Gethin Woods, Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales

Blue Belle is almost ready!

Posted on 2018-10-23 in Trails

An update on the works being completed throughout Blue Belle

You may have been wondering what’s been going on with Blue Belle being shut for a little while now. The trail was looking a little tired in places and was due a refresh ready for the winter. The plan was to keep the same character throughout the trail but add some fresh berms and rollers to achieve a maximum flow factor.

We caught up with Billy our Trail Crew Supervisor “Tell us about Blue Belle, where did the name come from? Got any interesting facts about the trail?”

"Good question and well phrased. The name is derived from the confluence of two themes, the first being the plethora of the beautiful cyan-esque hyacinthoides that line the trail like a large crowd of baby smurfs gently waving in the warm Spring sunshine. The second theme is the machine that put the icing on the trail cake, the Belle 320 PCLX wacker plate with detachable water bar. This compact compactor is usually supplied in bright factory orange livery, however due to a paint mix up in the spray booth, our new Belle 320 PCLX with detachable water bar arrived with a controvertial was a floral blue! So there you have it, the name came from the Bluebell flower and the blue Belle 320 PCLX with detachable water bar. Not a lot of people know this but, Blue Belle is the only trail at BPW that you can actually see from the moon. Fact."

The trail crew, a strong team of eight devised a plan of attack. The team sat down and talked through what improvements could be made throughout the trail, logistics of working out how to get surfacing stock piles moved and machines in place are vital before any works can commence.

Blue Belle is carved into the North-west side of Y Myndd Y Gethin and is situated for a perfect panoramic view of Merthyr Tydfil and the Brecon Beacons. 

 Dai jumped into “kylie” one of our resident diggers and spent a few days preparing an old access road, ready to be put back in service. 

 After a few weeks of preparation, the hillside was ready for some stone shipments to be dropped. While Mike and Ricky tracked their way up the hill with surfacing, Stu and Billy started the stripping the old surfacing back down to dirt. James our Trial Crew Manager oversees every project making sure that everything goes to plan. We asked James for a quick rundown of the numbers, and he came back with some impressive figures.

 “We ordered 140 tonnes of 0-40mm gritstone surfacing from a local quarry. We've been working on it with several machines for 3 weeks so far. I should imagine that the project will be finished within its deadline of 5 weeks. So say 3 people, 7 hours a day, 5 days a week for 5 weeks is over 500 man hours.” 

The guys worked hard on whacking and slapping and are finishing up the works on Blue Belle. Check out what its currently looking like!

It won't be long now and Blue Belle will be back open, We'll let you know as soon as it is ready to re open.

See you at the park soon, 

The BikePark Wales team



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