I regularly see events on the MTB Diva’s Facebook page for ladies to get together and ride socially in Wales and when I saw the uplift morning at Bike Park Wales (BPW) was organised for a Wednesday, my day off, I booked my uplift ticket! Having been to BPW a couple of times before I knew I’d be in for a fun day on the trails only this time I’d get to spend it with a group of like minded ladies rather than with the guys I usually ride with.
For me it was an early start, the alarm went off at 5.30 am and I was in the van by 6 heading off on my 3 hour journey from Milton Keynes. Arriving at BPW just before 9am to glorious sunshine there were already a few ladies there so I made my way over to say hello. Some of the ladies had met before and already knew each other and even though I didn’t know anyone that didn’t matter as they were all so friendly and I now have some new biking buddies! Time for a quick group photo and we were off to catch the first uplift.
There was lots of chatter and excitement as we went up the hill and we decided to get everyone warmed up we’d all go down the blue runs first – Sixtapod, Willy Waver and Melted Welly. These were familiar trails to me so I was happy to just let the bike go and have as much fun on the way down as I could.
Run 1 down, which one next? A few of us were keen to try the new HotStepper line. To get to this trail you start with the top section of Terry’s Belly down to the fire road then pick up HotStepper. The trail begins with a rock slab drop and quickly enters a narrow flowing section of singletrack. Next you hit a rock garden with three different line choices allowing you to drop, jump and bump your way through. The trail then rejoins Terry’s Belly before splitting again onto a hand cut root fest followed by a series of slab drops, some more tight woods and finally, a dash through the ancient woodland at the bottom.
Run 3 was Vicious Valley into the A470 which starts out with tight wooded singletrack before bursting into the open with rollers, tabletops, step-ups, step-downs and we all got some airtime. We finished the descent on one of my favorites (there’s no rock gardens where I ride) Rim Dinger – don’t you just love the trail names!
Run 4 and we fancied another blast down the blues just because they’re so much fun and proof of this showed on my Strava with plenty of personal bests 🙂
Knowing run 5 would be our last run we decided on Terry’s Belly and HotStepper again being the longest run at the park. Being the second run down I felt much more relaxed taking on HotStepper and hit the drops with much more confidence and before I knew it we were already at the end of the trail and the long pedal back up to the cafe where it was time for a nice cup of tea, cake and some more chatter!
I think the morning worked really well, the group split itself easily into similar riding abilities and those more experienced than me encouraged me down sections I probably wouldn’t have done, thanks Stacey! The uplift guys were really helpful and though on the first uplift we were all really keen to get our bikes on ourselves but by run 5 we were quite happy for them to load the bikes for us.
Big thanks to Helen Matravers for organising, Sarah Wakefield for promoting and Kat Chaplin for the photo. I hope to see some of you again soon and looking forward to the next uplift event, it was awesome.