Meet our groups: MTB Outlaws

MTB Outlaws is a group dedicated to getting people of all ages and backgrounds out on bikes Photo by MTB Outlaws
Cycling UK-affiliated group MTB Outlaws is a Nottingham-based mountain-biking community that takes its inspiration from Robin Hood. Club manager Phil King tells us more

Something for everyone

MTB Outlaws was formed by a group of friends in Nottingham in 2015. Today this Cycling UK-affiliated group aims to be as inclusive as possible. The group takes its name from Robin Hood and his band of outlaws. Like their legendary namesakes, they also aim to do good. Club manager Phil King describes the group as “a rider-centred, community-focused club for riders of all abilities”.

Phil says: “MTB Outlaws was registered as a not-for-profit organisation in 2019 and today it is managed by a team of dedicated volunteers who put on between 50 and 100 mixed-ability rides every year, encouraging people to get out in the fresh air and improve their physical and mental health through mountain biking.

“Our volunteers coordinate the ride calendar, manage the club and regularly lead rides across the region. MTB Outlaws organise welcomes riders of all abilities, styles and experience. Membership and activities are all free – the club believes it has ‘something for everyone’ and supports the local community. Last year, we raised £2.5k for Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance.”

A group of men on mountain bikes has stopped on a gravel track by a gate and are looking out over the undulating Peak District countryside
Riders enjoy exploring outstandingly beautiful areas such as the Peak District

Where we ride

Describing the types of rides the club runs, Phil says: “MTB Outlaws is based in Nottingham, with regular rides across the region. Our regular local ride goes out from Edwinstowe and explores parts of Sherwood Pines, Sherwood Forest and neighbouring countryside and woodland. We also regularly visit neighbouring counties and managed trail centres and AONBs as often as possible.”

It’s a pleasure and a privilege to support the MTB community

Phil King, club manager, MTB Outlaws

He adds: “The Peak District is a favourite, given the terrain and accessibility. The club also completes at least one annual trip to the wider UK: Wales and Scotland.

“We routinely invite riders from other clubs to attend our rides. We hold charity events and raffles and seasonal events like our Halloween Ghost Hunt and the Christmas Charity Ride. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to support the MTB community.”

A group of cyclist on an off-road track with their mountain bikes. Most are wearing red, with some in Santa suits. It's winter.
Some appropriately attired MTB Outlaws enjoying a Christmas ride in Sherwood Forest
Two women are standing with their mountain bikes, one of which is an e-mountain bike, on a grassy track. They are wearing mountain biking kit and helmets.
Riders Cara and Kath sporting the MTB Outlaws club jersey

What we’re most proud of

The group has much to be proud of, but Phil says: “I’m most happy to see riders return to the trails after time away. No matter the age or experience, there’s always a ride to join. We continue to grow our membership and regularly receive feedback referencing the quality and enjoyment of our riders.”

The club isn’t without its challenges, though. Phil cites seasonal fluctuations in attendance and occasional negative press towards trail centres, with thefts reported from local trail centres.

“We offer one-to-one support and build relationships with local training providers and bike shops who offer our members discounts and special promotions. We regularly run outreach activities and promote the club at events and through social media. We sell merchandise and accept donations to cover our operating costs but this leaves very little to grow the club through promotion, outreach and recruitment.”

A young boy is sitting on a balance bike on a flat stone in a forest. A man is with him holding onto the bike. They are both wearing MTB Outlaws cycling kit and smiling for the camera
You’re never too young to hone your skills with MTB Outlaws! Photo: MTB Outlaws

Favourite route

When asked to choose a favourite route, Phil says: “A club favourite is one we call the Greyhound Run, named in memory of our dear friend and Outlaws ride leader Paul Brunt, who very sadly passed away in 2022.

“The route starts from our local pub The Robin Hood in Edwinstowe, and utilises bridleways and Route 6 of the National Cycle Network, taking in parts of Sherwood Pines and neighbouring woodland before returning to the pub for a customary beverage and Paul’s favourite, a steak cob!

“It’s around 13 miles and suitable for novice and above riders. Paul developed the route to help new and returning riders test their skills and grow in confidence. He routinely offered to support individuals in the community. We promote the ride every six-to-eight weeks in the spirit it was designed for. RIP Paul Brunt.”

A man is sitting on a mountain bike in an off-road setting with a valley behind him with a stream running through it
Sadly missed ride leader Paul Brunt inspired the Greyhound Run, a favourite route of the Outlaws
A group of cyclists on mountain bikes is riding along a gravel track next to a forest. They are all wearing MTB Outlaws red and blue kit
The Outlaws enjoying a regular ride in Sherwood Pines Photo by MTB Outlaws