Welsh Cycling member Lewis from Neath has made mountain biking part of his routine, and wants more young people to enjoy riding the trails across the country.
Lewis started off riding with his father on Y Wall trail, and recently completed Megavalanche in the French Alps.
Name: Lewis Bradley
I got into mountain biking when I was around 14 when my father decided to take me up Afan to do the ‘Y Wall’ trail. This then became a routine, every Sunday we would go up and spend time trying to get quicker and racing my father down the trails. Some of my mates raced mountain bike downhill, so I went them to different places and practiced a lot.
The first time I went to Rheola, I watched a race, which were held then by Dragon Downhill and WDMBA, and instantly wanted to give it a go. I started practicing on my hardtail, and raced in the next event. It was a bit difficult but the adrenaline rush was addictive.
I then purchased a downhill bike and raced some of the regional races in Wales and moved on to the British Downhill Series. It was tough and there were a lot of fast boys but it was a great atmosphere. I had a good couple of top ten results and was having fun while racing.
Last year throughout training over the winter, I began to ride more on my enduro bike as I could explore more of the mountains and ride different terrain all in the same day. This is when I discovered Enduro racing. This is like a rally car event where you ride to each stage before you are timed down the stage itself, there normally are three to six stages depending on what the organiser decides. I entered some of the smaller enduro events such as the ‘Mini Enduro’ before deciding to enter the UK Gravity Enduro Series at Afan. This included 6 stages, covering over 25miles and riding for over 5 hours. I was tired and my legs were burning but I finished 12th and felt like it was over too quickly. From that point on I knew I wanted to do it again.
This year, I have competed in all the UK Gravity Enduro Events and the Welsh Gravity Enduro. I have finishe din the top 10, with by best position 2nd at the Welsh Gravity Enduro in Afan.
I have just come back from Megavalanche’in the French Alps where you start in the snow on top of Alpe’huez. I finished 132nd out of 2000 riders and it was the best experience I have ever done on my bike.
I think young people and adults should experience riding the trails in Wales and racing further afield. From riding with my father, to racing with 2000 people from all over the world. There are lots of places for people to ride their bikes and enjoy the thrill of mountain biking right here in Wales.