Why a sort of review? Cos I only “sort of” rode there.
Being a little pushed for time but also being in the neighbourhood of one of the first “trail centres” I heard of when I started mountain biking a few years ago, meant that I had to give it some sort of a visit. And the sun was shining so it would have been rude not to, even if I was only able to stay for an hour or so. So here goes: Continue reading “Lee Quarry – A Sort of Review”→
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
I set off for an early start today to meet some friends and ride at the Forest of Dean. The newly extend Freeminer trail was our main reason for visiting as well as riding the extremely popular Verderers.
I got to the trail center and parked up at 7.56am – first car in the car park! We had arranged to meet at 9.30 but I had decided to get there early and do some riding on my own. So I decided to familiarise myself with the Freeminers loop.
It was real treat to be at the park on my own and be the only rider on the trail. The FOD (Forest of Dean) trails are really popular and can get quite busy so this was great! The loop is only about 4 miles (6km) but there are some steep climbs and loads of technical features. Roots and switchbacks challenge you on the way up and drops and fast berms entertain you on the way down. And in between there are some great little jumps and table tops!
It really has a bit of everything and it takes about 40 mins to get around. During that 40 mins you get a great work out on the bike – forever swapping between climbing and descending. Just enough to keep you on your toes.
I loved it and it looked awesome in the low morning sunshine.
For more info on the trail and how to get there check the link below: