Bike Park Wales Begins Development On First Uplifted Green Trail and New Visitor Centre

Nov 28, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  

Bike Park Wales has announced the start of its three-year development plans that should bring more trails and capacity for riders.

With 40 trails on the hill already, the park has announced its first green trail that will run from the uplift down to the centre. Bike Park Wales already has a green XC loop but this will be the first time novice riders can take the uplift and enjoy a mellow trail down to the bottom, plus it will probably be a great warm-up for more experienced riders. We've been told to expect a "flowing singletrack descent that gives a genuine mountain bike trail experience and is an easier version of our blue flow trails with lower speeds and less gradient."

In addition to this, a new visitor and bike hire centre will apparently increase the speed that riders can get signed on and up on the hill.

The full details can be found in the press release below.

Press Release: Bike Park Wales

BikePark Wales is set to build the one of the UK’s first uplifted green trails along with a new visitor welcome and bike hire centre, landscaping improvements and much more.

In the 6 years since we first opened our doors we have enjoyed sharing trails with riders from all over the world. We opened with 23 trails back in 2013 and we’ve worked hard to keep expanding our network of trails. We now have over 40 amazing trails to enjoy! Over the next 3 years we will continue to create more exciting trail developments, but in addition we plan to add some new dimensions to the park too.

In addition to more trails in the blue to black spectrum we will be adding a top to bottom green trail that can be accessed from the uplift, a new visitor welcome and bike hire centre to make signing in and getting on the hill faster than ever, and landscaping improvements that will double the size of our patio and make it a more enjoyable place than ever to enjoy a drink or a bite to eat post ride. All of this is planned for completion by Spring 2020 and then a second phase of development will follow in late 2020 that will bring more car parking, a shower and toilet block and further landscaping improvements. We are going to be very busy!

Speaking of the new Green trail, BikePark Wales co-founder Rowan Sorrell commented: “We are really excited to finally be adding a full-blown green trail from the top to the bottom of the hill to our trail network, it’s been crying out for it and will open up the hill to more riders of all ages. Riders can expect a flowing singletrack descent that gives a genuine mountain bike trail experience and is an easier version of our blue flow trails with lower speeds and less gradient. A smooth and undulating descent take riders through a mixture of open and wooded terrain with great views and features along the way.”

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  • 18 4
 Ye don’t need no uplift.. yo don’t need to pre book a year in advance and deal with the weather. Yeow just turn up when’s good for yo’, ride up 2-3 times (slowly, having a gas like, and getting slimmer-fitter-stronger)

Then, after lunch when everybody is done in, injured and bust bike parts, jump on uplift.

It’s sunny as well (because yeow choose ya day to ride!)

Less runs (butt..), less planning, less cost, more fitness, more convenience.
  • 1 0
 Genius. Might try this.
  • 13 0
 BPW definately needs some more brown trails. There's only one throne for hundreds of riders!
  • 13 3
 That's all well and good but are they going to sort out the uplift? I've been going there since it opened and you used to be able to get 10+ runs in a day including stopping for lunch. Since they decided to run the uplift continuously all day but move the opening times I'm lucky to get 8 in without a lunch break! They may have stopped the lunchtime stop but seeing as they also reduced the opening times from 9.30-4.30 to 10.00-4.00 you're getting a lot less for your money. I went a few weeks ago and despite having someone at the uplift point to speed things up it was still slow to get up. Sadly the price means I will be going there a lot less than I used to, better value to be had at the other uplift spots round here.

Sadly the place has lost that feel it had of being a rider-driven place and now feels far too corporate.
  • 7 0
 You also forgot to mention the price increase, £41 for a day pass at the weekend, for only 8 runs that's an absolute piss take.
  • 4 1
 I'm a massive fan of BPW, the staff are friendly, the trails are varied and I think they have always seemed to put the profits back into trail development but, I agree that the shortening of the uplift times really sucks. They improved the road and increased the number of vans which should have sped thing up greatly but as mentioned I now get fewer runs. I find the drivers to be helpful nice guys but compared to other uplift services there seems to a lack of efficiency let alone urgency. I still have an awesome time when I'm there and £41 is way cheaper than most action sports but I think some relatively minor improvements could really benefit the service. Hopefully they have this issue as a key area to work on.
  • 2 1
 Wow only 8 runs. That’s crap. I was thinking of coming down in spring but might not bother now
  • 3 1
 I’ve always preferred Antur. I’ve got over 15 runs in on some days and the staff are all really friendly and chilled. There might be fewer trails, but the sight lines mean you can let off the brakes and hoon down. Only problem is unpeeling claw hands in the uplift. On the other hand, I’ve never had an amazing day at BPW.
  • 4 0
 @Kickmehard: you are right it is frustrating uplifting there. It’s hard to feed that back without sounding like a whinger, but it is a frustrating part of an otherwise great place. For me it’s that ‘new’ Iveco thing that holds up progress. It’s so slow to move and slow to load/unload. My best recent visit to BPW was when it was broken down - I’m sure we got more runs in!
  • 4 0
 @tbgd: They're not you're average 2 minutes descents. It depends how you ride.
Our record is 13 runs but it was flat out, non stop.
I actually prefer to do less runs. Have fun on the way down and chat about the trail when you regroup.
I take it as £40 for a good day out with your mates.
  • 2 1
 Completely agree! Uplift speed is the main issue at BPW these days. I live approx. 30 minutes away and used to visit regularly before it turned in to a corporate money machine! The prices go up much quicker than the uplift that's for sure!
Don't get me wrong the trails themselves are great. I hadn't been to BPW for months but visited a couple of weeks ago as they run well during winter, but the que for the uplift was ridiculous. They have invested in a large fleet of uplift vehicles to keep the uplift running "efficient" but at the same time they've also increased the amount of riders that can book on each day, so they haven't actually resolved the problem. More buses = more people = more money it seems.
If you're still going to book an uplift I'd suggest booking midweek as it'll be cheaper (still as expensive as a weekend pass at other uplift venues) and slightly less people to fight for uplift space.
But, if you want a more value for money, more uplifts, more time riding rather than queuing, you're better off going to Revs, BMCC, Antur Stiniog or Dyfi.
  • 3 0
 Why don't they install a chairlift? I really really think they should and I cannot see any downsides...
"It costs money" ...so do the vans and the fuel and the wages of the drivers...
  • 1 0
 Agree last 2 visits the uplift is busy and slow even with more transport, enjoy the trails for a change but after 6 runs bit tired of waiting around and the crazy thing is you can knock out 7 runs a day riding up with ease
  • 1 0
 Was there a couple weekends ago and it wasn't quite as bad as other peoples experiences by the sounds of it, 9 chilled runs with a 30min ish food stop. Could have got a fair few more in if I was doing top to bottoms all day. Hardly any waiting around for the buses and efficient loading, drivers average speeds up the hill tho definitely seem to have slowed down, Biggest negative I could think of. Ooh and it was £43!
  • 1 1
 @willaasss: Exactly. People just want more all the time.
Just go there and have fun.
If you don't want to spend money, go ride somewhere for free.
  • 3 1
 @Allen82: Want more all the time?! Actually most people just want some value when they are paying for something. I have no issue paying for anything if its worth it. If people just keep happily being overcharged for things then that just keeps the money machine working and the prices just keep rising. BPW uplift has gone up again since I last looked, and it will be £50 in the not too distant future and people will just keep paying. Thats the trouble with the leisure industry in general, and why everything is so expensive. Especially within mountain biking, because people just keep paying for it in the name of "Fun" but in reality if it was day to day life people would be outraged. If it cost you £43 just to get to work each day I'm guessing it would be a different story? But then again the amount of people driving in around in VW Transporters thinking they are in a great value, great van just says it all really, and nothing will ever change.
  • 1 0
 @rsbromley: Antur is brilliant. So many lines, even on the same trails. Fantastic uplift and really friendly staff that genuinely want you to have a great time. The sell just the right amount of tickets as well. It's not just unpeeling the claw hands in the uplift, it's also when you wake up in the middle of the night just after. Cannot recommend highly enough.
  • 3 0
 But even at 8 runs that's still £3 per run... That's still fantastic value for money.

You can't even get a Latte for £3, you can't go to the cinema for £3, you can pretty much do absolutely nothing for £3.... but you can do a run at BPW Smile

Most hobbies are insanely expensive. My other one is motorbike trackdays.... £250 a day at Silverstone without fuel etc... So call it £300.... That's almost 10 days at BPW for the same cost... or 5 full uplift days for me and my 11 year old.

BPW is an absolute bargain.
  • 1 0
 @weeksy59: 8 runs at £41 is £5.13 a run, plus travel and food/drink it can easily be £10 a run for most people! As for your trackday example Silverstone is the most expensive one in the country. Smaller tracks are much cheaper and actually more suited to the types of cars most people use, fast road cars. You'd need to be in something 911 and above to really get any real benefit going to Silverstone than compared to somewhere like Cadwell Park.
  • 2 0
 I dunno, I went there 3 weeks ago on a mid week uplift for £38 managed 12 runs with a half hour stop for lunch. We did plan each descent to ensure we didn't waste any time though.
  • 1 0
 @DaMilkyBarKid: I have motorbikes, so Silverstone is still awesome, along with Cadwell being 200 miles from civilisation Smile
Even at £5.13 for a run, i'm still seeing a LOT of value in it... when you consider going to the Cinema for example compared to BPW, well it's not even a discussion is it.

£41 for a days fun.... I'm not sure what else that's an activity that's as cheap as that.
  • 1 0
 @DaMilkyBarKid: You have to include fuel and food in everything you do everyday. But you don't think if it that way, so that's not really an argument.
  • 7 0
 That is simply amazing. This is exactly how you get more people riding - particularly families and young kids. Well done guys!! I just hope the prices don’t rocket though.
  • 6 1
 The 41 sheets really doesn't justify this place at all, theres always that grumpy uplift driver who has a massive chip on his shoulder. They are all about quantity not quality theres a few decent runs but the majority are pretty drawn out. Not to mention how crowded it gets. This is always my last pick when going to wales especially when theres revs, black mountain, stiniog and now dyfi.
  • 9 1
 Another price increase coming then
  • 3 0
 I like others have mixed views about BPW and its a shame as the issues are simple to resolve.

Its great to see an expansion of the facilities (who thought one toilet and two urinals would be enough first time round), it certainly needs more undercover at lunchtime for the rain.

The uplifts are a bone of contention and while the runs are longer, 41 quid for 8 runs isnt competitive with similar South Wales venues. The large truck is a bad investment, takes ages to load and in the summer it is unbearably hot as the windows dont open. The seats are ridiculously uncomfortable too. It is a truly unpleasant experience. Please invest in some different windows if you are going to use it in summer. The guy who drives the truck could be a bit more helpful and less sarcastic too. Riders (including myself) pass on an uplift if its this one and wait for the minibuses.

The majority of the staff are amazing however. I lost my car keys on trail and they took me up the hill to look for them at the end of the day and went way after their clocking off time. Always polite and friendly.

A bit more focus on the finer details to do with the uplift would make a huge difference to the experience. Oh and a few more jumplines would be awesome!
  • 4 1
 I don't get all the hating on BPW.
People saying that it is not rider owned and that they are just a big corporate setup literally do not have a clue about the people involved and the passion that goes into the park.
As for the uplift and queue times, the last time I was there (on a Saturday) I had to queue for 5 minutes, once, all day. I got 10 runs in and that included some bike faff and a coffee/cake stop.
It is easy to compare it to other venues that are cheaper, but so many mountain bikers seem to get 'value' and 'cheap' muddled up. You get about 300m vertical for each uplift here. Apart form the gondola at Fort Bill, I don't know anywhere else that high. When people say "It's cheaper at the FOD and you get more runs blah blah" you are actually getting less value for the amount of vertical uplift you are getting. FOD is a tiny hill - good fun - but tiny compared to BPW. FOD is cheaper, but BPW is better value.
Where else has a full time trail crew maintaining everything?
Where else has this many tracks?
Admittedly - one shitter in the visitor centre is crazy, but nobody is perfect.
  • 1 0
 It’s well over priced last time I went massive queue about 8 runs all day massive lunch breaks it’s rider owned somewhat but it’s definitely turned more corporate and it comes across as a money making machine especially when the uplift driver was telling someone how they turned over £100000 that week
  • 1 0
 Oh and revolution bike park is 10x better and cheaper
  • 3 0
 "People saying that it is not rider owned and that they are just a big corporate setup literally do not have a clue about the people involved and the passion that goes into the park."

i live 25 mins away and have been riding there since the Dragon DH days so know exactly the reason why, who and how the place came to be. The trouble is that is now very hard to find underneath the business side of it all, the trail crews are brilliant but the bus drivers and cafe can make it feel like you're just a number they have to deal with to get their pay at the end of the month.

"Where else has a full time trail crew maintaining everything?"

Revs, 417 and Black Mountain all do.

"Where else has this many tracks?"

They may have more trails than other places but they're running out of ideas. There's only so many trails that you can ride in a day made out of the same style of features: a lot of the jumps are similar and they have fallen into the trap of making a trail harder by just putting in bigger jumps. Contrast that with Revs where the trails are all different and the blacks are a lot more technical rather than just more airtime.

"You get about 300m vertical for each uplift here."

Yes you get around only 150m at other venues but when you get double or more runs in, the staff are actively encouraging you to get back on the bus after every run (Antur is famous for the bus drivers goading you if pass up an uplift ride in my group of mates!) and a more chilled and friendly atmosphere you can understand why people see it as a missed opportunity. BPW has so much more room to improve the current setup by sweating the little details but they seem to be more interested in the big headline stuff like that stupid army truck bus, I've even had a chat with one of the staff about certain improvements they could make back at the beginning of the year. They've implemented two of them (2 buses at the uplift point at 9:50 and leaving promptly at 10 plus a steward to oversee loading), which I take no credit for, but there is so much more that could be done.
  • 1 0
 Weekends visits it’s normal to have a 10/15min wait before bus appears to get a 5min wait you must have been lucky all day
  • 1 0
 Come to Revs 300 m of vertical and you can do 20 runs in a day ????
  • 3 0
 £100000 turn over means f*ck all if it costs £110000 to open for the week. Your all banging on about "Rider owned" like that should make any difference. Rider owned just means that Rowan knows how to build a decent, fun sustainable trail, but it's a business and if it doesn't turn a profit then It will close. FOD is cheaper but tracks are shorter, I gather Dyfi is only Black trails so has limited appeal. I've not been to Revs or Antur but when I do i'll not compare like for like as they are all trying to do different things.
And whilst a chairlift seems like a good idea, other resorts that are served by chairlifts close to MTB's over the winter, I for one would not want to be wearing my normal riding kit dangling from a cable in the pissing down freezing rain in Wales any time soon.
  • 2 0
 Great news about the green trail - I’d love to bring my wife and kids along to ride this and maybe some of the blues too...

However, I think BPW really need to think about a new pricing option to accommodate families like this, especially as they are not likely to want to do a whole day.
With the current pricing scheme bringing the whole family along to do just 3 or so laps is really bad value for money.
  • 2 0
 Just pay as you on the uplift.
  • 2 0
 I love Bike Park Wales. sure it could be better in places. I am fat old bloke i got 9 runs in last time no probs. £11 for a pass and £41 of a uplift less mid week. is not to bad. I mean £41 down the pub all day or Or how many lifts in cab can you get for that ? Cwncarn is £33.50 is BPW not £7.50 better or worth investing that in more trails. yes they need better toilet. yes the last bus guy i met was cold and putting a brave face on (an also putting on rasta beats!!???!) but he had been standing next to bus a in 2 degree temp in the rain waiting for us blokes. I think it's great for MTB , great fro Kids and Great for wales
  • 2 0
 Bike wash station is ridiculous and they charge 2 quid for a can in the Cafe. The reason I started downhill mountain biking was because bike park Wales opened, but with the constant price increases I feel its not value for money anymore. Allot of my friends don't go because its so expensive.
  • 1 0
 Question for UK bike park riders...

I'm returning back from a nasty injury (broken neck in fact) and looking to start riding bike parks again in the new year.
I'm pretty experienced rider but I'm gonna count myself as a beginner almost, what do people recommend for working my way up from the bottom... Revs or BPW? or even dyfi? Ie. which has the best progression?

I've never been to either but I've rode a number of bike parks in Canada.

Also does BPW make their trail builders wear hard hats and hi-vis vests? That's hilarious if so.
  • 3 0
 Oh man sorry to hear about your injury!

BPW for sure! Revo is very good but you can’t really go there and chill, you have to be on it all day otherwise it’s pretty sketchy!

Get to BPW, you won’t be disappointed!
Hope it goes well, cheers
  • 1 0
 Bpw is pretty easy tracks and good progression. Revs with the exception of the freeride is gnarly top to bottom. Dyfi is less gnarly than revs but then some sections are pretty challenging. Start at bpw or maybe antur.
  • 1 0
 BPW for sure, revs is gnarly. Revs will be waiting for you when your up to it!
  • 2 0
 @jamesGTi have a look at " black mountain cycle centre " nr abergerveny , great flow trails and a good progression ,

Dyfi is the closest you can get to whistler in the uk , and not as gnarly as most people think its more about speed control

also Antur Stiniog has a good range of trails and the best uplift service bar none
  • 2 1
 BPW for sure. More variety of trails, you can build your confidence back up through the day. Dyfi is less forgiving should you make an error - high stakes imo.
  • 1 0
 This time of year BPWales will be good fun as there are lots of weather proof trails to ride. It's fast though, I usually end up scaring myself on the easier runs before too long. There's some unexpected huge stuff on some of the newer reds too so watch out.

In drier weather (or now if you don't mind mud) I'd recommend the forest of dean. The runs are naturally slower, shorter and the uplift is quicker. It's great fun there and I find I'm less likely to crash at high speed than at BPWales.
  • 1 0
 thanks everyone !
  • 1 0
 I had a similar injury (C6&C7) last year and last weekend had my first BPW trip since that. I'm also by no means an expert! It's brilliant for building back your confidence and has loads to progress on, would definitely recommend it. By the end I was almost back to the same trails and features as before.

Biggest problem was not having built back my strength/fitness enough to fit more runs in!
  • 1 0
 @Philmorbin: sounds just the job. How you getting on with your injury? have surgery? I did my C4&5 and T1 actually. I avoided surgery by the skin of my teeth thankfully, kept me in overnight so they could discuss it with other surgeons in the morning, seems to be the right call as I've made great progress so far.
  • 1 0
 @JamesGTi: also avoided surgery, just. Spent 6 weeks in an aspen collar to see how the bones healed, all good, so no surgery required. A year on and my neck is sore, stiff, and cracks a lot more than before, but it’s gradually improving and not really limiting me. For biking the biggest trouble is resistance when tilting my head up, also improving.

Glad to hear your recovery is going well, good luck! Stick to all the exercises, and don’t push it too far too soon!
  • 4 0
 Revs, dyfi, bmcc - all built by riders for riders, everyone is always friendly and the uplifts are slick.
  • 1 0
 100% and not corporate and well priced
  • 1 0
 I personally hate the place to expensive to corporate and to man made all about the money last time I was there I had to hear on one uplift how they had turned over £100000 that week which fair play all companies like to make money but come on
  • 1 0
 Havnt been there for over a year. But was regular for previous 2 years. Never had an issue with uplifts, but then I always went midweek as fortunate to live in Swansea. But did notice a definite decrease in staff friendliness. Felt like "a number". The uplift drivers are a mixed bunch. When they announced the purchase of that monster truck, almost all reaction was negative - why the paying punters could discern it was a waste of money, but management could not?? I always got a PAYG pass, at £4 a lift was OK.
It is a clichéd "victim of its own success".
  • 1 0
 1 shower for 500 riders and a bike wash that is nearly always broken. Aside from that awesome facility. Just needs a chair lift now.
  • 2 0
 Antur Stiniog ????
  • 3 1
 I like cwm down too
  • 2 4
 Regularly get 20-24 runs..... Bosh, bang for buck$

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