Quick Report

On Sunday the 22/03/09 Dave Buchanan of the IronHorse-Extreme and The 7 Deadly Spins team completed the first Welsh Coast 2 Coast offroad ride.

In line with the latest attempts at other long distance rides, this one was done in an alpine style. That means that there was no support, and he was carrying everything required for the ride. This ride was also tracked live on the internet via the clever little Spot Satellite Messenger system, everyone could watch what was happening at 10 minute intervals.

Starting at Caernarfon Castle, it winds it's way through stunning countryside and multiple tourist attractions, all the way down to Cardiff Bay. The original idea of the 7DS was, and is, to open up mountain biking and the challenges it can hold for everybody, so the Welsh Coast 2 Coast (and 7DS4) was designed to attract tourist riders as well as hardened endurance athletes. Lots of attractions means lots of pubs and plenty of accomodation.

Dave didn't bother with stopping though, and completed the route which stands at 328km and 11178m of ascent in 22hrs 24mins and 49secs- in the winter.

Conditions were good on Saturday when Dave started, but as it got dark the cold from the river crossings started to take affect. By the end of the night he was walking through partially frozen bogs and ice covered moon grass before descending to Brecon to follow the Taff Trail tourist attraction to Cardiff. Two days later and he still can't feel his right foot.

Highlights of the route are visits to some of the world reknowned Welsh trail centres. Dropping into Coed Y Brennin, ClimachX, Machynlleth and Nant Yr Arian helps spice the ride up and make sure it can only really be done on a mountain bike.

His diet was a simple one. After years of stomach trouble Dave has resorted to a liquid only diet. Generally he will use 500-750ml of sports drink and a gel every hour depending on the temperature and sweat rates. Caffeine works a treat in his gels since he normally abstains from it during the week. It's a bit boring, but it works.

Skins are his base layer of choice for legs and torso since he feels great benefits from using them to help protect his arms, for instance, from the rattling shocks that you experience on a harsh downhill. It really does make a difference.

Tyre choice was easy. At the moment, he uses Maxxis Crossmark tyres for every thing except mud. They roll quickly and grip dependably on most things, especially on his super strong 3 bolt hope wheels.

The route is approximately 70% off road where legal access allows it and is a lot of fun!