Too much UK city cycling…it was time for a bit of fun-fuelled mud-riding. Hello Bike Park Wales!!!
One of our best mountain biking friends in the UK is based in the Forest of Dean. It’s a great place for riding, with miles of set trails but also acres of unmarked forest to simply ride around exploring the natural trails and root infested single track. With Gerry to guide us, we had 2 great days riding there.
But then it was off to a brand new cycle centre, Bike Park Wales, recently set up near Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales. The whole place was designed to rival the best bike parks in the world… so nothing too challenging then!! As their website says: “The concept is simple, picture a ski resort, remove the snow and replace the pistes with an array of sweeping flowy bike trails meandering to the bottom of the mountain and you are close. Add a bunch of adrenalin and big sprinkle of fun and you are pretty much there.”
Well, we certainly got the fun part. Our only regret is that we were having so much fun we forgot to take photos!
We’ll let you take a look at their site to garner all the info http://www.bikeparkwales.com/ but we would definitely recommend the experience. Whatever your level of experience, there is a suitable trail for you. They are graded blue, red and black, just like the aforementioned ski runs, which helps you to pick your route, and you can choose whether to ride up the mountain to the multi-route starting point or, if you are a complete wuss (heh, I ride up Spanish mountains every other day!) use the uplift service.
We rode up and down the mountain three times and tried out different routes. Whilst the red trails were fun and had some interesting sections, I had opted to ride a hardtail, which I regretted when we hit some of the rock gardens and big drop offs, particularly on Rim Dinger. But the blue trails....woah, what fun!!! Whilst some might consider these the soft option, we tend to go for fun, rather than sheer technical skill every time. So 3 guys, racing down Melted Welly, Blue Belle and Norkle (where DID they get those names?!) in tight formation, is hard to beat.
So thanks, Bike Park Wales team, for a great day out….we will be back!
Heather Cooper, Hike + Bike the Sierras 15/01/2013