Couple launch vision for new UK trail centre

Pair go crowd-funding to build six DH runs, pump tracks and dual slalom in Gloucestershire

A husband and wife team have brought a 100-acre site in Gloucestershire and hatched a plan to turn it into an epic mountain bike trail centre with six downhill runs, a 4X track, an airbag arena and numerous trails.

Angela and Simon Ruskin – the team behind Flyup Downhill, the uplift service in the Forest of Dean – found their 'Field of Dreams' property in Gloucestershire last June, recruited some loyal volunteers and have convinced a bank to invest in the project – but they’re still shy of the final cash they need to turn the plot into the venue.

 And so they have gone crowd funding to secure the final cash to make the vision a reality.

The Ruskins unveiled their plan for the site just outside Cheltenham yesterday. Simon told BikeRadar the project, dubbed Flyup417, has been received extremely positively. He said it the plan was to build enough variety into the site to keep people coming back for more.  

He said: “The response since we went live yesterday has been phenomenal. Tree surgeons, road layers… people who are all riders have volunteered for us so we’re just sifting through the offers to see which one we can make the best use of.

“We want to keep people coming back here and the way to do that is to offer variety, which is what the plan is. You’d never make a decent go of seeing the whole thing if you came here three times really.”

Earthworks at the site have begun in earnest – “I spend my life moving dirt around really,” said Ruskin – and they hope to be open by the autumn.

The project is relying on a plenty of volunteer support, including Katy Curd, 2012 European 4X champion, former MBUK stalwart Jake Ireland, and Tom Gethin, an ex pro dirt jumper.

Ruskin said all the ecological surveys had been completed and most of the plans approved. All that’s now needed is the £110,000 to get the trails built and ride ready.

When complete, the venue will boast six downhill tracks, a 4X and dual slalom track, a square kilometre of indoor riding, an airbag arena, and four acres of freeride area. Ancillary facilities will include a café and indoor chill-out area, a bike shop and bike hire.

Ruskin said that they wanted an environment where people could come to relax: "It’s going to be a place where people can come up and chill out really. The idea is that you don’t run into the place an 10am, and get out as quick as you can, because you’ve got all the time in the world.

"You can come and ride for a couple of hours, get lunch in the café, disappear somehere up there, have a sleep in the sun for half an hour and come back down again, pick your bike up and start riding again."

To donate to the project (various pledge amounts secure privileges) visit the Flyup 417 Indiegogo page.

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