Mountain biking is for the mountains. Or so goes the argument against ‘Dirt Factory’, the project looking to crowdfund the indoor bike park in Manchester which would be the first in the United Kingdom.
That said, the protestors against the project are few and far between. In some ways it’s actually quite surprising. After all, we’re talking about a sport where blood can be spilled over the size of a wheel.
“Is Dirt Factory looking to replace the great outdoors? No more than an umbrella is trying to prevent you from looking at the sky.”
It seems that when push comes to shove though, even a bunch as opinionated as us mountain bikers can see eye to eye. Sure, the odd shout of blasphemy pops up in the comments section when Dirt Factory is mentioned online, but the drops of negativity are washed away by the floods of optimism and calls to arms that follow.
And so they should be. It’s not as if the people behind Dirt Factory have come from another planet to destroy mountain biking and enslave Steve Peat. This isn’t Space Jam. These are mountain bike people – and they know that they’ll never replace the great outdoors. Put simply, that isn’t the point.
“We’re never going to replace the outside,” tells Mark McClure, one of the directors behind Dirt Factory. “We don’t want to.
“We’re trying to provide somewhere that’s fun and safe to access. Somewhere that gets people into riding and gives them the confidence to explore the outdoor trails. Somewhere that more advanced riders can come and have a go at riding in wind-free, dry, controlled trail conditions.”