I am not sure of the full story behind the UK Bike Park closure on 28th February this year but I am sure it can only be down to cold hard cash.
This is sad news for riders and for what was the UK’s premier free ride and down hill bike park. Business rates, complying with health and safety standards, running uplifts and generally maintaining the trails costs money and unless we use these facilities they will close. Our hard earned cash is forever being spread thin between the rising costs of living and the desire to pimp our rides and wear the latest gear. But if we don’t spend our money paying for uplifts, car parks and on site cafe facilities these amazing places will close and fall to rack and ruin.
Cognation has recently brought us new trails in South Wales at Cwmcarn and last year opened Bike Park Wales. These are built at an average cost of £200k – £250k per trail and come with annual maintenance costs in excess of £50k per year per trail.
I hear complaints about the quality of the food at cafes, the rising price of car parks. I am guilty myself – after all its so much easier to take some food than to pay the higher prices at the trail centre! But next time you go – please buy a coffee or tea and slice of cake at least – it all helps and will keep our trail centres open; open for you and me!
Find a trail centre near to you to ride on iBikeRide
Some local kids tried to build some dirt jumps on a bit of land near my house a while ago. Its in plain site of the road and I am not sure they were supposed to do it but they did, and I ride there from time to time. Its gone to ruin and I haven’t seen anyone do anything there other than smoke and drink in the last couple of years.
There are 2 small areas like this quite close to my home (ie with in a 2 minute ride) and I would like to use them as a small practice playground. Only problem is that they don’t drain very well. The trees have recently been cut back drastically in the one in the photo, and I think this will slow the draining down further as there will be nothing to drink the excess rain water. I suppose only time and a little dry weather will tell.
The area pictured above can be used for jumping practice and boy do I need that!
The other area, not pictured is more secluded (but wetter), would be great for a little skills loop. Nothing has been built there at all but I discovered it last year when out looking for our cat that had gone AWOL. It has some potential, nothing serious but some steep (but short) drops and small step-ups could easily be adapted from the natural features around the stream and among the tree roots.
Both these areas are within limping distance of my house could be used to hone some much needed skills
So my question to those that are listening is, what are the rules for taking a spade (even just a little bit) to public land and digging a small hole or two?
I know that “digging” goes on all over but what does the law say?
Related post on PinkBike but not UK based information…