‘The Dragon Ride has become an annual family reunion’ – Argentinian Rider Sebastian on making the most of Wales
We love hearing about how our riders spend their time in Wales before and after the much-anticipated Dragon Ride. From walking expeditions; cosy pub crawls; camping and glamping (a hot tub is amazing for post-ride recovery), our riders can’t get enough of the sense of adventure and beauty of this mythical land.
We got chatting to one rider in particular, Sebastian Alasino, who combines the Dragon Ride with his annual family reunion. Originally from Argentina, Sebastian fell in love with the rugged beauty of the Brecon Beacons where he can not only go on the ultimate ride, but also spend precious time with his family.
We caught up with Sebastian, to tell us more about how he makes the most of the Dragon Ride.
1. How did you find yourself signing up to the Dragon Ride 2023, and have you done and event before?
In 2021, I planned to do the Dragon Devil Ride with a couple of mates from my cycling club. When my Welsh father-in-law found out that I was going there, he organized a family trip to support me, and my whole family was there for 4 days. After such a good experience, he told me that I will have to do it every year for all the family to be there together. I have done other cycling events but Dragon Devil is my favourite and also the hardest. I love the physical challenge of the hills and the unbeatable, breath-taking scenery you see along the way.
2. Tell us more about your Welsh family.
My wife is from the Isle of Anglesey – a small but beautiful island with unspoilt coastlines and even a 36 mile circular cycling route. We got married there back in 2018, and that was the last time we were in Wales before we started going back for the Dragon Rides. All my family from Argentina and Italy came to our wedding; they all have a lovely time there and they remember our wedding as one of the best! We also have a 5 year old daughter who is close to her Welsh grandparents.
3. What is it about Wales that you and your family enjoy?
In 2021, I did the Dragon Devil Ride with a couple of mates from my cycling club. When my Welsh father-in-law knew that I was going there, he organized a family trip to support me, and my whole family were there for 4 days. After such a good experience, he told me that I will have to do it every year for all the family to be there together. I have done other cycling events, but Dragon Ride is my favourite and the most challenging by far. I love testing my physical limits and the Welsh countryside.
4. Are there any specific places in Wales that you would recommend to people visiting?
While I was riding the Dragon Ride, my family went to Castell Carreg Cennen – an old but magical castle situated on the top of a steep hill, overlooking the River Cennen. My daughter really enjoyed the day there. However, I also think that anything in Bannau Brycheiniog National Park is worth to visit, not only for cycling but also to run, walk or any kind of outdoors activity.
5. What are you looking forward to about the Dragon Ride this year?
This year, I am looking forward to improving my performance on the climbs. It feels so nice when you finally reach the top of those mountains – a truly unique view and sensation. However, I never feel like I am trying to defeat the mountain – or like it is being defeated by me. Instead, I feel as though my close cyclist friends, other riders, the people cheering, the people working for the event and the landscape are all working together – in harmony – to enjoy the journey and finish the ride. It’s this sense of teamwork that I love.
6. How do you plan to celebrate afterwards?
Like we have done before, my 5 years old daughter is going to be waiting for me at the finish line. My daughter absolutely loves dragons, and the Dragon Ride medal is her favourite from my collection. I can’t wait to see her face when she sees me with that medal around my neck!
7. How do you balance serious riding with family life?
Dragon Devil is a long ride and a full day for me, but my wife and daughter have plenty to do while I am out riding. In particular, its just lovely that my daughter can enjoy a day out with her grandparents in Wales. I love riding, and my family supports me during the event, but they also get up to their own fun and I am often quite jealous about what they’ve gotten up to during the day! I usually take Friday and Monday of the weekend off work, so we can spend some quality time together doing different activities than the normal routine at home.
8. And finally, tell us a bit about your experience of the actual event!
The view of the landscape is just breath-taking. The climbs are so hard that you feel that you can’t make it to the top… but you always do, and when you reach the summit and have that sublime open view, you know it is the moment to stop pedalling, get comfortable on the bike and just enjoy the experience.
Thank you Sebastian and we hope you and your family enjoy the Dragon Ride and Wales this year.
Sebastian would love you to say hi on event day – he won’t be too hard to spot, in full Argentinian kit!
For those who are planning a long weekend in Wales, make sure to check out our Weekender Guide here.