147 – Are You Ready To Ride with Black Mountains Cycle Centre?
Gwenda Binns, Joe Binns and Shaun Bevan – The team behind the success and awesome trial network of the Black Mountains Cycle Centre, Wales.
On episode #147 we are chatting with the founders of the Black Mountains Cycle Centre, Gwenda and Joe Binns. We are also joined by Shaun Bevan the mastermind behind their trail network, and the main reason why people keep coming back for more stoke.
There are plenty of great trial centres across the UK and Ireland and if anything we are totally spoiled for choice. However, the Black Mountains Cycle Centre did not start off as your typical trail centre. It was an area of a working farm that had been replanted with forest and had not been used for around twenty years. So when Joe and the farm had to diversify a little, he decided that he should make use of the forest area, but what for? He had a friend take a look at the area of land in question and the word downhill was mentioned. Now at this time Joe didn’t know what his friend was referring to, but he quickly caught on.
So a number of downhill trails were built and the Black Mountains Cycle Centre was born. After this time Shaun quickly got involved and over the last four years with his trail building experience and skills, has made it what it is today. Black Mountains Cycle Centre has a great looking trail network including blues, reds, blacks and a uplift service. I love what Shaun and the team have done with the trails and it is not difficult to see when chatting with him, Gwenda and Joe that this is what it is all about for them, having great trails that everyone can enjoy and making sure everybody feels welcome and has a blast of a time. What more could you ask for?
Tune in to hear how the cycle centre was started, what the Black Mountains Cycle Centre trails are like, how they have been coping over the Covid period and why you should pay them a visit. Enjoy the show!
- Why Black Mountains Cycle Centre was started
- How it has grown over the last four years
- How the Covid pandemic has effected their business
- How they have used this downtime to better their trails and business
- How they have been working with the other Welsh trail centres to get open as safely as possible
- When they hope to be open again
- What their trail network is like and what to expect
- Why their trails are fun for all levels of rider
- What type of facilities they have on site
- Their pricing structure
- How you can book your spot and find out more
I love stories and people like this. When their backs are up against the wall they push forward, are not scared to change with the times, take good advice on-board, go all in and make it happen. And this is what Gwenda and Joe did, they took the advice of a couple of close friends, got the right people in place, pushed forward and made Black Mountains Cycle Centre become a reality. Before Joe and Gwenda started Black Mountains Cycle Centre they didn’t really know anything about mountain biking, the type of people involved or the type community it attracts, but they took the chance and four years later they are still here and getting better by the day.
When Steve Peat and his crew of rippers visited the centre, Gwenda didn’t knew who he was, she even charged him full price (well why not, you have to make money somehow!), and Steve Peat is not the only big name to visit the centre, the list is as long as their 1 mile blue trail. Steve and his crew left with smiles on their faces and that is what it is all about for Gwenda, she loves seeing people smiling after a run down the trails and having a good time with their friends and families. Talking with Gwenda, Joe and Shaun it is not hard to see that they are all on the same page when it comes to the mountain bike community, they love being involved, they love the characters and they love the kindness and stories that comes along with them for the ride. I am sure there is never a dull moment.
A trial centre is not a easy business to turn into a success, there are a huge amount of hidden costs, everything from planning, to trail maintenance, to insurance and they all have to be paid. On the outside it may seem simple enough with a large turnover and profits, but it is far from it and your hard earned up-lift money is certainly required to keep trail centres open and running at a high level. And to make things more difficult the Covid situation has not helped matters. This has taken away a large amount of needed income from all trail centres, but Gwenda and the team are optimistic about what the future holds and have future plans in place for the centre and I am sure they will be inundated with ticket requests when they get the green light to open the gates. I think we are all missing a bit of trail fun, whether you are riding there or working there, it’s hard to be away from the mountain bike community for too long.
So tune in and find out what the Black Mountains Cycle Centre has to offer you and why you should pay them a visit, I can assure you, that you will leave with a smile on your face!
Thanks for tuning in and enjoy the show!
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Thanks to Gwenda, Joe and Shaun for coming on the show and sharing the Black Mountains Cycle Centre story!
And thanks to you for being part of the show!
Join me next week for another MTB TRIBE Podcast show.