BikePark Wales is already one of the best places to ride in the UK, and fans of jumps, berms and gravity-fed, grin-inducing singletrack will be in seventh heaven this month as they add another seven trails to their network, bringing the total number of runs to 40.
There are three new blue trails – Fforest Bump, Roller Disco and Off Grid; three reds – AC-DC, Snakebite and Watts Occurring; and a black – Blackadder.
Four of the new trails will be open to ride for the first time tomorrow (Friday 1 June). The other three are still being tweaked but will be ridable by the end of the month. See below for details.
“The dream was always to reinvest and continue to grow our trail network,” say the guys at BPW. “And we’re over the moon to be opening seven new trails this June, taking our trail network to a whopping 40 trails in just five short years!
“This project has been the biggest trail-building project since we opened in 2013. Trail builders Back-On-Track have been on site for the past four months, with over 3,000 man hours, two snapped digger booms, hundreds of huge rocks moved and zero imported material. To say it’s been busy would be an understatement!”
Here’s the details:
Roller Disco – blue ‘flow’ trail – 0.33km (opens later in June)
“Hold on tight and join the ride!” say the guys at BPW. “Roller Disco is a unique trail within the bike park. Picture a giant, slightly downhill pump track and you’re pretty much there. This trail is an amazing example of creative and skillful trail building and is a real work of art. Manicured bowled berms, rollers and jumps will keep you engaged as you ride this rollercoaster in one flowing movement from start to finish.”
Fforest Bump – blue ‘tech’ trail – 0.55km (opens later in June)
Until now, all blue trails at BPW have been surfaced ‘flow’ trails. The two new ‘tech’ trail additions are unsurfaced, so will become rootier and more challenging with age, helping riders bridge the gap to the red trails.
“Fforest Bump is a fantastic section of technical blue trail, a great introduction to technical riding and a good stepping stone to the red trails. Although not steep, this trail carries great speed and you’ll find yourself speeding down the narrow ribbon of prime singletrack between tall trees amid a bed of pine needles. Watch out for the steeper compressions and bermed sections. ”
Off Grid – blue ‘tech’ trail – 0.4km (opens 1 June)
“Off-Grid peels away from Melted Welly and offers a different style of blue trail. It’s much tighter than the blue flow trails and offers a different style of riding. It isn’t a stoned trail so it has a natural feel and there are exposed roots and some rough ground. Don’t be fooled, though – this trail, though not steep, is deceptively fast and fun!”
Snakebite – red ‘tech’ trail – 0.65km (opens later in June)
“Snakebite does exactly what is says on the tin, so watch out! This slither of rocky singletrack offers a tech aternative to riding Insufficient Funds to the uplift pickup point. There are some fantastic rock ladder sections and roots mixed in to spice things up. Just watch those tyres, as there are plenty of sharp edges to give you a bite!”
AC-DC – red ‘blend’ trail – 1.2km (opens 1 June)
‘Blend trail’ is a new term introduced by BPW to describe a mix of tech and flow.
“AC-DC offers a real blend of fast-flowing berms, jumps and drops, and more technical riding, in dense forest. Watch out, though, as there are beautifully-crafted jumps spliced into the technical sections to keep things interesting. This trail is long, and once you’ve found its rhythm, even the technical sections have fantastic flow.”
Watts Occurring – red ‘blend’ trail – 1.25km (opens 1 June)
“Possiby the most varied trail in the park, Watts Occuring truly has it all. This trail starts with a true blend of tech and flow before entering a machine-built jump section featuring berms, shark fins, step-downs and rollers. The trail quickly changes character completely as it enters a fast section of micro berms and then several hundred metres of full-on rock garden. It finishes with one of the nicest jumps in the park and a few giant berms to deliver you back at the uplift pickup point. Don’t miss this one!”
Blackadder – black ‘blend’ trail – length TBC (opens 1 June)
“Rocks, roots and moto whips paired with flow and jumps!”
And now the bad news…
Part of the funding for the new trails has come from National Grid, who need to replace overhead power lines at the park. Sadly, that means Roots Manoeuvres (red), 50 Shades of Black (black), the lower section of Terry’s Belly and the lower section of Hot Stepper (red) will all be closed this month while they carry out the work, but we reckon seven new trails ain’t bad compensation!
For the full lowdown, head to www.bikeparkwales.com.