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I'm getting a little too used to these dry and dusty conditions and you couldn't get more bone dry then yesterday when Matt and I headed down to an old stomping ground to check out the newly opened 'MTB Pursuits at Hales Superbole'. That is a bit of a mouthfull for what is actually a managed Mountain Bike park.
So what is going on over there? Well it was first set up as a Mountain Board park ( yep the pretend snowboarder types ), but now it is definately more aimed at the 4X and Freeride fraternity.
The hill isn't that big, so a short walk to the top and you have a fair few choices. Look right and you can either jump on the Mini DH run ( nothing too silly here, just one crazy gap which comes out of nowhere ), or walk 20m and you have the ladders, wall ride, dirt jumps ( 2 lines ) and mini-shore section. Looking straight down the hill you have the World Class 4X track ( which splits for a serious PRO line half way down ).
At the bottom of the hill ( and next to the entrance ) is an awesome big jump line with two big tabletops, then a little one into a very smooth Quarterpipe. Of everything in the park, this was the most fun. The sort of jumps you have to hold the bike back from really flying...you could go really big here.
So what else can I tell you? Well it looks like in the wet this place is going to be hard going ( sooo much clay around ), but it does look like it is going to be a dry summer? ( am I tempting fate there? ). The lines here are pretty intense, yes there are some easy pickings which you could build up on, but to get the most out of the day here you really do have to 'Suck it and Huck it'! Think of it as an Alpine Bike Park without the mountain behind it and you will have it spot on.
The only negative point is that to experience this playground you do have to dig out a tenner...yep £10 in new money ( £7 on late nights ). But before you run away crying lottery funding, this is a private enterprise with a passionate set-up who is constantly maintaining the course and developing it ( it has only been open a few weeks ). I would definately give it a try, but pack your armour as you are going to be experiencing some air-time.
Check out the pics by clicking any of the images or clicking here
For more info on the park check out their website here
Also worth noting that my good friends Bob and Ally of Campbell Coaching are some of the instructors on hand here along with the DH legend Neil Donoghue. Check out the details here.