What is Leeds Bike Park?
In short, a country park within Leeds outskirts which has a pump tracks, BMX track and mountain bike trails. That may sound a bit second rate, but the reality is far from it. With its on trend café at the heart, you first see the impressive pump track, lined by the even more impressive BMX track, which is then lined by big impressive mountain bike trails. Welcome to the treasure trove that is Leeds Bike Park! Now let’s grab the bikes and here’s my three reasons why you need to get yourself across to Leeds Bike Park.
1. Get your basic rights
Leeds Bike Park is all about your technical ability on the bike and helping you get from step, to step. The trails simply aren’t long enough or steep enough to replace those wilderness trail centres we grew up on. No, instead this place is probably the best place in the country to improve the way you ride your bike. So let’s cut the pedalling and head to the pump track.
Better tackled on a hardtail (anyone who’s previously tried riding a long travel full susser will confirm), but even still, this is your first step to ‘feeling’ the bike. Getting acquainted with your centre of mass and building you movement over the bike will pay back big time when you hit the big stuff. Luckily then LPB has a rather larger pump track to get this nailed on. And if you’re still having trouble, Jordan the son of the Owner who works at LPB most days, is likely not far away to lend a hand. P.S he’s an ex Team UK BMX rider.
2. Practise makes perfect
So you think you’ve nailed your ability to move your weight over the bike and want to practise something a little bigger? No problem, the full sized BMX track is a stones throw away. Here you’ll find a 300m track carefully designed to take your new found skills and push them.
With two lines choices to choose from; the first on the right-handside of the track with rollerable features will help you add pedalling to your pumping. The second, a jump line filled with table tops, will help you add a little air to your pump and pedalling. In short, you’ve got yourself a solid day’s worth of riding to take your riding to the next level of flow. And boy does it look good once you’ve nailed it.
3. Go big or small, but don’t go home!
However if you’ve only got a day, it’s time to move onto to the MTB trails, of which there are quite a few, of decent length. Bet you weren’t expecting that. With two blues and two reds, plus a big Whip off style jump line, you’re a little spoilt for choice.
My recommendation would be to start with the Blue and Red on the right hand side of the park, if facing towards the city off in the distance. These though aren’t the best trails you’ll ride here, are a very good starting point. With flowing, mellow berms and tables, you’ll be hard pressed not to arrive at the end without a smile. The end being at the start of the long 200m+ jump line; now remember you’re likely not Brendan Fairclough so proceed with caution. The jump line has been expertly crafted, but crafted to help you progress. The jumps kick you up high and if you haven’t done a dumby run may find yourself heading skywards faster than you thought. Given time and crucially confidence, this jump line would be epic. With about 15 jumps all beautifully made, you may find yourself stuck here for the rest of the day as you get better and better.
I would though, encourage you to go a bit further. This time head to the trails starting up off from an rocky outcrop, not far from the Café. These will likely be your favourite. Let’s start with the blue. Smoother, faster and more poppy than the first blue, you’ll be wanting to session this at least a couple times. But you will be pulled away, and that’s due to the rather imposing Red run, complete with a huge bridge jump. Starting from the same rocky outcrop, you head straight down to the bridge for which you can ride over or send yourself skywards, your choice. Quickly following this is 4 more rocket propelled jumps which will encourage you to big and harder everytime. But that’s not the end, no no no. You haven’t entered the woods, my favourite part of Leeds Bike Park.
Imagine that famous jump line from Whistler of never ending berms and jumpers. Well scaled that down by about 50% and this is what you’ve got to play with for the next couple KM. Fast, twisty and awesome fun, this will test all your new found bike handling skills to the test. Even including a bonus quarry section with multiple drop lines.
So what do you have here at Leeds Bike Park then? It’s your ultimate mountain bike training venue with enough rooms to stretch your legs and more than advance terrain to test even the most advanced rider. Oh and with a hot Latte never more than 5 minutes away.
Leeds Bike Park is very good, so much so that I completely forgot to take any descent pictures of it, so you’ll have to take my word for it. But I can promise you, you won’t be disappointed.
*Unlike most Bike Parks, entry and parking are completely free as LBP is run as a charity, making all its revenue off the café, which is hardly pricey!