Mountain Biking

13 Essential Truths About Mountain Bike Trail Building… With Josh ‘Ratboy’ Bryceland and the 50:01 Crew

We get down and dirty with Ratboy and 50:01 at Revolution Bike Park, Wales...


Mountain Bikers often forget that the trails they hold so dear have to be built, usually by other mountain bikers.  They have to be thought up, planned out and slaved over until they become the pieces of flowing perfection we all have dreams of.

Josh ‘Ratboy’ Bryceland and the 50to1 crew have embarked on a new signature trail in Revolution Bike Park, nestled in the mountains of North Wales. The trail, when finished, will bring the UK something it has never had before, something that in the past you’d have to fly to mountain bike Meccas such as Whistler BC for. A big, floaty jump track the length of God’s arm.

We spent a fine Welsh Wednesday with the 50to1 crew to find out the truth about all this trail building lark. Here’s the low down…

1) It’s always, always pissing down when you’re building a trail


Wetter than an otters pocket. P: Cal Jelley

2) Required tools for the job include; long shafted shovels, picks, rakes (best tool going) and of course, a bike for testing


Due to the popularity of the rake it is unfortunately missing from this image. P: Cal Jelley

3) Before any work starts, a safety meeting is vital for the welfare of your trail building team


Talking safety. P: Cal Jelley

4) A digger, and someone who knows how to use it, are great additions to the tool belt… and they don’t half get shit done quick


Ratboy doing some solid foremaning. P: Cal Jelley

5) A solid crew of grafters is key to moral and progress, even when hypothermia is setting in


Dave exhibits expert shaft control. P: Cal jelley

6) Tea. You are going to need a lot of it to fuel the troops and keep the unions happy


Sam Dale samples a fresh brew. P: Cal Jelley

7) Shaping and packing of jumps and berms is a long, arduous process, but oh so worth it in the end


Slappin’ the bass. P: Cal Jelley

8) Hours in the rain beating on rock and dirt with shovels is clinically proven to build character


Hit ‘im. P: Cal Jelley

9) Make sure your jumps line up. There is no exact science to this, but standing on landings at a slight angle is an age old technique…


Ratboy eyeing up the line. P: Cal Jelley
Guinea Pig. P Cal Jelley

10) After hours of graft, it’s time for some guinea pigging. It’s best, when trying out a new jump, to peddle like f**k. Just watch Ratboy in this informative film…


11) Once the days work is done, it’s time to grab the bikes and fire up a session


Loose is jazzed to see the boys ride. P: Cal Jelley

12) It’s a great feeling when your creations work


Ratboy just overshooting the high five. P: Cal Jelley

13) So repeat these steps over and over until your trail is complete. Easy as that…


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