The Interview | Ibis racer Gary Forrest is down but not out
It was supposed to be a fairy tale year for Gary Forrest, after 10 years of self supported competition at the highest level on both the World Cup Downhill circuit and EWS Enduro Circuit Gary finally got his deal. His consistent top 20 stage times in the EWS had caught the attention of Ibis owner Scot Nicol, a deal was drawn up and Gary signed up to the new Ibis Factory Racing Team.
He now had a great bike, and being a full time racer had spent the entire winter getting fit, he was ready to make his mark. HoweeFate had another plan for Gary, ten minutes into practice in the opening round in New Zealand Gary overcooked a drop-off and hammered backwards into the trees, busting himself up badly. The next day Gary raced, but knew he had broken his ribs, it was damage limitation time.
Round Three of the EWS was to be held in Scotland and was to be Gary’s round, when it comes to the Tweed Valley trails Gary is king and this was the round he wanted to show his fitness. During practice at high speed on a trail he knew well, Gary’s front wheel washed wide, he leant over to correct the slide but did see the sturdy tree!
In a heartbeat Gary’s season took as new track and he was down. After a difficult evacuation by Mountain Rescue, assisted by Tracy Moseley and Justin Leov, Gary found himself in a MRI scanner with a suspected spinal injury. As racers battled it out in the Tweed Valley, Gary wrestled with the news that he had four bad compression fractures and two chips to his Vertebrae, recovery was going to take time.
Five weeks later we caught up with Gary to hear more about his progress, and his hopes for the rest of the season. For the full interview check out the video below. We apologize for the farmyard noises, but it is Scotland!
Words and photos: Trev Worsey