Bike Park Wales - The Hills, The Falls, The Fun
Bike Park Wales had been on the agenda for a few years with various things getting in the way of 2 pals and me actually getting there. Then back in October 2016 we all said enough is enough we are going and we are going next month..... as long as everyone's wife says it's ok ;-)
They did and we booked for November 29th!
We got together the week before for a full bike inspection and kit check. After ticking everything off one of my pals commented I still hadn't bought any decent gloves and it was going to be cold. I knew eGlove did thermal mountain bike gloves, and as I have been a wearer of the Black XTREME's for a couple of years, thought I would give them a go! The key elements I needed were:
1. Have good grip material on the fingers and palm
2. Be warm but not too thick so that I couldn't get a good feel and grip of the handle bars
3. Not be too in your face, my clothes and bike cover that area ;-)
4. I wanted to be able to use my phone without taking them off
Number 4 was a important for me as I like to take a few snaps whilst we are out on the bikes and always get annoyed with having to take my gloves off to operate my iPhone each time.
I was told that this was a blog post about Bike Park Wales - not a glove review, but suffice to say I loved them - and now my mates have them too!
The 29th came around quickly and off we went of the long drive to Bike Park Wales. On arrival the outside temperature gauge on my car was reading -3 so I was glad we had packed accordingly.
We kitted up, eGloves on and got riding. Bike Park Wales was far greater than I could imagined and had been worth the wait, after the first run the adrenaline was running high my ears and nose were cold but amazingly my fingers were still toasty. No blisters and warm fingers is always an extra bonus during a winter down hill blast, you don't need extra hassle as the few falls (which did happen) are enough!!
The whole set up at BPW is excellent, the fact that you get driven to the top of the vast amount of runs each time is epic and believe me you will want to pay for this option as the descents are long and zap the energy from you. Being out first visit we took the advice of the team there and started on a blue run to help warm us up and get a feel for the runs.
What better way to start than with the Beast of Burden which is 4.6k on its own. Instantly we knew this was going to be a good day, the standard of the trails is first class. The terrain is perfect giving you ample grip and the the though and design that has gone into the angles and berms is second to none.
Now warmed up and buzzing we went straight back to the top and decided the red runs needed exploring starting with Wibbly Wobbly then Vicious Valley. You could definitely feel the step up in technicality needed as the pace increased and the odd tree stump coming up quickly and the jumps being that much bigger and longer.
Confidence grew and the morning went on so I said to my pals let's go for a black run, I was met with resistance and for good reason I learnt very quickly. Whilst discussing if we should I decided just to jump on the bike and pedal on down entering Deep Navigation...within 30 seconds I regretted it and toppled sideways into a rock - that made me feel a bit silly and rather bruised! This experience gave me a reality check that at Bike Park Wales more than any other Bike Park I have been to in the U.K. You really have to respect the levels each track is rated at.
The team at BPW should be chuffed with what they have achieved as they really have created a great place that lives up to expectations.
I can't wait to return in February 2017 and I can assure you my eGloves will be coming with me along with a full face helmet!!!
Contributed by Tom Cheverton @tomchev on Twitter. Tom is a friend of eGlove, and wrote this for our blog after I twisted his arm! Bike Park Wales looks Awesome!!
Website - www.bikeparkwales.com