In 2007 we needed to create and dream big.

We started our little venture with a call out to people we knew... we said, "come along to a come n try day of mountain bike skills"... 40 people turned up. We looked at each other and said "well let's learn how to do this". Since then we've had many highs and lows... our little venture has created a great number of friends, allowed us and those around us to travel, learn invaluable skills and along the way change people's lives by giving them confidence to stretch themselves and have more fun on their bikes.

Over the past 9 years we've also grown to become one of the most respected brands in skills instruction and good times. Well over 3500 people have experienced our brand of good times and solid instruction. We've also had the great pleasure of having many amazing people join as on the journey as our instructors and supporters
All of them are important to us and a few have been with us almost the whole journey
Adam Kelsall & Liz Mulconry jumped on board with us from the very start. We will be forever grateful to both of them. They both now have their own skills and coaching business', please seek them out.
Rowan Lamont from Brisbane was our first official "branch out"... Rowan is one of the smoothest riders I've ever encountered and an amazingly talented teacher.
Sue Sprott from Tasmania had faith in us and our systems and took our brand to "the little island" along with her group of instructors.
Also Darren Rutherford from Giant Bicycles Australia, has had our back pretty much since day one. His ideas, support and guidance continue to have an influence on our lives.

Thank you to all our many instructors who helped us along the way.

Our lives are richer in so many ways because of the people we have met and worked with along the way

So what does all this mean?

After much discussion Jess and I have decided to shut down MTBSkills.com.au and it's associated skills delivery business. There will be some tears and pain, however both Jess and I feel that we no longer have the energy to continue. Our future is bright.

We'd like to think that we provided great times, good value and a few laughs. We kept people as safe as we good at all times and our risk management and safety record is somewhat enviable

To you the past participant, we would encourage you to continue to learn and stretch yourself... go find a skills instructor and do another course

Our events business "We Ride Bikes" will continue to grow... and this we are tremendously excited about. Please come and checkout one of our many events

Thanks once again for the great times and even better memories

Jess & Norm Douglas

In 2007 we needed to create and dream big.

We Ride Bikes - Thank you for the Good Times!

So many good times. So many great people. So much to be grateful for.

We moved to Forrest back in late February 2008.

Self employed in Geelong, working hard with a young daughter having a few ‘issues’ at that middle years stage. I won’t go into how the opportunity to move to Forrest came about but needless to say, it was a huge catalyst for our next chapter in life and business.

We became involved in trail advocacy, local commerce, creating awareness for visitation to the region, the trails and the businesses.
Our primary focus back in the early days was running a fundraising event for the club in the form of the Forrest 6hr. Members were few, though a passionate bunch.

Norm and Roland were heavily involved in making the Forrest 6hr happen, with club members helping on the day to run a booming event.

With Roland moving to Tasmania for work, with Norm getting tired of putting in the man hours it came to be that the club were happy to hand the event over with no one really equipped nor energised to do so. I guess this happens to clubs all over the country and world for that matter.

And so we were gifted back the Forrest 6hr and this then opened up the door to take events a little more seriously. 
Around this time business was picking up in Forrest. Visitation was up and investment really taking place. Norm’s passion was still to share the village of Forrest with the wider community and involve local business so the creation of Forrest Festival came about.
Between Norm and myself we invented a 5 stage race that allowed people to stay in the region and chill out between races with friends and family and spend money in the town as well as have a great time on all of the trail network.

We were now 4 years into our time in Forrest, working hard in our other areas of self employment and running fun events. Yet we were both suffering in silence. Norm and I both introverts bought into a life where we could be left alone for days, and choose not to involve ourselves with the community. Only to come out to play on Thursday night rides and events.

Needless to say, we weren’t in a good mental state - neither of us.

Now we had a message we wanted to share, for we knew we were not alone and then came the birth of Chase the Dog in 2014. An event at the end of winter, to ride with mates in a supported environment to openly share our stories of struggle and survival with mental health issues.

The people who have done this event absolutely get our message and keep bringing back their friends. Puts huge smiles on our faces.

Now our final event, the Otway 300 has been a massive undertaking, call it a challenge if you will. 300km over two days in the Otways with a mate, long days, big climbs and again a supported environment with feed stations and marshals all along the way to make it that bit easier for all. We have ran this for 2 years now and it's a pretty special event, pretty amazing people who achieve this from elite athletes through to hard core adventure types. Small numbers, but it is a niche event and not for everyone. The logistics are huge but so are the rewards for us seeing the riders finish and totally froth over their achievements.

So thats our events in a nutshell.

We have many people to thank, many supporters, sponsors, volunteers, riders, fans and businesses that have added so much to our events. You have embraced them like your brother or sister, like one of your own and treated us as such.

Thank you to Kylie Hayles who has been the hard worker behind all the events, getting all the i’s dotted, doing all the crazy paperwork, having good volunteers on board, and being the person behind the scenes of every one of our events in the past 4 years.

The time has come however to call it a day.

Read this clearly...We Ride Bikes have run their last even - ever.

This includes the following

Norm and I are retiring on top of our game.

That is it for us.

We have had a fair innings, met loads of incredibly beautiful people who ride bikes and been able to pay the bills each time.

Our grand vision of seeing Forrest grow and prosper is a reality, please continue to visit and love this town.

We could cite many reasons for calling it a day.

The jumping through hoops with permits with a growing pile of documents each year with a ‘new’ department needing this “x” document completed with $$$ paid before permit will be issued makes running events a little tiresome.

The slow down in numbers, the slow uptake of early entries etc..also adds to the stress of ensuring you can fund the event in the first place.

And finally, the biggest reason, we feel we have done everything we hoped for the community of Forrest and need to move on to our next chapter well before we become tired and cranky!

Running events is fun and rewarding, we have made a lot of great friends and delivered a lot of good times.

For this we are proud, we are sad yes, but really happy too.

Please join us for our farewell event - the Forrest 3, 6 & 10hr on Saturday May 6th.

A way for us to say thanks and a great fun time racing your mountain bike on some of Forrest’s finest trails.

Thank you to each and every one of you, it has been some of the best years of our lives.

It’s time for Norm and I to get back to riding our bikes and maybe even riding at someone else’s event!

Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts... Jessica and Norm Douglas - 2017