Issue 143 Hans Rey: Lasting Legacies

Hans Rey learns new hotshots and old legends to find his place in mountain biking heritage. Lyrics and photography Carmen Freeman-Rey Looking back on life can be a fun thing, luckily we have a knack for forgetting the bad and our memories are sometimes seen through rose-tinted glasses. Sometimes we had a solid plan, sometimes we winged it. Talking to Hans Rey it becomes clear that his long career was never just down to luck, there was a lot of forethought – most of the time he had a plan, but sometimes he also had to pilot it. For example, when he embarked on the most difficult adventure of his life. Hans had turned 50 in 2016 and as a professional MTB cyclist he was progressing. Coincidentally, that year they were finally allowing bicycles beyond the gates of Kilimanjaro Park. Hans’ opinion was, and still is, that Kilimanjaro is the Everest of mountain bikers, the highest ridable mountain in the world. The rule change made possible an ambitious dream for Hans and his compatriot, Gerhard Czerner, to mark this 50-year-old milestone by taking on Africa’s two biggest behemoths, Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro, back to back. What he offered was all the more remarkable considering his age. Months earlier, Hans had also invited Danny MacAskill to join us. “This journey will be epic and fun,” he said. Danny accepted. Safe to say, this extreme adventure was beyond anything they imagined, not just the sheer physics of it, or the…

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