Ten years in the past, a dream was realised – one which modified the panorama of mountain biking within the UK.
Earlier than the gates to BikePark Wales had been flung open in August 2013, the concept of a pay-per-thrill bike park – the primary of its variety within the UK – in a area of bountiful free-to-ride trails, was an enormous gamble.
It was a brand new idea: image a ski resort, take away the snow and substitute the pistes with an array of sweeping flowy bike trails meandering to the underside of the mountain and you might be shut. Add a bunch of adrenalin and large sprinkle of enjoyable and you might be just about there.
BikePark Wales is a spot the place you may flip off a serious twin carriageway, park up outdoors a completely outfitted mountain biking hub, take pleasure in a lazy cup of espresso earlier than pulling your bike out of the automotive and loading it onto a trailer. Then, you sit in consolation as you’re pushed to the highest of the hill the place you may select from over forty addictively-good tracks again down the hill. After which repeat advert infinitum.
So it’s been a decade since BikePark Wales launched the UK to its very first full-service bike park. As we have a good time its exceptional journey, we have a look again on the story of this trailblazing bike park and the way it has grow to be a go-to vacation spot for mountain bikers throughout the nation.
A dream turned actuality
In 2013 BikePark Wales was born. The visionaries, Martin Astley, Rowan Sorrell, Anna Astley and Liz Sorrell, needed to create a spot the place mountain bikers of all talent ranges might come to share their ardour for using and embrace the pure great thing about South Wales.
“It’s phenomenal for Rowan and I as founders to have a look at what we, our staff and the mountain bike group have created, it’s past our wildest expectations.” – Martin Astley
Over the previous decade, the park has advanced right into a riders paradise, boasting a variety of trails designed to cater to riders of each stage. From mild green-graded slopes good for learners to black runs designed to problem even probably the most skilled riders, the park has all of it. A meticulously crafted and maintained community of trails weaves via the hillside, providing an ever-changing canvas for riders to discover.
BikePark Wales is consistently evolving and should by no means be completed… we’ve been common guests because it opened and the large takeaway is there’s all the time one thing new to trip – often a path, and with out fail an revolutionary hand constructed part or function on an present observe. It’s just a little just like the Forth Bridge in that method, consistently being labored on.
However the park is extra than simply trails – it’s a complete biking expertise. Riders can discover the whole lot they want, from bike leases and workshop repairs, to the café the place riders can recharge with a brew by the fireplace on these unavoidable moist Welsh days.
The bike park’s devoted staff has left no stone unturned, on a mission to offer guests with a seamless and unforgettable biking expertise, the workers are the center of the entire operation. Some have even labored there for the reason that day it opened.
Group and connection
One of many park’s most exceptional achievements over the previous decade has been its function in fostering a way of group. It’s not simply concerning the trails; it’s concerning the individuals who share a typical love for using and the outside. Common collaborations with companions, occasions, and races have introduced riders collectively, forging lasting connections and friendships.
The park has additionally been dedicated to selling accountable using and environmental consciousness, partnering with Trash Free Trails and dealing with native colleges to unfold consciousness to respect the pure panorama we trip in and decrease our influence on the atmosphere. With photo voltaic panels being put in this September along with a number of different eco acutely aware enterprise practices BPW is effectively on our approach to changing into a really environmentally pleasant website.
A legacy of journey
From the elation of conquering a difficult crimson, black or professional line run, to the serenity of cruising down Kermit, the longest descending inexperienced path on website, the park has woven unforgettable reminiscences into the lives of numerous bikers.
Trying forward, the bike park continues to innovate and evolve. Plans for growth, improved services, and collaborations with native communities promise an excellent brighter future for each us and the thriving group it has nurtured.
Not been to BikePark Wales earlier than? Listed below are some FAQs for learners
I’ve barely ridden a mountain bike earlier than – is it one thing I can have a go at?
Should you can deal with a motorcycle fairly confidently on regular terrain, then BPW can most likely assist. Whereas it’s doable to show up and trip, should you’re an entire novice then you definitely’re going to be significantly better off with the park’s Ticket To Trip package deal.
That is one of the best ways for these which might be new to mountain biking to expertise the joys of descending the longest newbie downhill path within the UK. The BPW staff will maintain the whole lot from a high-quality rent bike in the fitting measurement for you, plus all of the protecting gear you want. You’ll get two uplifts to the highest of the mountain with a using host who provides you with ideas and information you thru the entire expertise – and there’ll by no means be greater than six different riders together with your host. Every session is 4 hours lengthy, so that you’ll get loads of using time.
How match do I have to be?
You’ll have to be wholesome, have an honest stage of health and have the ability to deal with a motorcycle, however don’t assume that you’ll want to be an elite athlete to offer it a go. Should you select to the park’s uplift, you’ll arrive on the prime of the path as contemporary as a daisy regardless.
What equipment do I want?
Properly, should you select the Ticket to Trip package deal, you simply want the garments that you just’re standing up in, however BPW additionally affords different packages the place you may rent bikes and gear after which select whether or not to energy your self up or get on the uplift.
Should you’ve bought your personal bike and equipment then you definitely’re welcome to make use of that – however you have to an honest high quality mountain bike and helmet. You’re strongly suggested to make use of physique armour, goggles and a full face helmet.
Can the youngsters come alongside?
Sure, that’s no downside so long as they’re aged eight or over for the Ticket to Trip package deal, for all different packages there is no such thing as a minimal age restrict. If you wish to trip as a household, there’s a particular household Ticket to Trip deal for 2 adults and two youngsters (you may add extras too), with prime quality child’s bikes equipped as a part of the package deal. There are children bikes accessible with the ‘Uplift & Rent’ and ‘Pedal and Rent’ packages should you would favor to discover Kermit at your personal tempo.
Can I nonetheless come if the climate’s dangerous?
The observe floor is designed to be ridden in all weathers and the bike park is about up to deal with the whole lot the South Wales climate can throw, in need of snow and really excessive winds. Verify the park’s climate warning posts earlier than you set off, gown accordingly and also you’ll be positive.
How lengthy does it take to get down the observe?
Whereas the present report stands at ten laps in a day, it’ll take from round 15 to 45 minutes, relying on how assured you might be on a motorcycle.
Will there be quicker riders on the identical path?
It’s doable that you just may get caught up by quicker riders if you’re using the green-rated Kermit observe, however that is one path the place the slower riders preserve proper of method – there are many different trails within the park for warm lapping!
What makes the Kermit path newbie pleasant?
The quick reply is a number of effort and time designing and constructing it. The longer reply is that we’ve painstakingly set the route of the path in order that your pace is managed with cautious adjustments of gradient that hold you rolling alongside with out the speeds ever getting dangerously excessive, however nonetheless sufficient to be enjoyable. There’s been loads of thought to threat administration, taking nothing as a right with regards to designing security into the path. That stated, like most sports activities, mountain biking does have a inherent threat, so you’ll want to do your half too…
What do I have to e book earlier than I go to?
BikePark Wales has just a few totally different packages accessible so that you can e book, from the all-inclusive Ticket to Trip to simply the necessities. bikeparkwales.com