Dyfi Bike Park is the brainchild of Dan Atherton. He’s the master builder behind the project, and although he has a dig team to help him, it’s more than just a job – it’s his life! Dan bought the forest where the bike park is built and even moved into a caravan on-site to be closer to the trails. Dyfi is a riding spot that the Atherton family and other locals have been frequenting for years, but the bike park only officially opened to the public this summer.
It’s obvious that the park is the vision of Dan – a man who’s as legendary for sending massive jumps as he is for building white-knuckle trails. Dyfi encapsulates the style of riding that Dan enjoys and boasts a balanced mix of technical features and well-built jumps – but isn’t that the type of riding that all bike park visitors want?
The Slab Track starts with a series of rock drops, followed by steep chutes further down. Photo: Steve Behr
Distance: Four trails from 0.62km to 3.6km
Climbing: Uplift only
Time: 5mins to 10mins
Grading: Black to triple-black-diamond
50 Hits: This is the longest trail in the park and has the most flow. It’s a mix of tabletops and berms, which are ideal for building your jumping confidence on. The bottom section features some steep, technical turns, but the jump line is currently under construction and will eventually finish at the car park, becoming the park’s first red trail.
Original Downhill: The first track to be built provides a variety of fast-flowing sections, big jumps and more technical riding. There’s something for everyone (who rides black runs, that is) in here.
Racetrack: As its name suggests, this track is the most flat-out ride. Fast straights and jumps at the top are followed by a mix of bermed and natural turns, drops and technical sections to keep you on your toes.
Slab track: Graded triple-black-diamond, this is the park’s most technically demanding trail. Steep chutes, drops and tight turns plus a 60ft bedrock slab all contribute to its grading.
Jamie Cable (Dyfi trail builder) styles it up over one of Original Downhill’s tabletops. Photo: Steve Behr
Dyfi Bike Park is located on the southern border of Snowdonia National Park, just off the A487 near Pantperthog, between Machynlleth and Dolgellau. The park’s postcode is SY20 9AS.
Parking, uplift, cafe, toilet.
Nearby bike shops
There are a few spares sold on-site, including tyres and tubes, but it’s good to come prepared. Summit Cycles in Aberystwyth are well-stocked (www.summitcycles.co.uk), as are Dolgellau Cycles in Dolgellau (www.dolgellaucycles.co.uk).
www.dyfibikepark.co.uk, 01691 780 702.
Revolution Bike Park
Just over an hour up the road is Revolution Bike Park, equally as renowned for its efficient uplift as for its mix of downhill trails, ranging from red to black and orange (pro-lines). This place hosts Veronique Sandler’s Vision run and the 50to01 pro-line.
Coed y Brenin
Thirty minutes’ drive north of Dyfi is Coed y Brenin, the first mountain bike trail centre and still one of the best. With loops ranging from green to black, there’s enough here for everyone if you fancy a pedal.
4×4 uplifts get you and your bike back to the top of the trails at Dyfi. There’s a new, quicker uplift route being built that should have you at the top in just seven minutes. Photo: Steve Behr
Wrecking Crew wisdom
Dan Atherton – Dyfi Bike Park creator
“Dyfi Bike Park” is a little out in the sticks, so we recommend staying nearby for the weekend to make the most of it. There’s also a load more awesome riding nearby, so you’re spoilt if you make the trip. While the trails are graded black, we’re in the process of continuing the jump line to the bottom, which will be graded red and open the place up to more riders. I’m always surprised that the public love riding this stuff. Some features are gnarly, so it’s best to inspect them before you hit them and be careful jumping big if the wind’s strong.”
Dan Atherton shows us how it’s done down one of the steep shoots on slab track. Photo: Steve Behr
Why ride here?
If you want to get a feeling of what’s it’s like to live like the Athertons for a day, this is your best chance.
- The jumps are painstakingly well-built. Some are big, some are massive, but nearly everything is rollable
- There’s great mix of flow and tech
- It’s only a quid for a slice of cake
- There’s nothing graded lower than black, so it’s not for beginner/intermediate riders
- Toilet facilities are limited and there’s no bike wash
- It’s quite the mission to get to
You don’t have to be able to jump like Dan Atherton to enjoy this place, but it helps. Photo: Steve Behr
The bottom line
If you like your gravity riding with an added helping of airtime, this the perfect location. It’s suited to those with an enduro or downhill bike, and who are confident in their descending abilities. Most jumps and drops are rollable, so we wouldn’t want to discourage intermediate riders, but those with higher skill levels will get the most from a visit. It’s a great place to improve your jumping skills, if you’re comfortable on the reds but want to hit up some blacks too.
Our full report on Dyfi is in MBUK 373 (available here), or pick up a copy of the latest mag to keep up with our monthly Trail Crew reports.
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