Foel Gasnach DH Park
Foel Gasnach Downhill Park
Foel is a little known riding spot just 20 mins from Llandegla. It has 4 marked tracks, ranging from steep and rooty to steeper and rootier. It offers super cheap uplift from as little £1 a shuttle and offers a great place to develop some DH skills on more technical root sections. I spent the morning at Foel before visiting Llandegla for an afternoon blast.
Foel is a step up from BPW and has more in common with Aston Hill. The runs took me approx 2 mins top to bottom. Bring everything you need for the day though, as there are no facilities.
The first hurdle is to find the place. The post code takes you to a cross roads in the middle of nowhere, with no phone signal, so take a print out the first time you go. Basically at the cross roads go up the lane/track that isn’t on the sat nav as a road, or the first right as you pass the red phone box. As you enter the forest there is a sign on the left as you reach a branch in the track. The DH runs start along the left fork. The right fork is the uplift/push up track.
To arrange uplift visit fdhr.co.uk or the foel riders facebook page and speak to the guys on there. It is possible to organize your own uplift, if you have access to a van and a few mates to take it in turns shuttling, but please register on the website to cover yourself insurance wise/third party liability.
I started on track 4 - video below.
The first time down, if I’m honest, I was a little scared. A mellow start quickly steepens, after two jumps and rock step down.
The middle part of the track opens up into a set of jumps. The tabletops are great fun and are just a case of letting off the brakes as you enter the straight. The straight ends with a drop, or chicken run, into the steepest part of the course, a berm and small drop. This is easier than it looks and despite some nervousness the first time, I loved it. The steep section mellows out with a right hand traverse, watch out for a couple of tricky roots and trees thou. The finish is a fun run out onto the fire road, where the uplift awaits.
If on a trail bike, like me on my trusty Orange 5, the ride to the top was more than manageable taking about 15 mins at a casual spin.
While I was there I got to chat to Stephen Hunter who's in charge of the site.
Stephen was there with a couple of mates and let us jump on uplift for a couple of runs. He was really friendly and super passionate about the site and the local scene. He has recently acquired some more forest and has grant plans for some new tracks aimed at beginners, allowing them to progress from the likes of BPW to full on DH tracks. He will also be leading a team of local talent in a new DH race team which from what I witnessed will be super fast.