Wind Hill Bikepark,Wiltshire
Mountain Biking UK|October 2017

Nestled in a corner of the Longleat Estate, Wind Hill offers a unique experience for riders wanting to get some air and improve their technique

Alex Evans

By the time we rock up at 9.30am, our motley crew of staffers has already been on the road for over two hours. We all live within 30 miles of Wind Hill, but getting the six of us here together has been an exercise in military grade logistics! As we clamber out, it feels like we’re in the arse end of nowhere, but Longleat Safari Park and a big Center Parcs site are just the other side of the trees. Jimmer is first to get changed. Confronted by full-frontal nudity we all let out disapproving moans. “What? What’s wrong?” he says, moving as slowly as possible to cover up his bits while we avert our eyes. Fortunately, the trails are beckoning, and look inviting enough to erase the image of the naked Hobbit man from our minds.

Droppin’ in, brah

Standing atop the 10ft-high wooden start ramp, there are trails to both sides, each offering something slightly different. After a quick warm-up on the flowy blue run, we head for the red, where snapper Russell Burton is waiting for us to train it down. Leading us out is Chris Smith, who helped build these trails. Ed is hot on his tail, followed by Jonny and the rest of us (except JCW, who’s slinked off to build up his jumping confidence on the blue). Keen to learn how fast we should be going, we’re all locked onto Chris’s back wheel.

At first, the track stays relatively flat as it traverses the hillside. It’s filled with rollers that you can either jump or pump, followed by gentle turns that allow you to hold speed. Our adrenaline levels increase along with the trail’s tempo as it dips down the hill, the berms holding us perfectly as they sink and rise to control our speed.

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