Rider: @mattsimmondsdh
Video & Words: @livetoridemtb
Photography: @danthemantheroadmanclark
Sponsor: @privateerbikes

In this episode of Live To Ride where we catch up with Matt Simmonds, an ex downhill racer who’s used the last year to venture into mountain bike coaching and re developing the Caersws Bike Park. We first filmed with Matt in 2012 so we thought it would be good to rewind time and meet where it all began, his old local.

Riding has seemingly changed a lot since 2012, for starters trail bikes weren’t common place and free ride jumps could be found at everyones local woodland.

Nowadays you have to hunt for the new local gold, and Matt knew where some locals had been building a little gem that was far more suited for his trail bike. Even if at times it resembled a downhill track…

“On a world cup track this is similar to Val Di Sole, steepness wise as well, it’s good to blast it on a trail bike…” – Matt Simmonds

In recent years Matt has moved further into Mid Wales where he has a new local, Caersws. Over the years the venue has been used for downhill racing and Matt remembers the first time he raced there.

“2003 was my first ever race here, it’s where I went through youth and junior, learning my race craft.” – Matt Simmonds

Now Matt is trying to regenerate the hill, spending the 2020/21 lockdowns working to re build the trails. Using inspiration from his old local to try and build a mixture of features for everyone to enjoy. His hope is to be able to use the venue for coaching with his new venture Pro Line MTB Coaching.

“We’ve got the national which is obviously for the downhill guys but we have got some more flowy terrain for beginners and people getting into mountain biking. Everyone knows the last year and bit has been tricky for a lot of people and starting a new business was never going to be easy. I’m excited to get back out there now things are opening up again. We’ve got a few venues we can work from with different levels of riding, it’s quite exciting.” – Matt Simmonds

On our last day of filming in Wales Matt took us to some trails hidden in the hills behind his house and of course #walesneverfails and it decide to snow the entire time.

Thanks for watching another episode of Live To Ride next week we are catching up with Roger Vieira a Brazilian downhill racer living in the Midlands and aspiring to break into the top 30.