Mountain Trax is an independent bicycle retailer based in Barkham, near Wokingham in Berkshire, UK. The shop is ideally located within the M3 / M4 corridor close to Reading, Newbury, Bracknell, Basingstoke, and Wokingham. Although our true catchment is nationwide owing to some of the sought after brands and products stocked. For bike testing the store is seven miles from Swinley Forest, with its excellent mountain bike trails.

Specialising in high-end performance and leisure cycles, we stock; mountain, road, hybrid, commuter, cyclocross and childrens bikes, and parts from the top manufacturers. We also sell everything else you’d expect from a good bike shop, from cycle clothing and footwear, through sports nutrition to technology like GPS units, cameras and lights. Our key bike brands include: Santa Cruz, Hope, Evil, Intense, Ibis, Yeti, Rocky Mountain, Scott, Cervelo, Cannondale, Kinesis, Orro and Whyte. Looking for an easier ride? Scott and Rocky Mountain Electric Bikes are now instock and on Demo.

You can buy securely through our website and have items delivered, or use Click and Collect instore. Alternatively, come and visit us at our 3500ft Barkham showroom where we have 1000's more products in stock, as we don't upload every product to the web. There is plenty of free parking, an area to test ride bikes, and we're open 7 days a week. We also have a DEMO CENTRE with a great selection of 40 mtb, 10 road bikes, lights, wheels and Gore clothing to TRY BEFORE YOU BUY - 365 DAYS A YEAR. The SERVICE CENTRE caters for all your bike servicing, repair and customisation needs.

We’re committed to providing high quality products, excellent, friendly service, expertise you can trust and free coffee!

1 Barkham GrangeBarkham Street Barkham, Berkshire RG40 4PJ

Biking accommodation in Talybont at Lilac Cottage

   Words by trax

   on 06/04/2018 15:39:52


Paul was given the opportunity to head to Wales for a weekend in February staying in a lovely stone barn conversion near Abergavenny in the stunning Brecon Beacons. Lilac Cottage is owned by friends of ours and is available to rent year round. It is ideal for cyclists, walkers, runners, adventure seekers and active families alike. It is so easy to drive to with motorway and dual carriageway access almost to the front door, albeit situated down a quiet country lane. Facilities include sleeping 4-6 people within two bedrooms and a sofa bed in the lounge.  It has a characterful open plan downstairs with a separate entrance hall, cosy living area with plenty of seating, a wood-burning stove, solid oak dining table to seat six and a well-equipped kitchen area.  Outside there is a small garden with wonderful views of the surrounding mountains, and two allocated parking spaces long enough for a van. A recent addition is a purpose built brick bike shed for upto 6 bikes.

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Frontage of Lilac Cottage, a converted barn

As a biking family we not only made the most of the plentiful cycling in the area, but also the visitor attractions, namely; The Big Pit and Raglan Castle. Big Pit is a disused coal mine where equipped with miners light and helmet you descend 90 metres into the depths of the coalface. The tour - which is all free - was led by an ex-miner with great stories to tell. Our six year old loved it and was fully involved in the demonstrations.

As a base for exploring the Brecon Beacons by bike Lilac Cottage is very central. For example:

  • Talybont - The Gap loop, a 25 mile route into the higher peaks with great views and some technical descents.
  • Black Mountain Cycle Centre - just 10 mins away for a riot of downhill and freeride trails.
  • Bike Park Wales - 35 mins drive, with everything to satisfy an mtb'er, just make sure you book your uplift well in advance to tie in with your holiday let.
  • Cwm Carn - 35mins drive, and again plenty of trails to choose from.

I rode the Talybont loop in somewhat challenging conditions on Hope's HB160 Enduro Bike. All the recent snow and melt had left slick ice sections on the north facing trails. Traction was impossible and even downright dangerous and much as I hate walking with a bike it was the easiest and safest option - even uphill. My expectation of a typical 10-12mph average speed turned out to be 8mph. Every now and then a brief snow flurry would come through on a howling wind. Hilltops and views appearing and disappearing. I chose this route rather than a trail centre as I love doing big loop rides on natural terrain and trails. Oddly enough I saw no other bikers that afternoon! Finishing in Talybont I met up with my wife who'd driven the van to a small car park fully equipped with bike washes and hot showers for just a quid. This took me by surprise and shows how even away from the trail centres the local community supports biking.

I can highly recommend both the area and Lilac Cottage and look forward to returning.

Visit the website for full details and booking...

https://lilaccottage.promotemyplace.com/

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Garden view of the local hills, great for walking too

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Hope HB160 in it’s natural rocky environment

 

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Through “The Gap” and it’s sheet ice on the descent

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