DIRT FACTORY will be the UK’s first indoor mountain bike park. It’s a brilliant undertaking for an area that gets 32.63 inches of rainfall annually. Their aim is to bring the the outdoor trails to the indoors. No more flinging mud off your bike while standing in the rain. Some of us here at WorldBikeParks can relate. They don’t expect that the outdoors will fall to the wayside, but they do hope that when people get sick of the rain DIRT FACTORY will be the place to go! DIRT FACTORY will be a fun and friendly environment for enthusiasts of the sport of mountain biking and its varying subculture. Dirt Factory will offer a wide range of mountain bike trails that will loop the perimeter of this 86,000 sq. ft. building! They will offer a comprehensive & progressive skills-area which will include drops, wall rides, accelerated jumps, and distinctive obstacles. There will be a pump track, of course, and even a foam pit. They want to offer something for everyone at every skill level. The plan also will include an alpine themed bike shop and café area where people can hangout and re-fuel. From the sounds of it, you will not be bored or lose your interest at DIRT FACTORY.
See below for Q&A with Dan Makin, founder and project leader.
Q&A: DIRT FACTORY will be UK’s first Indoor Bike Park!
Who are you and what is your involvement with the Dirt Factory?
My name is Dan Makin and I am the founder and project leader of Dirt Factory.
What are your hopes for the Dirt Factory? Who or what was the driving force to create an indoor bike park?
Our aim is simple, we want to open a world class indoor Mountain Bike centre open to all disciplines and levels of rider – its really about creating an awesome and fun place to go dial in bike skills and chill with your buddies.
The Dirt Factory idea started one day when me and my mate Gaz were out riding our bikes. I was always out riding and trail building with Gaz before he moved to Hungary. We simply thought to ourselves wouldn’t it be sick if we had an indoor facility where we could go ride our bikes – we were only thinking small scale at first. So we and a bunch of our other mates started researching and developing the indoor dream. It has now grown into a 86,000 sq feet indoor bike park concept.
What is the bike scene like in the area where you plan to develop your park?
The bike scene in Manchester and all around the UK is huge. We have local down hill pros like Steve Peat, Josh Bryceland and Jack Reading on our door step. We have many other super talented riders in the BMX and Dirt Jump scenes too – not to mention Manchester is the home of Britich Cycling. So yes, it’s a bike haven around Manchester for sure with plenty of fun trails about.
Is there a large riding community? Who do you project will be your main visitors to come to Dirt Factory?
Yes. Our customers will vary from MTB enthusiasts, people who are new to the sport, school groups, private organisations and more. We even have the potential to attract up and coming sports like dirt scooters and mountain boards – the place will be big enough haha.
Do you have a design map or floor plan for the indoor bike park? Can we have a sneak peak?
We have made a 3D model which helps get our vision across, and we have a short animated fly through which is a little old now to be honest. If we had the money we would get super realisatic 3D visualisations done – but we are working off a very tight budget at the moment.
What sorts of events do you plan to have once Dirt Factory is open for business?
First we will be hosting a opening day/night and welcome to Dirt Factory event. Then we plan to host regular events and competitions from races, pumptrack challenges, dirt jump comps/jams, ladies night, strider bike events and much more. We will also be inviting external organisations to hold events at the Dirt Factory.
Do you have any obstacles to overcome before you can set your opening date?
Yes. The biggest one now is raising and securing the capital required to launch Dirt Factory. We have dealt with a lot of the planning and burecratic issues already – now we need the investment. Which is what we are working on.
What does the future hold for your resort?
Dirt Factory has the potential to grow sports like mountain biking and BMX, plus all the sub catergories like dirt jumping and trials etc, even further and at a faster rate than current. Dirt Factory will really put our sport on the UK map. It will make off road biking more accessible by providing a convinient venue to go practice your bike skills before taking them to the trails – and it will also provide a safe and secure learning and training environment for other user groups.
We are not here to replace the outdoors – we don’t want that, we can’t do that. We just simply want to open a indoor facility where you can go practice and have fun on your bike when ever you want. This will especially help during winter months or after work when you don’t have much time to travel to a trail centre.
Ultimatley we want to create an awesome hub and friendly community where you can go ride different types of indoor trails on different type of bikes whilst also relaxing and having a laugh with your friends – or relaxing at our café while you watch your kids ride the tracks. Very similar to what indoor snowboarding and indoor rock climbing ventures have achieved.
My last point is that a facility like Dirt Factory will not only provide short term benefits but also huge positive long term results too. You only need to research the health benefits of cycling and how this makes people feel good and healthier people – not to mention the massive financial savings the UK Government and National Health Service will make.
All of the above is our vision, its our mission.
You can help Dirt Factory by following us on Twitter, Like our Facebook page and spread the word to your friends, family and fellow bikers.