Here at BikePark Wales we’re always working on maintaining our trails and making sure that we keep them sweet for you to enjoy. One of our latest projects is a slight change of line and some fresh features on Insufficient Funds and we've been chatting to one of the trail crew members behind it...
It's great that we have so many talented people on our team and we're lucky enough to have Four-cross racer champion Duncan Ferris as one of our trail crew. For over 17 years Dunc has been racing mountain bikes of all shapes and sizes, primarily specialising in 4X. He's built trails and tracks all over the world and now he's been busy along with the other amazing members of our trail crew carving out a slight change of line and some fresh features at the lower section of Dim Wonga, aka Insufficient Funds.
We caught up with Dunc to chat about his racing credentials, favourite features of the Park and other fun stuff...
Hi Dunc, it's great to have a catch-up! Lets start by talking bikes. Where did your 4X journey start?
It started around 1998. I'd entered an xc race, in which I did so terribly it almost put me off ever entering a race again! Lucky I went on to see an advert for a 4X race in my local bike shop, I gave it a go, won my first race, was hooked on the format and haven't really looked back since!
Whats the most favourite race you've taken part in?
There have been a few stand-out races for me; the Megavalanche in 2008, 4X World Championships in Italy in 2017 and the Maderia EWS in 2017, but if I had to choose one it would probably be getting on the podium at the Fort William 4X in 2018 - I will never forget that race in-front of that crowd!
We bet it got you super stoked! Talking of stoked, what gets you excited to ride?
Lots of different things really, new trails, a well built jump, sunshine(!)...... I'm always excited to ride!
You've got some pretty cool trail building history behind you. What got you started on building trails?
It all started from racing, I'd turn up to the races early (as I was so keen!) and have nothing to do but help with the track build. I found it so satisfying to help create features and then ride/race on them that its all I wanted to do, and from then on I tried to get involved with track building whenever I could!
The new features on Insufficient that you and the trail crew are working on have got us all excited. What would you say your new favourite feature on there is?
It would have to be the final table top jump, hopefully it will be the kind of jump that will appeal to a wide variety of skill levels, safe to help riders progress but exciting for experienced riders to enjoy.
Sure sounds good! What is the biggest challenge that you would say comes with building trails?
Weather, weather....aaaand....weather! If I could control the weather and only make it rain when I needed some ground moisture then the possibilities and efficiency would be incredible!
Hmmm....maybe we should rename Insufficient Funds 'Insufficient Sun' instead! What do you do when you're not riding?
.............build mountain bike trails........
Duhh! Any bike related plans for this year?
A few races - enduro, DH and 4X. Build some exciting new trails, and possible some trail building video blogs(!)......
Thanks Dunc, see you and the trail crew guys on the hill!
Next up in the 'Meet the Team' series we'll be talking to Hannah, our female coach here at BikePark Wales. Stay tuned!