of the juniors coming down? Any champs in the making here? Tassie has a habit of creating excellent cyclists.
Ben Mather is somewhat of a Tassie MTB ikon, the general will have the young blocks nipping at his heals
Tommy Jones is returning after winning open at Forrest last year, he is a couple of years into pedalling, one of Tassi moto champs, getting fit pushing the pedals
Ben Iles was returning for a third crack but a mate decided to get married same weekend, he came in not too far behind Scotty Bowden at wild side earlier this year maybe third overall. Mind you Scotty would always keep riding at the end of each race leg to get more KM in, who knew we would have another Tassie end up in the Olympics
Will you tag on any other travel or visit to the Great ocean rd etc...whilst you are all down here?
Would love to but no, maybe next year. Its 4 days for us with a short plane trip either end. Playing with the idea of coming by boat allowing more flexibility next year, maybe
Also considering the Otway 300 in 2017...maybe???
Jess, I would like to add that I got to ride the first 25km of the 50km with you last year until half way through Black Casper, where you showed myself and another Tassie mate a clean set of heels, and how great you are when there is some distance to be had, maybe you could let me know how to navigate this hot, heavy, soul breaking piece of track, always happy to see the end of that place as magic as it is. I heard you mention at the finish how you had followed someone with Sprung on their back, that’s our riding kit, and last year there was 16 of us.
Forrest Festival - hosting large groups of mates getting away for a weekend of riding, socialising, eating, drinking...thanks Tasmania!
The event organisers have known Evan James for a few years now and love how he represents himself.
Not too serious but totally engaged, the supportive coach, muso, mechanic, coach, father, weight lifter in another life as well as downhiller, XCO and more recently sticking the the vibrant Cyclo Cross scene in Adelaide. He does it all and he is coming to Forrest again! We are excited, but also because he knows a few good people that have happily agreed to join him on the annual trip.
Forrest Festival is not just about Elite riders, prize money or category wins.
Its a mountain biking brother/sister hood pilgramage, it just so happens you have a schedule where you turn up and ride as best you can on a course predetermined with other likeminded people in your peer group.