Stick 'em on your 2017 to-do list
2016 was truly a great year for new trails and new places to ride your bike. Here are twenty six new spots or tracks to shred in 2017.
Wondering where to ride mountain bikes in 2017? Here’s your ready-assembled shortlist right here…
1. Flyup 417 Project, Gloucester
A privately owned bike park with a blue trail, a red trail, a black trail, a pump track, some indoor dirt jumps, some outdoor dirt jumps, a 4X track and a dual slalom course. Read all about in our trail guide.
2. Twrch Trail re-opened at Cwmcarn
If you visited Cwmcarn in 2015 or early 2016, chances are that the Twrch Trail was off-limts or heavily compromised due to something called ‘live harvesting’. Anyway, it’s now fully open again.
3. Y Mynydd DH re-opened at Cwmcarn
The infamously steep black and red DH runs at Y Mynydd are back. They re-opened in May. Head over to Cwmdown to book your uplift day there.
4. Okeford Hill Bike Park, Dorset
This place used to be called UK Bike Park and Blandford Bike Park but it re-opened in March this year with the new name and new owners – Hammoon Cycles. There’s a total of four downhill trails there.
5. Machyntlleth pump track
Machyntlleth is the nearest town to the Dyfi Forest – home of the Cli-MachX and Mach1/2/3 trails. The town now has a cool pump track to session too.
6. Gisburn Forest finally gets cafe and bike shop
Okay, so this isn’t a new place or trail to ride but it does make riding at Gisburn Forest just that bit more of an all-round better experience. Seasoned trail centre cafe and bike shop runners Pace Cycles got the gig.
7. Sheffield’s Parkwood Springs’ new Dual Slalom course
The city centre MTB playground that is Parkwood Springs opened up a new Dual Slalom course in April this year. Fun, fun, fun.
8. Gawton’s new jump line
Devon’s Gawton Gravity Hub opened a new jump line in 2016. Dubbed The Rattler (AKA Track 5) it joins on to the Super Tavi black run.
9. Marin trail changes name and has extra 2km of fresh singletrack
AKA the Betws-y-Coed trail centre. The Marin trail is no more. It’s now called Gwydir Mawr. There’s a shorter version of the loop called Gwydir Bach. The new 2km section of singletrack (featured in the new January issue of mbr) is truly excellent and well worth a re-visit in itself.
10. Gnar Bike Park, Cumbria
Ben Eggleston quit his day job in 2015 and set about building the sort of bike park that he wished existed in the UK. Ben’s bike park is called Gnar. It’s very much based around sessioning descending tracks and jumps. Its opening weekend was in June this year.
11. Havok Bike Park, Todmorden
Formerly known as Cockhill Bike Park, this place closed its doors in 2015 only to re-open in May 2016 as Havok Bike Park. Two downhill trails, three freeride trails, a dirt jump run and new things being added all the time.
12. Skills loops at Beecraigs, West Lothian
Blue, red and back grade skills loops. Includes a few jumps and a bit of north shore boardwalk stuff as well.
13. New trails in Thetford Forest, Norfolk/Suffolk
Perhaps not whole new trails but lots of new sections added to established trails in the forest. A new start to the Shepherd Trail. ‘THE Down Hill’ section and ‘The Head Turner’ sections added to the Limeburner trail.
14. Pump track and dual slalom course at Newcastleton
A couple of funky new things to play on adjacent to the blue and red routes of the Newcastleton trail centre trails.
15. Moray Monster trails, Fochabers
As well as the three blue trails, the red trail, the black trail and the freeride zone, the pump track will help novices learn how to use berms and how to move on rises and dips but will also be good for experienced riders too. The skills area includes elements normally found on Blue and Red grade trails.
16. Greenrig Bike Park, Falkirk
4.1km Canada trail (green grade). 3.4km Craigieburn trail (blue grade). 3.3km Kilbean trail (blue/red grade). 6.8km Auchengean trail (red grade). Also has a pump trail, a ‘technical rock’ trail, two jump lines, a wall ride and a beginners area.
17. Loads of re-opened or new stuff at BikePark Wales
The A470 trails re-opened after being given a remix. A new long red trail called the HotStepper opened. Insufficient Funds was given a makeover. Seriously, every time you go to BikePark Wales there’s something new there!
18. New blue at QECP, Hampshire
A new 6km blue grade trail with 65% singletrack, berms, rollers and bits of more challenging red bits thrown in. Well worth adding on to a ride around the natural stuff at QECP.
19. Dunoon, Scotland
AKA the best Scottish trail centre you’ve never heard of. The trails in Dunoon are not designed-by-committee/council cookie cutter tracks. A great deal of the riding is the result of four year’s hard work by local trail building wizard Tomasz Chlipala. There’s a mix of riding on offer in Dunoon. Outright manmade stuff, classic trail centre stylee. But this is mixed in with plenty of natural trails.
20. April jumps at Stoughton DH, West Sussex
Only just opened last month, the ‘April’ jump line joins The X (blue DH), The Edge (red DH), The Hare and Hounds (red DH) and The Vale (black DH) tracks.
21. Inverness pump track
Near Bught Park in Inverness. It’s a big pump track. It’s aimed and BMXers and MTBers – it’s pretty progressive in design and quite committing. It’s also floodlit so you can session it at night. Cool!
22. Polty’s Last Blast, Hamsterley
Neil Polson, 37, died in September from a heart attack. He was a keen mountain biker and to commemorate this his friends and colleagues crowdfunded a new trail to his memory in Hamsterley. The trail is a red grade track between 5 Lane Ends and Transmission. This appears to be the start of bigger things for this part of the forest.
23. Y Slab at Coed y Brenin
You’ll find the amazing feature shownin the video above on the Tarw trail at Coed-y-Brenin.
24. York’s pump track remixed
Since 2012, the Rawcliffe site has been home to a well-used, fairly basic Architrail-built pump track loop, but the site has really ramped up its appeal in the last 12 months. Thanks to local volunteers, and Yorkshire trail building charity SingletrAction, a huge matrix of more flowing rollers, berms and tabletops have been designed, surfaced and sculpted in adjacent woodland.
25. Berms, rollers and more flow at Dalby Forest
New blue stuff brings the 13km Blue Trail bang up to date and ensure it’s more engaging for riders of all levels. Massively increased flow and rider interest by removing boring fire road. Also adds a fast and swooping finale back down to the visitor centre.
26. Nant Gwrtheyrn Uplift, North Wales
Two black grade Downhill tracks on the Lleyn Peninsula have just recently opened for uplift service in a partnership between Antur Stiniog and Nant Gwrtheyrn. Two black grade DH runs on the stunning Lleyn Peninsula in North Wales.
Just get out and ride ’em
Stick ’em on your 2017 to-do list. See you out there!