Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 92 total)
  • Skyline cycles (Glyncorrwg), shop and cafe to close down
  • keypulse
    Member

    Went to do Blade and Skyline yesterday but before that I popped into the shop. Some kind of sale going on (I assumed end of season) so I blew far more money than I intended (I only went in because I needed chain lube).

    Having visited their website today I see that they’re closing down permanently and so is the cafe 🙁 Does anyone know what future plans (if any) there are for the trail centre?

    mrlebowski
    Member

    Ah that’s a shame….& not good for the village either I’d think..

    Having said that every time I’ve been to te cafe in recent years it’s been virtually empty..

    Premier Icon oldnpastit
    Subscriber

    🙁

    Premier Icon TexWade
    Subscriber

    Any idea what impact it will have on camping there? Was thinking of popping up there in a few weeks for a weekend camping trip.

    Premier Icon dirtyboy
    Subscriber

    I think it’s due in part to the success of bike park Wales, diverting people away.

    nickjb
    Member

    ^was thinking then same. People coming from england will drive past a much improved cwmcarn as well as BPW. Its also further than those two for a big chunk of the heavier populated bits of wales. Maybe they need to do more to bring people in. NyA was busy at the weekend and that’s miles from anywhere.

    Premier Icon Paceman
    Subscriber

    Sad news, I’ve had good service from both the shop and cafe in the past. Sounds like they’ve been a victim of BPW’s success.

    ctrl
    Member

    Went in the other week to look at a Santa Cruz as known they have stocked them in the past and discovered this. Wasn’t any sale at the time so was there much to be had? Real shame.

    Before BPW the car park was almost always full and you’d struggle to get a space but since you could roll up midday on the weekend and it’d be empty.

    The guy serving did say someone was looking to take it over but he wasn’t sure what they’re plans would be. Maybe that’s changed since as it was a few weeks ago.

    Premier Icon ac282
    Subscriber

    It’s a shame, I went to afan in February and I was told that there was money for trail building as part of the windfarm installation.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    Shame, me and a mate did an afan/BPW double header a few weeks ago, did W2 and swung by skyline for some emergency chain lube and cake, it didn’t look busy but there were some campers and bikes about… We camped at the other centre 😳

    The reason we did Afan was because we wanted to do some pedalling/put in a bit of effort. It’s easier to slack off at BPW unfortunately…

    I can understand why BPW is popular, I certainly like riding there, but it may well suck the life (and funding) out of a couple of other venues along the South Wales M4 corridor…

    mbnutter
    Member

    Gutting news this.

    Wonder if this bad news might be turned around to good news if new blood can come in and have a positive effect.

    Off to call a wealthy bike loving mate to see if he fancies backing my latest hair brained scheme ;-D

    ugarizza
    Member

    Sad news, I bought a bike from Steve shortly after he opened. I thought it looked well set for the future but yes, BPW and the changing face of XC trails can’t have helped.
    Sat on the cafe terrace on a summer’s day, it felt alpine and somewhere special.

    Premier Icon Alex
    Subscriber

    We were there last weekend. Rode W2 from ‘old’ centre which is excellent. Superb food (hand cut bacon is lovely and coffee is great too). Bike shop busy and well stocked, shower block clean and all working. Car park pretty full. Lad behind the cafe counter reckoned they’d been busy all summer with walkers and riders.

    Trails seem good too. Not busy but nowhere near as knackered as Brechfa. W2 is a good loop, but the Cafe/shop at Glencorrwg were clearly being run down. Everything looked so tired. I remember when it opened (Ian was it who ran it?) and the future looked really bright.

    It’s a shame as it’s still a great trail centre. Maybe a victim of being one of the first.

    wrecker
    Member

    Crying shame. The trails at bpw are good but it’s horrendous trying to book a day for a weekend and the day passes aren’t worth having. Also the food and bike shop at glyncorrwyg are miles better than bpw, the food there is bloody awful.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    Agree with wrecker bpw cafe is awful and while the trails are fun, prefer again, except maybe the dull linking sections.

    For me cwmcarn is best because it’s an hour nearer and at least now has 2 trails

    LMT
    Member

    About 5 maybe 6 years ago I went to Afan once a month, loved it had some great days out on the bike, both in the summer and one epic rainy day, sitting in the cafe after soaking wet.

    Then one sunny midweek day I took the oh, she had been a few times but she likes to go at her own pace hence why we cycle midweek together. Doing the final descent on the wall and some idiot trying to get past at speed, very little places to stop and let pass so he clipped her tyre and nudged her off the track, haven’t been back since. Trying to get her out on the bike since has been difficult at best, I know these idiots are at all trail centres but it killed off going to Afan.

    milky1980
    Member

    🙁

    IIRC there was/is a bit of a problem going on with the landowners at Glyncorrwg, it’s one of the reasons there’s been no investment there since the clearfelling. Also it’s dead there as Afan is closer, cheaper to park at and has more there for families with it having a blue and green trail.

    Feel sad for the Skyline guys as I I’ve always had good service there and they really do add value to the place. They’ll be missed.

    deadkenny
    Member

    Sad news 🙁

    Bad if it’s down to the success of BPW. Frankly the cafe was better than BPW cafe and nice place to relax. BPW is too crowded (trails and cafe).

    Some investment needed by FC or Welsh gov (EU even, before Brexit).

    Afan centre & cafe I never felt was that good compared to Glencorrwg. Though can see how it’s better for families and walkers. Glencorrwg starts at the better end though, plus is good for campers and anyone staying up there.

    Cwmcarn seems to be having a bit of a revival. Though the uplift was hit by BPW, but has decent amount of trails now, good cafe and nice bike shop.

    bigbloke
    Member

    Personally I think the felling has massively changed the feel of Afan. I loved Afan but went couple of years ago and hated it, it just felt too open (my feeling) like balancing on the edge all the time. I also thought Blade was rubbish (again just my opinion) just doesn’t flow and was badly cut up and damaged. Shame as I said I used to love it there since I began riding. Maybe the trails need a rethink as people’s mindsets have changed over the years.

    lustyd
    Member

    I’m not surprised and would fully expect the cafe at Bryn Betws to go next. The bike shop always looked closed to me when I’ve been past so I never even went in there. The cafe (all of the cafes at Afan) sell none of the food I actually want to buy. How hard would it be to do a real full English or burgers?
    I stayed at the BB campsite for two nights last weekend and their cafe was open for a total of about 5 minutes that’s I saw. I went to Tesco for breakfast, money that will leave Wales and give no local benefit. The showers were appalling too.
    If you want to stay in business, you have to run it like you want customers!

    mrlebowski
    Member

    When I’m there now I stay at the Afan Lodge. Food & ale is good, beds too.

    Always seems to have a reasonable number staying.

    Premier Icon P-Jay
    Subscriber

    I’m not surprised sadly.

    I was at Afan today, I stopped at the Afan car park first and it was pretty busy, I was there by 10 but had to park at the far end and the trails were pretty brisk with riders.

    Rode Blue Scar to check my bike out after a rebuild.

    After that I drove down to Glencorrwg and it almost empty, even with Ford being there will their MTB club the car park was 4/5ths empty.

    The shop seems to be in decline for ages, they used to have 4 staff at the weekend, now it’s 2 at most.

    Still, I won’t forget they managed to oust the original cafe owners who had great food and a lovely atmosphere, and made it slightly worse in every way, not bad at all, but just not as good as it was.

    Hopefully someone else will take over, but Afan has always been badly run, they’re wasteful with funds when they have it – spent a fortune on a new, but tiny outdoor seating area at the Afan centre for a visitors centre that’s always empty.

    wrecker
    Member

    Skyline didn’t oust anyone and the cafe has not changed owners. It was tendered and they had the better/more competitive proposal. all fair and square.
    The biggest problem is that all of the money spent at GC goes to the ponds co-operative who spend precisely zero on the trails.

    Cwmcarn is not thriving. On a lovely day like today a couple of years ago you’d be lucky to find a parking space on the first pass. It was 1/4 full this morning. The bike shop is all but empty if stock and is struggling to make it work. I wouldn’t be remotely surprised to see it went soon.

    orangeboy
    Member

    It’s a shame for staff. Nothing worse than working out your last days in a closing shop

    Premier Icon oldnpastit
    Subscriber

    Very sad, I’ve had some great times there and had more than one trip saved by the bike shop.

    Premier Icon benpinnick
    Subscriber

    It’s sad for sure. Maybe a sign of the changing habits of riders. Of course it’s all cyclic- I expect we’ll all get bored of bike parks and long for long W2 slogs like I have planned for tomorrow soon enough. The campsite is busy enough tonight. But that’s only 20 spots so would only generate maybe £250-300 on a good night.

    jambalaya
    Member

    Saw my first copy of Singletrack in the cafe so sad to it go. TBH I last sent to Afan in 2006 so of that’s indicative then its not surprising the shop and cafe can’t survive.

    Premier Icon hatter
    Subscriber

    Really sad to hear, have some of my fondest MTB weekender memories from time spent there.

    Agree with much of what’s been said above re: BPW, Cwmcarn and the way the felling changed the feeling of the place.

    However, we shouldn’t disregard the effect the growth of places closer to London such as Swinley and the Surrey hills, hang out on the terrace at Glyncorrwg on a nice weekend and it used to seem that half of the South East had made the pilgrimage west along the M4. These were the people that brought in the money, camped, bought multiple meals, used the shop etc.

    Now that the average MTB’er is older and tighter for time than they were ten years ago, (kids, jobs etc)and so less likely to be able to pull a full ‘lads weekender’ anymore, convenience and being able to do a venue as a day-trip becomes that bit more important.

    The rash of vehicles geting broken into and bike getting lifted there can’t have helped either.

    rob8624
    Member

    Yea. This was aways going to happen. Far less ‘tourists’ in Afan thes days. But, that’s not to say the area is quiet,the local scene is thriving, far better trails available than the berm fest that is BPW if you know where to go in Afan.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    It seems weird to me, BPW could draw people away but it’s the strength of south wales in general as a venue that draws me back every year- BPW, FOD on the way in, many Afan things.

    But then I’ve been to Afan a bunch of times and I’ve actually never been to glyncorrwg, it seems stuck out at the wrong end.

    (@bigbloke, this is an educated guess but I think Blade was built on the cheap- the windfarm deal means more funding is due to the trails right about now so I reckon Rowan Sorrel smashed in as much as he could in a hurry and since then they’ve been sat back waiting for the next load of money to fix it up. There’s one section- ghost train? that was just ****ed, gully erosion like I’ve never seen, they’ve obviously built themselves a river. But otoh it rode hilariously for all that.

    mrlebowski
    Member

    here’s one section- ghost train? that was just ****ed, gully erosion like I’ve never seen, they’ve obviously built themselves a river. But otoh it rode hilariously for all that.

    Ther erosion on that section has been mostly caused by motorbikes IIRC.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Nah, I don’t think so, it’s absolutely classic water erosion, if you ride it in the wet it’s one constant stream and in some unintuitive places that motorbikes wouldn’t naturally go. And there’s terram cloth just below the surface, there wasn’t much of a cap on the trail. There’s also a lack of drainage all the way down it so it has water coming onto the trail from above then not coming off. Andy Wardman’d shit a brick if we made a trail like that 😆

    But I have a feeling it’d have been relatively dull as designed, whereas as it is, it’s maybe my favourite bit at afan.

    marksnook
    Member

    That sucks I prefer the ride starting at afan and having glencorrwg as the food break for w2. Was only saying to a mate we need to go back to afan in a couple weeks. When is it closing?

    Premier Icon benpinnick
    Subscriber

    Closing on the 17th. Sad days. I bought a few bits. Below trade so worth it! I had my last bacon butty there and will miss it.

    FWiW I blame surrey hills, I used to bump into people I know from down that way at Afan, nowadays it’s quiet by comparison. I know it’s a long way but it’s only the other end of the M4 and has a huge population. It only needed a small proportion of those riders to venture to Afan each week to provide quite a boost. I reckon that it might get a second wind when SH finally gets shut down (which if we’re honest is the way it’s heading). I loved every minute of my 42km today. Well. Nearly every minute 😉 Afan is still one of the best places to ride in the U.K. Especially with all the sneaky off piste that’s going on. Maybe they need to start adoption of a few more trails.

    rob8624
    Member

    I read today that the centre will be taken over (not sure about the shop).

    BTW, felling most of the trees on The Wall will start soon.

    therag
    Member

    Went today for a breakfast roll. Imo far better cafe than bpw and the best climb of any trail centre I’ve been.
    Shame to see the shop empty.
    Good luck to the great staff.

    Premier Icon oldnpastit
    Subscriber

    Nah, I don’t think so, it’s absolutely classic water erosion

    Originally it was water erosion (when it was that lovely slithery steep slime fest), then some MX bikes really messed it up, and there were signs up about them, and most recently it’s been redone so it’s all a lot more tame.

    Especially with all the sneaky off piste that’s going on

    I really need to go and find all this off piste stuff. Is it easy to find, and is it anywhere near a decent cafe?

    rob8624
    Member

    If you think that section on Blade is steep and rough, don’t bother!

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Nobody’s used the words “steep” or “rough” in this post 😕

    rob8624
    Member

    Well, steep was mentioned above 😀

    I’m just saying if you have a problem with that section of Blade (and I know which particular bit, I’ve ridden it hundreds of times), I wouldn’t bother with any off piste stuff. Blade is a great trail, btw 😀

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