Event Info

We respectfully acknowledge that the Forbidden Gravel Experience will take place on the unceded traditional territory of the Puntledge, Iekson, Sathloot, Komox and Sasitla First Nation.

Anyone who’s ridden the gravel roads of the Comox Valley know how good it is. A group of gravel enthusiasts have put together, for your riding pleasure, a challenging adventure ride linking some of the best routes and climbs around. Starting and finishing in the historic village of Cumberland, the Forbidden Gravel Experience will take you through lush forests and up Forbidden Plateau towards the old Wood Mountain ski area before making its way through the world class Cumberland network of trails up and around the Beaufort range.. We’ve linked together an adventure ride that is a true gravel cycling test. We’ve added in some sections of singletrack and doubletrack to keep things interesting. 
Proceeds from the event proudly support Trail Bicycles youth cycling team, UROC, Cumberland Community Schools society, Vanier High School mountain bike team, and Cumberland Community Forest Society

FGE organizer statement on gender equity and inclusion: 

For 2023 we will continue to support equity and inclusion by supporting orientation group rides through our ambassador program. We will continue to look for ways to make our event more accessible and more appealing to all. 

Vancouver Island Gravel Series hosted by Mosaic Forest Management

The event is part of a newly formed Vancouver Island Gravel Series which features 3 pillar events that showcase some of the most beautiful and challenging terrain on the Island. Kicking off the series is the Forbidden Gravel Experience on Saturday June 17th followed by MIVA unpaved (Date TBA) and the Burnt Bridge Classic closing out the series on September 24th


The Route

The following 3 routes were from our 2022 event. Stay tuned for updates and possible route changes still keeping the 3 distances and a fun and adventurous day on the bike.

We've designed 3 routes for 2023 to be as inclusive as possible as we believe that gravel cycling can be enjoyed by all

Epic - NEW for 2023 - We're mixing it up and we've created a new route that is approximately 100km navigation of the Beaufort moutnain range. In addition we've added some new single and double track through some beautiful 2nd growth forest that will take you to the Forbidden Plateau climb. We wanted to keep the adventure and discovery in gravel cycling and believe we're delivering the best route yet. This route is for you if you like adventure and long days in the saddle. To sign up for this route you must be a minimum of 18 years of age on the day of the event.

Epic Route NEW for 2023. - Download GPX File

Medio - NEW for 2023 We've got you going around the south side of the Beaufort Mountain range and also sampling some fun new routes within the Cumberland Network. Similar to 2022 this route is approximately 60km and 1400 metres of elevation gain with 100% of the route on gravel or single track you'll be proud at the finish line of ticking this one off the list. To sign up for the Medio distance you must be at least 16 years of age on race day.

Medio Route NEW for 2023 - Download GPX File

Piccolo - This route is for you if you're new to cycling and want an introduction to the world of gravel riding. At approximately 40km and 900 metres of elevation gain with 100% of the route on gravel roads and doubletrack. It is recommended that children under the age of 16 be accompanied by a parent or guardian to ride the Piccolo distance.

Piccolo Course - Download GPX File

*The course is subject to change based on landowners, hazards and all other factors. The race route may be changed by the organizers at any time without notice. We will provide a GPX file for the finalized route prior to the event.


Epic Long Course - 2,400m of climbing, most of which will take place over 3 long, sustained climbs with shorter sections approaching 20% gradient.

Medio Course - 1,400m of climbing split up between two longer sustained climbs, and one shorter climb up the Cumberland trail network.

Piccolo Course - 900m of climbing split up between two main climbs, one gravel, and one in the Cumberland trail network.


Given that this route will be mainly off-road and include steeper climbing gearing and tire choice will be important considerations. Organizers recommend a CX or gravel bike capable of 1:1 gear ratios and tire widths of at least 35mm. 40-45mm tires may be the best choice for this route

Recommended gear list:

  • 2 spare tubes
  • 1 flat repair kit
  • tire boots
  • pump
  • CO2
  • multitool with allen keys


  • 7:30am Registration opens
  • 8:45am Epic(long) course mandatory safety meeting
  • 9am Epic(long) course neutral start
  • 9:15am Medio course mandatory safety meeting
  • 9:30am Medio(medium) course neutral start
  • 9:45am Piccolo(short) course mandatory safety meeting
  • 10am Piccolo(Short) course neutral start
  • 2pm Epic(long) course cut-off time - Must reach the Aid station at approx. km 60 before 2pm to be allowed to continue.
  • 2pm BBQ
  • TBC - Awards


Registration for the 2022 Forbidden Gravel Experience will close Thursday, June 15th at 11pm. There is no day of registration.

  • Epic – $95
  • Medio – $85
  • Piccolo – $65 **
  • Youth(U19) Medio distance $65
  • Youth(U19) Piccolo distance $40

    **a price increase of $20 takes effect for all distances on June 8th at 11pm
In partnership with Mosaic Forest Management