Premier Dealer Ty Beic fills us in on what has changed in the past 4 years since we last spoke to them, and tells us all about their all new personal MTB track.
Tuesday Treats is a chance where independent MTB related companies have a chance to tell you all about their business, what they offer and the things they do. Each Tuesday Treat is brought to you by one of our Premier Dealers and includes a prize giveaway open to all Singletrack Subscribers.
This week we head back to Wales for a catch up with Ty Beic.
It’s been 4 years since you opened Ty Beic and 4 years since we last heard from you in a Tuesday Treat. What has changed?
It’s got busier and I’ve got better at riding a mountain bike, but only just. I’ve also learned to speak (a little) Welsh. The cottages have bedded in, no pun intended. After hundreds of guests, and most of the mountain bikers, I think I’ve got a handle on what people want and expect. The beds are ridiculously comfy, there’s always plenty of hot water and the pressure washer is right next to the bike store so you can unload the bike, give it a quick blast and put it away ready for the next day of riding.
Tell us something about this bike track of yours.
It was started a couple of years ago by some willing and able guests and a previous member of the Ty Beic team with a little help from Jac, my black Labrador. Last summer I dug out the mattock (sorry, another pun) and hit it with gusto. After riding so many trail centres and improving my own skills I felt I had more of an idea of what was needed.
Have you done most of the work yourself?
Yes! It’s very therapeutic and much better than going to a gym. It’s just me, a mattock, shovel, and rake. I’m fairly happy with the descent but the climb needs more work.
What else has changed?
Bala has changed and for the better. When I moved here it was not quite a culinary desert but not far off and I was hard pushed to recommend anywhere to eat and drink. But now there’s so much choice from Indian (Bangladeshi to be precise), pizzas, Italian, fish and chips, cafés to fine dining in a country hotel. And the existing eateries have really upped their game. For such a small town it’s a great place to go out – loads of fun and extremely friendly. The craft beer revolution has also arrived. There’s a rather fabulous craft beer shop and tap room on the High Street and a brewery just outside Bala. More of that later.
What do you have planned for the future?
Finish digging the bike track of course but it will always be a work in progress which is half the fun. I also intend to improve my knowledge of the local natural stuff. One of the reasons I moved to the area is because it is close to so many trail centres. It’s possible to stay here for a week and ride a different trail centre every day. Indeed, the Tuesday Treat winners from 2014 called it a ‘Singletrack Epicentre’. A phrase I have since used to death. During the winter, when it’s a bit too boggy to ride natural, I’m a regular at Coed y Brenin, which is about a 40 minute drive away, and also Penmachno, Gwydir, Oneplanet Llandegla and Llyn Brenig. I’ve also been to Antur Stiniog and Revolution Bike Park but I prefer going up than down.
I’m not a big fan of driving to ride so I want to do more local and natural. I have my own version of the classic Wayfarer which starts in Cynwyd and finishes in Llandrillo and is easily rideable from the door. There’s a lovely little loop up to the wind turbines at Mynydd Mynyllod and at about 10 miles is a perfect summer’s evening ride and when I’m really pushed for time I go for a quick spin in the woods across the road. But my mission this year is to find some sneaky local singletrack. I know it exists and I just need to find it. I’ve heard rumours of some local stuff dug by the Athertons but if all these rumours were to be believed the Athertons have dug nearly every hill in North and Mid Wales.
Tell us about your ‘Treat’?
As you can tell I like to keep things local and support local businesses and encourage guests to. It’s not just a case of investing in the local economy but people who move and visit here get so much more out of the area if they immerse themselves in the local culture. My ‘Treat’ is a selection of local beers from the aforementioned Stori including brews from Geipel Brewery which is just over 4 miles away in a tiny place called Gellioedd. There will also be a voucher from Aran Hufen Ia (Aran Ice Cream) which is possibly the naughtiest ice cream in North Wales and opposite Stori on Bala’s High Street. One of my favourite things is to finish a bike ride with an ice cream which, after talking cycling with Sion one of the owners, I take across the road to Stori and enjoy with a pint of Geipel Pilsner. That’s Geipel, not Greipel. The voucher will be for a large tub of ice cream, which is made on the premises, and two of their coffees which having sampled recently, I think is the best in the area. I would post the ice cream if I could, but I think it may melt. Last, but not least, there will be a Ty Beic gift voucher which you can use for a stay in one of my cottages so you can sample everything for yourself and give me some tips on the bike track.
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