We are introducing you to the Pioneers who will be taking on the epic Wales360 off road challenge next July and this time it’s the turn of Michael Meteer, one half of our first American team to sign up for the 2019 event.

Michael will be one half of the Filthy Freeriders team with fellow American Jared Purdy, his step nephew-in-law and has a long history in the sport, stretching back to the early days of mountain biking.

“In 1971-72 when Joe Breeze, Gary Fisher, Charlie Kelly, and Tom Ritchey were riding their clunkers down the mountains of Marin, I was across the San Francisco Bay doing the same thing with modified Schwinn Stingrays that would eventually become the BMX bike. As a 10, 11-year-old boy I wasn’t marketing or promoting a new sport – I was just having a lot of fun building and riding bikes. They were always a part of my life and provided me a source of freedom and independence.

“My first commercial purpose built mountain bike was a 1990 Diamond Back Apex. My first full suspension bike was a 1993 Marin Titanium FRS with state of the art Manitou elastomer bumper shocks front and rear! Thankfully technology has made mountain biking infinitely more ridable and reliable that it was back in those days.”

From a 10-year-old playing on bikes, riding now forms an integral part of Michael’s life

“I commute to work and ride every weekend regardless of rain, snow, monsoon humidity, or blazing sunshine. I try to maintain a minimum of 200 km per week. I’m afraid that my only claim to fame is that perhaps I will be the oldest rider in the group. That is nothing new to me as most people I ride with are 10 to 20 years younger than me – I have Grandchildren that are riding bikes now! I will be traveling to the event from South Korea where I have lived and worked for the last seven years.”

How did you hear about Wales360?

“I came across a Facebook ad about the Wales360 event. I told my wife that I would really be interested in doing this and signed up that night. The next day I shared my post with all my FB friends and asked who would be interested in joining my team. My team mate Jared and one other friend expressed interest.

“This event seemed like an epic challenge too good to pass up. A supported long distant riding event offers all the challenges of a long distance ride without the hassle of planning routes, arranging meals, shelter, and tools.”

While this will be his first organised, long distance off-road ride, once he’d seen the opportunity to be a Pioneer in the first ever Wales360, Michael knew he had to grab it.

“You only live once! I would rather participate in this event at the risk of failure to complete it than read about it and always wonder if…

“Since I have signed up it has kept me focussed and on tack to continue training and pushing myself.

“I read a lot of posts people are sharing about this event and I see many responses that say, ‘I don’t think I have what it takes to do that’ or ‘That is out of my league’. There is only one way to find out, and there is still plenty of time to prepare and train. I know I will not be the fastest rider but I will be that old Clydesdale trotting along, loving every minute, hour, and day that I’m riding.”

You can check out some of Michael’s rides on his YouTube channel here and follow him on Strava here to see how his training for Wales360 is going.

You can find previous Pioneer profiles of Andrew Gwatkin and Dawn Gale & Pete Haines on the Wales360 website with more coming soon.

For your once-in-a lifetime chance to be a Pioneer and compete in the first edition of Wales360 between Monday 22 and Saturday 27 July, sign-up to enter here. Pioneer entry is now sold out, but early bird prices are being held until Friday 7 December.

Wales360 is a full supported event with riders staying each night in the atmospheric Rider Village with accommodation, food & beverage, mechanical support, bike cleaning and entertainment all included in the entry fee.

All you need to do is to bring your passion for adventure and to focus on keeping you and your team mates’ morale high and bodies working.

What's Included