Riding in the company of Dragons
Wales is throwing down the gauntlet
Sure Scotland has long since established it’s claim to the British capitol of trails title. Deservedly so, it was miles ahead for years and they basked in their domination of the action. They were so busy feasting on battered and deep fried Mars bars that they got FAT! whilst the Jocks were busy talking about how rad Fort William is and how they had uplift and all that jazz…..Wales gathered together all it’s unemployed coal miners and told them to once more brandish their shovels with pride and dig for glory. They used their bitterness to fuel them and dug night and day on the promise that soon people would come from far and wide and bring fat wallets and that they would use to buy fancy stuff like burgers, inner tubes and beer. Due to the constant rain cloud cover the outside world was unaware that the dragons had awoken and had created a magical kingdom.
Wales has incredible landscapes, coast and countryside and we want tourists to come here and experience it, it’s an asset that we simply have to capitalize upon. The industry that used to fuel the Welsh economy is long gone and there are only so many bunches of Daffodils that you can sell. The Welsh assembly Government also has aspirations that it wants happy/healthy citizens and that we should have big recreational opportunities. The synergy between all the different parts of the jigsaw has been impressive and has come together in a hell of a melting pot of shred. You can ride whatever you want, from any ability range and you can enjoy it with even a modest budget.
|Bike park Wales trail map. Plenty of good times !
For those who are all about getting into the wild there is as much natural riding as you could possibly want. If you are into dramatic landscapes and hike a bike rides that will be fondly remembered for years, take your pick. Like most places that offer these incredible sky lines, Wales can be brutal as much as beautiful. The weather can change rapidly and bring all flavors of wind, rain and cold that would make you wish you had stayed home. Good ride preparations will cure the potential of elemental woes. The quality of some of our natural riding spots has been a blessing and a curse. It’s always a pleasure to open a MTB mag and see an article that raves about a great weekend they had riding in Wales, with it brings new riders keen to taste it for themselves This sometimes means that this increased traffic can soon thrash the trails, especially when ragged in the winter. They simply can’t stand the demands of hill hungry riders. Once the damage has been done they can’t be repaired and will never be the same.
Subculture of shred
Hospitality in the hills
There terrain dictates that there will always be a fair amount of illegal digging, but there is no question that Welsh mountain biking has come of age and demands to be taken seriously. You should put it on your visit list and see for yourself. If you are brave enough to take a trip to the Dragons liar please make damn sure that you use your noodle and get in touch with a local club, guide of individual first. Social media is your friend and gives every opportunity to get the inside line prior to your trip. I’ve got several riders coming to visit via Google+ and will make damn sure they go home tired, happy and looking forward to their next trip to Wales.
Big thanks to Cognation for the pictures.