Death defying extreme downhill mountain bike racing


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/11/30/death-defying-extreme-downhill.html


#2

And a wheelie across the finish line to boot. Holy smokes, that ride was intense. He needs wildly enthusiastic announcers like this to call the play-by-play.


#3

Yeah, every bit of that was intense, but hearing his breathing in the technical bits, followed by the insane bursts of speed through ‘remove parts of your body if you clip them’ obstacles really had my heart in my throat.

There was one bit where there was a jump mid-turn over a stone wall and landing into a narrow slot between trees…My brain just couldn’t handle that.


#4

I can do that.


#5

Nope.

.


#6

Cot Damn.

crossposting to the bike thread:


#7

Man, I saw “broke his neck” in the post so I was expecting the worst the whole time. I want to know:

  1. What percentage of competitors make it through the whole course without crashing?

  2. How many meters do they descend from start to finish?


#8

Wear a biking neck brace please. They’ve been around for ten years now.


#9

I wondered the same. It seemed never ending!


#10

Depends on the track. 3-5 minutes for World Cup rates, but this is a Red Bull event that happens outside the the governing body of cycling, much like Red Bull Rampage (which, coincidentally, was the subject of some controversy because riders felt they had to take greater and greater risks to compete : http://www.vitalmtb.com/features/Opinion-When-Does-Risk-Outweigh-the-Reward-How-Red-Bull-Rampage-Changed-Our-Perspective,932) Therefore it can have stuff you wouldn’t normally see, like the enormous gap jump in the middle. These are generally exhibition events, though they draw from a lot of the same riders in the professional circuit.

But to answer the original question, the verticle drop was supposedly very high for a DH track. “Fort William covered in about half the distance, it’s mighty steep,” which is apparently 525m. Source: http://www.pinkbike.com/news/red-bull-hardline-practice-2016.html


#11

I’m so glad there are people doing these things while wearing cameras so I don’t have to.


#12

I wanted him to wipe out just to hear the sounds of wildly enthusiastic announcer skull and brain splatting against the wall.


#13

And all without a co-driver calling out upcoming turns!

Incidentally, this is how he broke his neck:


#14

I’m reminded of a downhill race I saw ages ago.

It was one of those courses where there are periodically two alternate routes: one long and simple, one short and technical. In one section of the track, the choice was between a long winding descent or a ludicrously tall and narrow ramp with a massive drop off the end.

The first dozen riders all took the safer winding route. Then one guy tried the ramp…

He hit it perfectly, speed just right, angle just right, body braced exactly so for a textbook two-wheel landing. And the moment he touched down, his bike shattered into a dozen pieces. :smile:


#15

In anycase, you never see a gray haired one.


#16

yeah I don’t know how he missed those trees with his handlebars…


#17

As far as I know I put on the first DH races anywhere in the world. We just celebrated the 40th anniversary of the first race, conducted on modified 40-year old Schwinns.

Later, my friend Gary Fisher and I rented a garage to build bikes in. We called our company MountainBikes, but we didn’t protect that name very well with a trademark

Now the sport has come so far that even on my modern full suspension bike, my skill set is not sufficient just to ride top to bottom on a downhill course.


#18

I sure wish he hadn’t sold out to Trek. I also wish I hadn’t left my Utopia unlocked in the yard at work. Loved that bike.


#19

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