The impact of BPW on our sport.

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  • The impact of BPW on our sport.
  • Premier Icon nickc
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    a lot of weekend warriors

    Unless you’re a pro, that’s pretty much a description of everyone

    A particular moment, probably lasting no more than 15 seconds, but that is frozen in time and etched into my memory.

    To be fair I still remember riding Deliverance and Magic Mushroom at GT.

    OK so they’re always going to be there rain or shine rather than some etherial moment that only happens once. And they’re and unlikely to elicit the same memories a second time around and probably get boring if you’re local (a bit like people rave about some bits of Swinley and I find them routine).

    Premier Icon vincienup
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    I think it’s a question of wants, availability and costs (not necessarily money – time, distance, commitments etc).

    When I lived in the North East I didn’t visit Hamsterley as often as I might because it was s minimum two hour round trip and not significantly better than my local Woods I could actually ride to without the car. Didn’t mean I never went, it was just a bit like a big day out. It also had the huge issue that most F.C. sites with bike trails have where the riders can’t get that they aren’t under race conditions and there could be dogs, kiddies whatever round the next berm. Also a squillion threads about how bad that was. Etc.

    Fully private TC’s like BPW do have very different riding conditions to any F.C. site or your local hills and woods- everyone out there is staff or has signed a liability waiver so it’s a different world from the Straaaaava point of view.

    Different people like different things. Sometimes that sort of thing appeals to me, but mostly I prefer what someone above has termed ‘rambling on a bike’ with occasional silly steep fun. Whatever gets people riding is good!

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Also: Berm’d corners really highlight the TC effect. Even without any skill, you can go quite fast round a berm’d corner.

    Exactly!

    But it’s a short term hit. You get to the bottom, “high five” your riding buddies, maybe even talk about how rad you were over a coffee in the coffee shop. But, drive home, sleep, and by next morning it’s gone. You remember having fun, Remember the endorphin hit, but that’s it.

    So what’s wrong with that? You probably enjoy a beer, maybe have a favourite brand..? You don’t remember every single beer you drank, but you probably still enjoy them.

    and of course, doing a jump at say BPW, where it’s a perfectly sculpted takeoff into a perfect length flight, into a perfect landing really isn’t that difficult. I’ve ridden with plenty of people who can jump at trail centers but not in the real world on real trails (often, they don’t even “see” the natural jumps because they haven’t learnt to read a trail, just to follow one…

    Even if that were true* – really, so what? Biking is about having fun, not about showing everyone how skilled you are! Is it fun? Yes. Does it harm anyone? No. Then fill yer boots!

    And yet, i can remember in HD/4k detail a particular moment at …

    Yep, me too. I remember:

    – Numerous dawn laps at races
    – Numerous XC races
    – My first 100k marathon
    – My first trail centre ride
    – Several other TC trips with friends
    – My first time down the final descent at Brechfa
    – My first modern style long distance ITT
    – My second modern style long distance ITT
    – Innumerable days out in the mountains
    – My first tour

    I’m not saying natural riding is rubbish, I’m saying that TCs can be fun as well as all the rest of it. They have qualities you don’t find elsewhere, just as natural rides do.

    I could describe the sections at Cwmcarn to you, how they flow and how they are so much fun.

    * it’s not – going properly fast at a TC takes just as much bike skill as anywhere else, you just go faster. And you know what (and I think you do going by your username) speed is fun!

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    and by next morning it’s gone. You remember having fun, Remember the endorphin hit, but that’s it.

    You, maybe!
    I remember all the runs from BPW – cos I was with my kid, having fun. Was bloody awesome and I often think back and remember bits and smile and it was MONTHS ago!
    And I remember most of the other trail centre rides too!
    Having fun is what it’s about. Otherwise I’d be a roadie!

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    I’m not saying natural riding is rubbish, I’m saying that TCs can be fun as well as all the rest of it. They have qualities you don’t find elsewhere, just as natural rides do.

    And, regardless of how I seem to have been misrepresented, I was agreeing. I wasn’t arguing that one was somehow better than the other, I was merely questioning why you’d drive past countless other, similar, trail centres.

    Maybe my view is fashioned by the fact I’ve mostly ridden at the Scottish trail centres (though I’ve been to Kielder, Hamsterley and one in the Lake District too) but they all seem to be very similar. Maybe they’re all of the same generation and I need to experience something else (e.g. BPW) to see the variety they can offer.

    And to come back to a point nickc tried to make on page 1, no one who has ever been in touch with me about riding in my neck of the woods could argue that I’m secretive about the local trails and wanting to keep them for “me”.

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    It never used to be allowed in Scotland either, FC used to bin unofficial trails, but times change.

    I’m not sure if it was ever not allowed, I understand back in the mists of time before trail centres there were trails at the golfie, but it was decided inners was more suited to the development of official trails.

    I think the Scottish situation with trail building on FC land is remarkable but potentially fragile, I think it’ll just take one serious injury and someone to sue the FC and it’ll be over, I imagine the guidelines for managing unofficial trails disallow jumps and woodwork etc in an effort to limit this potential risk for example.

    Also if forestry just becomes dissolved into the Scottish government in 2019, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see an end to freely being able to cut unofficial trails, like happened in Wales. But that’s just speculation on a non definite event.

    I think models like BPW and other private operations are the sustainable future of mtb specific trails/destinations in Scotland, it’s crazy people expect underfunded, overstretched civil servants to provide a young, wealthy sector of people with what they want.

    whitestone
    Member

    Crikey! My visits to trail centres are rarer than hen’s teeth! Going via stuff logged on Strava:

    Dec 2016 Gisburn (this is the nearest to me)
    Aug 2016 Forest of Dean
    May 2015 Innerleithen (also visited Ae and Glentress on this trip)
    June 2014 Gisburn

    I think it’s safe to say that trail centres don’t feature high in my riding priorities 😛

    TC’s aren’t for me but I’m glad they’re for other people. Means I get to have my time in wild spaces kept relatively peaceful.

    Maybe my view is fashioned by the fact I’ve mostly ridden at the Scottish trail centres (though I’ve been to Kielder, Hamsterley and one in the Lake District too) but they all seem to be very similar. Maybe they’re all of the same generation and I need to experience something else (e.g. BPW) to see the variety they can offer.

    And there’s your answer.

    If you lived in London and wanted to ride ‘something like Glentress’ your options whilst driving north are:

    Swinley – nothing like it
    Aston Hill – nothing like it
    Cannock Chase – nothing like it
    Stainburn – awesome, but nothing like it
    Dalby – purgatory by flat singletrack and rubbish descents, nothing like it
    Gisburn – kinda close, but still not the same
    Kielder – nothing like it

    Basically you’ll get to Glentress without passing anything that’s really half as good.

    Wales is a different kettle of fish, coming before the 7S project they are far more varied in their surfacing and were usually designed to be challenging but with speeds kept lower, whereas the 7S trails were intended to be ridden faster and more flowing (hence the berms). I suspect if it had been the other way around and South Wales was learning from the 7S development then fewer people would travel to them.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    thisisnotaspoon wrote:

    Maybe my view is fashioned by the fact I’ve mostly ridden at the Scottish trail centres (though I’ve been to Kielder, Hamsterley and one in the Lake District too) but they all seem to be very similar. Maybe they’re all of the same generation and I need to experience something else (e.g. BPW) to see the variety they can offer.

    And there’s your answer.
    If you lived in London and wanted to ride ‘something like Glentress’ your options whilst driving north are:

    [/quote]
    Yeah. I was thinking about it when out for a walk earlier and thought it might be along those lines.

    Edit: maybe I need to do a southern road trip to ride all the trail centres…..

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    Do people think trail centres are busy?

    Saw three pairs of riders at Cwmcarn weekend before last in 2.5 hours of riding.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
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    It’s all relative. 😛

    If you’re used to miles of open space with not a soul in site then yes.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    You really object to seeing a person every half hour?

    I rarely see anyone on my natural rides btw, for reference. But I still don’t mind. Having said that, last time I met people on the trails I rode with them and they showed me some cracking new trails.

    I object to seeing people generally!

    If you think anywhere is busy then avoid Swinley!

    It’s like queuing at a theme park on a sunny weekend, although having said that once you’re out it’s only the same few people you’re leapfrogging most of the way round so it doesn’t feel so busy (racing snakes flying past aside).

    whitestone
    Member

    On the occasions I’ve been to Gisburn the car parks have been full or nearly so but you don’t see many people once out on the trails. Presumably because most are going along at roughly the same rate other than the really fast or really slow ones so there could be another group two minutes behind and you’d never see them.

    Extend that two minutes to five or ten and you could say the same about being out on natural trails. In the Dales I sometimes see one or two riders out, occasionally a bigger group but usually don’t see anyone. There’ll be tyre tracks from other riders so it’s all timing really.

    Between Xmas and New Year last year we did a loop round Ben Alder and didn’t see *anyone*, cyclist or otherwise for 25hrs but that was pretty exceptional.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    molgrips wrote:

    You really object to seeing a person every half hour?

    Me? Goodness no. Any excuse to stop for a chat. The “outdoors” is full of interesting folk, be that other walkers/cyclists/riders or the owners and workers of the land.

    Tom_W1987
    Member

    I was at BPW yesterday, second visit there, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a vast array of riding abilities & sexes having fun on their bikes together at a MTB venue/event in 25 years of MTBing. Great vibe there, busy uplifts with uncluttered trails.

    I found BPW quite unfriendly tbh, especially compared to up around Sheffield – London company men on group rides comparing strava times, wearing club shirts like they’re roadies/frat groups etc – talking balls about other peoples bikes within earshot.

    Perhaps not unfriendly, but definitely a different vibe – that I wasn’t too used to.

    Note I much prefer natural trails (rode 4 times in the Lakes last week) but I go to TCs for a reason and many TC trails are still designed for 90s hardtails vs BPW and some other TCs who’ve adapted to the latest rider demands/requirements.

    Also, I’d say modern full sussers are well suited to the older 90s natural trails – not the modern crop of flow trails – the flow trails would be a lot more fun on a hardtail than the old rooty rocky trails of yore.

    Tom_W1987
    Member

    but they can’t ride chunder or variable surfaces well and seem to complain alot about the lack of flow on natural and unpredictable trails, and don’t really have much of a concept of what a technical climb really is.

    This. Also overheard riders who seemed to able to go at a decent rate and get air – complaining about how bumpy the reds were at BPW and their lack of “flow”. 😀 Take up BMX?

    Van Halen
    Member

    many TC trails are still designed for 90s hardtails

    i disagree – modern TC`s are sanitising the sport. the new tails are all buff with easy/safe features so unskilled riders get a grin for their bucks.

    the most popular trails locally are hte (for comparison) blue level trails. build a red/black trail and no one will ride it.

    bikes are longer and skills are reducing as people cant ride tight corners, flat corners or corners without berms. all of teh techy lines locally have had the tech removed or are unused. its really sad. people need to get back to the good old days ™ riding DJ HT`s on techy terrain in winter to get their skills back.

    took a bunch of park rats up snowdon to ride the rangers and they were so unused to teh terrain on the top of the hill it was funny. (i was shit at the parks)

    I love day at a park but you cant beat natural terrain. its just harder.

    Tom_W1987
    Member

    Yeah well, the Sheffield lot are still riding proper trails. It seems to be a softie southern thing, this obsession with blues.

    The first day at Antur Stiniog and my brother and his mates cleaned the Double Blacks – blind, to warm up. 😀

    poah
    Member

    I was at BPW yesterday, second visit there, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a vast array of riding abilities & sexes having fun on their bikes together at a MTB venue/event in 25 years of MTBing

    this is nothing new up here. Glentress on a Saturday is a wide mix of ages, abilities and sexes.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    took a bunch of park rats up snowdon to ride the rangers

    Rangers is proper shit though. With the amount of people walking up and down it, and having to stop every 2 minutes. 😉

    Tom_W1987
    Member

    Tbh, I really do like Antur though – in terms of trail centres. It feels like you’ve actually accomplished something, whilst BPW is fun – it’s like bubble gum. As others have said, I can’t really remember what I actually did.

    I’ve heard that Revolution bike park is better than BPW.

    all of teh techy lines locally have had the tech removed or are unused.

    This.

    It’s in pursuit of speed so that they don’t have to brake or hang up on any features. Features only survive if they can be hit at full tilt with little to no brakes required.

    We have/had a lovely run through commercial crop tree enclosure we call Endor. Its hard to ride at speed because it’s a full body english trail – you have to make it flow and it’s massively rewarding to get right, and if you get it wrong, it’s a staccato series of momentum grabbing, front wheel deflecting deep, rough compressions and rooty entry slopes.

    But, between the tree furrows, the compressions are all being filled in and it really takes the whole 3d nature of the riding out.

    I blame strava. And brexiteers.

    Tom_W1987
    Member

    Time to start degimping trails Scienceofficer? Make our trails great again?

    You can’t fight against the tide. It’s a numbers game and I’m firmly in the minority these days.

    I’m moving back to cutting my own stuff after focussing on maintenance of existing for the last few years.

    maxtorque
    Member

    BTW, i’m not against trail centers, far from it, they provide a useful service and diversification to our sport. But to only ride TCs would be sad.

    It’s the difference between sparking up Spotify and putting some music in the background, and firing up your turntable, getting out a vinyl LP and LISTENING to an album, from the very first note through to the runout groove!

    There’s a time and place (and a mood) for both!

    Tom_W1987
    Member

    Making a comparison between audiophiles and mountain bikers should be worthy of a stoning.

    But I guess a lot of audiophile tyoes are riding these days. 🙂

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    I think it’s brilliant.

    The natural trails round here are not really any busier, certainly by comparison.

    Premier Icon sr0093193
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    Nobeerinthefridge wrote:

    You can go into all the nuances and legalities if you want

    I’m trying not too because I doubt you’d be able to grasp any of it, but you were happy to post about it when it suited your narrative.

    I will however correct the misinformation you posted and provide you with a reason as too why the trails are no longer removed on sight.

    I’m acutely aware that it goes on and where it goes on – I ride it all over the country, and I made a few tweaks myself today (sorry more rocks Del!)

    Nobeerinthefridge wrote:

    You may have a different view, cool.

    My view is that providing people aren’t building dangerous features in inappropriate places and causing grief with other users whats the issue?

    Premier Icon Pawsy_Bear
    Subscriber

    once people start categorizing and labelling people

    <London company men on group rides comparing strava times, wearing club shirts like they’re roadies/frat groups >

    it says something about you. You might want to think about that.

    Junkyard
    Member

    Do you think you might be labelling folk there and this might say something about you [ or is just everyone else doign it ]?

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Subscriber

    There was a DH track there for years and I’m told one of the black trails has elements of that original track in it – how true I don’t know.

    Yeah, it was called Gethin woods and the main thing it was known for was the gnarly rockgarden towards the bottom. There is still a section of it in there I think just after you go through the tunnel.

    We used to go there from the Midlands and push up our dh bikes. Rheola, Mountain Ash etc too.

    I was racing a Dragon Downhill race there and in practise I clipped my pedal on the entry boulder to the rock garden, over the bars and broke my leg.

    There was a period of about a year where I knocked myself out in that section, a mate broke his arm, and then I broke my leg.

    Brutal 😀

    It’s mostly a walk in the (bike) park nowadays…. 😆

    Rorschach
    Member

    I’ve heard that Revolution bike park is better than BPW.

    Depends…..about 50% of your average BPW rider would s@%? themselves a new bumhole.There is a new line coming over the winter for the the mincecore. 😉

    I’m trying not too because I doubt you’d be able to grasp any of it, but you were happy to post about it when it suited your narrative.

    I will however correct the misinformation you posted and provide you with a reason as too why the trails are no longer removed on sight

    If you’re going to question my intellect, at least try and ensure you know to from too. 😀

    However, we do agree on your latter point.

    tpbiker
    Member

    I see a mixed crowd at gt any time I’m down and its ace

    Innerleithen however seems to be more the preserve of the 18 – 40 year old male.. Don’t think I’ve ever seen a female there in all my visits.

    That’s possibly because the facilities are beyond poor.. I still can’t believe someone hasn’t realised the potential that place has (other than the locals and riders). Decent facilities and a mechanical uplift would make that place a mecca for UK mountain biking..

    Premier Icon sr0093193
    Subscriber

    If you’re going to question my intellect

    Resorting to grammatical errors speaks volumes.

    Premier Icon sr0093193
    Subscriber

    As do your shit weasel smiley posts.

    It’s the difference between sparking up Spotify and putting some music in the background, and firing up your turntable, getting out a vinyl LP and LISTENING to an album, from the very first note through to the runout groove!

    I’ve finally realised that you’re actually playing an ironic parody and not a real person. You had me fooled for years!

    I’ve loved riding my bike in many places, particularly BPW, and will continue to do so regardless of the snobbery from others. I’ll also continue to be the posh sounding southerner who chats to everyone on the uplift bus, regardless of their accent, bike or attire – and to the dog walkers and horse riders etc that frequent my usual riding patches.

    I’ll also continue loving music despite most listening happening through Sonos even though I run a high-end audio company.

    Premier Icon dirtyboy
    Subscriber

    Kayak23 enter the dragon is part of the old dh trail I think? and the rock garden was evil in the old dragon day’s I remember having a rest there fairly often usually upside-down

    cyclelife
    Member

    Chief******?

    You’re kin awesome!

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