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Ballarat Bike Store Profile: Cyclescape

After wrapping up a string of races in Australia including a wire to wire win at the Ironman 70.3 Ballarat, Melanie McQuaid is set to race the XTERRA Trail run World Championship in Honolulu HI this weekend. Before she left Australia though, McQuaid had the chance to chat with the local bike store owner, Matt Britton at Cyclescape Ballarat where they serviced her Trek and got her ready to win. If you’re thinking about racing down under, now you’ll know where to take your bike.


Melanie McQuaid: How did the store come to be?

Matt Britton: I had been in and out of the bike industry for 17 years and just love it. Every time I got out I found myself drawn back again. A couple of weeks after my wife Bron and I had our first child we began discussions with Trek to open a store in Ballarat. From their perspective Ballarat and it’s growing cycling culture was a big gap in their market and they needed an outlet, and their strong company values and brand message meant they wanted the right people and they were confident that we were those people. I had worked with Trek before and our values aligned, they are also a family owned business who want to provide great product and service to their customers. Trek provide best in class products, best warranties, best back up service and they genuinely want to work with their retailers to achieve their goals. In the end, it just made sense and we had to take the plunge and after twelve months of planning, and a couple of months as store renovators we opened the doors and we haven’t looked back.

MM: I met you as a sponsor of the Ballarat Ironman 70.3 event, which shows a commitment to racing, tell me about yourself and why racing is part of your store’s mandate?

MB: The Ballarat Ironman 70.3 was the first event of its type in Ballarat. We wanted to make sure that the event was as much of a success as it could be. It’s good for our business but more to the point it’s good for Ballarat and its businesses. If we can make sure that people come back in the future for the event next year or a holiday it helps the Ballarat economy by bringing money into our region, which in turn benefits us. I started racing myself at the age of 14 and recognize the importance of fostering these events to help ensure they continue to grow and are available for the community.

MM: You have a few super high level age groupers and pros that roll through your store. How does triathlon fit into your overall business?

MB: The triathlon/Ironman format is increasing in popularity everywhere, including in Ballarat, and with our mechanic also having participated in these events, including his first full length Ironman in Melbourne earlier this year, we have developed a keen interest in helping triathletes achieve the most from their cycling leg, be it fitting them up with the best and most comfortable position for the length of the triathlon, assisting them with sourcing the right equipment and so on.


MM: What do you want people to know about Ballarat?

MB: Ballarat is a ripper place to visit/live. We are an hour from the beach, an hour and a half to the city with a relaxed affordable lifestyle. From a cycling perspective we have everything on our doorstop, from quiet country roads and rolling hills for training, the course used for the Australian Road Cycling Championships for the last twelve years and secured for at least the next two years providing some great road riding and it’s surrounded by bushland with some fantastic MTB trails as well, and even has plenty of bike paths and a rail trail for the casual cyclist.

MM: What do you want people to know about your store?

MB: We genuinely just want to see more people on bikes and love to work with everyone from pro triathletes to those brand new to cycling, including the kids. We are friendly, approachable and want every customer to walk away not only with a great product but a great experience. And, as you can attest to, even when we have our backs up against the wall with an issue we will do absolutely everything possible to get the best outcome for our customer (our motto is making s&%t happen since 2012J). We are about to open our second store in Bendigo using the same formula that has helped us to build a successful store in Ballarat.