The Booking Experience
After a good few times trying to visit Bike Park Wales whilst I was in the UK I finally secured my slot for 11th September 2019. At £36 for the days uplift I was hoping for great things and wasn’t disappointed.
Booking was very easy and online. I just chose my day (the only tricky bits as there seems to always be a lot of fully booked days. Especially at weekends), paid and printed my confirmation.
Arrival at the Bike Park
I arrived around 9:30 for the first uplift at 10am, however my friends had to rent bikes which seemed to take some time so I had a coffee and studied the piste map! … I of course had my trusty Commencal Meta New Zealand with me. The best bike in the world in my opinion. I can ride bike parks, Enduro trails and cross country with the same bike ….. and its my weapon of choice in all these situations!
Top Tip No. 1 If you want to be on the first lift and are renting bikes get their super early to be front of the queue!
The Mornings Adventures
We were on the lift by 10:30 and on our way up the “mountain”. The uplift is an excellent service, we peddled up to the uplift area and got straight on. There was no more than 5 mins waiting all day! You had to put your bikes on the trailer yourself but as soon as I arrived a lovely young man rushed over to see if I needed a hand and taught me the system! This was great as I had no idea! 🙂
The uplift took about 15 mins to get to the top where we unloaded and headed to the start point. At this point there is a piste map, reminders that helmets are obligatory and qualifying obstacles to test your level for each piste! We started with a nice easy blue,
The Blues seemed to be easy in comparison to Les Deux Alpes and other French bike parks I have ridden. However they were still fun and fast! As it was poring with rain the fact they were less steep and had clearly been build with earth mixed with rocks was a very good thing ….. They were very well prepared and not too slippy at all!
After 4 runs on the blue trails we decided it was time for lunch so we headed back to the cafe. This is excellent value and was quick, friendly service. I can fully recommend the jacket potatoes, a fab refuel ready for an afternoon of reds!
The Afternoons Adventures
We started with vicious valley into Surfin’ Bird into Insufficient Funds. These were a step up from the Blues of this morning but great fun. Confidence was up So we went back up to tackle Roots Manoeuvres ….. This was another level again with un-roleable drops every 2 mins. This piste is classed as Red/Black.
The qualifying modules at the start of each run are a fantastic Idea. They give a good indication of whats to come …. I cleared the qualifying module on Roots Manoeuvres but not all the drops on the run. I chickened some of them and dismounted! I’m ashamed to say!
Top Tip N0. 2 Do the qualifying module and make sure your comfortable on this not just about managing it!
The last run of the day was Willy Waver, a lovely blue trail. This trail is perfect to ride fast and brings huge smiles to everyones faces!
Back To Base
Back to base, the boys had to return their bikes and I went in search of a bike wash. I was horrified that Bike Park Wales charge for use of the bike wash. At £36 for a days riding I think they could let me wash my bike at the end of the day! But with no choice I duly put my first and second £1 coins into the slot and was able to take my bike home clean.
However this didn’t put me off a quick look in the shop. This is a very well stocked shop with everything you could possibly need for a days biking. It caters for everything you could possibility have forgotten, And everything you could possibly be tempted into buying! One to enter without your credit card! I was tempted into buying a Bike Park Wales hoodie for my Husband, Which he loves!
Having spent a fantastic day riding and packed everything up I went back to the office to ask a few questions. How many “Bike Patrollers/shapers” do you have? How many people can enter the park at anyone time? All to take back to Les Deux Alpes to compare what we do and to see what, if anything we can learn from Bike Park Wales. The conclusion was that we have more people, more trails, greater vertical distance and KM but less patrollers. Our Bike Patrollers must be nearly super human as they keep Les Deux Alpes in fantastic condition!
The Future ….
This all led me to the question would I rather ride in Les Deux Alpes or Bike Park Wales? Answer Les Deux Alpes every time. Although I’d still love to ride Bike Park Wales again and take my Husband to rip up some of their Black and Pro lines!
Top Tip No. 3 Book early and try to go on a week day!
We will have to plan our trip to the UK so that this is possible! Bike Park Wales sells out fast!
Top Tip No. 4 Book a day or 2 at Bike Park Wales but don’t forget to book your summer trip to Les Deux Alpes …. you won’t regret it!