mountain biking

Ready for the weekend?

This weekend the annual Van Road Trails Dual Slalom is due to take place in Caerphilly.  

tafia.co.uk brand ambassador Marti Pearce and a few other boys have been up there the last few days fine tuning the start Gate and new timing equipment, along with some maintenance on the track and a general tidy up.

 
Tafia UK on Sunday, 15 October 2017
 

It's set to be another great weekend of head to head racing. All proceeds go direct to Van Road Trails, enabling Caerphilly to have such a great facility for riding on out doorstep. We are proud to continually support the event along with the sport at grass roots level. It's free to watch so if you don't fancy entering, head on up and watch the action.

Sunday 22nd Oct

8-10am- registration/open practice

10-11am- Gate practice

11am- Seeding runs

12.30- Knock out head to heads

3.30- Finals

4.00 Podiums and prize for spectator with best improvised instrument

Burger van/food stall, on site toilets, st John's ambulance, hopefully some trade stands, music and commentator.

Helmets must be worn at all times.

Saturday 21st Oct  

IF DRY

12-5pm- Free ride/practice

5pm- Whip off on semi-pro line (anyone who can hit line can enter no fee) 

6pm- BBQ on pro line and pro line session. 

IF WET

2pm- Meet at trails to ride local hills , just for fun enduro. 

6pm- Local Weatherspoons for food. 

Introducing Dylan

Haling from the Vale of Glamorgan but now residing the other side of the pond, we introduce to you tafia.co.uk ambassador Dylan Lazyzell. 

Who are you?

Dylan Layzell a 24 year old day dream believer 

Where are you from and where do you live?

From South Wales but living in Canada right now 

Do you have any other sponsors?

Not yet. Anyone keen, hit me up haha 

How did you get in to mountain biking? 

Through my Dad. He rode bikes so naturally I followed suit. I used to race motocross too.

Where’s your favourite place to ride?

Whistler Bike Park

You went to Canada to snowboard. Do you still get involved?

Yeah still getting involved in Snowboarding but no more contests just cruising and having a good time. 

So you was invited to go to Fianle Ligure EWS event. How did that come about?

I won the Amateur category at the EWS in Whistler. I was on the waitlist for Finale as I thought it would be a good opportunity and it all worked out.

How was your first experience of a world series event?

Such a mint experience. It was a big surprise how fast and fit the best in the world are that's for sure. I didn't race how I would of liked too but I've learnt a lot and and take away some good lessons which is always positive 

Are you hoping to enter the event again?

Yeah absolutely the goal is to do full seasons competing on the World Series 

Where do you plan on taking your riding in the next 12 months?

I will be staying and training in Canada mainly but heading to races in different places also. Would like to come back and do some riding in South Wales too. 

Where is your happy place and what takes you there?

Some good flowy single track on my bike. Pedal up to earn your turns.

What’s the worst crash you’ve ever had?

This summer riding a trail called Ride Don't Slide. There is a rock feature with a double drop in it and I came into it blind not knowing what was coming up. Hit it way too fast and gapped the first drop onto the second straight over the bars onto my head 15 or 20 feet from where I started. 

What’s the narrowest escape you’ve had?

There's a lot that come to mind haha but had a really close call racing in Italy last week on a really fast section then into a sketchy rock garden. Ended up riding the front wheel through a rock garden and managed to hang on. The rocks out there are like cheese graters so if I went over the bars it would of been pretty 

What bikes are you riding?

Santacruz Hightower LT 29er. It's a weapon! 

Who’s your favourite rider and why?

Cam Zink. He's a sender and goes so big all the time. Tons of style too. 

Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

I get inspired by lots of things and people I surround myself with. All my friends that I ride with are definitely a huge part of what inspires me to ride. 

When you’re not riding what do you get up to?

Hanging out with my girlfriend and friends. Drink lots of coffee. Generally stuff outside. 

If you was still living Wales what do you think you’d be doing?

I'd be trying to do the same thing. Riding my bike for sure but I'd be surfing more too. Definitely miss living close to the beach.

Do you plan on coming back?

I will always be back for trips to see friends and family. Come back full time? Not sure but never say never. I love Wales it's such a sick part of the world.

What music you listening to these day?

Mainly rock / metal music. Loving the new Metallica album. But my iTunes is a mixed bag. Big of everything.

What do you watch on the TV?

Mainly Netflix nowadays. Movies more than tv 

Last good bit of good advice someone gave you….

Relax. No one else knows what they're doing either 

Something people don’t know about you…..

I used to race motocross as a kid/young teenager. I was actually born in South Africa…..

NEW - Efail T's now available!

NEW - Efail T's now available! 

With 2017 being our 5th birthday, we've been working extra hard to bring you new designs to celebrate the occasion, including our all new 'Efail' T-Shirts. One of our favourites from this years range, 'Efail' translates to 'Forge' from Welsh. Inspired by our heritage the 'Efail' design brings Wales' industrial past from the forge to the finery. 

We have caught up with our newest brand ambassador Marti Pearce who's been testing out our latest products. Keep an eye out for an article introducing him to the team coming very soon on tafia.co.uk. Here's a few pictures of Marti pushing our new product through the paces! 

Efail T
20.00
Size:
Quantity:
Add To Cart

Machen Trail Builders Jam

On the Sunday of August Bank Holiday weekend we witnessed the 'Machen Trail Builders' Jam. For those in the know, nestled high on the mountain above the small village of Machen, lays some of Wales' most intense and technical mountain bike trails. Trails that even the most advanced riders have to sit back, scratch their head, and work out how they're going to negotiate the complex lines consisting of fast berms, big jumps, and huge north shore drops.

 

These trails have been produced and maintained religiously by a small group of friends who wanted something to ride that would push themselves and others. Their creation has seen people coming from far and wide and has been enjoyed by riders from across the country. Unfortunately, due to a disease which is now very common in British woodlands, the trails are now at threat due to the felling of the trees. It is because of this the boys decided to hold an event, as a farewell to their labour of love. 

After a long, sweaty, humid walk up the side of the mountain, we finally found the riders congregating around a gazebo setup near the north-shore style sections. Staying clear of the trail lines of course with other riders jamming it out through the various sections. There was a great atmosphere in the air, along with some chilled tunes and the smell of the wheel barrow come BBQ getting ready to cook burgers. The boys had even gone through the trouble of dragging crates of beer and cider up the mountain at the modest cost of £1 a go. Marty Pearce took place on the megaphone, doing a fine job conducting the days mini-competitions whilst commentating.

Just as things were ready to roll - during a free ride session - Owain Rees grabbed the first prize of the day, courtesy of tafia.co.uk of course, for the biggest off of the day - breaking his Collar bone before things had even kicked off properly!!! Once everyone had dusted off the cobwebs (or washed them away with a beer) everyone headed up to the top of the trail named 'Kenneth' for the first event of the jam - "The Whip Off" which was over the top double. 

For over 20 minutes the boys jammed it out in continuos trains of over 15 riders. Massive whips where going down, along with various no hander/footer combos. Notable efforts from both the local boys Downsey, Mike Yorath and Stoney Taylor, along with Team Skene rider Kyle Fletcher who took the prize, but very kindly handed them over to 14 year old Rhys Barter who stole the show hitting the big boys jumps for the first time! Sick effort kiddo! Marty dished further Tafia T-shirts as prizes for the best efforts including one to Machen Trail Builder - Mike Yorath!

Everyone then headed down to the hip section of "Kenneth", making a pit stop at the gazebo for another beer and burger, ready for the biggest flat. Once again crazy riding took place, soaring through the trees with perfect lighting for photos. Stand out riders being the Beasley bro's and James Shortman, along with some of the Bike Park Wales crew. After that everyone headed back to the gazebo and jammed the rest of the day though 'till dark. A couple of the boys even done the duties and headed all the way down the mountain to carry more beers up!

A sick day was had by all, and certainly did the track justice on its testimonial day. It won't be long now before the loggers move in and take the trees, along with the track away. We are now talking only a matter of weeks, so if you want to ride that section you never got round to, get up there now! One thing the Machen Trail Builders would like to thank is all of those that attended and made it great day. They promise us they will be back though, bigger and better than ever! ;) 

Van Road Dual Slalom 2016

Last weekend we sponsored our first Mountain Bike event, the Van Road Trails Dual Slalom 2016. Although the weather didn’t play ball, the event got the green light as riders from across the UK gathered to go head-to-head racing for pride and prizes. We caught up with one of the event organisers, Marty Pearce, to get the run-down of the days proceedings.

“In hope of having an event in the sun this year we scheduled the event for August. Unfortunately the God’s weren’t playing ball, but our dual slalom course has great drainage, we decided to go ahead as people had traveled a very long way. We had people make the journey from Cornwall, Gloucester and other places across the border to attend. With the weather putting a few entrants off, we run five categories.

As we pulled away from British Cycling on this event we were able to offer racing to kids under 10 years old it and proved very popular, as that was the class with the highest entries. it was great to see the youngsters out enjoying themselves. There was also Elite and Masters categories with a mixed Ladies /Senior/Youth class and Junior class. All of our trophies were made from local cut down trees, so all guys on the podium really did take a piece of Van Road Trails home with them!

Despite the weather it was a great day enjoyed by all. The best part for me was seeing all the youngsters taking part. It’s one thing having this great facility here, but for the youngsters to use it in a safe and constructive manner is another thing. They were all absolutely frothing for the event, and they all did extremely well. This a key part of our 4X/BMX club that we run every Wednesday evening through the summer months. The trails are free to use all year round, we just ask people to keep the trails tidy and respect them."

 

Find out more about Van Road Trails and the 4X/BMX Club.