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
This time last week was our “day off” at Bike Village.
All this meant was that we didnt have a guide. We still spent the day riding, more than on the previous day i think.
Anyway here is a picture taken last week, Tuesday i think.
We stopped in this alpine meadow for our lunch and had the time for a little sunbathe while looking at the blue skies and waiting for the other group.
Did I mention how much of a good time we had?
Tonight was my first ride since my trip to France and I had a plan. I was going to blast up a couple of local (very small) hills and rip down my favourite descent.
Well as it happened my first bridleway climb was a mess cos it was muddy and I could barely get any traction, and my legs had had two days off and felt stiff from sitting at my desk all day.
I was suddenly a little deflated. Then a heart warming moment occurred as I met a young badger on the trail. I got off the bike and quietly crouched down hoping he wouldn’t see me. He did and came over to say hi, not in the slightest bit scared!
The temptation to stroke wild animals is strong, but I dare say this little guy had fleas and a bite would probably have required a visit to the hospital.
This little brush with nature spurred me on and I powered on up my next short climb quicker than I had done before.
A “natural break” at the top and then a quick ride to get a PB on my favourite local descent.
Its not all bad being back in the UK.
The title sums up many activities i have been doing today (no not that one, mind out of gutter please).
A few chores around the house, fixing the garden shed, helping the wife with some planting and shifting big pots around, taking down and painting a door…
Also I have sewn on my own patch on my hydro pack today. My Dakine Drafter now has a Welsh flag on it.
Finally I have just been out for a short ride in the evening sun (pics tomorrow) and above you will see an example of one of the “trail tripods” I made this evening to take some pics…
Time to have a quick shower and a cuppa.
Well these pictures aren’t the best, they are stills from my pocket camera and the video I was making tonight… In isolation they look ok, the blur indicates speed and excitement, and it felt like it at the time. But when I watched the video back it was like watching slow motion!
Why is that??? Video uploading to YouTube right now I will post a link tomorrow.
Edit – here it is:
Also take a look at the SlopeJunkies flying their quads around my local hills…