After 13 years the current owners of Skyline Cycles and Skyline Cafe at Glyncorrwg in Afan Forest Park will officially move on.
New owners are taking over in a few weeks we understand.
Really sad news. I sense trade may have been lost since BikePark Wales has come about and also since Cwmcarn invested further in extra trails. For the London and M4 travelling base they are simply just closer and you could argue the more bike park type centres are gaining favour over the original trail centres. Always my favourite out of the two centres in Afan but has also always felt a bit overkill to have two centres, two cafes and two shops so close. The cafe at the other centre has struggled in the last few years also and nearly shut before new owners took it on last year. The vast deforestation from Japanese Larch disease can't have helped either.
The elephant in the room is although Afan has invested in new XC trails and also a mini bike park it probably needs to up its game further to sustain in the long term. I used to do CwmCarn then head on to Afan, occasionally Brechfa. I remember the days of the uplift at Afan, a full on noisy, social campsite and I even recall doing a few uplift fuelled night rides down. Happy days many moons back. Now I am more likely to do Cwncarn with its investment in downhill trails and then BikePark Wales and/or the Black Mountain Cycle Centre. Afan is more every other time I visit and Brechfa a very fond memory at the moment.
To up its game I believe Afan needs to invest in a decent uplift/bike park set up that takes advantage of its scale, the changing market dynamics in rider behaviour and the trend for enduro bikes that mean we can all ride everything and anything and so choose to do just that. This is an opportunity yet to be realised and Glyncorrwg could be the perfect base. It needs to compete on a grand scale with most likely private investment (rather than EU funded Cognation money of past or the well intentioned BikeGiveSustain campaigns) to fuel its growth to succeed.
Please share your thoughts on what you think is best for the future of Afan and what you believe is should be doing to succeed? Maybe it is continuing doing what it is doing? Maybe you agree with me and thinks it needs to invest in an uplift fuelled bike park, downhill centre, maybe something different? There is a multi million pound plan for a huge new adventure park resort on the cards in the valley (with luxury cabins, adventure fuelled sports that will incorporate the existing trail network and a Bear Grylls Survival Academy) and maybe this will be the right plan and the new direction. If it is though it sounds like a different Afan to the one I know and love but things move on as they say!
And lastly a big personal thanks, to Steve and Debbie from Skyline for brilliantly serving so many thousands of bikers over the years including myself so so many times. I also wish the new tenants' luck in this historic setting that has given birth to so many MTB'ers dreams.
You can check out the full Afan Forest Trail Centre listing here: Afan Forest Trail Centre. Please share your thoughts in the comments below and on social media.