Exciting news – elite racer Katy Curd and suspension wizard Jake Ireland just bought themselves a bike park.
We grabbed them for a chat about their plans now they’re the proud owners of Redhill Extreme.
For those that don’t know – Who are you guys?
Katy – Just a girl who loves to ride her bike.
Jake – I like bikes and tea. I play with suspension for a living and my favorite biscuit is a custard cream. I think that pretty much rounds me up!
Go for it and tell us the news …
Katy – So we have somehow just brought Redhill Extreme! I don’t think we both can quite believe it yet but its ours and we are already excited for the year ahead.
So … how did this all come about? What made you take the plunge?
Katy – We kind of heard through the grapevine Neil was trying to sell Redhill. We have both always said we would love to own that place as it has so much potential, we kind of grabbed the opportunity whilst we could and with in about 5 minutes of hearing it was up for sale were on the phone sorting out meetings, money and before we knew it we had the keys in our hands!
Jake – It was an opportunity we couldn’t miss really. I was lucky enough to be one of the very original Redhill diggers back in around 2005 as a spotty teenager, and the place has always been pretty close to my heart. As soon as we heard it was possible, we just had to make it happen.
Katy – you’re obviously pretty busy with racing and coaching. Jake – you’re flat out with Sprung…
Have you guys discovered some more hours in the day that we don’t know about? Are you officially the busiest people in the bike industry now?
Katy – If anyone does find some spare hours laying around anywhere send them our way, please! No for sure we are crazy busy especially with coming into the race season now but every spare minute we have is being invested into Redhill right now, plus we have some amazing friends who have already helped us out massively and when it comes to being open luckily mama and papa Curd might be stepping in to run the show when we cant!
Jake – Well, the candle’s got two ends so it would be a shame to only light one of them! We’re pretty busy, yeah. Sprung is growing fast and seven day working weeks are the norm with some crazy hours too – there’s definitely a less glamorous side to running a business with late nights and the odd bit of stress, but I love it and I’m pretty passionate about everything I do. It’s only the admin stuff at Sprung that grinds my gears! Redhill is more of a child, and although it’s a business we’re in it for the love and we’ll make that fact show.
Not everyone here will have been to Redhill – can you tell us all about it?
Katy – I think Redhill is known for its super laid-back chilled out atmosphere, it has a national 4X track, dirt jumps, pump tracks and loads and jumps, rollers, berms, just a fun place to ride and I think that sums it up, simply just a fun place to come ride no matter what your ability, first time rider or someone who been racing for years its got something for everyone.
Jake – Red soil, relaxed vibes, rad trails, and good times. That’s all anyone really needs to know!
So what’s first? You’ve bought the place. What’s your next move?
Katy – Get the diggers in! We don’t want to change it massively but a few changes on the 4X track to make racing closer and fairer. We have plans for a dual slalom track, more dirt jumps, pump tracks and beginner style jumps and drops, for now!
Jake – First I guess we need to get things sorted ready to open. We’re already busy building a new uplift trailer and getting plans in place ready for some track changes as Kate’s said. It’s all happened quite late and close to opening, so we’ve got plenty to do!
And what do you have planned for the first year?
Katy – We already have plans for the diggers to come in to make the changes, we would like to be open for easter half term, this all just depends on the weather, then we already have a round of the British 4X series happening and plans to bring back Redfest and other events so keep your eyes peeled for more info when we have worked it all out.
Jake – We’ll try to keep building new stuff through the summer, so development won’t just stop because we’re open. We’ll have some grass slalom tracks in pretty fast but the full length proper dual is one of the big priorities to get cracking on.
And any longer plans beyond that yet?
Katy – We just want to bring Redhill back to what it used to be, big crew of riders, good local scene as well as new faces each week, as long as people enjoying riding it that what we want. We will keep building new things each winter and keep things fresh and interesting for our sake and other riders. My mind goes wild when we start thinking about what we could build, we literally have free reign on the field!
Jake – Kate’s right, the emphasis for me is on the local scene and having somewhere rad to ride and hang out with your mates. Although it’s a business, we’re both lucky enough to make a living elsewhere, so all the money that comes in will go into developing the hill and making more trails.
How can people find more about Redhill?
Katy – At the moment we have the Redhill Extreme facebook page, a lot of info will be posted on here on updates and news – https://www.facebook.com/redhillextreme. There is also the website but we need to find some time to update that!
Jake – Don’t forget instagram @redhillextreme or come on down and get involved once the gates are open!
Katy – Can we just say a big thank you to everyone who has helped out so far? There’s too many people to mention but we couldn’t do it without everyone’s help and you know who you are, THANK YOU!
About Redhill Extreme
Redhill Extreme is a mountain bike park in the Forest of Dean, near Gloucester. It has a 4X track, dirt jumps and an uplift with onsite cafe, parking and toilets.
Redhill address and postcode:
Elton Farm, Elton
Redhill Extreme opening hours:
*Redhill is currently closed for the winter*
During the season, the hours are:
Wednesday evenings: £6 per person
Sundays: Full day – £9 per person, half day (4hours) – £6 per person