New Girl On The Track

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Pulling up the drive and joining a steadily growing queue of cars winding down the drive, I could not help but feel nervous, and finally upon entry just a little bit of excitement as I realised that very soon I would be trying my nerve at the trails here at Bike Park Wales. Having only been on a mountain bike on a few previous occasions, I found that I was hooked from the very first run.

Yet surrounded by other eager bike enthusiasts, and that I appeared to be the lone female, I must admit to being slightly daunted. All around men were preparing for a good day’s ride, their bikes ranging from sleek beauties to monstrous meaty mean machines. Full faced helmets, neck braces and baggies were prevalent and the atmosphere excited as jokes and laughter flew across the car park.

Grabbing our gear, we wound our way up to collect our wristbands and head for the track. It is truly a lovely place to be. The centre, a modern array of grey stone and glass, sits at the base of the trails and surrounded by picnic tables and a nearby pump track it’s the perfect place to relax post ride. Stepping through the doors, it’s just as inviting inside. The bike shop boasts a large range of brand new bikes and I nod and listen to the enthusiastic babblings on my friend, who had come for the opening morning and tested a range of the new Trek line. The cafe is welcoming with large wooden tables sitting in the warm light spilling in from the large glass windows lining the centre front. With sofas surrounding a log fire at the far end I thought it absolute bliss before we had even hit the trails.

With my limited experience, once we’d reached the top, we decided on taking one of the two blue runs down. The Melted Welly led us straight into beautiful rolling berms that soon had me laughing for sheer joy at pelting down through the trees. Beginner or not this was a fantastic track and soon taught me that it was more than okay to relax and lean into the berm. The trail smooth and fast I started to push to keep up with my more experienced companion.

For fifteen minutes we hurtled downwards until the trail centre and end of the track came into sight. Catching my breath, the realisation hit that it had not been so bad and in fact it had been some of the best fun I’d had in a long time. After another exhilarating run we’d run out of time and had to head back to the car. The time here had ended too soon but never fear Bike Park Wales, I will be back.

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