Updated: Mar 16, 2019
On Monday this week, after realising we had both randomly booked a week off at exactly the same time, Marcus Tarry and I decided we would head up to Bike Park Wales for the day.
Having never been to a bike park before, I was nervous and excited. Reports of storms and snowfall were coming in thick and fast in the days approaching our trip but they did little to dampen our spirits.
Heading up from Winchester, we had to leave around 7am to attempt to get there for the first uplift at 10. It being my first time and with Marcus taking his Commencal Supreme DH Rig, we bough our uplift passes to get as many runs in as possible. At £35 including your £10 ride-pass, the uplift was reasonably priced and turned out to be a very welcome break from hammering your arms and legs the way down.
We focused mainly on the blue runs throughout the day which featured some amazing smooth flow through the wooded areas, and some intermediate tech on the open hillsides. Compared to my usual woodland free-riding, the ground was tough and unforgiving and took a little getting used to when cornering.
I was riding my Marin Attack Trail 7 (2018) with 150mm/160mm travel running low PSI on front and rear, with a strong rebound setting on the rear shock and fork - This meant that I was effortlessly lifting off features and flying through the air, even when not really trying, kept the fork in contact with the ground over jutty rocks and meant that pumping into berms sent me flying out of the other side.
The blue trails offered a pretty substantial challenge for my riding level, being some of the steepest i've ridden and riding blind. Throwing myself into it 100% meant that the course was pushing me, but not past my limits. The two crashes I did have were my fault more than the course. The first one (3m15secs below) was just from carrying too much speed from the descent into an unfamiliar berm, not trusting my new tyres and over-turning the wheel.
As we started to near the end of the day I felt my confidence growing and was wanting to try the reds. After a day of learning the blues though, we stuck to the courses I was getting to know, leaving the red trails for our next trip.
It's tricky to say, having only ridden a small part of the Bike Park, but I'd give BPW a solid 8/10 for their blue trails. The trails have a challenging mix of speedy flows, and technical sections that make for some really fun riding! I can't wait to go back and try the Reds!
We've put together a few clips from the day! Please subscribe if you like the video, and check out some of our other footage!
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