The UK's FIRST Indoor Multi Discipline Bike Park

Dec 3, 2009 at 11:36
by james foster  
Thoughts and Ideas Wanted - what would YOU like to ride?We want to build an Indoor Bike Park here in the UK inside a warehouse or an old factory, ideally located around the Bristol area.
We are looking for something in the region of 40,000-50,000 square ft with room for expansion.
It will be available to all riders of various disciplines and skill levels with a variety of different trails, jumps and features, and an XC/Freeride loop.
We will be approaching various people from each discipline of biking to help plan and build the park. We also want to include a cafe and
chill area for you to refuel and recover before your next ride.

We want your ideas, what would you like to ride? We also want to try and find out how much demand there would be for something like this - would
you come? Check out a US Indoor Mtb Park for inspiration and you'll get the idea!

Cheers, see you there!Smile


  • 3 0
 its a great idea, but you need to be realistic with your business plan

a HUGE problem in the UK is the sheer cost of renting indoor space

places like Rays MTB in the States work because their land rental is 1/10th the cost of over here in the UK (a little island), and Rays has been clever because they offer something for everyone - a diverse customer base which means all-year income into the business

the best bet is to find a property that is not being used, and negotiate a "peppercorn" rent (i.e. £2,000 a year) with the landowner

alot of indoor skateparks in the UK REALLY struggle with the cost of renting their space, business rates, liability insurance, staff wages and have cash flow problems in the Summer as riders and skaters desert the parks for outdoor skateparks, dirt jump trails and the street

several entrepreneurs have already tried in the London area (the biggest population centre in the UK, with a huge skate / bmx / rollerblade market) to make indoor skateparks work, and all have failed to convince the banks or money people that its viable

London has only one semi-covered skatepark (Bay 66 in Ladroke Grove, W10) and that barely survives, despite a peppercorn rent and income from advertisers and media companies shooting music videos, programmes and adverts inside the skatepark

its a tough challenge, so do your homework and REALLY nail your costs down, and understand your business plan

the biggest problem for these kinds of proposals is over estimating the numbers of riders who would actually use your facility, can travel to your facility, and would want to ride an indoor facility they have to pay for

there are ALOT more skateboarders, bmx riders and rollerbladers in the UK than mountain bikers (freeride / street / park / dirt jump) who would be within travelling distance of a single facility

if you go to any freeride jam or dirt jump jam in the UK, its always the same people at these events Wink
  • 1 0
 Very good points. tup

Brown-field sites or bankrupt farms are probably your best option rent-wise.

But as hampsteadbandit said, be realistic, do your research and plan every step in detail. I can't stress enough how important this is.

Good luck. Salute
  • 2 0
 like the ideas so far i would like bowls, skate park and some indoor northshore would be cool, a wooden pump track and a street style section (with no pedestrians hahaha) PM me some more details and i will see how i can help :-) i work in a bike shop so i might be able to get some sponsoship for the park Wink
  • 2 0
 there is already a fair few decent indoor/covered parks around the uk ... in my opinion it would need a sorted skatepark, mabie with some more specialist ramps like a foam pit, resi's and a vert ramp to get more people in the door, everyone loves a foam pit. but i wouldn't focus on the skatepark side of it, its got to have a sorted dirt jump setup, some north shore type stuff and some bigger jumps/drops. if you could set it up in over two levels or more, like a upstairs and a downsatirs that would be amazing, could have roll-ins/step downs coming from the top floor into the ground level, might have trouble with health and saftey though Frown
  • 1 0
 I know theres quite a few indoor or covered skateparks in the uk. Do you know of any bike specific ones. Thanks
  • 2 0
 Heres some ideas..

A decent sized skate park with a creative mix of ramps, boxes and street type features,
'Wooden dirt jumps', like a set of trails but just made of wooden ramps,
A foam, resi, step up set of ramps to practice on,
A pump track/dual track,
A learners area with little jumps and skill type fun stuff,
maybe some wooden stunts and seesaws,
outdoor trails, tracks, loops?

Something like rays would be good. I'm sure lots of companies would support it.
  • 1 0
 A skatepark with bowls and a street section all big enough for 26 inch bikes, a few sets of box jumps, a pump track, foam pit and resi is what i would like to ride but taking rays indoor bike park as an example would be good because that caters for all disciplines and skill levels i would defernatly check it out if it was built even tho i live in london
  • 1 0
 i wud def go there like every day no jokes and in winter business would be booming p.S build it in sheffield
  • 1 0
 Sounds good but bristol. i think it would be better to centralize it a bit.

I live in manchester, too far for me to come. i think maybe midlands somewhere would be miles better, not just for me but for people in the north too Smile

I would dedicate my weekends and make the journey down too to help do the park!

  • 1 0
 You'll never get everyone happy, for example I live on the south coast, near to Brighton and there's no way I would want to drive(when I get a licence) all the way to the midlands just to ride. To be honest, I would just be happy that there is something to ride in winter, even when it's raining Wink
  • 1 0
 what would be realy amazing is some kind of concrete skatepark

but if not just make like a wooden pool disign, lots of corners and hips, and all different sizes so people can work there way up, also will be fun!! maybe 1 side is all flowing like a pump track, then into a bowl then more flatter ramps with rails n ledge n what not
also a decent rail,ledge stair combo becouse we dont have meny of them in england, maybe 2 or 3 small to big
but i think foam pits and resi ramps would be a waste of money, they cool but not needed, u could make another 5 ramps atleest for the same price i bet
another cool thing is have outdoor dirt jumps but with a high cover over, like some kinda huge bustop, so still outside but able to ride when its raining still, shelterd dirt jumps! bingo, plus they got to vairy in size for beginers, and a hose would be so handy

got my suport n huge idea haha =]
  • 1 0
 I can't fund anything due to being a student, but i live just south of briz so I am more than happy to help work on finding somewhere, doing publicity, building, anything like that! I'll post a link to this on another site i know and see what happens!
  • 1 0
 what you got to do is get like a patishon thing and get like 100s of poeple to sign it, show how meny people actualy want it what would be better tho is like 5 pretty decent indoor parks set around the UK, insted of one huge awsome one, cuz it will just get packed and be shit to ride
  • 1 0
 Dirtjumps similar to the track (portreath), a good skatepark... Foam, resi, etc, 4x track, pump track, street inspired park, would be interesting to see how xc and freeride would work out. Where it is, around bristol, is fine, needs to be near a good, cheap place to offer accommodation though
  • 1 0
 location wise, just stick it easy access to a big train station, as many people will travel on train to ride. if u want a suggestion for a building, look up the old b n q in gloucester, its just off the town centre and train station, has a big ass car paark, huge building and completely frnced off outdoor bit as well, would be mental Razz not too from ur original bristol idea. its abandoned atm, its so sad.
  • 1 0
 Skate park, pump track, multi size drops and gaps on a freeride trail, skills area, street style area, lots of space, similar to Rays! Everything should be mtb size!

Out of interest why Bristol? Maybe somewhere further north? Lots of old factories and warehouses?
  • 1 0
 If anyone knows of any property that they think might do.PLEASE let me know nothing is set in stone quite yet. The big question is. How many people do you think would use this?????????? Any ideas write it down on this blog. We need as many ideas and opinions as possible the more we get the bigger and better it will be...
Thanks james
  • 1 0
 if you build it people will come. you'll get people interested for a day out from local towns/ cities, and you'll get hardcore riders travellng from all around. If it was good i dont think you'd have any trouble running it regardless.
  • 1 0
 i recon a foam pit, pump track, shore with drops and gaps of varing sizes and levels of technicality, scate park, 4x track, resi ramp
this place ridinfree02freeridin has said sounds pretty good
if you are looking further north then Birmingham to me is the logical choice as it has a decent train connection shed loads of warehouses and probably a fair few places to stay
sounds like a great idea though keep at it pretty sure you could get enough interest to help build it no problems i will stick my name down to help Smile
  • 1 0
 Sounds like a great idea man. I live halfway around the world but I was to go to an indoor park these are a few things I would want:
One question, is it gonna be more MTB park or skate park based?
-Foam pit
-A nice pump track
-A line of jumps for tricking
-A good practice jump
-Some skinnys
-possible rock grarden/s

just stuff that will help you improve your overall skills without being effected by the weather. tup Salute
  • 1 0
 mtb based but also bmx and skaters
  • 2 0
 i dont like the sound of skateparks and bowls etc cus theres already alot of them, i think a pump track, some practice drops and jumps, some northshore style stunts and skinnies and technical xc loop.
  • 1 0
 What stage are you at currently? Have you applied for funding/investment etc, do you have an area in mind, is it going to be a profit based company or C.I.C?
Have a chat with the guys from Motion and Newport (if you haven't already) also Ian from Maverick Skateparks would be a good person to talk to (I'll dig out his number).
  • 1 0
 I think this is a great idea and would happily travel down to Bristol to ride there. However I do agree with some of the previous comments, you need to get your finances sorted before all else, make sure you get your rent nailed down, find a suitable location and advertise the hell out of that place. Also although this is MTB site, I think that a place like this should really cater to all types of extreme sports, by including skateboarding, bmx and rollerblading you open your market up to a much larger group of people making it a more viable project.

Also look at doing monthly jams for each sport, so one day a month hold a jam for BMX, one for MTB and so on, this way it offers a couple of big promo days for your park a month, allows potential sponsers to check out your park, is a good way to keep current park sponsers happy as a greater audience is seeing there products/advertising. It will especially help if you can get a company to sponser each jam and offer prizes as its a win/win situation, they get great publicity and you bring in more people.

As for stuff inside the park you need to cater for all people, make sure you have jumps for all abilities, drops of varying heights and areas were beginners are seperated so they can learn in a non-threatening environment, we all remember the first time at a trail or park when you have only just started riding, its pretty daunting. Also try to think of something that isn't offered in the local area, if there aren't any foam pits nearby, you build a foam pit ect.

Hopefully you can get this to work as the South-East needs something like this so best of luck to you and if you need any help with building or ideas give me a shout

  • 1 0
 In principal any kind of indoor, bike specific riding venue would be immense (seeing as it seems to rain here in England for 400 days of the year!)
In an ideal world then essentially copying what Rays have done would seem to be the best option as that is already and established and popluar venue. The problem would seem to come though (as someone mentioned before) from the cost of getting a venue big enough to cover all the skill sets rays has (jumps, street, xc, north shore etc) so it would seem that some sacrifices would have to be made to aim the park at a smaller audience who would actually use it.
The question then is who would this be? Would dirt jumpers use the park during those long hot summer months (slightly ironic) when their normal trails are dry?
Would xc riders actually ride indoors at any time?
At what level would you aim the park at? Too technical and new riders wont go, not enough and people may only ride it for a while before getting bored.

I personally would love to see indoor parks across the uk, i just think these are the things that stick out to me (apart from the cost).

On another not so negative note would an airbag be better than a foam pit? Ive used one last year and they were really good fun, and from my experience of foam pits have less rats in them!
  • 1 0
 For the chill area, i went to this skatepark years ago and they had a little room with a few old sofas which were DONATED to them, and pretty cool games machines, and a place to lock up there bikes/boards.
So the machines cost money, but you get it back from people paying to use them! (Snooker Tables go down a bomb!) and paying like £1 to lock your bike/board up is basically free money!
  • 1 0
 WAW, looks good. I had an Idea of doing something like this near me. At the old BAE Systems warehouse on Greengate, Chadderton. Theres like 300,000 sqr ft of high bay warehouse space. I just don't have the money to set it up or the now how of how to go about setting something like that up. . . . when I win the Lottery though. Best of luck with this Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Nsbichboy has the right area in manchester. It`s cheaper than down south, the site he referrs to is right next to the m60/m62 , loads of cheap hotels(premier inn etc) 5 mins ride from the train station and the wetest part of the country.
  • 1 0
 Would be interesting to see a park built with layout/configuration change as a fundamental design concept. The sport is really progressive when it comes to building stuff so it would be interesting to develop a park where reconfiguration and updating was built in from the start. Modular design for all the built features & a business plan to cover it.
  • 1 0
 Sorry theres been no update recently. We have been looking at a number of different properties at different locations around the uk. We have found an ideal location and we are in talks with the agent at the moment. All thing are looking good.

We have a online Questionnaire that we need as many people as possible to fill in.
  • 1 0
 Sounds great, would like to see somthing along the lines of Rays in America.
  • 2 0
 Thats where the ideas from...
  • 1 0
 needs to be middle of the country,either that or located next to a good cheap B&B.
  • 1 0
 count me in will help build and do anything i can to help if it is to be built in a area not to far out the way
  • 1 0
 Check out the 1st plan of the main jump line. Please let us know what you think.
  • 1 0
 Oh, and Lance McDermott lives 5 mins away from there so It`ll be pretty easy to get him on board .
  • 1 0
 sumthing with nice variations some nice jump boxes huge bowl volcano wall rides step ups foam pit resi ramps ect ect
  • 1 0
 Foam pit!
  • 1 0
 its amazing!
  • 1 1

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