Video: Miranda Miller & Caleb Holonko Discover Revolution Bike Park in 'Play, Not Practice'

Aug 15, 2022
by Miranda Miller  

Whistler Bike Park opened when I was 9 and, later, I started riding there when I was about 11 or 12. It was exciting, but pretty low key in those days. The trails were still being developed; there was more dirt than rock and it was ‘ride on’ lift lines. I had some of my first world-class racing there and some of my early successes. I loved it and it felt like the bike park was full of magic. Recently, however, to this privileged local, it has felt that WBP has demanded more effort and more patience to find that same magic. It still exists of course, but you have to push a little deeper through the dust and long lift lines. A-Line is the best jump trail in the world, but surely there’s something else to match? Another bike park somewhere with some of this magic? Could it be Revolution Bike Park? Off and on, for years, it has filled my Instagram feed and the feeling has grown - if there’s somewhere to rival Whistler, it could be there.

The Welsh or, as Caleb accidentally called it, Wales-ish, countryside is home to some of the world’s most talented riders. Riders who ooze style, creativity, and flair that have riders all over the world trying to emulate them. Tahnee, Vero, Kade, Kaos, 3Dumb, 50:01, the Athertons and too many more to list - they are unique and fresh in their riding as well as many being a dominant force on the World Cup circuit. What is it about Wales? Do these “small” bike parks play a significant role?

Graeme Meiklejohn Photo DVRGNT Minds

I have spent my lifetime fascinated by the art of racing and early on it became a goal of mine to master what could be seen as ‘perfect’ form. It is most likely the futile chase of something unattainable that has kept me engaged for so long. I grew up prioritizing cone drills over wheelies. Instead of dirt jumping, I was timing sections of trail. I saw time in the gym as more valuable than riding a skatepark. I grew up feeling that my time was running out and I had none to waste on something like exploring creativity on my bike. Why hit a corner that way, when doing it this way was faster? In the spring of 2021, I realized I needed, and wanted, to reevaluate what could be a ‘meaningful’ bike ride. With a twist of fate I was fortunate enough to be invited to Casey Brown’s inaugural Dark Horse event where I saw a group of younger riders, uninhibited by the seams of self-doubt running through many of my generation. I left Dark Horse vowing to be more like a grom.

Graeme Meiklejohn DVRGNT minds
Graeme Meiklejohn Photo DVRGNT Minds
Just a couple wanna be groms

What better opportunity to ride Revolution than when already in the UK in the company of a camera man and the amazing North Shore Freerider, Caleb Holonko? Surely he could show me a thing or two about fun and style? So, after our week racing in Innerleithen, we made the drive to the Wales-ish countryside. And, amazing wasn’t even half of it. I thought it would be exclusively a story of shred. A tale of finding a buried talent. And yes. We shredded. I hit jumps. I took my hands off the bars for the first time and Caleb threw down an absolutely insane run on 50:01. But also, we stayed in a tiny Welsh village where we had beers with the locals. We rode windy, narrow lanes with banks of wildflowers and interlaced branches overhead. And we met James, who reinforced for me that cycling can help you find your purpose in life. And yet again, in another country, we saw first hand the importance of building community. And this equally became the story.

Graeme Meiklejohn Photo DVRGNT Minds
Graeme Meiklejohn Photo DVRGNT Minds
Easy push up for a quick session

The Foster family, spearheaded by James, own and operate Revolution Bike Park. Originally from Cornwall, James rode, raced a little XC, and had passages of time when he didn’t ride at all. Somewhere along the way he discovered trail building and realized that this was his Thing. What he was born to do! In need of a change, he persuaded his family to up and move to the Welsh countryside. His parents bought a large acreage, his brother took care of the business part and James got to work building. Looking at James’ work you would assume that he came from a dirt jump background, not an XC. He carved, wound, and wove berms and jumps across the hillside creating, through sheer imagination, what he thought would be fun. This translated into amazing pieces of trail that squeeze every ounce of action out of a relatively small hill!

Graeme Meiklejohn Photo DVRGNT Minds
Carving across the Welsh hillside

Graeme Meiklejohn Photo DVRGNT Minds
Graeme Meiklejohn Photo DVRGNT Minds

I was most struck by James’ ability and willingness to listen. He is open-minded and has laid aside ego in his building. He can progress in his work because he takes feedback and is willing to make changes. James collaborates with local athletes, helping design and build their dream tracks. This has created, in turn, a culture and style of riding. Revolution is revolutionary. It is designed to allow you to incorporate “session” style riding into a bike park setting. Vision Line is now to me what A-Line is to so many others! By offering so many alternatives through different jump lines, Vision Line makes the ability to progress incredibly accessible and so much fun. I could have spent all day there!

Graeme Meiklejohn Photo DVRGNT Minds
Graeme Meiklejohn Photo DVRGNT Minds
Miranda trying to turn the bars and keep the knees in. Just like Caleb.

Sometimes, when you’re a ‘pro’ it comes with the assumption that you can just ‘do it all.’ I’m the first to admit, I have a long way to go in my riding. That is the most exciting thing about my profession. I’m only now learning the difference between having style and form. When I was actually a grom, I just wanted to be an adult. It’s only now that I’m here, sitting in my 30’s that I realize the importance of play, not practice.

Author Info:
mkem avatar

Member since Jul 8, 2006
35 articles

31 Comments
  • 35 0
 There is so much crap in mtb media, particularly written. This however is wonderful. It is written in coherent English and is not full of hyperbole. It has something to say. I hope Miranda wouldn't mind me saying that I have warmed to her character recently!
  • 17 0
 Thank-you! I appreciate an audience that actually reads what is written. I will admit that I still need my mom to help me with my grammar.
  • 18 0
 The realest mtb shit on YouTube, full stop.
  • 4 0
 The support we need ❤️ Thank you Free Rads!
  • 11 0
 What a great watch and read . I got to get over there soon , 50 next year and Vision line looks like it could make or break me !
  • 6 0
 Bring in year 50 on Vision Line! Unreal building from James and his crew, I hope you get out there.
  • 7 0
 I absolutely love riding at Rev's! I get down there to Wales from Manchester about 3-4 times a year and every time I progress and do something better than I could the time before. I've never been a jumper either, but have made it down the Vision line as far as the step-up road gap, that's the next thing to tick off! The steep tech trails are as sick as the jump lines, and the whole team there are awesome! Happy to keep supporting them to keep pushing the boundaries in British trail building!
  • 2 0
 The team is awesome! It was really cool to see how many people were skilled and comfortable on the jumps at Revs- because of lines like Vision. I’d like to go back and work on the bigger hip.
  • 2 0
 This was gorgeous, beautifully written and beautifully ridden. You're never too old to play.The last few years have been my most fun and rewarding on a bike(as I approach my seventh decade). The family story brought a tear to my eye and it was lovely to get a bit of the background to a place.
  • 5 0
 Damn. That was sick.
  • 6 0
 How sick is Holonko?!
  • 2 0
 Great place to ride, even as an old git on a trail bike, it’s seriously good fun.
Interesting to learn how it all started and progressed, well worth a visit.
  • 1 0
 MOAR! Of all of it! More of this writing! More of this storytelling! More of Caleb shredding the face off of everything his tires touch, and more of Miranda learning that you're never too old to play. So good.
  • 4 0
 Nice to see. Well done!
  • 4 0
 REVZ 4 EVZ
  • 3 0
 Wearing the shirt now…
  • 1 0
 Another great view of biking from Miranda !
I’ve never been to Revs but now I’m going, right after the new frame bearings go in my Operator.
  • 1 0
 Laughs, vision, talent, some tears, pretty green and mud. No hand! Thanks for making (and sharing) sick content!
  • 2 0
 Loved the Vid and Article! More of this please!
  • 2 0
 Good stuff! Nice work on the words and the video!!
  • 2 0
 So nice to hear the family story too. Awesome content.
  • 2 0
 Revs is THE best bike park in the UK, by a country mile.
  • 1 0
 How nice was that !
Radness, humbleness, inspirational……
Well done to everyone.
  • 1 0
 This is so great! Keep it up Miranda!
  • 2 0
 That was rad.
  • 2 0
 Nicely written Miranda!
  • 1 0
 Great writing and vid. Also, how cool/supportive was James’ Mum?
  • 2 0
 James, his family and all his staff are amazing. Thank you for watching AND reading!
  • 2 0
 So good Miranda!
  • 1 0
 Loved this and the series, thanks!
  • 1 0
 great content. keep this coming!







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