Hi Sean, can you tell us a little bit about Grizzly Munro Diaries?
Grizzly Munro Diaries is an ongoing project I set about 3 years ago where I attempt to ride my bike down all 282 Munros in Scotland. Obviously not every mountain is completely rideable but the most rewarding part of this project is finding those slithers of golden singletrack on very narrow ridges that no one has ever ridden before.
The idea came about after I was getting a bit fed up of riding and building at local spots, confined mainly to woodland. So I began to head for hills that I enjoyed walking. After around 20 of them being a huge success, I questioned wether I was maybe onto an untapped source. I thought to myself 'there's no point in riding 200 of Scotlands biggest mountains and leaving 80+ because they're difficult, let's just see what riding we can find on every single one of them'. Here I am, 142 Munros later and still chasing and living that dream.
I will only be the second person in the world to have ever taken a bike to each of these summits, only after a man named Paul Tattersall who I believe was mainly using his bike for access and egress, whereas the Ride itself is why I'm there.
It's grown in scale to have a big media following, online , on your YouTube and in many magazines. Has this affected your desire or the scale of the project?
Thats a tough one to answer, obviously I don't feel like its changed anything to me, but there's not a doubt in my mind, somethings shifted. There becomes a level of pressure. Sometimes thats positive, sometimes negative. I've got to take the bad with the good. Seeing people get excited and inspired about what makes me excited is awesome.
Seeing what I do in Magazines, speaking to podcasts from all corners of the world and even being interviewed for BBC Radio Scotland, have all been a huge drive for me. With each level of exposure I reach, it helps me to strive for the next one. It keeps pushing me to better myself. It also helps bridge the gap between this being a hobby and my profession.
With 28 of the Munro's being in Perthshire, it's a big part of your project. Which is your favourite ones so far? And are there ones you still need to tick off?
Perthshire holds a huge amount of great descents. The topography of the Munro's in the area is almost designed for mountainbikers. Some classics to name a few are; Ben Lawers, Ben Vorlich, Schiehallion and the Beinn a Ghlo Massif. The only two I think im still to do in the area are An Stuc and Stuchd an Lochain.
I have known you for many years after working together at a Perthshire outdoor centre, so I know biking in the area has always been a special place for you, any amazing locations you could let us in on?
Dunkeld was always my local Downhill race growing up, so being able to live even closer to it was a dream. Trails in the area were always great, but never more so than when Adam Flint brought a new buzz into the area. He offered great service, great uplift and pushed and organised build days and races for the area, really helping perthshire grow on the MTB map. The Mast and Rake and Ruin are some of my favourites from Dunkeld. Not to mention Ben Cathro's Track along by Pitlochry which I'm yet to try out. I would also love to return to my personal DH track out the back of Dalguise, if its still there, mind you, I'd have to watch out for those Drop Bears!
How can people follow your progress?
Anyone you would like to thank?
Firstly my wife, Laura, for being my biggest supporter and keeping our world spinning and holding the fort while im out chasing my dreams. Without her, this wouldn't be possible.
My Patreons for supporting me out of their own pocket.
Photo Credit: Andy Cole ,ALC Photography
Also my sponsors for believing in me;
MSC Tires UK
URGE Bike Products
Richard Lawson Mitsubishi