Over recent weeks while lazily skipping through instragram in breaks at work, as you do, I’ve come across and account with some really inspiring pictures and an unusual idea for an “event”, I put event in inverted commas as it’s not so much an event as a tour, but a tour in lots of bits with no time limit, so not a race either….. so, to get the full story I contacted the account to get some back round and for them to explain exactly what Eryri 360 is, Connaire is the guy with all the answers and this is what he had to say,
My name is Connaire, I am the creator of the Eryri 360 series – An adventure cycling series that gets you discovering the very best of the Snowdonia national park from the saddle of your adventure bike!
I was born and raised in Snowdonia and am incredibly passionate about the place. I have spent my life so far as a freelance outdoor guide, running, walking, and cycling around every hill and valley I can find. I love nothing more than sharing these magnificent places with the people I meet.
Combined with my love of adventure cycling this is what inspired me to create the Eryri 360 Series.
I have always had an itch to scratch with adventure cycling. As a young boy on family holidays to the Scottish islands I would insist on always taking the fold up bicycle and its pannier bags so that I could venture into the wilds alone. I suppose at the time my mother had an enormous sense of trust and security in the fact we were on Scottish Islands and no harm could be done. A sense that inherently exists on an island. Fast forward to 2019, I had spent years working in the outdoors professionally, finished my degree and finally finished renovating the house! It was time to scratch the itch…
I initially took to the saddle and crossed the interior of Iceland twice, on a nice new Sonder and all its nice shiny bags. The remote landscape and its pulsing behaviour as its curdles and boils around you raises the hair on your neck as you gingerly cross its rifting zones. An experience so raw it shifted my perspective on our planet and ultimately, our vulnerability. I left Iceland inspired and made sail for the Faroe Islands where two weeks of riding through undersea tunnels as fast as I could to avoid Carbon poisoning gave me an incredible insight into how these communities in the far North thrive on this archipelago. Having returned home after that summer of 2019 I felt somewhat satisfied, I enjoyed two months back home in Snowdonia, working and settling back in to find myself yearning for the road again. So, I planned a trip of a different nature. I wanted something untamed, unmanicured… I browsed Skyscanner, booked a flight to Peru, joined an expat forum, and asked about second-hand bicycles. Within two weeks I was on a flight to Lima, with a small backpack of bikepacking gear and £300 to buy a bicycle. My aims where to cycle the Peruvian Andes Divide and ride South across the largest salt flats in the world, summit Aconcagua on route and continue to South Americas Southern tip. It was the trip of a lifetime that ended abruptly in Southern Patagonia, when Covid 19 hit the headlines and I abandoned my trusty bike in a Chilean’s garden shed and travelled home to Snowdonia. An incredible tale that needs justifying in an article of its own.
It has always been my passion to share my love of the outdoors and its benefits. Having such incredible experiences from the saddle has inspired me further to help people connect to landscapes, communities and nature using a bicycle. As a mode of transport, the pace and the connection to your surroundings is just so much more interactive than any other activity I have engaged in.
So here is the Eryri 360 Series – A series of rides to encourage you to explore my most favourite place in the world – Snowdonia. Engage with its people, communities, local businesses and enjoy its nature, landscape, and of course, world class gravel tracks.
How does it work?
The Eryri 360 Series simply put, is a collection of 7 spectacular non-technical adventure rides spanning the Snowdonia National Park.
However, this isn’t just any event series. As an Eryri 360 rider you are part of a pioneering project. Sustainability for the trails and businesses was always at the forefront of my mind when designing this. Unlike a mass start event that can often overwhelm our trails and small communities you can complete this series entirely at your own pace and on a day that suits you! Fancy the trail to yourself? Take a half day mid-week and complete a loop!
You enter online, you get the routes as downloads for your device, I post you a collection card and off you go! you complete it when you like with whoever you like! You can then submit your times back online and a complete collection card gets you a reward and entry into a big prize raffle!
To show their support businesses at the various start points have kindly sponsored instore discounts and perks for Eryri 360 riders from equipment, bike hire to bike servicing.
If following a route on a device isn’t your thing, then you can join us to complete the series one loop a month at a time as we head out socially to tick them off with guest riders leading the way!
If you’re looking for a sustainable cycling challenge this year, this just might be the one for you.
This seems to be a great Idea. Not everyone wants a mass participation event, a lot of those are great for the social side of riding but sometimes you just want to stop at a stunning view point and just enjoy the beauty and the silence of being “out there”. These routes look just the thing for this, you could of course just do it with a few friends to share the experience. This flexibility is also one of the great things, there’s no deadline, no pressure to complete a section within a time limit and risk being pulled out. Go at your own pace, fast or slow.
Massive thanks to Connaire for taking the time to write this down you can find out more and enter the series at wheelgoodtimes.com
contact Connaire for some guiding or just check his insta out @wheel_good_times