Video: Dan Atherton's New Dirt Merchant Inspired Jump Line at DyFi Bike Park

Oct 8, 2021
by James Smurthwaite  


bigquotesI wanted to create a jumpline that raises the bar for UK riding. It was inspiring to see what Vero and James achieved with Vision Line at Revs, and of course Dirt Merchant in Whistler; I knew that we had to go hard to create something as special at Dyfi. We’ve worked with Oakley pretty much our entire careers and they’re a super-cool brand that we’ve always wanted to collaborate more closely with so they were the perfect partner to help me bring that vision to life.

I’ve been racing and riding all over the world for more than 20 years and in that time I’ve experienced a lot of amazing trails; this track was about bringing together all the coolest things that I’ve ridden. I’ve always wanted an upliftable jumpline, pure surfaced, smooth… I’m definitely showing my BMX roots. In fact, it’s like a cross between a slopestyle course, a DH track and a BMX track. It combines wood drops and bridges with tall BMX lips and hips, all thrown together in an upliftable DH track. The lower section of the Dyfi mountain is the perfect site, the uplift is really fast and the trail is just over a km.

Everything that I build here is designed for progression, once you’ve got 50 Hits dialled, step up to the next level. This track is aimed at the experienced rider but even the best in the world need to work on their jumps and push their comfort zone. The speeds are high and the jumps are massive but Icon Way offers riders the opportunity to start moderate and work up with different sized lips and hips all the way down. You can ride it on a BMX, a hardtail, a DH bike; anything you want to bring – it’s sick to have a fully surfaced track that you can stay clean on all day.

Icon Way has been a year in the making, it’s a shared vision with Oakley, especially brand manager Scott McMorris who has been awesome, totally buying into our plans, understanding the visual cues we were trying to create and bearing with us when things inevitably didn’t go smoothly! The track is named for the street where Oakley HQ is found in Foothill Ranch, California.

Most of the early digging work was achieved by the hugely talented Jamie Cable who put in some serious hours in the digger to help me lay out the fundamental shape of the course and sculpted most of the kickers. Jamie’s precision and attention to detail, his endless patience in sculpting the lips has elevated this track to something really special. The dig crew have been on the tools in all weathers as usual, constantly prepping, Alf and Sam on the woodwork…it’s such a huge undertaking with such different elements that at times it seemed endless but all of them were totally committed
Dan Atherton





54 Comments

  • 26 0
 Not sure what to comment on, dudes sending it with 0 F given, dirt looks awesome, fact that I'd rather be riding that that sitting on my desk looking at it while at work, that I will most likely never be able to 360 or front flip one of those jumps or that this lines looks like so much fun. Mind is confused.
  • 21 2
 Agreed, watching this while sitting at my computer on a Friday is exhilarating and brutal. I definitely plan to "send" (roll over) some "features" (small table-tops) later for sure!
  • 17 0
 Looks a bit too Dyfi-cult for me to try.
  • 4 0
  love this
  • 2 0
 This makes more sense spoken with an English accent rather than Welsh Big Grin
  • 1 0
 How this isn’t a top rated comment I’ve no idea!
  • 2 0
 @TurnipTowers: I did wonder if I was butchering the pronunciation!
  • 8 3
 Looks rad and would love to ride it.

One thing that stuck out me me is that Oakley “partnered” on this. Genuinely curious, what did Oakley bring to the table besides some logos? Construction $$?
  • 13 0
 Some eye wear? Kidding aside, I get your point. But I imagine for an enterprise like Dyfi this its a fairly big "capital" investment to build a new trail of this magnitude. And given that a bank likely wouldn't view some beautifully sculped mounds of dirt collateral, other financing options are a must. Enter Oakley.
  • 5 0
 @jaytdubs: As a lawyer, it is my dream to someday draft a financing, security, and collateralization agreement for "Beautifully Sculped Mounds of Dirt"!!! For now, I will just watch this video again while sitting at my desk on a Friday afternoon.
  • 2 0
 @taurausmountain: let me know when you get that sorted lol
  • 5 0
 @jaytdubs: Yea seems like a pretty straight forward sponorship deal. Oakley pays them money toward the construction of the trail, the trial gets Oakley signage all over it, a video like this where the mention oakley 40x, etc.
  • 5 0
 They are a sponsor, what do you think sponsors do?
  • 6 0
 What did redbull bring to rampage?
  • 1 2
 @Matt115lamb: I get your point, but it’s not a fair comparison. Rampage is an event that requires planning, media rights, TV, etc. This is a trail. That’s it.
  • 1 0
 @redrook: Nope, in marketing-speak they’re a “partner”. Whatever that means besides sponsorship.
  • 1 0
 @Reno233: It means they're a sponsor, they just don't call it that. So yep.
  • 4 0
 Had a look a few weeks ago as it's by El Hippo. Much much steeper in reality than it looks on the video. Heading back again in a few weeks, but that's way beyond my level. Incredible place to ride though. Top trails and top people.
  • 4 0
 @Niseach1 See you soon
  • 1 0
 @dyfibikepark: Can't wait!
  • 8 0
 Man...I love bikes.
  • 2 0
 Genuine question: how well does the dirt hold up on a line like that in Dyfi? Never been but its riddled with shale so i'd figure it would get loose pretty quick with any real amount of tire traffic? Looks insane though. Yet another Dan Atherton masterpiece.
  • 8 0
 Holds out really well actually. Just don’t crash on it, it’s brutal
  • 1 0
 @rudymedea: I can imagine it isn't the softest landing...
  • 1 0
 @rudymedea: being from the southeastern US where everything is just clay i kind of wondered if they were mixing granite/shale in to the lines for drainage, but i guess thats just the natural soil. my second thought has always been ... "that would really suck to crash on"
  • 3 0
 It's all slate and hard clay in mid-north Wales, so yeah hard, loose surface but tough enough for a few bits of rubber. (it's the geological reason they can only realistically farm sheep and not much else)
  • 3 0
 Actually it’s pretty solid, we surfaced the whole track with “badger sand” then used a whacker plate or packed the steepest lips with shovels
  • 1 0
 @dyfibikepark: Thats impressive! that type of soil takes all kinds of maint to maintain so good on you guys for keeping it running in prime condition!
  • 1 0
 @dyfibikepark: what exactly is badger sand?
  • 3 1
 Is that just how the dirt is in the UK? I've noticed it in most of Atherton's videos, seems like a lot of shale. I'd hate to have a crash on that. Coolest line ever tho, wish I could make it there
  • 5 0
 Nah that's just the geology of the area around Dyfi.
  • 4 0
 Looks awesome. Now all you need is a blue jump line to help me progress to the reds.
  • 11 0
 You’d be fine
  • 2 0
 Looks amazing but missing the "Dirt" part of DM. Maybe if Dirt Merchant and Shale Master had a love child?
Also, keep right on the deck of that big drop!
  • 2 0
 Maybe it is just me, but as a mere mortal, that 'dirt'/shale looks crazy slippery and terrifying to ride as those kinds of speeds...they sure made it look fun tho!
  • 2 0
 That oakley drop looks horrible....like honestly lets have you grab brake so hard on this flow line that you have to go to 0mph or just send the drop to flat.
  • 2 0
 It's rare I see trails like this where I can realistically hit every feature.



With my body. Most likely not on my bike. Or in control. Rad. \m/
  • 3 0
 Love DYFI, amazing place.
  • 1 0
 Glad i just watched this right before I power down my laptop and head to snowshoe for one last go before they close. That video was bonkers.
  • 2 0
 Not gonna lie, the dirt at Dyfi looks like it would carve you up something fierce if you crashed.
  • 2 0
 Yes, it would. Just don't fall off. Best bike park in the UK. Amazing amount of grip in any weather as well
  • 2 0
 Goodness gracious I would like to ride that trail.
  • 7 0
 i would like to be able to ride that trail
  • 1 0
 Seen this in person today at dyfi. It is ridiculously huge. Very few are going to be sending these
  • 3 1
 Is there a rollable option, asking for a friend.
  • 1 0
 Went a couple of weeks ago. Planning on going back next month....rain or shine i will be there!
  • 1 0
 Looks bigger than dirt merchant.
  • 2 0
 newer style features and smaller case pads but the drops look about the same.
  • 1 0
 Hopefully oakley bought the diesel fuel at least.
  • 2 0
 Damn Daniel
  • 2 0
 Amazing looking trail
  • 2 1
 The visuals are iconic

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