Just the excuse we need to head to North Wales and ride some singletrack. Amazingly though, this new Marin section is the first major new piece of trail to appear at the North Wales venue since it opened 14 years ago.
Contrast that with Bike Park Wales, which seems to get a complete new trail on average every six months: last month HotStepper opened and six months before that Terry’s Belly was ready to ride, the longest blue trail in the UK.
The new section at the Marin was planned to be built along with the original trail back in 2002, according to Natural Resources Wales. The new 2km of trail replaces a big chunk of forest road and a short sharp tarmac climb.
So what’s it like? Tight, handmade and featuring all the usual modern trail grin-enducers: berms, rollers and jumps. The soil looks great in the video, and TrailCraft , who have built the section, look like they’ve done a good job to us.
Mountain bike ranger Andy Braund, who manages the Marin, said: “It solves some safety issues for us by taking the riders off a fast forest road descent, where they could come into conflict with other forest users, walkers, horse riders etc. And off a steep, narrow public road to avoid conflict with cars and local farm traffic.”
Andy says the trail starts off as an up and down traverse with every down packed full of fun features. It weaves its way carefully past an old heritage site before dropping off on its first descent. Then you’re quickly thrown into a challenging twelve switchback climb up to the bwlch which gives the section its name ‘Dwsin Drwg’ Bad Dozen! Catch your breath before you hit the final, fast, feature rich descent.