Hardline – First Impressions

Brushing off the cobwebs.

Photos and Words by Dan Griffiths.

It’s that time of year again, RedBull hardline is making its annual return to Dinas mawddwy, situated in the deepest valleys of North Wales.

A creation from none other than Dan Atherton himself, this three and a half minute track is most famous for its huge senders but it’s also filled top to bottom with gnarly rock sections and everything else capable of catching even the most skilled riders out.

Today was meant to just be for trackwalks but some Hardline vets were keen to get wheels on the ground and the first sends have gone down.

Let’s see what all the shout is about.

First off, it becomes apparent pretty quickly that Hardline offers one of the poorer views of the season.
It's also fair to say that the landscape is pretty dull and featureless.
Riders will grow to appreciate these warming fires more and more throughout the weekend.
Sign away your life time
Lunch break under the marquee for the boys before they head up for track walk.
Kaos Seagrave is eager to get up on the hill and find out what he's signed himself up to.
The twenty-minute shuttle ride offers some of the best views around.
The first hurdle begins with dropping in for trackwalk, though I hope Charlie realises that the start ramp should be the least of his worries.
With a view like that, it's going to be pretty hard to keep eyes trackside.
The man behind it all, Dan emerges from the digging cave for what has to be his first, likely only, downhill race of the year.
A slick, off-camber slate slab is the last you see before dropping into the deep woods. With the wet conditions we're promised, this could be an interesting watch.
Riders give scale of a kicker that is the former 'Renegade' step up.
Eyeing up the wooden stakes that line the back of the landing, this isn't somewhere you'd like to come up short.
A steep gully drops to flat, straight into a tight left-hander before we get into the to the bigger features of the lower half.
You need semaphore to communicate over this gap...
Despite being terrifying to look at, the road gap is considered one of the easiest features on the course - judge your speed and send it off the end.
Instagram, or it didn't happen.
Track walk over, it's time to catch up and discuss first impressions prior to heading up for a quick evening session before the light draws in.
Bernard Kerr drops in afront a waterfall backdrop.
It doesn't take long for Affy to get comfortable on one of the new step-ups.
Bike coach by trade, you can see why Alex Bond has earnt his himself the status.
Al shows us how it's done as some of the Hardline first-timers watch on.
You don't wanna' come up short here, unhappy with the speed coming in, Gazzy B pulls out to give it another shot.
If the speed is right, this jump will send you, as Brayton demonstrates.
A final session on the road gap before the light draws in.
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