After an epic Specialised women’s coaching day with Katy Curd and Helen Gaskell at Flyup 417 Bike Park I stayed over in Gloucester and went back the next day for round 2 with the other half. Being a Monday is was quiet with 6 of us having the trails to ourselves and making the most of no que for the uplift. The weather was gorgeous the sun still playing ball and the trails in great dusty condition.
As the bike park is relatively new, there aren’t many trails but there’s still plenty to keep you busy all day. We jumped straight on the uplift, it’s very quick up to the top and our preferred option as the push up with summer heat was a killer… After a few pushes up to session sections of the blue we gave up! If you’re as lucky as us and have a clear day, its worth stopping for a moment at the trail head to enjoy the amazing view over the Gloucestershire countryside.
We are used to riding red trails but as this was our first visit to Flyup, we started on the Blue: Cheese Roller and we were pleasantly surprised, keeping us entertained from top to bottom with a fast flowing trail, lovely berms that twisted into the hills edge and a few small jumps waiting for you at the bottom (all very much rollable). Guaranteed smiles all the way down! This was more intense than the blue trails we are used to, great introduction into jumps and a faster paced ride. It got us grinning ear to ear and excited to get on the reds.
The trailer was ready waiting and we hopped back on and we were back up top in no time. Judging by the blue trail we were slightly nervous, not knowing what to expect we took a deep breath and just went for it. The Red: Igneous is a nice transition from the blue, still just as flowy with great berms and rollers but has the addition of some awesome features, loose rocky terrain and tight corners. All this plus the drops and jumps, this trail definitely had us pushed to our limits and out of our comfort zone. Not stumped by the small fall I had the day before we were going for it and after a few runs we were confidently getting in the air, however on the last run of the day the trail showed us who’s boss and the boy lost it on the last jump. Nothing could beat the smiles out of us though, he was back on his feet still smiling but was a nasty fall that had us heading to the hospital in the afternoon to be stitched up. Nothing a few beers wouldn’t sort out and a stop off for some local beers soon sorted us out. An epic days ride made complete with a Gloucester Brewery tasting session… perfect!
We recommend to be fully kitted up, after learning the hard way and looking at a few weeks off the bike the other half will be investing in some arm pads asap. This is a great place to come if your looking at improving your riding, progressing to bigger jumps etc. A lot of the features are easy to session and keep practising where needed. We aren’t quite ready for the black run but if the blue and red are anything to go by I’m sure the Black: Super Fly is awesome. We stood watching for a while at the bikes flying through the hills. The riders getting to the bottom stupid fast! The black drops into the Four Cross course again we’re not quite up for that but could happily watch them for hours. Theres also a indoor dirt jump track, there’s defo lots to keep the experienced riders busy here.
Don’t leave before having a go on the Dual Slalom course, so much fun racing your mates on the hill and not forgetting the Indoor Pump Track. Mega fast, it loops round with a few berms to add to the fun. We done a few laps, easy to pick up speed and get round without pedalling, even started to get a bit of height.
Flyup 417 Bike Park definitely impressed us, a little more extreme than the trails we are used to but great to be pushing boundaries and come out feeling like you’ve accomplished something even after a brutal fall.
Happy Biking… have fun!
Additional info if planning to visit:
The uplift is great and helps to pack more riding into your day but will cost you a few pennies – A day’s uplift pass is £33 or £3 per uplift, if you prefer it’s £7 just for admission if your fit enough to make your own way up, see details @ flyup417.digitickets.co.uk/tickets the push/ride up option clearly marked running up the side of the tracks but can take it out of you leaving less energy to enjoy the trails.
Flyup 417 project is located at Crickley Hill Farm is alongside the A417, 10 minutes from junction 11a of the M5, just outside Gloucester. See 417bikepark.co.uk We stayed 15min down the road at an air bnb in Painswick. Lovely base for the weekend, a little picturesque village with great scenery and a few local pubs to see in the evenings. There is also a Premier Inn just down the road.
Theres an onsite cafe at the bike park with the usual full breakfast, burgers and lovely cakes. Regular event nights so check it out. With a Leisure Lakes store also on site expect to leave with some new kit. I couldn’t resist, my purchase was a new pair of Fox gloves. They can also help with any spares or repairs. Bike hire is also available if needed along with skills coaching from the man who designed the trails, Tom Gethin.
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