About the book

We came to mountain bikes from the mountains. With earlier outdoor adventures in the 70s inspired by walking Wainwright’s English Coast-to-Coast we made up our own Scottish and Welsh coast-to-coast walks, setting out a stall for multi-day themed adventures.

Our Scottish coast-to-coast walk inevitably led to Munro bagging, so that through the 80s and 90s we came to know the Highlands well. More than a handful of Munros were accomplished in two or three day expeditions, bivouacking or using bothies.

Towards the end of the Munro bagging we began to use bikes to get to more remote mountains. When the Munros were done and also, to some extent, were our bodies, we looked to what we imagined might be less taxing adventures.

These began with three-day tours along well-known through routes with barely the need to put a foot down. Thereafter, we quickly settled on a four-day format and broadened our concept of ‘through routes’ to include passes previously restricted to those on foot.

Some will say that they still should be, because, from time to time, this occasioned us to use our bikes as rather expensive zimmer frames for a kilometre or two. But it has readmitted us to wilderness and adventure.

From the Highlands we expanded our attention to the Yorkshire Dales and the Pennines and to the chalk trails of the south. We’ve not managed to come up with an outing with the same scale and continuity in Wales. We regret this and, when challenged, often responded, ‘Well you put something together then!’ This invitation still stands.