A big ride for little lives – the digital version.

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As seen on page 96 of the new issue of Singletrack Magazine, we have some more details on Colin Down’s epic trip across Wales, climbing the height of Everest on the way… including full details if you’d like to try it yourself.

Colin takes up the story once again…

“On the 3rd – 6th June 2010 I rode Coast to Coast across North Wales from Aberystwyth to Prestatyn with three friends Russell Baker, Gareth Mather and Connor McIlwrath. We followed a 181 mile, 4 day mountain bike route that I had pieced together over the previous four years. It was a hard ride. We climbed at least twice the height of Snowdon each day and spent between 8 ½ – 9hrs on the bike. This wasn’t made any easier by temperatures in the high 20’s for the first three days. By the end of the four days, having climbed higher than Everest (approx. 29650ft), we were all shattered. Our legs were very tired and it wasn’t comfortable to sit down any more but we were overjoyed to have completed the ride. After dipping our wheels in the sea at Prestatyn we had just enough energy left to crack open a well deserved can of beer to celebrate the achievement with our families. The experience of riding so many great trails through the stunning scenery of the Cambrian Mountains, the Berwyns and Clwydian Range is something I will never forgot.

Back wheels in the sea...

After the traumatic time my wife, Sabine, and I had with the birth of our twin daughters Mara and Elisabeth in 2009 I decided that, while riding the full route for the first time, I would try to raise as much money as possible for those who helped us:

Wrexham Special Care Baby Unit

The Alder Hey IMAGINE Appeal

Cherish Wrexham Parents Support Group

The Ronald McDonald House at Alder Hey

Details of why the ride charity happened, the route, the charities and how to donate are on my website: www.flattyresmtbroutes.com/ABigRideForLittleLives.html

That's genuine Welsh dust...

Galleries covering each day of the ride can be found on the Blog:www.abigrideforlittlelives.co.uk

I have also produced a free Route Guide so you can attempt the ride yourself:


Expect to spend a lot of time staring at your mates' backsides...

Yes, this IS a trail...

The fundraising page connected with this ride is still open for a while. If you would like to show your appreciation for the years of work that have gone into producing this route all I ask is that you donate something towards these fantasic causes:

And home for tea...
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Comments (7)

    “Expect to spend a lot of time staring at your mates’ backsides…”

    Col your usually so far in the distance your just a dot, though I did immediately know that was Russ’s backside in pic 3 😮

    I remember hearing about Col and Sabine’s girls at the time. I’m gladly toddling off to donate a little something.

    On another note, I’ve not been on a ride with him for something like two years, but I too recognise Russ’ backside. Should I, Russ or both of us be worried by this?

    well done guys…just done Caernarfon 2 Cardiff route…wish we’d had your weather!

    Al, thanks for the donation and yes I am worried.

    Fantastic achievement guys good to see you all out last week.

    Where’s Gaz recently 🙂

    Hey, well done guys. Just read your story and wanted to get in touch.

    Our boys went full term and seemed fine for the first couple of days, but George contracted a severe infection and went downhill rapidly until we also got to the point where we had to make the decision to take him off the respirator and let him go, hardest decision of my life and I still cry thinking about it now.

    We decided we didn’t want Ethan to grow up without siblings so decided to have more, and after a few ups and downs discovered we were having another set of twins!

    Obviously a nerve racking experience, especially the first couple of days, but the boys (again) were, and still are, fine.

    So, we now have Stanley and Freddie, two years old, and Ethan, four years old…. and yes, I do still manage to get some riding in…

    Looking back it was obviously a living nightmare at the time, but with help at the time from our local SCBU and subsequently from CHASE Hospice Care for Children, we’ve all got through it and are now stronger than ever.

    Once again, well done for raising the money, it amazes me that a services like SCBU, Alder Hey and CHASE have to rely on fundraising and donations to function, but the fact is they do so everyone if you get the opportunity to help out please do.


    Having to make a decision like that is something I would not wish on anyone. I’m so glad to hear you have three healthy children to make up for the terrible time you went though. All the best for the future, Col

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