There seems to be a bit of a back-to-basics revolution going on with bike park trails these days. Those in charge are realising that what most of us like riding best is real dirt and not manicured pathways. It’s one of the reasons why spots like Revolution Bike Park and Black Mountain Cycle Centre have become so popular – they provide a natural challenge that’s been missing from many trail centres in recent years. BikePark Wales’ newest full length trail follows in that vein. Although there are plenty of rock drops and sculpted berms on offer, the diggers have left things raw so it provides a proper MTB challenge from top to bottom.
The trail starts off fast and flowing in the open before diving into the gnarliness of the forest. Credit: Andy Lloyd
Root Manoeuvres is just one of a huge network of trails at BikePark Wales. Gradings range from green to double black and trails vary in length from 0.1 – 4.6km in length.
At 2.5km long, Root Manoeuvres is one of the longest continuous descents in the bike park. It’s graded red (advanced), so a good level of riding skill is required. The challenge it poses isn’t so much jumps and gaps, but finding traction in the natural unsurfaced corners, looking for lines and negotiating tree roots, of which there are plenty!
Whether you’re a first timer or a seasoned pro, BikePark Wales has something for everyone. Click here for a map of the trails.
MBUK staff members Al and Ed sampling the goods. Credit: Andy Lloyd
BPW is located in Gethin Woodland Park, just off the A470, 20 minutes from junction 32 of the M4. The postcode CF48 4TT will get you to the roundabout you need to turn off from. A day pass without uplift costs £8, with uplift is £32.50 (weekdays) or £38 (weekends).
Parking, cafe, toilets, shower, bike shop, bike hire, bike wash, uplift service, skills coaching, GoPro hire
Two awesome XC trails and two fun DH tracks with an uplift service run by Cwmdown.
The original Y Mynydd downhill track has just had a facelift and is well worth checking out.
Twisting between trees, dodging roots and feeling the wheels slide over the rocks, Root Manoeuvres is a proper grin-inducing challenge. Credit: Andy Lloyd
Why ride here?
The UK’s widest selection of all-weather downhill trails, all ridable on trail bikes.
Flowy, exciting, well-maintained trails with loads of variety
Speedy uplift service
Lots of happy people to get you stoked!
BPW can get busy at the weekends
You have to book your space on the uplift well in advance
Wet weather can make the trail a pretty muddy affair. But who’s scared of a bit of mud, eh?
Root Manoeuvres is full of features to keep you on your toes. BikePark Wales director and trail builder extraordinaire, Rowan Sorrell, shows us the way. Credit: Andy Lloyd
The bottom line
BPW’s new red trail is a wild and wonderful departure from the hardpack and paved tracks you expect to find at a bike park. The rocky, muddy and rooty surface will keep you on your toes and challenge you at every opportunity. If you manage to nail the perfect line down the hill, you’ll be rewarded with a sense of accomplishment and achievement normally reserved for the sort of backcountry or off-piste gems everyone likes to keep quiet.
To read our full report on Root Manoeuvres, check back to issue 349 or pick up a copy of the latest mag to keep up with our monthly Wrecking Crew reports.
Find out more about the latest issueHERE. You can subscribe to MBUKhere and check out our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts for all of the latest mountain bike action.
Staff Writer Ed is a downhiller at heart but has been riding bikes of all types since a young age. He’s raced both nationally and internationally in downhill and enduro and has spent several summers living in The Alps and Canada, riding, roadtripping and living the dirt bag lifestyle. He’s also an avid trail builder and has scraped out numerous steep and technical lines in the woodlands of his native North Yorkshire. These days Ed will happily turn his hand to any discipline and he says that the sign of a good week is when every bike in his shed ends up muddy by the end of it.