After an extended hiatus, slight relocation and a complete lot of digging, Havok Bike Park is again. Welcome to Havok 2.0, nonetheless rider owned and rider constructed.
The story of the brand new Havok bike park inevitably begins with the ending of the previous one. In 2021 Storm Arwen hammered a lot of the UK, with excessive winds flattening forests in Scotland and northern England. Regardless of being tucked away in a slender valley in Yorkshire, Havok didn’t escape a pummelling. In a single day the park’s downhill tracks had been buried beneath windblown timber.
Beforehand the staff had been blissful to take care of any minor incidence of wind injury themselves however the scale of the chaos brought on by Arwen known as for skilled help. When the forest’s managers got here to evaluate what could be wanted to clear the tracks they determined that it was too harmful to even try to maneuver the timber. The park needed to shut.
The path builders who’d created Havok had been, successfully, with out a house however nonetheless eager to maintain the spirit of Havok alive. They tried placing their shovels in at just a few totally different areas, seeing if they may progress current using spots, however for one motive or one other nothing felt fairly proper. Of their minds they knew the one possible way ahead for themselves, and for Havok, was to discover a place they may name their very own. The reply got here in an unlikely place.
After approaching numerous landowners with plans for a brand new bike park and never having a lot pleasure, an opportunity dialog with the proprietor of native butty store, Moor Fillings, yielded higher outcomes. The proprietor’s husband owned the hillside immediately reverse the location of the unique bike park and was involved in serving to the path builders discover a house for Havok.
“We advised them the story of the woods and with them being native individuals they understood the significance of the park to the neighborhood,” Sam Peel from Havok advised us. “It will get individuals visiting the realm and will get individuals of their store.”
Issues had been beginning to search for. After just a few exploratory digs on the proposed website, and a few path from the landowner on the place could be finest to construct, the staff determined to decide to placing down roots and trails inside view of the forest that they had as soon as known as house. With the brand new website straddling the Yorkshire/Lancashire border they, miraculously, have gotten assist from mayors and leaders in each counties. With a monitor document, so to talk, for constructing and managing a motorbike park and a longtime fame within the space they’ve been capable of hit the bottom operating, figuring out what must be accomplished to construct a profitable park.
Work on Havok 2.0, because it grew to become identified, began in October of 2022 and as of June 2023 there are three trails – a blue, crimson and black – together with a dust soar space. Plans are afoot for extra trails, an expanded grime soar zone and extra. A 4x monitor has been talked about and there’s enthusiasm for operating mini-DH races and incorporating the park into an enduro race, too. The builders are eager to profit from the hill and to create a venue that, just like the earlier park, has a fame for enjoyable. “Using bikes shouldn’t be severe, ought to it?” says Sam.
Enjoyable wants funding although and constructing a motorbike park is just not low-cost. Regardless of Sam’s reservations a crowdfunding marketing campaign was set as much as assist elevate cash to rent diggers and pay for supplies to construct the up monitor, giving riders a neater approach to push up the hill now and offering potential for an uplift sooner or later, one thing that couldn’t feasibly be accomplished by hand. “I don’t like asking for cash and I didn’t need individuals to suppose we had been scrounging, however we had been blown away by how beneficiant individuals had been.” says Sam.
Cash got here from throughout. Riders who’d loved the primary Havok and riders who had been excited in regards to the new one all chipped in, both manner native riders wished a motorbike park on their doorstep. The north of England has loads of nice pure using, just a few path centres and various much less official using spots, but it surely solely has one actual bike park, Descent Bike Park in Hamsterley forest.
Sam says they’re making an attempt to fill that hole and provides riders within the north who’re after that bike park expertise a spot to return. The Calder Valley already has a vibrant using scene, however with Havok the staff behind it wish to give locals a recent set of tracks and people additional afield a motive to go to.
The distinction between the 2 sides of the valley, and two Havoks, couldn’t be extra stark. The previous park was north going through and in a dense and darkish business forest. The brand new one is south going through and on an open hillside. Each areas have their strengths, however the brand new park positively will get extra gentle, excellent for getting in additional laps, particularly in winter.
One other upside to the brand new park is the standard of the grime. The hillside was as soon as a spoil heap for mines and loads of the soil is of a a lot increased customary than you’d anticipate finding consequently, making constructing and sculpting work a lot simpler than anticipated. However the previous yr hasn’t simply been about rebuilding Havok Bike Park, it’s been about rebuilding the neighborhood.
After the primary park closed the neighborhood of native riders who will, hopefully, develop into the following technology of path builders. Bettering the park but in addition having the potential to take their expertise elsewhere and create one thing new. One instance of how that is already working could be seen with Sam’s co-director at Havok, Huey Walker.
Huey was an everyday on the authentic park, working his manner up from barrow boy to path sculptor and is now making selections that can form, in some ways, the way forward for Havok. Trendy on the bike and eager to move his information on to the following technology of riders who at the moment are a part of the park’s wider household. He’s additionally appeared on the radar of the 50:01 crew. On the day we go to the park 50:01 stars together with Josh Bryceland, Josh Lewis and Craig Evans are right here scoping out what’s what and having enjoyable within the course of. Judging by the grins and shouting the paths are hitting the spot – it’s arduous to inform who’s extra happy, the riders or the path builders.
It’s protected to say that even riders who are usually not fairly as much as Bryceland’s degree of talent could have amusing at Havok. Jumps and turns reward dedication however all could be taken at a mellower tempo. Every monitor could be ridden high to backside or simply damaged into sections and sessioned till you’ve bought a selected characteristic nailed. Nonetheless you do it, a day at Havok is assured to convey your using on.
Havok 2.0 because it at the moment stands may be very a lot simply the beginning. Sam explains that path constructing is about ranges, you’re at all times evolving, refining, tweaking. A motorcycle park isn’t any totally different. As extra riders come and new trails are constructed issues will change however, for now, the dig staff has made a strong begin and riders are reaping the rewards of their arduous labour. Havok reigns, as soon as once more.
Have to know
Havok Bike Park is situated simply exterior Todmorden in West Yorkshire. The postcode for the park is OL14 8PU
The park is at the moment open on weekends from 10am to 6pm for non-members and all through the week for members.
Yearly membership for over 18s is £80. E-bike is £150. For beneath 18s membership is £60 and £110 for e-bikes.
A day move for over 18s is £12, £22 for e-bikes. An beneath 18s day move is £10, £20 for e-bikes.
Burlish Bike Park
Havok isn’t the one bike park having one thing of a revival, Burlish Dust Jumps has been saved from the specter of demolition and expanded to develop into Burlish Bike Park. The thought is to show flip the 16 acre woodland park right into a spot for riders of all ranges, with a number of soar strains, a expertise space, twin slalom, stream path and extra, all supported by volunteer efforts.
Cairngorms Mountain Bike Park
The brand new Cairngorms Mountain Bike Park options inexperienced, blue and crimson graded trails, unfold over 3km with the longest descent at the moment operating at 1.4km. It’s designed as a household pleasant park and employs two 100m conveyor uplifts to spice up you as much as the highest of the Decrease Zone. From there you’ll be able to lap down on the inexperienced or blue, or proceed increased and drop into the crimson path. There’s bike rent together with electrical bikes, you will get a bus from Aviemore proper to the paths, and entry prices from £10 a day for youths.