Wednesday, 15 January 2014


When I ran at the Cyclopark Christmas Cracker 5k Race I was given a voucher for a free cycling session at the Cyclopark. So with a break in the rain and a gloriously sunny winter's day on the cards, I decided to use it! The Cyclopark has a number of different options for cyclists. From the smooth surface of the main circuit, to the BMX track and then the mountain bike trails - or Cycloterrain as it is called here.

map of the cyclopark - you can see the mountain bike trails marked in blue, red and black

For my first visit on the bike, I decided to try out the Cycloterrain. So I gave the mountain bike a quick once over and slung it in the car. If I was going alone I would have cycled there, but my wife and daughter were coming with me so that's why we drove.

part of the blue trail

These three different tracks all have the same entry price (adults: £3 off peak / £3.50 peak) and for each you get to play on your chosen activity 2 hours. The entry fee only covers one activity. Once you have paid, you are given a wristband as proof of payment and it shows your entry time. It's worth noting that helmets are compulsory for anybody riding any kind of wheeled device within the complex.

this was one of my favourite sections (red route)

As my daughter and wife were here, they decided to use the playground, which is called Cyclokids. This has an entry fee of £2 per family and covers the whole day and covers up to 2 adults and 3 children. My daughter had brought her scooter so in order to comply with the health and safety regulations of the Cyclopark, she had to have a helmet. These are available to hire at the main reception for £2, plus you have to leave a £10 fully refundable deposit.

scooter, daughter, helmet, reception.

After making sure my daughter was settled in the playground, I headed off the try out the 6 kilometres of trails. Although they are all linked together, there are different routes you can take depending on your skill level. The trails marked with blue arrows are the easiest, red arrows point the way for intermediate riders, and the black arrows show the experienced riders where to go.

the section of the blue trail that passes the playground

I spent my time on a combination of the blue and red trails. I did on one occasion start to follow a black arrow but very quickly remembered that I am not an advanced mountain biker and abandoned the attempt! The big difference with the black trails is that they contain quite a lot of obstacles to ride over in the shape on boulders and are quite technical.

one of the blue trail waymarkers

I spent about 50 minutes riding round the different sections before taking a break to hang out in the playground with my wife and daughter. A short while later I went out and did a second session on the trails, this time I only managed 35 minutes before realising that my two hour session was over.

So I rode back to the main building, removed as many items of wet, muddy gear as I could without becoming naked and joined the ladies for a spot of lunch in the Cyclocafe.

we had a race. she won.

We had a great time over at the Cyclopark and the thing that surprised me the most was that I didn't fall of the mountain bike (I have a habit of doing this, but it usually occurs in August, so I'm safe for now). I'll be back soon for the free, weekly 5k run - Cyclorun, but for my next visit on two wheels I plan to take the road bike for a good session around the tarmac circuit.
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