Revolution Bike Park Closes Indefinitely

Oct 14, 2022 at 14:23
by Sarah Moore  
Graeme Meiklejohn Photo DVRGNT Minds
Miranda Miller and Caleb Holonko rode Revolution Bike Park earlier this year. You can watch the video here. Photo by Graeme Meiklejohn

Revolution Bike Park has shared today that they will be closing indefinitely. This is due to the fact that the larch trees in the park have a disease called phytophthora ramorum. By law in the UK, all the larch trees in the park will need to be felled, cleared up and then replanted.

The park will remain open until January 2, 2023 and then it will be closed indefinitely.

The co-founders of the park, Tim and James, discuss the matter in video format here and you can read the full press release below.

PRESS RELEASE: Revolution Bike Park

It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we have to announce the following news.

Revolution Bike Park will be closing indefinitely at the end of the day on Monday, January 2nd 2023.

Unfortunately, in the last week, we have been notified that the larch trees in the forest have a disease called phytophthora ramorum. This is a disease that affects large quantities of Japanese Larch in the UK and abroad and more than 2/3 of the forest that contains the bike park is made up of this species of tree. We have been managing this alongside the running of the bike park for many years and there has been no evidence of the disease, so it has come as a massive shock to us to be notified that the disease has reached us.

As such, by law, all of the larch trees at the bike park will need to be clear felled, and as a result, we have had to make the impossible decision that we will need to close the bike park indefinitely.

This felling, subsequent clear up and replanting, will obviously have a massive impact on the park, and the level of riding that we have always strived to offer and whilst we’re not sure yet if the closure will be permanent, it will certainly be a matter of years, not months, before we could make any decisions as to the next steps, if there are any.

We intend to remain open and running our normal uplifts from now until the last day, which will be 2nd January 2023. This will be the last day to ride Revs as we all know and love it.

Any previously held bookings, or open gift vouchers will need to be redeemed by this date.

We (James, Sush and Finn, Tim and Jo and Linda – The Foster family) are absolutely devastated as I’m sure you can all imagine. When we all set out just over 10 years ago with a dream to build a bike park, we never in a million years thought that we would end up being players on a world stage and that people from all over the UK and the world would come to Revolution Bike Park in Llangynog to ride our wild creations on the side of our little hill. Although it has been hard at times, we have loved creating this place for people to come and ride and we hope that you have loved it too.

Needless to say, there are a lot of people that we owe thanks to:

The staff over the years, there’s no way we could’ve done any of this without you all. You all worked hard in every condition that the Welsh weather gods threw at us to help us to build and run Revolution and offer our customers not only some of the best trails in the UK to ride, but a friendly face in the uplift trucks, some delicious burgers to eat and help to patch up the injured.

The brands and industry folk that have helped us and become our friends over the years, there are too many to mention by name and we would hate to leave anyone out but I’m sure you know who you are.

You guys, the riders, our customers, some of which have become good friends, YOU ARE the ones that really we do it all for. Without your unwavering support we simply wouldn’t be here. From the early days of 10 spaces in the back of the pick-up truck, no shelter and at times sideways rain and knee-deep mud to now. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. We know that lots of you will be gutted to read this news and we really hope that you can continue to support us right up to the end.

And last but definitely not least, the people of the village of Llangynog. Thank you for welcoming us with open arms. We are lucky to have ended up here and your support of us has always been greatly appreciated and has been instrumental in getting us this far.

Author Info:
sarahmoore avatar

Member since Mar 30, 2011
1,346 articles

  • 112 0
 Absolutely gutted for James, Tim and everyone involved at Revs, plus all of us who love to ride there. I only just conquered the Vision Line last month, a year after my first attempts and three more visits that were packed with excuses. Time to get my bookings in for the next couple of months and do my best to support the crew how I know showing up, shredding and loving everything about the best bike park in the UK! #revs4evs
  • 58 1
 I used to work as a plant pathologist in the Northwest and this disease is known as “Sudden Oak Death”. It affects a wide range of plants / trees and can spread very stealthy around from mud on tires and cars. It is typical for the USDA or State Dept of Agricultures to quarantine areas known to have it. The frightening part is the chlamydospores can hibernate in the soil for years, potentially indefinitely. So Tax dollars actually put to good use really. Like the Pine Bark Beetles, people who enjoy forests should be worried for the future of it because it’s hard to control and it is something that can wipe out big tracks of forest.
  • 38 36
 Do you know if those illness are correlated to climate change or if they always existed with the same level of letality for trees ?
  • 4 0
 Hi, sounds like interesting work.
Is there any evidence to suggest other fungi/bacteria may confer resistance to trees in symbiosis? Does there seem to be anything preventing wide scale spread other than human intervention?
A very brief google is all I know about this disease, but as an ecology student thinking about going into forestry it's quite interesting. One person said "Rehydrated Lime mixed with water" applied multiple times to the infection seemed to cure it, have you any experience with this? Obviously it wouldn't work on a large scale, for for prominent trees and maybe in oak forests if the organisation has the money.
  • 29 104
flag jaame (Oct 15, 2022 at 2:23) (Below Threshold)
 @kegron: Just guessing here, not an informed answer. Climate change has only been a thing for about three years, so I think it's a safe bet that plant-borne diseases predate by several millennia.
  • 31 9
 @jaame: Climate change can weaken forests via drought, among many other things, thus increasing their susceptibility to pathogens, and expand ranges of different organisms - so it's possible that global warming has facilitated the spread of this disease. Not saying it has, just that it's possible.
  • 34 0
 @meditationman: Droughts is not a problem in llangynog a can assure you!
  • 6 2
 @dotman: Haha tell me about it! I spent a year in Aberystwyth and certainly improved my wet weather riding! In fact only rode Revs for the 1st time this year so sad to see this news.
Where I am in Devon it didn't rain for ~2/3 months this summer - if it was the same in llangynog and these trees are used to plentiful rain it may have stressed them. I really doubt it played into it in this instance since its a spreading disease anyway, I just wanted to make it clear that climate change can definitely play a part in pathogen virulence.
  • 53 11
 @meditationman: But is there any point in trying to explain it to someone who thinks climate change has only existed for 3 years? Sigh.
  • 2 0
  • 5 0
 So basically its already spread in everyones tires to every other bike park in the UK and the entire of the UK mtb scene is going to get hit hard?

  • 12 11
 @commental: you’re so right!!! I’m quite sure climate change has been around for about 4 billion years.
  • 5 4
 @Rageingdh: OMG you guys!!!
  • 6 5
 @kegron: Nah, it was Covid. Obviously.
  • 2 4
 @DarrellW: True story!
  • 3 6
 @jaame: I think you have misunderstood, everything negative is tied to climate change. Once you understand this, it's a very easy framework to work with! Hope this was helpful Smile
  • 3 1
 @trialsracer: Everything negative is right. It is inconceivable that anything positive could come of it.
  • 5 0
 @kegron: If the climate should ever STOP changing we would be in trouble.
  • 28 0
 I was there earlier this year when the shop got delivered. Tim seemed really optimistic about what the shop would bring the park. So difficult to hear them talk about it closing. Best wishes to all at revs.
  • 21 2
 1. Fell affected trees. 2. clean up mess, 3. plant saplings (or not and let nature do its magic, naturally), 4. fix trails where necessary, 5. re-open?
  • 17 0
 It will take many years, my local bike park (Aston Hill) suffered the same fate albeit due to a different disease, its been years now and still has no reopening date and is completely destroyed.
  • 3 0
 I'm thinking that they may have to pay for the entire bill and therefore will render them financially incapacitated? Just assuming tho.
  • 14 0
 This place will be completely obliterated by the clearing operation. This is basically gonna be a clear cut, and clear cuts don’t leave much undisturbed.
  • 3 11
flag thenotoriousmic (Oct 14, 2022 at 19:07) (Below Threshold)
 @theconorcons: it’s still the same hill though. What stops them avoiding damaging the trails as much as possible and rebuilding after the fell and planting around the trails? Not ideal being in the direct firing line of the weather but not the end of the world.
  • 27 9
 Just burn it. Fire will eradicate it and bring new life back in a short time.
  • 6 0
 @thenotoriousmic: The enormous cost, I’m sure.
  • 7 0
 The whole hill needs to be clear-felled and this will destroy the trails and also remove the shelter from the weather that Revs has at the moment. The entire park will have to be built again from scratch which will take years.
  • 10 3
 @Karpiel073: NRW (Welsh gov forestry) will probably own the land, they'll pick up the felling tab, but also why the closure is so long, it's not commercially significant enough to expedite.
  • 5 6
 @BirdBikes: you guys make awesome bikes and have fantastic customer support, 10/10 would recommend to a friend
  • 7 1
 1 felling will probably take a year 2 cleaning up will probably take another year minimum 3 yeah that's all fine and dandy, but it will take years to plant that many and then years to let them establish themselves 4 60ton forestry machines done mess about, there won't be much left. 5 yeah, they clearly plan to, but it's probably a 2030 reopening at best.
  • 5 0
 @inked-up-metalhead: Pretty much nailed it there. Some people need to look at the length of time it take for trees to grow and provide ground stabilisation to prevent further erosion, imagine investing all the pennies in to a trail only for it to be weathered away after a couple of years.
  • 10 0
 @fatduke: at the beginning of the first UK lock down, the larch plantation the trails I'm the head volunteer for was clear felled due to phytothera. We only had 2 miles of trail and it was a few thousand trees. It took 6 weeks to fell, 6 months to clear up and unblock some of the trails that survived and we had to build some new sections of trail to join old sections back together, and an entire 1/2 mile section was written off and a new route established, along with one of the main 3 Black options being nuked and written off. Its still not 100% 2.5 years on, and our council made the decision to let it naturally repopulate/regenerate instead of replanting, it's just about starting to get there this year, there's a lot more grass and ferns now, and a few small trees are starting to appear, but it will be at least a decade before its even close to being wooded again.
  • 3 1
 At my local forest they cleared a 10m wide path through for a line of pylons and it's absolutely destroyed that section of trails. Huge holes/trenches in the ground, half buried roots, soft waterlogged dirt, mess everywhere. It would need a serious budget and some serious machinery to get it back rideable, and that's a 10m wide stretch. Over the other side an area has been cleared and again, it's totally unrideable. The forestry teams don't make any effort to leave it smooth, flat or packed.

About the affected trees, they'll be sold surely? Must be worth a bit, a million tons of larch.
  • 7 0
 @BirdBikes: revs guys own revs, it's their land.
  • 13 0
 @jaame: it'll be proper forestry machinery, 8x8 articulated forwarders and harvesters, weighing 50 tons each, and the forwarder can carry 20 tons of logs. The weather was terrible when they did ours (and will be at some point for revs no doubt with how long it will take) and they had to use cleats (turns each pair of wheels into tracks) and it ended up digging a 4ft deep, 8foot wide trench around the entire hill where their main route was (had to avoid oaks, it's a botanical heritage site on top of all this). The actual trails werent overly affected as such, they put big brash mats down (all the small branches trimmed off) and it did protect what was underneath, but any features they had to drive over were just squashed, one berm they had to turn round on and it was just annihilated, and with the bad weather, all the brash mats got matted up with shit loads of mud which then meant they took a day each for a group of 5/6 of us to dig through.

And it depends how infected it all is on the selling of it, if its not too bad it can be treated and sold, but the treatment eats into the profits, and if its too far gone its usually just sent for biomass fuel production. Or at least that's what I was told by the guys doing the work. I'm just hoping no-one replant larch, it's a massive massive issue across the UK, they were flat out only felling larch for phytothera reasons.
  • 3 0
 @inked-up-metalhead: Thanks for the knowledge.
  • 1 0
 @inked-up-metalhead: Don’t forget nesting season is 6 months
  • 2 0
 @jimmythehat: shit yeah, forgot about that, they were in a mad rush because of that, they had to get finished with us and get another site 20 miles away done before the start of nesting season. Bear in mind, this was February.
  • 2 1
 @BirdBikes: No.No.Trees grow slowly.
  • 2 0
 @jaame: sometimes if it's legit bike trails they'll stipulate in the contract that trails have to be reinstated or at least some level of care has to be taken but this comes at a time cost which is a financial cost. If theres nothing in a contract who's going to give a flying F
  • 2 7
flag audeo03 FL (Oct 15, 2022 at 8:23) (Below Threshold)
 @likeittacky: Ideally the wood could be used for housing or such, and the carbon stored, not released back into the atmosphere…
  • 4 2
 @audeo03: But carbon is good for the atmosphere
  • 1 0
 Different circumstances I know, but my local, Majura Bike Park here in Canberra has survived, and indeed thrived, after having a giant highway cut through it, and semi regular tree felling as it's built in a commercial pine forest.
  • 2 0
 @inked-up-metalhead: this sounded like a trail near me. Clicked your profile and saw your location. Long live nab
  • 4 3
 I don’t know why I’m getting the hate for asking an obvious question. Most of the expensive machine built trails like 50:10, Vision and Freeride are out in the open away from felling. Far side has already been felled and the tracks survived that which just leaves the more natural tech trails in the woods like ghetto and L1 that really wouldn’t be the biggest jobs reinstating after felling especially if you avoid doing as much damage to them as possible. There’s plenty of access roads in the woods where you’d be able to work around the existing trail network and most of the trees around me that were planted during the first lockdown when timber was at an all time high are already grown to around head hight.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: had the same thought myself, can only think Natural England have forced the closure to prevent spread
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: **Edit, forestry commission (Wales)
  • 1 0
 @jimmythehat: Edit NWR
  • 1 0
  • 2 0
 Christchurch adventure park was destroyed by fires. Took 12 months to clear, around 12-18 months to build new trails through unaffected forest. 5 years later there is around 20% of the trails in the cleared zone left. Without large tree cover digging in new trails is pointless due to weather damage.

If its open again to the same level within 5 years then they will be doing well. Heartbreaking to hear
  • 1 0
 @BirdBikes: I seem to remember they bought the land, so only one to well out of this will be the contractor.Frown
  • 1 0
 @jimmythehat: didn’t age well seeing they just released a video basically saying they’re going to do what I suggested they should do. Haha
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: such is the influence you wield.
  • 1 0
 @fatduke: Hardly. Didn’t take a genius to work that might be a good idea as I’ve just demonstrated. Ha
  • 20 3
 Large areas of forest get killed by a natural pathogen. New species take over creating natural diversity in the ecosystem. Man attempts to control nature . Nature always wins . It's a natural cycle. The larger issue is monoculture forest and farms . This is what encourages the spread of the pathogen. The more we attempt to fix nature . The more we fuck up .
  • 11 2
 Invasive species and foreign diseases in plants are a thing and aren’t ‘natural’ but often stem from humans introducing them (accidentally usually) - Would recommend reading up about it as it’s really interesting!!
  • 14 0
 Lets all book on and give this amazing place an amazing send off...also an amazing train down. Super gutted to hear this news, they've done so much in the last couple of years too, must be heart breaking to have to knock it all down.
  • 10 0
 I wonder if Dyfi has any larch? If I was them I'd be concerned about the number of riders visiting both parks over a weekend and transferring the disease. Although I think both parks have a 'clean bike' policy it's always relied on voluntary compliance.
  • 9 0
 Hey you guys. I was there riding that hill before you opened trails there, but I’ve seen you develop it into a superb bike park - one of the best, with the quickest uplift and nicest folk. This is just a big bump in the road. Revs is 4Evs! Good luck for the future
  • 7 0
 Though the loss is partly ours. The biggest loss is for Tim, James and the rest of the Revs crew (and the village of llangynog). Surely someone of influence should start a fund to help them see this through? Biggest hurdle must be the risk that they will have to sell up, that can’t happen.
  • 4 0
 I haven't ridden there since maybe a year or so after they opened, there were only a couple of (pretty gnarly) lines open at the time but I've watched the park grow since then and hoped that one day I'd get to go back, but it looks like it wasn't to be. Big love to everyone involved, this is really sad.
  • 4 0
 Stay strong guys, you've done amazing things, and gained a vast amount of skills along the way; there will be plenty of opportunities to keep doing what you love and I'm sure the community will pull together to help you every step of the way.
  • 6 0
 Gutted for everyone involved, we hope whatever you do next works out and look forward to seeing the park open again one day. The Bird Team
  • 4 0
 My heart goes out to Tim, James and the rest of the crew

On top of that—selfishly—as a local, I'm GUTTED. Especially since I've only recently started doing Vision line and 50:01.

100% my favourite place to ride in the UK. Very sad times.
  • 3 0
 When did you do 50:01? I must have been on holiday that day Big Grin
  • 4 0
 Othe issue is once all the trees are felled what’s going to keep all the soil in place.

Seen forests cleared and the soil beneath the trees is quickly washed away before the new growth has time to develop a canopy.

I can think of a few places not far from Revs where this happened.
  • 4 1
 Wow, I guess Japanese Larch has become important commercially? UK law? What happens when the saplings get affected? I read that Japanese Larch is a threatened tree species, but it's not native to the UK so I'm a little perplexed.

Good luck on the next venture!
  • 10 0
 It's because a disease is spreading through the larch population and the only way to stop it is to fell infected trees. I really hope they can get up and running again before too long, this is crap news.
  • 7 1
 Yeah it’s crop grown for the timber. Badly managed intensive planting many years ago meaning that the disease has spread.
  • 7 0
 Yep, it's big business in the UK the Japanese larch. Makes very strong timber. Plus timber prices have been crazy recently.
  • 3 0
 This is heartbreaking- these guys poured their heart and soul into making something truly fantastic. I can’t comprehend how this must feel to them as this was a venture for their whole family.. glad I got to ride and hoping for a lap before you come back stronger.
  • 3 0
 Come on UK MTB community! Surely there is enough love for this place to not let this happen?! If everyone who has ridden and loved this place contributed something then we could all make this work? UK mtb is what it is thanks to people like James, Sush and Finn, Tim and Jo and Linda. Trust me, you don't crate a bike park to make money - it is a constant graft and stress to keep it going, let alone make it as creative and special as Revs.
  • 1 0
 I get your love, but what is it that can be done? They put life savings into buying the land as I understand.
  • 1 0
 @TheBrickOriginal: Probably a stupid idea but they could set up something like a go fundme more than enough people would chip in
  • 5 0
 Tragic news. They have lost their business and income and no doubt a huge knock on effect for the local economy.
  • 1 0
 Well the Tanat has already closed and the New will be fine as the only pub in the Nog.
  • 2 0
 There’s areas at my ‘local’, the FOD, which have had to be clear felled due to disease and it’s a growing concern. The forestry will replant the areas affected with different varieties of trees, to create diversity and also with resistance to the diseases.
It’s not a quick process, unfortunately.
  • 3 0
 Was talking to Tim about this last time I was there, can't believe it's a reality. They have worked so hard to make it such an amazing place. Gutted for everyone involved.
  • 5 0
 It's not sunny in the Nog today :'(
  • 1 0
 Wow, it's turning to shit everywhere, reading just now how ash dieback is affecting so many places in the UK and barely 5% of the Uk's ash trees might survive. Same issue where we are on the south coast, so many trails and forests getting closed while dead ash gets cleared to make the woods safe to be in. Grim times. So tough on small players who just don't have the resources to manage the extent of this and keep their businesses afloat.
  • 1 0
 Wasnt Aston hill closed from ash die back
  • 2 0
 Heartbreaking for the staff - they really are a fantastic bunch. Never had a bad day there. Hope to get at least a couple more visits before threy close. Great place and people!
  • 6 1
  • 5 1
 Mega dislike
  • 5 1
 It's like Covid but for trees. Terrible.
  • 2 0
 Turn it into a chainsaw and firewood park for a year. Then turn it into a reforestation park, then a shovel.and berm park... Done!
  • 2 0
 Dang this has been one of the parks I wanted to make it to one day, absolutely sucks it happened to them. Frown
  • 1 0
 Totally Gutted about this for myself, everyone who goes there and the guys who built/run the show up there!

Theres a gang of us looking at when to book in the coming weeks
  • 1 0
 Damn I'm from Canada and Revolution Bike Park was and will always be at the top of my UK Hucket List. So sorry to hear the news Frown
  • 1 0
 Damn, this sucks, especially for all involved putting do much time and effort in the bikepark, I had plans of visiting it in the future, looked like so much fun :-(
  • 1 0
 Gutted for them, I'm sure the bike riding community will support you to get back up when it's possible to do so. Thanks for all the buzz moments and all the scary ones too
  • 1 0
 Enjoyed my uplifts there, been a few years and was hoping to get back for the new lines but not to be. So sad to hear this and for staff and lads..
  • 1 0
 Gutted for the owners and all the staff that make it so special. REVS 4 EVS.
  • 2 0
 Wash your bikes boys and girls!
  • 1 0
 Wow just after building Thoose huge lines too? Big hit to the UK
  • 1 0
 Felt that it was to big to close honestly
  • 1 0
 Very sad news for UK mountain biking.
  • 2 1
 Interesting been voted down awwww bless!

  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 Revs 4 Evs
  • 1 0
 Damn that fuckin sucks
  • 1 1
 That was the ONLY reason I wanted to go to the uk.
  • 3 0
 What about the food?
  • 1 0
 gutted for the builders.
  • 1 2
 Sad voting here and miscomprehension of original comment x blessssss
  • 1 2
 Vaccinate the trees. #twoweekstoslowthespread
  • 2 5
 Shocking that this is case. More shocking is I never had opportunity to visit.

;( ;(
  • 1 2
 it's closing in January, still got over 2 months!!
  • 2 0
 @Joebohobo: weekends all sold out already.
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