31 Jul 2006

Plas Menai Bike TrackAlready unrivalled in its plethora of watersports courses on offer, the Plas Menai National Centre near Caernarfon now has another string to its bow.

A near 1km-long, specifically designed Mountain Bike Skills track has been developed on the Sports Council for Wales’ national centre’s grounds on the Menai Strait. And it was today unveiled to the masses by Sports Minister Alun Pugh AM and a host of local school children (31st July).

The £30,000 track – which has been christened ‘Trac Jackson’ in memory of intrepid mountaineer John Jackson – was constructed by world class designer Simon Williams from Ffestiniog and funded by Plas Menai.

Williams has contributed his unique style to many of the world’s greatest mountain bike courses including the downhill track at Fort William, Scotland. And ‘Trac Jackson’ is the latest creation to be added to his illustrious CV.

And Sports Minister Alun Pugh – a keen cycling enthusiast himself - was impressed with the result.

"This track is a marvellous addition to the existing attractions at Plas Menai which will attract a wide range of people from kids keen to have fun and try something new to more experienced cyclists. By providing facilities like this cycle track we will hopefully get young kids into the habit of exercising from a young age, and form a habit that will stay with them throughout their life".

The designer was on hand to see the Minister, Chair of the Sports Council for Wales, Philip Carling and children from Ysgol Sir Hugh Owen and Ysgol Bryn Ryefail unleash their cycle skills on the track which includes a boulder park and three loops suitable for beginners though to the more advanced cyclist.

Chair of the Sports Council for Wales Philip Carling said:

"Plas Menai continues to develop as a leisure facility that attracts families, fitness enthusiasts and sports stars alike. The Gwynedd area has a proud tradition of sporting success and the introduction of this new track will ensure that this can continue.

"Cycling is an activity that people of all ages and abilities can get involved in and this mountain bike track gives them an opportunity to try another aspect of it. Plas Menai is a venue where people can enjoy sport and keep fit and healthy with their friends and families and this new development will be nothing but an asset to the centre."