Dan Atherton: Building Masterpieces - Video

Oct 26, 2016
by Atherton Racing  


Dan Atherton can often be found on the “world's most stylish rider” lists but he’s probably as famous for his trail-building skills and his incredible work ethic as for his riding skills. This has never been more apparent as in this latest project which has seen him create two amazing lines in his beloved Dyfi Forest.

Dan Atherton Dyfi

Dan Atherton Dyfi

Dan said: “The tracks that you see in this edit have been a ridiculous amount of work, but you only get out what you’ve put in. This project will never really be finished, there are two tracks featured in the edit but they are definitely a work in progress; we’ve been working on these trails for a year and stuff’s already great fun to ride but there is loads more I want to do."

Dan Atherton Dyfi

Dan Atherton Dyfi

"The forest is awesome it’s got the same elevation drop as Fort William or Hardline but there are places where the terrain is relatively mellow, that meant we could build these cool flowing jump lines that you don’t have to brake on." He added.

Dan Atherton Dyfi

Dan Atherton Dyfi

"Some of the projects I’ve worked on like Hardline or the 4x3 Quarry line have been so intense that you can only ride them when you are right on top of your game, this time I wanted to create something that was fun to ride every day and that we could ride with friends, not just for me, Gee and Rach, but for all the guys who were out in all weathers helping to dig it.”

Dan Atherton Dyfi

Dan Atherton Dyfi

Video: Robbie Meade of Mount Creative. It will be the first in a series documenting Dan’s project in the Dyfi Forest. Watch the film in 4K on youtube!

Photos: Laurence C-E and Dave Mackison


MENTIONS: @trek / @trekfactoryracingdh




160 Comments

  • + 160
 Dan... Build us a Welsh world cup track Smile
  • + 28
 It'd also be sick if he got involved in that bike park Danny Hart's got going. Could combine the two as well
  • + 16
 Does "all weathers" just mean "cold and colder" and "wet and wetter"?
  • + 4
 @medievalbiking: you're kidding right? Hammers is tiny mate, it's good for what it is but there's not much room for expansion. The uplift is utterly soul destroying aswell.Seems to take forever.
  • + 5
 love his 4x style
  • + 4
 @Ziph I don't know anything about it, I just assumed it would be good if Danny was involved :/
  • + 2
 @fullbug: Hell yeah! it just shines right through!
  • + 0
 @dirteveryday: agreed. its plussizebmx.
  • - 1
 Fix the enduro wc track too
  • + 2
 That soil is half rocks!
  • + 4
 Agreed! Also I went wrong somewhere with my choice of work......much rather build trails
  • + 1
 I think he just did!! Big Grin
  • + 1
 This looks incredible! Does anyone have more info on whether or not this is / will be public? If it is public, specific location?

Additionally, anyone have any good links to trail info of the U.K.?
  • + 1
 @wesob7: check out mbwales.com for welsh trails
  • + 3
 @wesob7: No this is not open to the public. Yet.
The best easily accessible DH trails in Wales are Antur Stiniog, Revolution and Cwmcarn (all with uplifts). Also try to get to Fort William in Scotland. I don't know the north of England, but in the south near London, try Aston Hill for DH, albeit with a push up, but worth it.
Where are you staying?
  • + 2
 @wesob7: Innerleithen. ...uplift Scotland. ..great day out. ......
  • + 0
 @LemonadeMoney: awesome, thanks for the suggestions. I think I'm moving to greater London early next year for work and will be there for 2+ years. Can't wait to ride it all.

If you have any suggestions of places to live just outside the m25 I'm all ears. Requirements are:
I have to commute around the north half of London for work so need train access. Most importantly, need a yard and ideally access to some kind of AONB or parks for my dog and my sanity (I'm coming from boise, ID). Any good places around chiltern hills?
Thanks!
  • + 1
 @Norski: cheers! Thank you
  • + 2
 @Ziph: Didn't do Danny any harm though did it. Yeah it's short but having spoken to him, Danny says that the bottom half isn't far different than many WC tracks, all be it just shorter.
  • + 1
 @wesob7: Around the Chilterns? Aston Hill!
astonhillbikepark.co.uk
  • + 1
 @wesob7: this is a brilliant resource compiled by my fwiend @bigbluebike - albeit all bmx tracks but hey, for a quick spin they're great www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1tL1ELdCXemdd-iLAwZoULIJaqW0&hl=en_US
  • + 0
 Whales sucks!
  • + 88
 "Hey that all looks fun"
"Oh man, a pro who makes trails for people like me?"
*40 foot road gap*
"Damn, maybe I just suck.
  • + 6
 I thought exactly the same as I read that last paragraph.
Beer
  • + 15
 haha...true. For what it's worth, I hit something similar to this last year for the first time, and if you have someone to follow into it, it really isn't bad at all. Purely mental...then again that applies to so much of this sport. Once you know what speed is necessary the rest just follows. Doesn't mean it is any less impressive, but I think a lot of people don't give themselves enough credit!
  • + 4
 @nvranka: Agree with you, i was hesitate to take a bigger feature on bike park. But once i followed a more skilled rider in front of me, adjusting to his speed and suddenly that big feature just flow to my rhytm. Hit it twice behind someone skilled enough and you're just good to go by yourself. Maybe that technique also create Rachel as a great rider as she's now.
  • + 4
 @zulki-fly: absolutely! When I went to whistler my buddy and I met a local on the chair and rode schleyer/lower whis DH with him for the first time. After it became evident he knew what he was doing, we were blindly hitting features at speed mirroring his lines and it felt effortless.

Can never forget the importance of following people on trails/features you aren't familiar with. It really speeds up the progression process!
  • + 8
 @nvranka: This is why people who guinea pig runs have my utmost respect. Someone has to be the first.
  • + 3
 @si618: oh my god I know...watching some of the days leading up to rampage finals for example...building insane lines and hitting them for the first time...not something I've ever done nor will I!
  • + 35
 One word, BRILLIANT. Just shows the talent of Affy as both a trail builder and rider. Is it any wonder that both Gee and Rach are as good as they are with Dan as a big brother? Defo going to have to take another trip Dyfi. Good work Dan.
  • + 10
 Wow wow wow, remember Claudio said something along those lines and Rach shot him down as being sexist? Tut tut. Wink
  • + 8
 @glasvagas: I had exactly the same words man :-)
They are training harder than we think it's possible, but the big brother influence is just there so that's why both Rach and Claudio are right.
  • + 12
 @raidenCZE: Denying the effect of having a siblings to push you into the stratosphere is foolish!
  • + 1
 You can take a trip back there to try and find this magical trail, but I bet nobody will ever find it! Dan hides his trails so well. p.s. If you have found it please let us all know!
  • + 1
 Absolutely stunning. Dude's got some vision. And that dirt. Perfectly sculpted.
  • + 23
 That trail just went on forever, throw in a couple of chicken lines and i'm there!
  • + 7
 or in my case... throw in there almost a chicken line per feature and I'm there!
Beer
  • + 15
 Rode there in July. Can't wait to see the place open to riders and for Dan to get some return on all the massive effort and cost. Build it and they will come.
  • + 9
 could this be the birth of a new bikepark? give this man a lift!
  • + 4
 Please say it opens to the public!
  • + 1
 Is it forestry commission land?
  • + 14
 Dan Atherton is a bad ass. And a damn stylish one at that. Can you believe he broke his back not long ago? Respect.
  • + 7
 Pretty sure if was his neck mate but either way the dude is a B'dass
  • + 2
 @Garpur44: yep neck! Held his own head in place until the medics arrived. That makes him double badass!!!
  • + 10
 Holy crap, Dan is da man! that looks epic! awesome looking trail and riding! This trail has it all, flow, rhythm and tech sections, berms, doubles, tables, drops and gaps, its all there and by the looks of it anyone can have fun on this trail. Great camera work and editing too!
  • + 13
 Welsh A line anybody
  • - 7
flag dirteveryday (Oct 27, 2016 at 9:27) (Below Threshold)
 A-line is a pile of turd, this was simply amazing.
  • + 10
 Looks awesome, maybe he should head south and put his skills into re-vamping places like Cwmcarn, only ridden the cafel trail lately, but the DH always seems dead!
  • + 2
 Up lift only operational on a weekend these days. It took a bit of a hit when they swapped sides of the valley due to tree felling. Back to the Y Mynydd side now, which is still a great track, but you're right, if the forestry weren't so difficult to deal with (in this instance) then another track on the same side would definitely do the place a big favour and get the uplift numbers up again.
  • + 3
 @dglobulator: @ompete I hear Darryl has been struggling to get the local authorities interested in putting any work into Cwmcarn and they are now loosing out hand over foot to places like BMCC or BPW.

Apparently they have taken it upon themselves to get a crew of guys up there and start digging but it is all unofficial and the amount of time it would take would a small crew and hand tools would be immense
  • + 2
 @Garpur44: Bang on mate. It's a big missed opportunity when you consider how many people visit BPW. The footfall there is immense.
  • + 3
 @dglobulator: I think the local government in wales are wising up to what resources we have when it comes to new tourism opportunities. BPW woke everyone up. We are not blessed with lots in Wales but we do have lots of land and gradient to go with it. Heres hoping the next decade takes care of the old trails while developing new ones - good for UK bikers.
  • + 1
 @Norski: The national parks in Wales are run by idiots mate ! They have just closed the mountain centre in the Brecon Beacons , which is/was the main tourist information hub for that area ! Not good for cyclists, walkers and the poor people who worked there !
  • + 10
 Not a bad trail for a single day of digging with a pick axe. Smile
  • + 8
 So where can I sign a petition for a Dan Atherton x Nico Vink bikepark to be built?
  • + 4
 i would like to attend one of your manual classes Dan, let me know when the next one is. You make it all look so smooth and easy, best kind of style there is no matter what the sport. The best always make it look effortless. well done to the Athertons
  • + 5
 So is he making this place a bike park eventually for the public to use? could be quite a good business for the family once they stop racing
  • + 5
 Holy smokes, what a great trail, my legs are burning just watching, awesome, That road gap, not sure on that, might have to ride around that part,
  • + 4
 Great tunes, filming and riding and better still its in Wales not Whistler! Nice one Dan!
  • + 2
 Kudos to you Mr. Atherton.....amazing trail and amazing riding........thanks for filming this as I haven't had a video make me wanna ride this much in a very long time. Keep it up!
  • + 4
 Obscenely stylish, and awesome looking trails!
  • + 1
 Wow, such a cool, fun track!! Well done, awesome work. But did he really build it all himself with only a mattock and a shovel?? Personally l like to have a wheelbarrow handy, just in case, you know?
  • + 1
 So this looks totally rideable and fun with rollable tabletops and easy out options with some serious builds for crossings and drops... so is it private land with public access or just Atherton and friends access?
  • + 0
 Holy crap!!! This is my dream to have a space to do anything I can imagine with and this track just about has it all. Never had Dan near the top of my list as stylish riders, but this vid definitely just put him on the map for me. Time to re-watch.
  • + 3
 wow it must be very dyficult to build all that!
  • + 1
 Atta boy... Wink
  • + 1
 This looks amazing. I'm supposed to move to England in the next few months and would love to ride this. Is it open to public? Specific location? Thanks!
  • - 1
 awesome work and great riding but Dan is a bit of a grumpy dude no? i ran into him and Rachel in Whistler Bike Park, she was nice and friendly, Dan not so much. i grew up in North Wales, i'll have to bring my bike with me next time i go home.
  • + 1
 Yep a grumpy person like in the real world before the internet used to exist
  • + 1
 Great British trail building. Affy your a legend, great rider, trail builder and I'm sure a very important and much appreciated sibling, keep up the inspiration
  • + 1
 Lets just hope this ends up being an open access trail so locals with the fitness don't have to pay £30 a head to get an uplift
  • + 1
 Could be an interesting ride up if it has the same height drop as fort William!
  • + 1
 Yeah, Dan! It's been so long since we last spoke, you remember when we met at bikepark whales and we went for coffee together? We should meet up aGAIN sometime, PM me!!!!!!
  • + 2
 Dan is an amazing trail builder and flows the sh*t out of this trail! Style for miles Affy!
  • + 1
 best film of the Atherton`s so far.....nothing beat a self trail construction to ride on.......

And with no cleat pedals hehe
  • + 2
 sooo jealous of the size of the canvas Dan A gets to work with - I want that in my life
  • + 3
 This is truly one of the best mtb edits on the interwebs.
  • + 2
 That's it! I am leaving Denmark and going to live in wales! Brilliant tracks and astonishing countryside!!!!
  • + 2
 That kicker near the end absolutely boosted him! Maybe one day...
  • + 1
 Dan builds amazing trails, I wish he could show some people around here how to build!!
  • + 1
 Absolutely praying that Christchurch Bike Park has some lines similar to this when it opens!! Sooo sick
  • + 2
 Looks like BC not wales, I am pleased to live near(ish) here
  • + 1
 That was great! Just what I needed on this dreary Thursday morning. Keep up the good work!
  • + 1
 Dan is to Europe what the coastal crew is to north america. Maybe that's too broad but you get the point.
  • + 1
 Hey Dan, feel free to drop by and pimp our jungles. Er... take your time, I'm still saving for a Session.
  • + 1
 I knew I sucked as a trail builder but, not that much. Dan is builder God and then some.
  • + 1
 I love how the opening scene shows him with a shovel - then he just shreds the most perfectly machined trail
  • + 1
 Such a romantic dance... Looks like he dancing with best partner of the life ha ha... That's so SWEET
  • + 2
 Five Tens and not Shimano ??!!
  • + 2
 Having tried their AM7 model i can see why he is using Five Tens
  • + 1
 Dan" I seem to have Misplaced my invite? Would you be a gudun, and send me another. Cheers
  • + 1
 Yeah! Dan is the "man" ! He can build masterpieces an dreams, with just a short..handled shovel........
  • + 1
 intro says " welch winter 2016" this could be a dumb question but how is it already winter there?
  • + 6
 Only 2 seasons in Wales. Cold and wet, and just wet. As beautiful a place as you'll ever see tho.
  • + 1
 Awesome trail!! Leave work and ride after watching that great vid...why yes...I must!!
  • + 1
 THIS is why Rachael Atherton is so good. Not because she grew up riding with two boys. THIS.
  • + 2
 He should invite them C3 boys to ride this track.
  • + 1
 What exactly is Dyfi forest where he is building all this? Who owns the land and controls access?
  • + 1
 It's an area in Mid Wales run by National Resources Wales,used to be called the forestry commission.
Dan's Park is on private land though, in the middle of the Dyfi forest area.
Has around 600m drop in the park.
www.visitmidwales.co.uk/Machynlleth-Dyfi-Forest/details/?dms=3&venue=1030612
  • + 1
 @Beicpinc: So who owns the land he's building all this on?
  • + 1
 @sino428:
There's many forests owned by private landlords and private companies in Wales.
  • + 1
 @Beicpinc: YEa I was just curious if anyone know specifically who's land this was on and who was letting him do all this.
  • + 2
 @Beicpinc: Given the scale of the work so far it would suggest this will become open to the public (bike park and entry cost). A lot of earth moving gone on just to be a private park.
  • + 1
 @Norski: Yea thats why I was curious about it.
  • + 1
 @sino428: watch this space as they say.... Its quite amazing when you consider Wales as a country is smaller than your state ha ha
  • + 1
 This music was so chilled for the shredding that I just watched...
  • + 1
 oh my god that was sweeeet
  • + 1
 Dan is such a legend, that video was amazing!
  • + 2
 my favoite atherton
  • + 1
 Awesome. Must ride, when does it open?
  • + 1
 i want to see him team up with the coastal crew
  • + 1
 He really did a big job, AMAZING
  • + 1
 Most stylish rider is a longshot but still good.
  • + 1
 Where there is Dan, there is definitely a good way.
  • + 1
 wow. that was awesome all the way around. nice work!
  • + 1
 c´mon redbull give the man his well deserved helmet damn it
  • + 1
 POV would be so cool to watch!
  • + 1
 world's most stylish rider?;/
  • + 1
 Tables, tables & more tables...
  • + 1
 Where is the access for these trails???
  • + 5
 It's on private land! Open for uplift next year i understand.
  • + 1
 @Beicpinc: Chairlift hopefully!
  • + 0
 @Beicpinc: is this true. Please tell me you have inside information.
  • + 1
 @hassall79: Just spoke with one of the dig crew and yes that is the plan,next year or the year after,loads to be done yet.
  • + 0
 Music: Radiation City - Color of Industry
www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9RbnC7TrH4
  • + 1
 Best thing I've watched in a long time.
  • + 1
 wicked trails, awesome vid!
  • + 2
 That...was...beautiful!
  • + 1
 Sweeeet !!! wanna ride it !
  • + 1
 Awesome looking trail and vid Dan, big ups!
  • + 1
 could someone ask Dan to build Whistler in North Wales please
  • + 1
 I think he's half way there mate
  • + 1
 awesome!!!! looks very sick!
  • + 1
 this is truly living the dream and shred it while you can
  • + 1
 Dan looks so lonely... Why doesn't he have any friends?
  • + 4
 Cause its lonely at the top bro!!!
  • + 1
 Dan the Man.
  • + 1
 Sick. As always.
  • + 1
 Looks sick
  • + 1
 one question: How???
  • + 0
 Riding was smooth as!.. too bad the music sucked old lady socks
  • + 0
 Dare I say that Dan looks better technically than Gee? What a video!
  • + 6
 It's different styles of riding. Dan has always been powerful (in 4x) and stylish and is a very good rider but Gee has the edge in pace on a proper technical DH track.
  • + 1
 Very...VERY.....good
  • + 1
 Amazing
  • + 1
 Awesome!
  • + 1
 I enjoyed that
  • + 1
 Da*n good work that!
  • - 1
 Music please?
  • + 2
 Radiation City - The Color of Industry AND I love it!
  • - 1
 What is the song?
  • + 1
 So fun to groove to.
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