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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
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Pocketmags Digital Magazines

DYFI DYNASTY

Deep in the woods of west Wales, there lies a network of ancient (and very modern) tracks waiting to be discovered. The hidden trails of the Dyfi Forest could be the best-kept secret in Wales.

Dan Atherton, the legendary trail builder and architect of the Red Bull Hardline event, has got the bumpiest, most potholed driveway I think I’ve ever driven up. You know the way that car mechanics all seem to drive clapped-out cars because they’re sick of working on other people’s vehicles? That seems to be Dan’s attitude to his driveway. Behind his house sits 17 acres of woodland that hides countless marble-smooth, sculpted dirt jumps, but in front of it there’s just a potholed track. And in the middle of it all, between the potholes and the house-high jumps, we find the eldest Atherton, Dan – or Affy to his friends and family – sitting on his front deck, overlooking his neighbourhood of Corris, in the Dyfi Forest in westest Wales.

Dan is the least seen of the family, having retired from downhill and enduro racing several years ago. While he is still kept very busy as the team’s official trail builder, he’s happy to work behind the scenes without any fuss or publicity so having an afternoon to chat and ride with him is quite a treat.

Dan is tall and slab shouldered, with the Popeye forearms of a lifetime trail digger and dirt jumper. He’s quiet and thoughtful in a way that you might initially take for shyness, but he’s just very considered about what he says and the simplicity of his conversation matches the rest of his life.

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About Singletrack

Editorial: The wider we travel, the more narrow our focus… Travel isn’t going to broaden your mind if you keep travelling to the same damn place. Interview: Dan’s Secret Forest Dan Atherton has made his home in a far flung corner of Wales. He’s teaming up with the locals to give you a lot of reasons to make the trip there. Behind The Scenes: Filth Camp Chipps gives a West Coast American a lesson in UK weather. It’s not (just) about the rain. Classic Ride: I Love Wight Dean Hersey escapes the grips of winter by going south to the Isle of Wight. Still Going: Keep Pedalling It’s not a review, it’s a relationship. Hannah’s DMR Vaults have been given some TLC. Interview: Grayson Perry: Bloke On A Bike Hannah finds that fun is in the eye of the beholder – and artist Grayson Perry sees things differently to her. International Adventure: Getting High in Colorado Rich Rothwell is seeing more than stars as he battles altitude sickness and injury through the wilds of Colorado. Bike Test: Rackpacking Antony de Hevenigham checks out three mountain bikes that come ready for the long haul. Bikes with racks, from Mason, Salsa and Trek. Behind The Scenes: Bounce Cycles Barney admits to being a little bit boggled by those who aren’t afraid to look at something and say ‘Give me a minute with this lathe and I’ll make that better for you’. International Adventure: #vanlife, Canada Anna Cipullo finds that the camera might lie, but the smell of mould does not. Pete’s Pros: Joe Barnes Pete Scullion catches up with the enduro racer and van dweller as he moves back to Orange Bikes and starts his own team. Last Word Hannah pushes up a hill just to ride down it again. Sound familiar?