Bike Park Wales – Summer Uplift Hours Reduced

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  • Bike Park Wales – Summer Uplift Hours Reduced
  • Premier Icon Akers
    Subscriber

    Bike Park Wales have reduced the uplift hours to 10am – 4pm all year long (but there will no longer be a 1 hour lunch break in the week).

    Summertime Uplift hours used to be 9:30am – 4:30pm (with a 1 hour lunch break in the week, when it wasn’t busy).

    I hoped it was an error on the website, so emailed BPW to confirm and it is correct.

    I’m a bit disappointed to lose an hour, especially as the price has recently increased.
    During the week, if you timed it right and got the last bus before lunch, took your time coming down, grabbed sandwich and got back to the uplift pickup for the first lift after lunch, you could minimise the lost time. Doubt I’ll ever beat my best effort of 13 runs in a day now… 🙁

    P-Jay
    Member

    Got to keep the bank account stuffed I guess. There’s probably a drivers salary or two saved there.

    Still, personally I wouldn’t mind a few more mid-week evening uplift events.

    nonk
    Member

    I noticed this and wondered how it made sense
    I used to stop for lunch in the cafe now I never do so that’s money I’m not spending there
    Dunno though they probably know how best to make it profitable

    Premier Icon stevied
    Subscriber

    Dunno though they probably know how best to make it profitable

    Putting prices up & reducing operating hours seems to be the way..

    nickfrog
    Member

    So there is no loss compared to days when there was a lunch break. I find the place incredibly cheap for what you get so I think it’s fair. I want them to be profitable so that they carry on doing such a brilliant job.

    nonk
    Member

    I’m with nick though. Just do what they need to do to keep doing it
    It’s an amazing facility

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Would be nice if kids were half price or you could book half days….

    Premier Icon oikeith
    Subscriber

    Odd logic this, as the lunches for the drivers are just staggered, there is a reduced number of buses over this time so you will lose out compared to the lunch hour stop of old. I have noticed the last few times Ive been though that the cafe is a lot quieter due to the new staggered lunches, have actually been able to buy food quickly and get a seat, some of the hot food is lovely.

    Is there something in place stopping them opening in the evenings? find it out in the summer they dont open much later.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    https://www.bikeparkwales.com/night-uplift-friday-16th

    They’re doing Night Uplifts, so i’m thinking there’s nothing in the rules of the land/council etc stopping them,

    Premier Icon transporter13
    Subscriber

    I’d personally like to see the uplift hours extended to something like 0800-1700 and have the drivers stagger their lunches.

    dc1988
    Member

    I always stay until the last uplift but it’s never full, in fact it seems that after about 2pm it gets noticeably quieter so not surprising they’ve changed the operating hours. I do wish the cafe would open for longer after the uplift stops so you could grab some decent food before a long drive home.

    Premier Icon lucky7500
    Subscriber

    I always stay until the last uplift but it’s never full, in fact it seems that after about 2pm it gets noticeably quieter so not surprising they’ve changed the operating hours.

    I was there just before Christmas and it got pretty quiet after around 1pm, to the point where there were four or five buses parked up at the pickup point with no one waiting.
    The whole place is very noticeably quieter than it was a couple of years ago as well, so it’s not a huge surprise that the management are looking at ways to reduce costs. As said above, increasing the entrance price and reducing drivers hours are the easiest places to start.

    Premier Icon Akers
    Subscriber

    I have no doubt that once the weather improves they’ll be doing bumper business again through the summer months. As others have said, longer hours would be nice. Why not run staggered driver shifts so you can cover more hours with the same number of staff.
    With condensed hours, riders are less likely to stop for lunch, so they can squeeze as much into a day as before. This is likely to lead to more accidents through fatigue and a less relaxed atmosphere.
    Secondly I can’t see it doing the local economy any favours. With a later start time, I for one am more likely to drive there on the day now, whereas previously I have driven to Merthyr after work the night before and stayed at a B&B, so I could be there easily for the first lift of the day.

    P-Jay
    Member

    he whole place is very noticeably quieter than it was a couple of years ago as well,

    I was about to scoff at that, but you’re right!

    I haven’t try to book for years, it was always booked for months in advance, any time of year and my Wife’s shifts only come out a few weeks in advance, but looking now, there’s a single space left for Sat, 30 odd for this Sunday and a massive 126 for next Sunday.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Yeah but back then it was 40 max, obviously it’s now a lot lot more

    Premier Icon takisawa2
    Subscriber

    It’s still a cracking day out.
    I buy a pass but only do 6 or 7 runs. Probably better buying single rides but it’s less faff. Only go a couple of times a year, & I hire their bikes also.
    For little over £100 I get a nice carbon bike, lifts back up the hill all day, & a bloody great time.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    I do like bpw but,other than during the climb back up to the uplift circle I’ve never really felt totally done there- the long uplift time makes it feel like a short day anyway.

    OTOH I may just not stop for lunch now and enjoy the extra time in bed. Or go to one of the two better uplift venues within a short drive…

    wrecker
    Member

    On the bright side, Afan is still as fantastic as it ever was! Well the shop and cafe might not be, but the trails certainly are.

    Premier Icon keith74
    Subscriber

    Was there a few weeks ago and the uplift times worked ok in winter but definitely think in the summer they need to get a full day organised start at 9am finish at 5 or something. Seems to be turning into more of a money centered operation now.

    It’s made worse by the first bus not arriving till 10am so by time your loaded and ready it’s nearly 10.15 before it moves if not worse.

    olly2097
    Member

    Gondola lift. That’s what they should do. 9-5.

    Premier Icon ajaj
    Subscriber

    “Seems to be turning into more of a money centered operation”

    It’s always been like that. You only have to look at the presentations Anna Walters gave when they were selling it to the local community, and it’s evident in how they operate – nowhere to shelter from the rain, only their food in the café, no working toilets, dubious liability waivers, “fining” trespassers etc.

    You can argue that they need to be hard nosed to run a successful business, but they don’t need to be rude about it.

    The trails are great but the admin side seems designed by someone who hates bikers.

    wrightyson
    Member

    They’ve not “stopped” for lunch in the last year which was the first time I went. Afaia they just halved the number of drivers between 12 and 2 as they each took a turn to have an hour break. So basically it’s going to be the same but with less actual uplift hours?

    nickfrog
    Member

    Member
    “Seems to be turning into more of a money centered operation”

    It’s always been like that. You only have to look at the presentations Anna Walters gave when they were selling it to the local community, and it’s evident in how they operate – nowhere to shelter from the rain, only their food in the café, no working toilets, dubious liability waivers, “fining” trespassers etc.

    You can argue that they need to be hard nosed to run a successful business, but they don’t need to be rude about it.

    The trails are great but the admin side seems designed by someone who hates bikers

    What’s wrong with making money ? Do you work for free ? Why would they invest in cafe facility for you to bring your own food ? Do you bring your own food when you go to a cafe in town ? Toilets were fine IME, waiver was fine (Are you a lawyer?), trespassers shouldn’t trespass (by definition). It’s a very well managed operation in my experience and a very customer/rider centric place, never seen any rudeness. If you don’t like it, that’s fair enough and there is a simple solution ; more for us ;-).

    tetrode
    Member

    Gondola lift. That’s what they should do. 9-5.

    I would go there every damn week if they had a gondola lift!

    bombjack
    Member

    “Seems to be turning into more of a money centered operation”

    Opposed to what? Something that leaks money and shuts up when the cash dries up?

    FFS, the place is awesome. Loads of runs for loads of abilities, decent uplift, not prohibitively expensive, decent shop and support for when things break, hell, even the car park isn’t a sloppy mud fest of a field.
    There is a shelter at the top if you want to get out of the rain, or come down to the bottom and sit in the cafe (or your car like you’d have to at some other centres). There are loos, there is a bike wash, there are all the little things that people require when they have a day out.
    Last time I was there the place was dead after lunch, the buses keep going, the riding was good, and everyone had a great day
    I’d gladly pay £50 for the convenience of riding well maintained trails, with a good uplift, and all the “soft” bits that come with it for 6 hrs.

    daiboy
    Member

    ajaj, its such ill-informed comments that remind me why I don’t frequent this forum more often. It sounds as though you were present at some of the pre-start talks. Do you really think it is their intention to be rude or are you very easily offended? No shelter from the rain #firstworldproblems (ps they have just invested in the trail head). Only their food in the cafe…seems to be how every business operates in the Alps. You’re welcome to eat your food outside if you can stand the lack of shelter. The issue with the toilets is something I am sure they are aware of. Bear in mind that until sinking a couple of new boreholes they were previously operating off a single water well which I’m assuming wasn’t as productive as expected. I’d imagine that pumping mains water up that access track would be a few hundred K. Liability waivers, trespassing…im cool. And As for the issue with their opening hours, again I have no idea but I’d happily give them the benefit of the doubt that there is more to it than money making…I don’t know, tachos, drivers union…why not get in touch with them to find out rather than spouting on here.

    It’s always got quiet as the days go on. Attrition, I suspect. I’ve seen the same at Antur. As bikes, and riders, break they retire for the day.

    Premier Icon ajaj
    Subscriber

    “ill-informed comments”

    Would you care to point out anything ill-informed in my comments please. Or did you just mean “something I disagree with?”

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    and it’s evident in how they operate – nowhere to shelter from the rain, only their food in the café, no working toilets, dubious liability waivers, “fining” trespassers etc.

    Well starting here…. Lets take in Brechfa, Cwmcarn, Afan as being the local competition…. Which of them have shelter ? Which of them allow your own food in the cafe ? Toilets, not seen an issue on the times i’ve been there, but take your word for it. Fining trespassers, do you mean people out for a stroll or people who have snuck onto the site and not paid for the trails use ? There’s a massive difference.

    admin side seems designed by someone who hates bikers

    I’m struggling with this one myself. I’ve never found any of the Administration anything but completely polite and helpful. I’ve had numerous contacts when get a refund/exchange and also when booking for me and my lad, they’ve always been exceptionally helpful.

    Out of interest though, what would you do differently ?

    Sure, a Gondola would be brilliant… but the cost would be prohibitive, also the maint and what happens if it breaks down perspective… Sure, some complain about the food… .I’ve found it perfectly nice when i’ve been there… The bike shop has tonnes of stuff and helpful staff with spares/knowledge etc.

    daiboy
    Member

    “Would you care to point out anything ill-informed in my comments please. Or did you just mean “something I disagree with?”

    You’re right, I disagree with your ill-informed comments.

    daiboy
    Member

    …and I particularly disagree when you choose to name-check someone prior to making such comments.

    tetrode
    Member

    Would you care to point out anything ill-informed in my comments please. Or did you just mean “something I disagree with?”

    nowhere to shelter from the rain – There’s the whole inside of the main building, as well as the shelter at the trailheads (up until they redid the ramps at the top which they have already told everyone they’re building a new one)

    no working toilets – The toilets were working perfectly every time I’ve been there. Care to elaborate?

    dubious liability waivers – What’s dubious about them?

    “fining” trespassers – I would have thought that fining trespassers is the done thing

    You can argue that they need to be hard nosed to run a successful business, but they don’t need to be rude about it. – How have they been rude?

    The trails are great but the admin side seems designed by someone who hates bikers – What evidence do you have that they hate bikers? From what I’ve seen the vast majority of people who work there are very passionate about bikes and the centre in general

    Premier Icon ajaj
    Subscriber

    Brechfa is free, so it’s unreasonable to have huge expectations of it. Even so you do get a portaloo. I love Brechfa.

    Afan has shelter, it’s basic but it keeps the rain off. Yes you pay for parking but the site itself is free, so again facilities are a bonus.

    The point about BPW is that you’re paying to be there. So it’s reasonable, in my view, to expect more from the facilities. Others clearly disagree.

    The toilets have improved now that they have their improved water supply. But this is one example of the customer service attitude – there are two ways of breaking the news that there’s no water “we’re really sorry there’s no water, the pump failed, here’s a small cup you can use just to wash your hands before eating” and “you’ll have to drive into town if you want water”.

    Same with the shop, you can either say “I’m sorry the shop is closed today for staff training” or “you can’t go in there”. Or even just put a sign up saying “Closed” if you don’t want people going in.

    And just to reiterate, I’m not disputing their right to make money. Lawfully.

    Fining trespassers (railways excluded) is illegal. Disclaiming liability for negligence is also illegal. You don’t need to be a lawyer to know that, knowing your liabilities is part of being a company director. Mostly though those sorts of empty corporate threats, to me, reek of the bully. And that gets my back up and puts a cloud on an otherwise enjoyable day. Clearly they don’t bother other people, but I bet you’d be upset if you maim yourself due to BPW bring negligent and they refuse to compensate you.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Disclaiming liability for negligence is also illegal. You don’t need to be a lawyer to know that, knowing your liabilities is part of being a company director. Mostly though those sorts of empty corporate threats, to me, reek of the bully. And that gets my back up and puts a cloud on an otherwise enjoyable day. Clearly they don’t bother other people, but I bet you’d be upset if you maim yourself due to BPW bring negligent and they refuse to compensate you

    Elaborate… I totally get your logic, but you’ll need to clarify a bit…

    tetrode
    Member

    ajaj why are you comparing BPW to trail centres like Brechfa and Afan? They’re really not the same thing. Does Brechfa have over 30 very well looked after downhill trails that can be accessed by several uplift trucks running regularly throughout the day, 7 days a week? Of course BPW costs more.

    iolo
    Member

    Clearly ajaj, you don’t enjoy BPW as it is.
    There’s other places to ride – go there.

    Clearly they don’t bother other people, but I bet you’d be upset if you maim yourself due to BPW bring negligent and they refuse to compensate you.

    Struggling to come up with a scenario in which BPW negligence causes me injury.

    PrinceJohn
    Member

    Struggling to come up with a scenario in which BPW negligence causes me injury.

    If they left something across an open trail & you injured yourself then yes that would be negligent. If you run out of talent, then that’s on you.

    If they left something across an open trail & you injured yourself then yes that would be negligent.

    Ok, agreed that a wheelbarrow on a blind landing, yes that’s negligent.

    what about a branch that has blown down, or a corner or drop that has eroded or a new feature added since you were last there?

    By declaring the park open and the individual trail open have they assumed a liability that wouldn’t exist if you magically transported the exact same trail to Coed-y-brenin

    Premier Icon ajaj
    Subscriber

    “Elaborate… I totally get your logic, but you’ll need to clarify a bit…”

    OK, let me try again. If you read the legalese it’s designed to protect BPW from riders. That’s not a particularly friendly thing to do – when you invite friends round to your house you don’t ask them to sign a disclaimer. It’s perfectly acceptable commercially, of course. What it’s doing is saying that the management of BPW see riders as a potential liability. So pretty much your first contact on arriving is them saying “we’re worried you’re going to rip us off”. That’s why I say that they give the impression of hating bikers. The lawyers and underwriters who wrote that see us as a threat. Which we are, from their perspective.

    When it contains unenforceable legal threats that just adds to the sense that you’re dealing with someone more like a car clamping firm than someone with your interests at heart.

    Other bike parks don’t consider it necessary, even privately run ones. So what makes BPW special, is it because they genuinely do intend to leave you in the lurch if something bad happens or just because they’ve got particularly jumpy lawyers? The only other place I know that asks for a disclaimer is Antur, but theirs is less scary.

    “why are you comparing BPW to trail centres like Brechfa and Afan”

    Because someone else in the thread asked. I could also compare to Morzine or Tignes where you get so much more for so much less, and still no aggressive lawyers. Yes they’re state subsidised, but so is BPW.

    “you don’t enjoy BPW as it is”

    I do enjoy it, but the enjoyment is tainted. Unnecessarily in my view.

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