It’s a all to common scenario: Your Bike is broke. Maybe you have a creek or some parts are worn out after a long winter. Or maybe you done a Cai Grocott (our Sat Boy) and binned it sending your bike bouncing down the trail and destroying some parts, Maybe its time to retire your old steed and upgrade to something shiny and new

Whatever the reason, you need to buy new bike stuff. You have a few options: You could buy used from a friend or forum, You could buy from online store or you could buy from your local bike shop (LBS) down the street. Here some reason why the latter is a good idea.


Let’s face it – Money is tight for most. The economy isnt great hasnt been for a while, By spending your money at a local bike shop instead of online you're helping your local economy stay afloat. Think about it – if you buy a part online the entire purchase price leaves your local economy. If you buy it at a local shop, some of it stays. Not all, but some.

What does stay has the potential to move around the local area even more. Some goes to local government that then get re-spent in your area. Some goes to the bike shop employees, who can then spend it again locally, and the cycle continues. Your money gets spent over and over again, in your community, instead of somewhere hundreds of miles away or even in a different country


Some items simply make no sense to buy online. Bikes, helmets, gloves, shoes, and clothing all quickly come to mind as things you want to try before dropping cash on them. But there’s more than that – there are all kinds of accessories that are nice to get your hands on before you actually buy. Grips, saddles, seat bags, hydration packs, and even tools- they're all made differently, and it’s hard to tell exactly what you’re getting just by looking at a photo online. Nothing beats holding something in your hand to see how well it’s made and how it functions. And of course if you’re buying a bike you can actually test ride it at the LBS. Not online.

Not sure what size bike you need? At The Bicycle Doctor we offer you the option of a professional Bike Fit with every bike!!!


Not everyone has the ability or time to work on their bike. Buying a bike or bike part at a local shop has a ton of advantages for the mechanically challenged. We offer free servicing or sometimes your bike may need a gear adjustement! No problem! . Parts bought at the shop are generally installed for less than parts purchased elsewhere. The LBS will also handle any warranty issues you might have if something breaks or doesn't work the way it’s supposed to. If you buy online, that’s all up to you. And believe us It can be a nightmare!!

If we don’t have the part you need in stock, be sure to ask us about it – We can get pretty much anything in just a few days, and you wont normally have to pay the shipping. We will also make sure you actually buy the right part. With all the different standards and component configurations you can easily order something that will not fit your bike or riding style. And don’t even get me started on headsets!

Bike shops have every bike-specific tool you’ll ever need – and the Staff that know how to use them. 


When you buy locally (bikes or otherwise) you build relationships. You get to know the LBS employees and they get to know you. You’ll even consider each other as friends. There are all kinds of perks about that. Because they know how you ride and what you like they can recommend gear that will work well for you. The online store can only give you a list of their most popular items. The good people at the LBS will also help you out in a pinch, especially if you are a regular customer. If you’ve got a big race or ride on Saturday and on Thursday your rear derailleur gets ripped off, the LBS will do every thing they can to get you rolling again. It’s not uncommon to hear of shops pulling parts off brand new bikes if they can’t get the part a customer needs in time. Jonathan recently lent out his rear wheel to a customer  while he was waiting for a part! You’ll never get that kind of service from an online shop.

When the LBS employees get to know you they can recommend the bikes and gear that will work perfectly for you. 


Without a doubt the best reason to spend your money locally is because the LBS gives back to your riding scene. When was the last time an online shop hosted a charity ride or a race in your area? Do they put on any regular rides during the week? What about your local advocacy group, has any online store donated money to them? Have you ever done trail work alongside an online store employee

We put huge efforts in to our BIKE DOCTOR Cycling Club, Events such as our VALLEYS VELO ,FAMILY CYCLE FESTIVAL, Trips and even help run our very own BIKE DOCTOR KIDS CLUB!

We are part of your riding scene, just like you. We are riders, just like you. When you spend your cash at the LBS instead of online you’re helping your own riding scene. The online stores want your money, but they can’t help you or your trails the way your LBS can. Spend accordingly.



Bike Doctor Ladies Let Loose in North Wales!
Well it’s finally here, 6 Bike Doctor Ladies are on route to North Wales for a weekend of fun and fantastic biking. We’ve managed to arrange transport, accommodation and routes for the weekend, and we find an awesome pub in the village of Trawsfynydd so we’re already on to a winner!

We’re staying in the Llys Ednowain hostel, which is brilliant. It’s clean, tidy and cosy. It’s above the heritage centre. We were tempted to re-enact “A Night in the Museum” but they closed this section off to us! They must have heard about the Bike Doctor before!!! We also tried to recruit a new BD member in Trawsfynydd (Hedd Wyn), but he proved to be a bit too old and static to get on a bike – and he didn’t smile for the camera (so also to manly to join our group)!

We arrive at Llandegla on Saturday morning keen and eager to go biking. Unfortunately we’re faced with our first mechanical challenge of the weekend. First we can’t get the wheel on Vikki’s bike as the calliper is too far out, and then the brake spring decides to break, so it’s time for some new pads and a bit of ‘superwoman’ fettling! We manage to get the old pads out (with the help of Pete via the good old mobile phone), unfortunately we can’t get the new pads in and being clever ladies, we can’t remember which way round they go so we’re worried about breaking it. Luckily the nice bike mechanic at One Planet Adventure spends about 15 minutes fixing the brakes (while we all watch – no pressure!) and doesn’t charge us – awesome service or what (although not as good as the Bike Doctor)! They also fix Marie’s bike, whose brakes have decided to stick on the journey up…. Hmm, was it planned to avoid biking ‘this scary s**t’!!.

When we’re ready for the off we have a play in the skills area so everyone can have a go at nailing the drop offs and table tops, and then we hit the trails. One group does the green trail while the others tackle the blue. We’re all having a blast and practising our skills when we have a snapped chain. No problem, we get out the quick link, re-thread the chain, snap it in place and whoop, we’re off again – yes you can never have enough chain links! Basher and Keith would be proud!!! Unfortunately we’ve missed one tiny bit when re-threading the chain so it jumps off and gets stuck in the frame. Although we manage to free it, we’re not strong enough to undo the quick link, so it’s a freewheel down the hill back to the bike shop! At least while they’re fixing it we can go shopping and have some lunch – like true ladies who lunch!!

After lunch Vikki and Marie tackled the blue trail, with ‘Jesus Christ’ who seemed to be Marie’s new best friend – Hmm doesn’t sound female to me, while the rest of us hit the red. Marie was heard to scream ‘that is some scary s**t’ as she rode the rocky dip – but she rode it like a true pro (with their eyes closed) and improved her confidence and skill level massively over the weekend. Vikki was also seen smiling at the top of the climb – so we knew she really enjoyed it! We all enjoyed the red, even the ‘Double Steep climb’, which always creeps up on you. We did take a slight wrong turn towards the end of the trail… in my defence the trail always used to go that way – typical for them to change it - although the new bit was fun and it gave us a chance to creep up on Olwen who seemed to go the right way! I did also warn everyone about the last steep bit, after the upsies and downsies, although it did seem a bit longer than the 20 pedal strokes I’d suggested – oops!!!

We found a lovely pub in Trawsfynydd (The Cross Foxes), who have an offer on, 2 meals for £12, just what we needed. The food (and beer) goes down well, as it’s always good to have a few beers after a bike ride and we have a lovely evening, chewing the fat about the days fun. We all sleep well in the hostel, although Angela does have a little conversation in the night, with whoever is listening – I think this was me as I was awake. Perhaps we could still re-enact the night in the museum after all ;-)

Sunday brings us Coed Y Brenin, as we’re a sociable bunch we decide to all ride the blue trail together, while playing hunt the Minotaur for that all important perfect picture – yep, girls just want to have fun!! Olwen lead us down the blue trail like a natural, and even remembers where each Minotaur is located (even the hidden ones)! We took lots of photos although we couldn’t find the perfect place to do a BD head stand, so we put this one off for another adventure. We did research the trails the night before, to make sure everyone was happy with the plans, although Marie’s comment made us smile “so we’re going up Uncle Fester’s bottom and all that poo”. (Yes, I’ve added the polite version!)

The trail gives people a chance to practice their skills and have a play. Everyone did really well with no crashes, so it was back to the café for a bit of light refreshment before heading out for more fun. Some of us did the Red Fox trail next, which was a step up from yesterday’s trails. And it was great to see people push themselves and improve. Karen flew across the Ponderosa rocky section and down Dream Time like superwoman, she also flew down the rocky slab and through the water splash like it wasn’t there – like a true pro!

We did have another slight mechanical with another jammed chain but being true mechanical pro’s we sorted it (twice) and carried on. Everyone improved their skill level riding the red trail, we flew down some of the sections like superheroes on a mission to save the world, although we were really more focussed on having a shower and some lunch as we were all tired and famished from 2 days of biking.

We all had a play in the skills area afterwards, practising our manual lifts (using the hips, not the arms –the ladies way!). Angela did manage to crash into the only rock on the trail heading over there, which gave us a giggle and the chance for another photo! Angela did then nail some of the harder sections of the skills area, which was awesome. The day was rounded off with another great lunch, and for some… a cheeky after cycle beer, by the way of Purple Moose Brewery Ysgawen Elderflower Ale –probably the only time I wish I wasn’t driving, as boy it tasted good!!

I have to say it was a fantastic weekend, we all pushed, encouraged and supported each other to try new things. Some commented that they would never have attempted certain things if they’d been on their own. We had lots of giggles and belly laughs and got to know each other over a few beers and a blinking good meal. Definitely looking forward to the next Bike Doctor Ladies Adventure!!!

jamie our shop owner has just got his new Orbea Orca from the Orbea Custom My O project. he wanted something that stood out and he's certainly done that! 

jamie opted for the Team Cofidis replica Orca frame with Di2 and Vision Metron 55 wheels and FSA finishing kit.

Wheels: Vision Metron 55 Carbon Clincher Black decal
Saddle: Hard Black Scratch-2 Tirox size 143 mm
Frame: Orbea Orca carbon OMR, monocoque,tapered 1-1/8" -
1,5", PF 86mm, powermeter compatible, internal cable routing,
EC/DC compatible, 130mm rear spacing, 27,2mm seat tube.
Fork: Orca OMR carbon fork, full carbon steerer, tapered 1-1/8"
- 1,5", carbon dropouts.
Crankset: FSA Gossamer Pro 34x50t
Headset: FSA 1-1/8" - 1-1/2" Integrated Carbon Cup Light
Handlebar: FSA Energy Compact
Stem: FSA Energy
Shifters: Shimano Ultegra 6870 Di2
Brakes: Shimano Ultegra 6800
Rear derailleur: Shimano Ultegra 6870 Di2
Front derailleur: Shimano Ultegra 6870 Di2
Chain: Fsa Team Issue
Cassette: Shimano Ultegra 6800 11-28t 11-Speed
Tyres: Kenda Kountach 700x25 120TPI
Pedals: N/A
Seatpost: FSA SL-K Di2 SB20 27.2x350mm
Handlebar Plugs: Black Anti-Slippery/Shock Proof Bar Tape

Orbea have allowed the consumer to have plenty of free rain when ordering an Orbea which can be totally individual! the bars, Wheels, ratios among other things are all options but tthe real fun begins with the paint choices. Color Area One provides the main frame color, while Area Two colors the head tube, under the top tube and seat tube and so on for three more sections, until every square millimeter has your own paint choices from 12 colors. Then it’s on to logos. 

Of course, the last touch is adding your name to the frame, in the same spot Orbea’s World Tour Pros on Cofidis put their names. After that, you choose your local Orbea dealer and we handle the purchase and delivery in approximately four weeks with no extra charge for the custom paint.


Global Cycling Network, the most important road cycling channel on YouTube, recently visited the Orbea factory in Mallabia. They also couldn't resist designing their very own 100% customized bicycle using the MyO platform.

Simon also wanted to see up close the handcrafted process we use to paint our frames, so they opened the doors to where "the magic happens," as he puts it.

Check out this great Video here

race report - Tracy Evans

Well it’s round 5 of the Welsh Gravity Enduro Series at Eastridge, somewhere in Shropshire – and I’m absolutely terrified! This time it’s not because everyone looks hardcore… it’s because we came here for the first time yesterday to practise and I know now how hard, steep and technical the stages are (which with the current conditions are well beyond my skill level and bravery). If I’m totally honest I wanted to go home on Saturday night and take up knitting, but after a bit of light refreshment I decided to be brave, do each stage once and complete the series.

Stage 1 (Big Log) starts off nice with just roots, rocks and mud. I enjoy the first bit and ride it much better than yesterday. Then it starts getting steeper and more technical. I ride bits I couldn’t ride yesterday but then I hear the first shout of ‘Rider behind’. I jump off to let them go past, and jump back on. I have to run down some of the steep scary stuff (enough said) and after jumping on and off for all the faster riders to pass I get to the stage where by the time I manage to clip back in with all the mud I’m having to get off again to let someone go past. At one point I decide it’s quicker to run down part of the stage as I’m faster. I eventually see the finish mat and I’m a happy person.

Stage 2 (93DH) was my favourite stage because I could actually ride nearly all of it. It was a mix of roots, rocks, mud and a few interesting drops. I’m more committed than yesterday and ride everything far better. I do have to jump off a few times to let the good guys past – but again this was expected, but I was smiling and having fun. I was still happy to see the finish as it meant I’d made it successfully down 2 stages with only one to go.

Stage 3 (BUSA) was a real pleasure – NOT! The first bit was actually fun with lots of roots, rocks and mud, and again I rode it with more commitment than yesterday and as a result was a bit faster and more skilful. There were a couple of drops, and some hard tight turns. There was a flat middle bit, and then the trail got progressively steeper. It then just pointed down the hill and with no trees you could look all the way down to the finish. In totally honesty I ran, slipped and bumped my way down most of this, only riding a few bits. I stopped lots to let riders past and to watch them ride and crash with a skill I aim to achieve. As I get close to the finish, relieved that it’s nearly all over, I give the thumbs up to Charlie the organiser and then lose control in the mud and hit the deck. At least I finish the series the same way I started, happy, covered in mud and crashing. All 3 stages were longer than I’ve described, but I can’t give any more information on them because I’ve blocked all the scary bits out (which was most of it) unfortunately.

I only rode each stage once, and happily handed my timing chip in while still in one piece. I came 8th (last) in my class, which I was expecting, but I did actually enjoy it in a weird way, because I rode some bits I hadn’t managed to the day before and I actually turned up after knowing how tough and technical it was, especially with the conditions on the day.

I did manage to win the overall series for my class, which was brilliant as it was my first go at the Welsh Gravity Enduro events and it meant I actually did ok in the previous 4 rounds. Although I do think I managed this more by luck than skill. I have improved my riding and confidence in my ability which was my main goal – so all in all it’s been a huge success and I’m looking forward to the winter series (apart from the Eastridge one).

It’s now I need to mention the true skilful and awesome rider of the day, Amy Thomas. Amy turned up to Eastridge for the first time on race day and absolutely nailed it. After a few runs she improved her times on each stage to take 1st place. With the wet and muddy conditions making the technically challenging course even tougher, just doing the stages again was a challenge, let alone making up more than a minute on some of them. If I can get my skill level to be half as good as Amy’s by next year I’ll be well happy. Unfortunately Amy missed a few of the series rounds due to biking injuries and illness. If she’d ridden all five I’d be writing today about Amy taking the top step and me hopefully achieving one of the lower steps. She’s an incredible rider with a skill level I aspire to achieve – well done Amy, the top step is waiting for you for the winter series. Go nail it ;-)

To summarise the Welsh gravity Enduro Series, it’s been a fun (if not a tad scary) five events. I’ve managed to improve my riding ability, skill level and confidence. I’ve ridden things that have scared me silly and provided weeks of sleepless nights before the actual event. I’ve met and made some great riding buddies and I’ve had fun, fab days riding with the guys and girls from the club. It’s been great to see so many Bike Doctor riders at the events and it would be great to see even more at the next series – so come on peeps, give it a go, you’ll be surprised by how much fun you’ll have.


Under 18 men - 11th Ashley LEWIS Bike Doctor

30-39 men - 2nd  Ben ROBERTS Bike Doctor

0-39 men - 2nd  Ben ROBERTS Bike Doctor

0-39 men  - 7th  Ryan ROWLAND Bike Doctor

0-39 men - 37 Gareth SUCHECKI Bike Doctor

0-39 men  - 64th Jamie ROWLAND Bike Doctor

0-39 men - 92nd Kristofer HAMER Bike Doctor 

40-49 men - 19th Jonathan THORNGATE Bike Doctor

30+ women - 1st Tracy EVANS Bike Doctor

30+ women  - 9 Amy THOMAS Bike Doctor

Round 3 of The Welsh gravity Enduro Series headed to Cwmcarn and with good weather forecasted and dry trails racing was always going to be fast! BIKE DOCTOR jerseys where out in force again with Ben Roberts taking 1st place in the masters and Amy Thomas and Tracy Evans 2nd and 3rd in the Women's!


Race report by Tracy Evans 

Well its race day again, round 3 of the Welsh Gravity Enduro Series at Cwmcarn and I’m excited and a bit nervous (lots if I’m honest). Today is going to be a real challenge for me, most of the stages have lots of tight turns and although I’ve been mountain biking for years I’ve only recently mastered the art of turning right! Yes this might sound mad – but I’m hoping there are people out there who can relate to this!

I start the day well by going the wrong way after the first climb (even though there was a huge arrow pointing the right way), luckily I realise my mistake and get back on track with only a 10 minute diversion… Unfortunately Keith and Russell are stood by the arrow on my return so I have to admit my silly mistake – oh the shame!!

Stage 1 (the secret stage), is Voodoo in reverse. We only found this out the night before and I’m secretly relieved, as I believe if you can ride up a trail you should be able to ride down it. Gee how wrong was I… It’s a super tight, twisty section that required a fair bit of pedalling. Although I’m trying to get some flow I end up bouncing off the sides of the trail like a pinball going for a high score. My second attempt proves a little bit faster but I have the control of a jelly and I decide to save my energy and move on to stage 2.

Stage 2 (Dragon Run into Pedalhounds) is a long technical stage. The first bit weaves in and out between the trees before moving on to the first bit of the downhill run. I’m really looking forward to this stage, apart from the first root feature on Pedalhounds as I haven’t quite mastered it. On my run I glide through the trees narrowly missing each one – it feels great. I go left on the scary root feature on Pedalhounds and clear it with no problems, awesome! I get the next bit wrong in my excitement and take the wrong line, but I manage to keep most of my speed and fly around the three (initially scary – but now totally brilliant) berms. I do this run again and challenge myself to ride down the middle of the root feature. In hindsight I’m not sure why I chose to do this on race day. I get it way wrong, catch my handlebar on the tree and before I know it I’m face planting down the drop like a sack of spuds dropped from a great height – it’s not pretty and it’s not skilful, but luckily there are no photographers around so I jump up quickly and get back on the bike. It’s at this point I realise how good the full face helmet is. The crash also gets my adrenaline going as I fly down the rest of the trail knocking nearly a minute of my best time. I’m still not sure how to do the jump half way down as I keep landing on my front wheel, but I try my best and smile for the photographer.

Stage 3 (Powderhouse) is a twisty stage with roots, a few rocks and some tight berms, which requires you to pedal a fair bit. I do this stage twice, once before and once after my crash. I’m struggling to get any flow and I feel like I’m hitting every feature instead of flying over them in my new superhero style I’ve become accustomed too. I do manage to jump and land a few drops which give me a high and I cream the right hand turn that took me 8 attempts the week before – go me!!! The photographers dog barks at me, which causes me to look, the bike to turn and me to nearly leave the trail. Luckily I get it back on track and realise that, yes, looking where you want to go does actually help you go that way. I love this stage so much I don’t even notice the drop on the side that freaked me out for weeks before.

Stage 4 (K-Jam) is a short fun stage with a few jumps and funny turns. I have a rest before this one, eat a pile of jelly sweets and then hit it as hard as I can. To be honest, I’m all over the shop going down the trail – I’m either in the air heading off the trail, landing on the wrong side of the trail or having a near miss with the trees and tree stumps. I try this section 3 times as I know if I nearly crash in the middle I should have a fast time. I also know there is a photographer half way down, and yes, I’m still aiming for an awesome photo of me in my Bike doctor kit. The potential crash doesn’t happen but I’ve had fun trying. I do clip my pedal on a rock each time, hitting my foot out of the pedal and giving me a slight heart flutter – at least I’m consistent!

Today I felt more like the hulk than superwoman, but although I felt slow and out of control, it turns out I’ve had my fastest times on each section, knocking over a minute off on some bits. I guess my lack of flow and control was because I was riding to my limit – and loving it.
It was great to stand on the podium with fellow Bike Doctor Rider Amy Thomas, who, coming back to racing after a crash a few weeks ago, came second with only 2 seconds off first place. What an awesome result for Amy. I was just over a minute behind first place, which I was really pleased with, as I was expecting to be about 3 minutes slower. It shows I’m slowly getting faster and more confident.
I’ve achieved my aim in entering these events as I’m now riding the scary stuff (and trying to ride it faster) and I’m really enjoying it. Who knows, by the end I might have perfected my right turns and got an amazing photo!

Full Bike Doctor Results


1st Ben ROBERTS Bike Doctor

13th Ryan ROWLAND Bike Doctor

27th Gareth SUCHECKI Bike Doctor

51st Jamie ROWLAND Bike Doctor


15th Jonathan THORNGATE Bike Doctor

38th Keith EVANS Bike Doctor


2nd Amy THOMAS Bike Doctor

3rd Tracy EVANS Bike Doctor


9th Ashley LEWIS Bike Doctor

Check out another great edit of the weekend from by wayne carter 

Welsh Gravity Enduro RD3 Cwmcarn - More Mountain Bike Videos


We have available a Medium Orbea Occam TR Demo Bike! Why not try it! Its fast!!

Contact Us on 01443 683052 to Book your Ride


 Starting at £1599 and topping out at £5679 the range and spec is super competitive and is winning reviews in magazines all over the world!

Find out what a recent customer of our had to say after a test Ride! 

Test Ride Orbea Occam TR

I was curious about a 29er as ive never ridden one before and heard a lot about positive/negatives for the wheel size, so I was happy to take the Demo Orbea Occam TR out from the Bicycle Doctor in Porth.

Looks wise it seemed really pleasing to the eye with nothing putting me off and the colour scheme was fantastic, in satin and green frame.

Off to Afan Argoed i went for some solo riding and a game plan forming in my head, to best test this bike out.

Y Wal was first and I thought id just leave it in the middle setting (trail) front and rear and attack the trail, I must be honest I wasn’t expecting a lot as id heard a lot of negative 29er remarks, like they don’t turn etc and I really didnt like the concept of a 1 x 10 drive train, so the odds were against this bike.

On the trail, I didn’t feel out of place with this larger wheel size, it felt really comfortable in the cockpit/geometry point of view, with a couple of stops to tweak the seat etc, it felt stiff and precise, which is a bonus if you like to climb and those who know me in the Club, know I like climbs……..

I know this trail quite well and on some of the rutty difficult parts, this bike rolled over them with ease, causing me to look back to see if any repair work had been done but nope the bike rolled over it all seamlessly. I was starting to enjoy this experience and on one of the forestry road climbs, I came across a few riders and noticed on passing a few, they were trying to push to the top, I embraced this and pushed the Occam, which responded by maintaining its front position gripping and accelerating to the top, more smiles.

In my head I was only interested on the descents now, as this bike seemed to handle the rest, so time to see how quick it could respond to changes of direction and a bit of speed. This is where the bike came into its own, quote from website “You won’t find a dozen bearings or complex linkages driving a strange proprietary shock.” This bike handled brilliantly, it went were I pointed it, responding brilliantly to the lumps and bumps at speed, it did not feel like a 29er, more like a 650b or at times in the tight stuff better than my 26 inch.

Quick blast to the visitor centre, Penhydd & Blue Scar next, time to play with the suspension, soft and lockout etc, doing attacks and steady riding where my legs would let me, I did not want to stop riding this bike but by the time I was on the last trail I was getting tired but smiling and loving the experience.

I went out thinking I would not like this this bike but loved it and eventually when I checked my phone I had several missed calls from the shop asking when the bike was coming back, the answer was I didn’t want to. I think this is a 1 bike that can do it all and have fun.


Occam TR is a 120mm platform with 29” wheels - lightweight, refined and capable. Is the perfect choice for trail riders who love long, fast rides over varied terrain with maximum efficiencys.

Those who prefer long days in the saddle and crave a balance of downhill speed and lightweight stability, choose Occam TR.

Occam AM pairs 140mm of travel with 27.5” wheels and a slightly burlier stance. Is the perfect choice of riders who want more travel and maneuverability. For technical descents where quick handling and increased travel are preferred.

Those who are looking for a bit more fun on the descents and want a bike with a rugged specification, choose Occam AM.


Tracy Evans Hitting the road Jump on her way to 2nd overall in the Women

BIKE PARK WALES ENDURO RACE REPORT - Bike Doctor Enduro rider Tracy Evans

Well it’s race day again, round 2 of the Welsh Gravity Enduro at Bike Park Wales. I’m excited as I know I can ride all the features on the trails, but I’m also terrified!
I pull myself together and set off at 9.30 for some practice runs before the racing starts at 12.30.  I climb up and practice both red runs. I’m feeling good so I decide to sit and wait at the top for the start. Unfortunately just after 12pm Charlie pins the times up and I find out I’m not racing until 2.55pm. Yep, I should have read the instructions… I ponder what to do, decide to go back down to warm up in the van, then only do half the blue only to worry I’ve ridden it when I shouldn’t have (and might be disqualified) so I climb back up to wait. There are plenty of people to chat to so waiting isn’t too bad – just cold!!!
Stage 1 (Vicious Valley) starts a little way down the trail. While we’re waiting to set off it’s blowing a gale through the trees and then it starts snowing. I’m absolutely freezing! I’ve got my waterproof in my bag but I don’t put it on because secretly I’m hoping to get a nice picture of me in my Bike doctor kit. I start the stage and I’m so nervous and excited I forget to pull my wheel up over the first root section, my bikes falls one way but I manage to jump off the other way before I hit the ground. Luckily the only think hurt is my pride and stage time. I jump back on and clear all the other sections (a bit slower than I would have liked), but it’s going well. It’s at this point I realise my suspension is still in climb mode – I didn’t think to check it while waiting around for hours, a lesson for next time me thinks. The rest of the stage goes smoothly and I even try to jump the two rock steps towards the end – Yep, I’m on a high by now.
I cycle back up ready for stage 2 (Wibbly Wobbly), which is one of my favourites as I find it quite challenging. I get a good start and I ride the rocky section way better than I’ve ever done before. I fly down the muddy drop through the fence, a feature I love even though it always gets my heart beating a bit faster! Then the bike feels weird and is making a funny noise, I think I’ve broken the rear shock, but when I check it’s a puncture. After a quick panic I decide to roll down gently to fix it at the bottom. I finish the stage a bit disappointed, but hey ho, it’s all good experience.
Knowing I’ve been taught how to fix a puncture by Keith Evans and Basher I’m feeling confident about the task in hand. After finally remembering to take the clutch thing off and work out how to do the skewer I finally get the back wheel off. Armed with 3 tyre levers and a tyre lever tool I’m ready to go. 5 minutes later, I’ve made no progress, the wheel seems stuck firmly to the rim. I scan the crowd of people waiting to do the next run, looking for anyone wearing a Bike Doctor Jersey, but I’m out of luck, but then like a star shining bright on a murky night I see Gareth Horsnell and I do what any Bike Doctor lady would do, I wave my wheel and tools in the air shouting “Gareth, please help”. Looking back - I’m not very proud of my typical girly action, but it worked a treat. Gareth managed to remove the tyre from the wheel, he also removed the tube, put a new tube in and put the tyre back on, so all I had to do was pump it up – a true hero! At this point I was worried stage 3 would close before I got there so I cycled back up the hill as fast as I could, eating energy sweets to keep me going.
Stage 3 (Sixtapod) was one of my favourites and I flew across the starting mat and pedalled like mad to go fast down the trail. At one point I saw a sign saying jump. Having done this section lots of times I knew there wasn’t a jump there so didn’t bother slowing down. As I left the trail flying high into the air I realised I was wrong, I must have always ridden it slower before. Although it was only a few seconds I felt like I was flying through the air for ages. To be honest, I felt like Elliot carrying ET in front of the moon!! Not knowing how to land properly and panicking slightly, I decided to grip the handlebars really tight and hope for the best. It worked, I landed safely and flew down the rest of the trail – with the fastest time for the run!
Stage 4 (Willy Waver) was another fun stage. I was a bit tired at the start so decided to eat all my energy sweets in one go to power me along, which seemed to work. I was flying over bits I’d ridden across before, loving every minute of being in the air. Then I saw a photographer and like a mad woman started trying to jump my bike in the air to get a good picture. I couldn’t see any flashes so I started looking at the guy, still jumping the bike like a rabbit that’s eaten too many carrots. The next thing I know I’m off the trail heading straight for him. Luckily I manage to steer quickly and get back on the trail before I crash into the poor guy – and I don’t think he took my picture! I finished the stage in one piece (again having the fastest run time, which was awesome).
While waiting in the café for the results its’ obvious I’ve eaten way to many high energy caffeine sweets – I’m bouncing off the walls on a major sugar rush, I can’t sit still and I’m talking nonstop babble. I apologies to anyone who had to put up with me at this stage!!
Amazingly I was lucky enough to come 2nd in the ladies masters, and only 6 seconds behind first place – this was such a good feeling and I felt awesome! For me this was a huge achievement, as about 10 years ago I was the girl slowly squeaking down the trail on my hard tail with the brakes on full, nearly falling off as I hit every little pebble – wondering how people could ride down the trail so fast!
Today showed me that it’s good to give things a go! 

17    113    Ryan ROWLAND        Bike Doctor    2:39.677 (20)    3:01.994 (17)    3:41.982 (16)    2:33.894 (15)    11:57.547    31.948s
34    146    Gareth SUCHECKI        Bike Doctor    2:48.157 (51)    3:09.592 (44)    3:44.044 (20)    2:37.414 (33)    12:19.207    53.608s
45    169    Kristofer HAMER        Bike Doctor    2:47.274 (49)    3:12.135 (63)    3:47.685 (28)    2:38.004 (42)    12:25.098    59.499s
56    194    Jamie ROWLAND        Bike Doctor    2:46.130 (45)    3:13.893 (70)    3:51.583 (54)    2:42.027 (65)    12:33.633    1:08.034
17    260    Jonathan THORNGATE        Bike Doctor    2:48.274 (18)    3:10.710 (20)    3:49.373 (17)    2:40.098 (16)    12:28.455    54.272s
40    261    Warren TILKE        Bike Doctor    3:07.981 (44)    3:23.068 (39)    4:02.576 (34)    2:48.074 (36)    13:21.699    1:47.516
58    304    Keith EVANS        Bike Doctor    3:30.493 (59)    3:48.123 (56)    4:29.528 (56)    3:04.859 (56)    14:53.003    3:18.820
2    374    Tracy EVANS        Bike Doctor    3:34.923 (2)    4:06.037 (3)    4:32.439 (1)    3:07.941 (1)    15:21.340    6.425s
Next round is Cwmcarn in two weeks time! See you there!

You get two race runs and the whole event is packed into just one day – meaning it’s easy on time but big on fun. Bike Doctor Riders Greg Howells (competing in his first ever event) together with Perry Thomas and kris Hamer took on the natural course which flowed in to the famous ‘Ski Run’.

After turning up at a ridiculous time on Sunday morning, we kitted up and went up for a little practice before racing started. needless to say being my first event I was feeling a little nervous but camaraderie of our other Bike Doctor members this soon soon settled. We managed a few practice runs scoping lines out and loosening up before my first run at 11.45am.

A packed  field of 66 riders in the Master made racing tight and close with only a 15 seconds splitting the top 45 riders! After a disappointing first run I managed to shed another 3.5 Seconds off for the second run which I was well pleases with although when the overall results came through my fellow Bike Doctor rider, kris Hamer pipped me by a mere 0.05 of a second!  Gutted!

Overall it was an awesome day! Well organised and having a blast with your mates I think that’s what brings people back to these races time and time again!


19-29 Category

29th  Perry THOMAS Bike Doctor 1:18.74 (26) 1:19.45 (28) 1:18.74 6.15s

30-39 Category

45th Kristofer HAMER Bike Doctor 1:30.44 (45) 1:28.32 (42) 1:28.32 15.86s
46th Greg HOWELLS Bike Doctor 1:31.80 (50) 1:28.37 (43) 1:28.37 15.91s



Our first race of the season was at the first round of the Welsh Gravity Enduro Series in Glyncorwg. With typical Welsh weather riders battled not only the course but the driving wind and rain. Organisation was great and the new format of doing the 4 stages in whatever order and how ever many times as you wanted worked well! Bike Doctor Riders finished with some great results in a very competitive field

Overall results
Tracy Evans (masters Women) 3rd
Ashley Lewis (U18 Boys) 8th
Ryan Rowland (masters) 8th
Perry Thomas (Seniors) 11th
gareth Suchecki (masters) 20th
Kris Hamer (masters) 30th
jamie Rowland (masters) 56th
Jonathan Thorngate (vets) 38th
keith Evans (vets) 64th

Check out Tracy Evans Race report
Well its race day, round 1 of the Welsh Gravity Enduro series is upon us and I’m absolutely terrified! There are lots of bikers walking around looking very hard-core (including our own club guys) and the only thing I’ve got going for me is the weather, the conditions are horrible (very wet and windy) and one of my dark secrets is that ‘I do love biking in the rain’! Although unfortunately it is going to make the stage runs muddy, slippery and a bit sketchy unfortunately.
I wave the guys off as I’m riding with a lovely bunch of girls, which is nice as it’s my first event and we’re all keen to support each other. We decide to do stage 4 (Happy Life) first as it’s a hard stage and it will deteriorate as the day goes on. I love my first run and I’m clearing features I failed to do before, but unfortunately one of the girls riding ahead of me crashes half way down and, as we find out later, fractures a bone in her leg. I stop to help along with another girl until the marshals and first aid arrive to help.
It’s then a push/ cycle up to the top of the mountain to do all the stages in order. While waiting to do stage 1 (the black run) I’m worried about the rocky drop towards the end of the section (It’s been giving me nightmares all week!), and which line I should try. I decide to jump off the bike, run round the drop and then jump back on to save faffing about when I get there. I’m really annoyed with myself for this, because as I come up to the section and stop I can actually see the line and wished I’d just kept going. Also, jumping off and on wasn’t as easy as I’d imagined and I struggled to clip back in, which made navigating the next rocky bit a nightmare. I also messed up the last berm – in front of everyone, so I probably looked a right numpty, but I didn’t care as I was having fun!
Stage 2 (Happy Life) was a nice rolling berm section, my favourite stage, and apart from a nearly over the bars moment on the last but one turn it was fairly uneventful, but super fun.
Stage 3 (the Rock) was next and at this point I realised I had no brake pads left (and I’m kicking myself for making Keith swap the sintered pads for resin pads – just because the sintered ones squeaked a bit). The start goes well and I’m hopping the bike over and off some of the little rocks like I know what I’m doing (whoop, whoop). I jumped off the bike to run up the little uphill rocky bit (as I’d worked out this was faster), unfortunately in my enthusiasm to jump back on I miss the pedals and fall over the bike ending up on the floor – with two lovely marshals looking at me with sheer amusement!
Never mind, I jump up and before I know it I’m back on the bike clearing the next drop like superwoman. Unfortunately, while heading to the next drop feeling totally awesome and invincible I clip something and WHAM – I’m on the floor (luckily landing on my well padded behind!). I’m gutted as I’ve lost my speed so have grab the bike and run over the next drop before jumping back on, and this was a drop I was really looking forward to riding. Unfortunately I have to jump off the bike twice more during this stage to let other riders past. This meant I missed another feature I’d only just learnt to ride and was looking forward to clearing, as stopping to let them go past meant I’d lost my speed to clear it. It was my own fault for wasting time lying down early on in the stage!
I had an amazing ride down stage 4 (Happy Life), clearing all the features that brought fear to me only a week before. The run was super muddy and some of the drops a bit sketchy, but I loved it. My fear had gone, replaced by adrenaline and a feeling of being Superwoman crossed with Mrs Incredible!!! (I was on Fire!)
My current skill level came back to slap me in the face towards the end though, as I couldn’t clear the two hairpin turns at the bottom, so continued my biking shame by completely messing these up and nearly falling off on the 2nd one (again with a crowd to entertain), but I didn’t care as I’d ridden the drops even with all the mud, so I was on a real high at the end of the stage.
My aim in entering these events was to push myself to improve, so I would ride harder features and also ride them faster, and it worked. It’s amazing what you can do when you’re being timed and a photographer is looking at you through his lens! I thought I’d come last (which I didn’t mind as just turning up was an achievement!), but I was super pleased to find I’d come 3rd. A podium place – Awesome ;-)
So come on ladies and gents, if you want to improve your mountain bike skills and have fun at the same time, give these a go. Everyone was super friendly and I found if you ask the person behind to leave a big gap, they generally did. I’m looking forward to doing some more, hopefully with a bit of sunshine so the photographers can get a better shot of me!

The Next event will be the Forest of Dean Mini Downhill Next weekend! Good Luck!

Please Help make Wales a safer place to Cycle for all and make "bicycle friendliness" among the top three infrastructure priorities for welsh Government through our campaign #safercyclingforwales

Wales and particularly the valleys are lacking in Cycling infrastructure As a Cycle Shop owner of the past 16 years we have seen a concerning increase in bicycle related road accidents even in the past two years. Many of which are friends and riding partners. 

Our duty to the cycling community is much more than just to supply a bike and this year we pledge to campaign for safer cycling and get the welsh government to understand the issues riders face when taking to the roads. I have ridden in many other countries and which have embraced the change, However We have not! It's time for action! 

What can be done?

  1. We want to see compulsory cycling related questions introduced by the DVLA ton new Drivers taking their tests.
  2. We want the Highways department to ask the question when they approve new road infrastructure or highway plans. Is this Cycling friendly??

Cyclist are a community and when one is hit or Injured we all suffer. Shes a Mam, Sister or Daughter, Hes a Father, Brother or Son.  #safercyclingforwales


Please Sign our petition Here

We want our voices heard in the Welsh assembly and actions taken but we need enough signatures to do this! Please help! 


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