The most read trail news stories on mbr this month


Merthyr Tydfil: ski and singletrack

It’s all going off at Merthyr Tydfil, home to BikePark Wales and now potentially a new indoor ski slope with a massive 400m slope. OK so it’s not exactly mountain biking, but I’m sure there are plenty of us who’d love to ride mountain bikes one day, and hit the piste the next.

Rhydycar West

Rhydycar West

Ride by day, ski by night? Merthyr is truly booming, with facilities like this proposed ski centre. Even if skiing isn’t your thing, this is an important development for Merthyr, which is rapidly becoming the most important gravity centre in the UK, in part thanks to the expected massive redevelopment of BikePark Wales, see below…

BikePark Wales is going ballistic, with dozens of new trails proposed

BikePark Wales goes big

Two biggies came out of BikePark Wales this month, the first was that the famous A470 jump line has been re-worked, and now starts right at the top of the uplift drop-off. There are now around 48 features, almost all tabletops, and the thing is a huge 1.4km long now.

More importantly though, news broke just last week that BPW could double in size in the coming years. Already the biggest bike park in the UK, with nearly 50 separate trails, there are now plans to add 30km more and appeal to a broader range of riders. The planning application to do so is in right now, and we’ll let you know later this spring how it’s all going.

How are your trails perceived by local landowners, other trail users and fellow mountain bikers? Let the UK Trail Survey know | Credit: Sim Mainey

UK trails survey

You’ve got to get on board with this one, it goes out to anyone who’s had beef with a landowner, been shouted at by other trail users, or encountered the scourge of stickman.

For the first time ever, we’ve all got the chance to report on the trail we ride, report access issues and try and get things fixed up with landowners. It’s all thanks to the UK Trail Project survey, which is coming to a close on Wednesday and hopes to build a picture of the UK’s trail networks – formal and informal. The idea is to figure out what mountain bikers want from the land they ride on, and to bring in the views of landowners too.

The UK Trail Project survey concluded this Wednesday though, so if you want your voice to be heard it’s now or never. You can find the UK Trail Survey right here, so get clicking.

Coed Y Brenin has been at the heart of British mountain biking since 1996

Born in 1996, are we really about to let Coed y Brenin die? | Credit: Roo Fowler

A way out for Coed y Brenin

Coed y Brenin’s fate still hangs in the balance after Natural Resources Wales (NRW) announced earlier this year it could shut the visitors centre due to a lack of funding. But now there’s a chance to save it, with a local community group called Caru Coed y Brenin (Welsh for Love Coed y Brenin) hoping to take over the management of the trails and centre. The alternative is for NRW to close it all, which would be a disaster for riders, or see it sold off to a private developer, with the fate of the trails unknown.

Cairngorm Mountain Bike Trails

Come for the cool conveyor belt uplift, stay for the flow, at Cairngorm Mountain bike Trails

Cairngorm trails open

Cairngorm Mountain Bike Trails in the Cairngorms reopened this week, and with it one of the coolest uplifts we’ve ever seen. The new bike park has a conveyor belt uplift taking riders up a third of the way, making it an ideal spot for kids or new riders to learn the flowy blue trails at the bottom of the site.

The entire venue has been designed for flow rather than techie or rocky riding, with berms, tabletops and sections to pump at every opportunity. The park’s focus is on maintenance and safety, it told us, meaning you’re pretty much guaranteed a smooth ride.

ard rock

Ard Rock is more than ‘just’ a bike race

Ard Rock and Tweedlove

The best electric mountain bikes are great and all that, but it’s obvious to anyone who’s owned one that there’s more to go wrong and the potential for mechanicals is higher than on a normal bike. Step forward Bosch, which is now offering technical support at Ard Rock and Tweedlove this summer. 

Tickets for Ard Rock sold out months ago, but you can still go on the waiting list, while camping and festival entry is still available. It’s packed out with exhibitors, there’s onsite camping, a pump track, airbag, demo loops, kids skills coaching, street food and music, making it more of a proper festival than an out and out enduro race. Meanwhile, entry to the Tweedlove village is free, and there are still entries to the enduros to be had.