The latest addition to the impressive selection of trails at Bike Park Wales is a more natural feeling red trail, called Root Manoeuvres.
Words thanks to Ben at MTB Strength Factory.
At 2.5km long, it’s a full top to bottom run and the longest red at the park. As a more technical, natural trail it aims to be a stepping stone for riders wanting to progress to the more demanding black trails at the park.
From the uplift drop off, it is a short traverse across the hill to the same start point as Terry’s Belly (blue) and 50 Shades (black) before dropping into a fast and flowing section to wake you up and get your juices flowing.
It’s after the first fire road that things really get interesting though as you dive into the woods and hit the first real feature and are faced with a choice of about 5 lines around, over, off and through a rocky outcrop.
This is the first of several ‘black options’ on the trail letting you push your riding on further if you want. Having so much choice of how you want to ride the trail is really fun and we found ourselves pushing up and trying out different lines as they all presented different challenges.
You can go fast and smooth on the inside. You can huck your meat in the middle or take the tech outside lines. You can set up high and bomb the drop. It is great to see trail builders thinking like this, great work.
Compared to the other blue and red trails at BPW it certainly feels way more natural and there are plenty of exposed roots and rocks to catch you out, especially in the wet. We rode it in damp conditions and there was plenty of grip with our trail tyres, but in properly wet conditions a decent front tyre like a Maxxis Shorty, Schwalbe Magic Mary or Continental Der Baron Projekt would be a big help for hooking up and helping you make some of the more awkward turns.
As you drop further down the valley, it opens up and the speed increases, slinging you through some steep and tasty berms with plenty of opportunities to get some air or make transfers across the trail. By the time you hit the bottom you will be blowing hard as it is a pretty physical trail and the current KOM on Strava is 4:06 (Well done Kyle Fletcher!!) with very few people going sub 5 minutes, making it a long trail to hit in one go.
The verdict? Bang tidy! Well done BPW on another great addition to the network of trails.
Have you hit Root Manoeuvres yet? What did you think?