THE DIRT SCULP­TOR

Mountain Biking UK - - OUT FRONT -

If rail­ing berms and flow­ing through jumps is your thing, then you’ve got to check out Black Moun­tains Cy­cle Cen­tre. This lowkey Welsh bike park is home to some of the finest soil sculp­ture in the coun­try and it’s all thanks to the cre­ative mind and spade skills of Shaun Be­van. In the past year, Shaun’s put in some se­ri­ous man hours at the farm to cre­ate new fea­tures on his lat­est project, ‘Bom­per’ – a su­per-flowy rat race of ver­ti­cal berms and pris­tine jumps.

“I’ll have a rough idea of what I want to build, but I do a lot of my de­sign work in the dig­ger,” Shaun ex­plains. “I go with what the hill’s telling me and freestyle most of it! The chal­lenge is to get things near per­fect first time though, be­cause once a trail is cut in, I can’t get the dig­ger back in there. What makes it trick­ier too is that I do most of my build­ing in the win­ter when it’s too wet to test ride, so I’ve just got to hope it’s right. I’ve been build­ing trails for 15 years now though, so nor­mally it’s not too far o !”

When he’s not dig­ging at BMCC, Shaun works for trail­build­ing firm Trail­craft. “I split my time 50/50,” he says. “It’s nor­mally pump tracks and tar­mac work there, so it’s nice to be in the woods here do­ing my own thing. I al­ways wish I could build things big­ger though. If we build a jump over 3m here, we run into plan­ning is­sues. The farm al­ways ask me to tone it down and I’m like, “Nah, raise it up!”

For more on BMCC or to book a day there, head to www.black­moun­tain­scy­cle­cen­tre.com.

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