Sam Dugon goes behind the scenes at BikePark Wales and follows the staff during a typical day.
Words & Photography Samantha Saskia Dugon
As with all great things in life, the more professional a venue, event or personality appears, the more work has gone in behind the scenes to make it that way. This series lifts the veil from some of the iconic British mountain bike institutions, showing just some of the backstage work that goes on to keep events and locations running smoothly.
This issue it’s the turn of BikePark Wales. Opened in 2014, it has become one of the UK’s hottest mountain biking destinations. It’s situated in the Welsh valleys overlooking Merthyr Tydfil, where, come rain or shine, the park always has plenty to offer with over 40 trails to choose from. However, there’s a lot more to running BikePark Wales than just keeping the trails smooth and buses flowing, so we headed to the centre and took a look behind the scenes on a typical Friday just as spring started to show.
After a long night shift on security, Darren packs up his things and waits to see who’s going to be first in today. Will it be Mike on the trail crew, or will Mark the mechanic beat him to it as there’s a large number of bikes to get ready for the day? With his jacket on, ready to go, he sees Mark heading up towards the building. Darren greets him and hands over the keys for another day. “I’ll see you tomorrow then!” he shouts as he gets into his car.
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