Local Face: Lee Niven
Lee first came to Wendover in the early 80s and of course it was for cycling, which has been his driving force since finishing school and completing an engineering apprenticeship. This originally started in the motor industry and ended at a local cycle shop. He learned the trade as an apprentice mechanic and progressed to workshop supervisor and finally became the manager. At the time he had ambitions to pursue a professional cycling career. However, a serious cycling accident, which resulted in a significant stint in Stoke Mandeville hospital and 18 month recovery, put a dramatic end to those hopes.
At that time he enrolled in a degree course studying Sports Science and Education. He subsequently worked as a coach and teacher for almost 20 years. He moved to Wendover permanently in 2004 with wife Suzie, son Jack and dogs Sam and Cloud as Head of PE at Wendover House School, now Chiltern Way Federation. He later moved to work for ATG Training, where he was a trainer, assessor and internal verifier for the Level 2 and 3 engineering apprentice programme specifically for the CYTEC qualification, which is the only cycle-specific qualification advocated by the Association of Cycle Traders in the UK and internationally. In this role he worked all over the UK and was personally responsible for looking after the market leaders in cycle retail, manufacture and distribution.
Lee returned to the professional cycling scene for a short time working as a mechanic at the UCI World Cup and shortly after decided to open his own shop, OtecBikes at Halton Tennis and Sports Centre in October 2015.Lee provides top class professional services for cyclists of all levels, mechanical support, sales, repairs, training, coaching, event support and corporate services. He still works with professional cycle teams and world class athletes but most of the work is with local people, local businesses and visitors who come to hire bikes and explore. Lee runs Mountain Bike Instructor Training courses, personal skills coaching and can also offer complementary training such as navigation and first aid. In 2017 OtecBikes added a permanent hire fleet to the business and also began offering bike hire and guided rides in the local area – it’s a great day out if you have friends staying, and they have a loyalty scheme that rewards local people for using them.
They also have an active club riding mountain bikes and road bikes, who are happy to welcome new faces – it’s very social and relaxed. They meet on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings at the shop check out the facebook page, website, www.otec.bike, or pop by for coffee anytime.