Mark has been out in Greece making the final preparations for what will be his first (of many) bike park builds for 2016.
Working with our friend Ioaonis Partafyllis of TTL (Trails and Bike Park Construction) Mark has set the design for ‘Local’s Compound Bike Park’ near Anavyssos about 40 minutes drive South of Athens.
Here is what Mark had to say about his trip…
“I have worked in Greece on and off for the past 6 years delivering trail building schools, designing trails and more recently designing bike parks. I always enjoy the hospitality of the Greek people, the delicious food, amazing history and beautiful scenery. There is high potential for awesome mountain bike experiences in Greece. Now a new chapter is opening up with a purpose built bike park with jump lines, pump tracks, flow trails and other training facilities that will give even more reason to visit the country for a riding holiday.
“The location for the new bike park ‘Local’s Compound’ is an olive and pistachio farm near the village of Anavyssos. The village is situated about 20 minutes drive from Athens airport, in the Attika region. To get an idea of the area check out this video of Local himself exploring the beaches of the region this summer on his fat bike.
“Unfortunately for the residents of Greece the recent financial crisis has hit people hard, many are out of work and are really struggling. It is amazing to see the foresight and vision of one man to create jobs and build a riding scene in his area that bucks national trend. For visitors from overseas, especially the UK and countries outside the Euro zone this does mean that we can get an excellent deal when visiting Greece. Accommodation, food and transport are all ridiculously cheap, especially when compared to the UK… 1 euro / 75p for a beer!
“It wasn’t all hard work for me when planning the bike park, I managed to take in some great aspects of the local riding scene. We took a number of spectacular rides on single track, the highlight of which was riding from the ‘Chaos’ cave to the Temple of Poseidon, which is at the southern most tip of main land Europe. We spent a morning shuttling a downhill trail on the mountain of the Goat God, Pan. I also visited a few ghetto spots – a really cool dirt jump and pump track and an indoor skate park. The local riders always made me feel at ease as I sessioned the features and chilled out with them around the bonfire, sampling the local beers.”
The Dirt Factory team will be working on a number of bike parks across Europe in 2016. This gives us the opportunity to create and enhance mountain bike scenes in different countries alongside honing our skills for our own indoor park build later in the year.
Mark flew British Airways Manchester to Athens via Heathrow, £260 return including two 23kg bags which can include a bike. There are various local hotels and apartments with accommodation starting from 100 euros per week.
Locals Compound Bike Park will offer free shuttle service to Dirt Factory and Farmer John’s Bike Park members from Athens airport to accommodation in Anavyssos. The bike park will be open to visitors from Summer 2016.