A YEAR after the heart-breaking death of a 23-year-old his legacy lives on through a bike trail he created.

Ryan Bullimore was cycling down a steep trail, designed and created by himself using pickaxes and shovels, when he crashed into a tree.

He was found by another rider but by the time paramedics arrived at the trail, at Tirpentwys Local Nature Reserve in Pontypool, it was too late.

South Wales Argus:

Ryan Bullimore (Picture: Tom Bedford Media)

Bikers feared the tragedy would mean the trail was shut down, but officials were impressed and gave the go-ahead for the Tirpentwys Mountain Bike Trail to become officially recognised.

The trail has proved popular, bringing bikers in from all over the UK and is maintained by Ryan’s father, Jason Bullimore, who works on the trail ‘whenever not at work’ – with help from Tirpentwys Trail Crew.

Local mountain bikers on Tirpentwys Mountain Bike Trail 

However the longer term development of the project is on hold until the coroner's report following an inquest into Ryan's death is completed.

South Wales Argus:

Jason Bullimore at his son's memorial near the trail (www.christinsleyphotography.co.uk)

Jason Bullimore said: “We’re still waiting for the coroner’s report, which we should have by September so we’re on hold until then.

“The trail is great for local riders and keeps the kids out of trouble, but we’re always improving and expanding it. We want to keep Ryan’s vision alive.”

Tirpentwys Mountain Bike Trail is a hotspot with ‘local lads’ as well as attracting people from England, Scotland and Ireland.

“I didn’t want it torn down; I love coming here,” added Jason Bullimore.

“I think for a lot of Ryan’s friends it was their first contact with death, but it’s nice to see them stick together.

“I’ve cried a lot of tears over the year, but the boys look after me. I was so upset when Ryan died, and they held me together.

“I remember the night it happened. He was late home and one of his friends phoned me, saying there had been an accident and there were three ambulances there.

“It’s not what you expect."

South Wales Argus:

Jason Bullimore and mountain bikers at the Tirpentwys Mountain Trail (www.christinsleyphotography.co.uk)

Along with maintaining, improving and expanding the trail, safety is a huge priority for Jason Bullimore.

When on site he always takes a van with him so if something does happen, they have transport available. He also plans to introduce a turnaround (which makes it easier for bikers to turn around) and a bridge to part bikers from pedestrians.


“It’s up to riders to ride to their ability. We’re here to learn, but we want it as safe as possible,” said Mr Bullimore.

“The dream is to turn the trail into a social enterprise. I want to build it as a memorial to Ryan because it’s all he cared about for the last three years of his life.

“The trail is Ryan’s legacy and it’s good for Pontypool as it brings tourism in, but it has to grow organically.

“It’s taken a lot of time but what would have happened if I turned my back? They’d most likely have bulldozed it and I wanted to keep the dream alive.”

Mr Bullimore hopes that in the future developments will include getting the trail insured, introducing full-time workers and running competitions on the trail.

South Wales Argus:

Mountain bikers in action on Tirpentwys Mountain Bike Trail (www.christinsleyphotography.co.uk)

Making the trail as 'green' as possible has seen the introduction of bird feeders and habitat stacks for beetles, plus the dirt trail is natural, meaning no tarmac.

Tirpentwys Trail Crew have a GoFundMe page to help towards tool and maintenance costs.

If you’d like to donate visit uk.gofundme.com/tirpentwys-trail-crew .