We recently visited Bike Park Wales for the first time and had an absolute blast. Some pictures and information will make it easy for you to book your trip.
Located in the South Wales Valleys, more specifically in Merthyr Tydfil, it is easily accessible for anyone with an appetite for downhill riding who lives in Wales, South and West England.
The trail centre has a range of different routes. You’ve got a choice between blue, red and black trails, with distances ranging between 0.1 and 4.6 km. For our visit we decided to stick to the blue trails – they cover more distance – and these included plenty of challenges and excitement.
All of this obviously depends on your riding level and experience. You can find a more technical description of the trails on Mbr.co.uk to check out which trail would suit you.
You’ve mainly got 2 options for the day: the uplift (around £35) or pedal pass (around £7). Not sure which one to pick, we opted for the pedal pass. This meant that you had to earn the downhill with a 5km climb first. If you’re reasonably (or around average like) fit this would take you between 25-35 mins to get to the top, with a few options to dive down a bit earlier along the way.
The initial climb up is rather steep and a good workout, but you’ll be tired of it by the 4th time you are hitting it. We saw plenty of people walking their bikes up which also gives you the opportunity to have a bit of a break from the full on adrenaline. Once you’re past the first climb, the fire trail is fairly easy to follow all the way to the top.
If you want to get the most out of the downhill riding, I would recommend going for an uplift pass. It allows you to save your energy and focus on the downhill, but does take away that satisfying feeling of crawling your way to the top.
On the day, we did 4 climbs and 4 descents. It would be easily possible to get a few more fitted in if you wanted to push yourself on the climbs (no thanks for me).
One of our worries was that it would be quite busy on the trails, but that wasn’t an issue at all. Once the uplift dropped the riders off at the top, everyone seemed to take their time. It was quite fun to see other riders fly past along the other trails.
The trail centre really is set up nicely. They’ve got a café with beautiful views, outdoor seating and a barbeque. You can clean your bike and park nearby.
It would be easy enough to turn a visit to Bike Park Wales into a camping trip. There are plenty of overnight options nearby if you fancy doing a few days in a row at the centre. The trails are interesting enough to repeat a few of the same descents and you can work towards upgrading to the next level.
An idea we’re playing with is travelling around MTB trail centres for a week combined with some summertime camping. MTB centres like Afan, Cwm Carn and Black Mountains Cycle Centre are all in the neighbourhood.
Anyone who loves flying downhill at adrenaline pumping speed and with a bit of a technical challenge, will have a fantastic time at the centre. From the first time I tried out mountain biking, I felt it was very similar to snowboarding - same type of buzz pushing me on and craving to "go again, let's go again". The jumps and obstacles on the trails can make it technical, you can increasingly build up your speed, it’s all about choosing your path and as you get more confident, feeling on the edge of control.
Check out Bike Park Wales on Instagram:
We have a great female following at BikePark Wales, many of whom were at our Women's Weekend. Here's just one of them, getting rad on our Red graded Bonneyville trail. Repost from @broyd3: ・・・ "Think your girlfriend is rad? Think again.... #mtb #dh #shredder #huckthat #flatout #speedandbeauty #halfafork #cannondale #minestheprettyone #girlswhoride #girlsthatshred" #mountainbike #mountainbiking #mbwales #drop #huck #downhill #bonneyville #pinned #sendit #bikeparkwales #enduro #enduromtb
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