The best new places to ride in 2018 - MBR
Brand new trails, events, demos and getaways
Next year brings the promise of brand-new trails, events, demos and getaways. Start filling up your calendar now with the best new places to ride in 2018.
1. Innerleithen and Ae Forest
After many successful uplifting years in the noughties, the uplift days on offer in Scotland have had something of rough ride in more recent months following the decision of Uplift Scotland to stop their service. Well, eager Scottish uplifters need be sad no longer, a new team has arrived. Called Adrenalin Uplift, they’ll be running a new uplift Innerleithen and Ae, making it the perfect time to explore some of the best riding in the UK.
Until they get a website up and running and populated with relevant info and content the best thing to do is give them a Like on Adrenalin Uplift Facebook page and keep informed of developments.
The uplift service will compromise four buses on a “continuous upload”. There will also be day passes as well as season tickets to the uplifts. There may even be the ability to privately block-book a whole day for you and your riding gang.
When isn’t there something going on at BikePark Wales? In 2017 we saw a flurry of trail building work, culminating with a complete makeover for Insufficient Funds and a new line called Roots Manoeuvres. Next year it’ll be a little different though, some trail stuff but there’s loads of infrastructure work being planned too — Martin Astley from BPW wouldn’t share more just yet, but confirmed it isn’t a chairlift. Sorry about that. We think it could be a new shower facility or even an enlarged facility to allow for more special events like demo days or enduros. Who knows.
What we do know is there will be some e-bikes added to the rental fleet, in the shape of the Trek Powerfly FS Plus. “Part of what we’re doing is to remove some of the barriers to mountain biking,” Martin told us. “So if you’re not fit, or you feel you don’t have the skills this could remove a barrier.”
Cwmcarn has always had a great mix of trail bike stuff and downhill tracks, with the classic Y Mynydd DH trail catering for the full face crowd and the Twrch doing it for the open face riders. In recent years the pendulum has swung towards trail riding though, with the new Caffal and Pedalhounds trails squarely aimed at enduro riders. Well, it’s just swung back, the lower section of the downhill track rebuilt, a new jump and the old gaps and tables reshaped.
“The idea was to make the track flow better, it was pretty tired and a bit in need of some TLC,” says Rowan Sorrell from Back on Track, who built it. Good news for the top section too: “Cwmcarn has asked me to have a look at the top section too, so we might be making some changes there.”
4. Comrie Croft
When we first visited Comrie Croft in 2012 we were met by a dozen chickens, an empty carpark and a trail barely scratched into the hill — we called it a trail centre but it was stretching a point. We were blown away by the trail though, natural feeling, technical and rooty like no other trail centre singletrack I’d ridden.
Six years on and the Scottish venue has grown up, there are now three trails, a mountain bike skills park and a pump track. “There’s been a lot of the development these last years, a big extension to the red, and a completely new blue trail,” says owner Colin McPhail.
Colin has also revived the Cream of the Croft festival for 2018 — back in 2016 over a 1,000 riders turned up to the event, which this year includes an enduro race and a kides enduro too. Work is about to start on a new jump line, 1.5 km of new red trail to be ready for the festival in June.
Britain’s best cycling city (one of, anyway) has plenty going on, as you’d expect. There’s a brand new trail called Cooking on Gas at Lady Canning’s plantation, pretty close to the city centre. Cooking on Gas is just the entre to what Sheffield has served up for us in 2018 though, with a new trail at Redmires Plantation being the showstopper. Called RADmires, it’s another community funded trail but with a slightly gnarlier edge to Cooking on Gas. It’s being paid for by local riders, Cotic bikes donated some cash, J E James gave a bike as a fundraiser prize and Vulcan Engineering in Sheffield gave a whopping £22,500.
6. Lenzerheide, Switzerland
Lenzerheide is practically brand new as far as bike parks go, built less than five years ago but now sporting some of the best manmade riding in Europe. There are now five downhill trails, from the easy FLOWline, through to the black-graded World Cup STRAIGHTline. This year Lenzerheide is hosting the DH World Championships too, September 4-9, making it the perfect time to ride, then watch as the pros show you how it should be done.
That’s not all though, far from it. The resort runs a series of little getaways, multiday rides taking you away from the manmade stuff and into some beautiful natural riding. It’s like a holiday within a holiday.
7. mbr demo days
Last year’s mbr demo day was huge. With bikes from 13 brands to try — from Canyon to Specialized, Scott, Whyte and more — top notch trails at the Forest of Dean and an uplift service included with some passes, it was the mother of all demo days.
We’re back for 2018, with another venue, at Dalby Forest in Yorkshire, and now a full weekend at the Forest of Dean. It’s more than just a demo day though, last year pro riders like Olly Wilkins and Elliot Heap turned up to help riders out, and Tracy Moseley and Rachael Walker from Hope led out women’s rides.
Prices are yet to be announced, but the dates are April 7-8 at the FoD and April 28 at Dalby. You can register your interest at po.st/mbrDemo and you’ll be given priority when it comes to booking tickets. Still not convinced? Where else can you try out a handful of top-end carbon fibre bikes, on wicked trails, for the price of a new tyre?