Catching up with Hans Rey

Mountain biking ambassador enters 22nd year with GT

Hans Rey is one of the few ambassadors of cycling that seems to get better with age. The nearly 42-year-old Austrian native made a huge splash as a world-class trials rider in the 1980s before switching his focus to adventure riding and bringing the good word of two wheels to the four corners of the earth in the 2000s. BikeRadar caught up with the Laguna Beach, CA-based Rey as he finalised his schedule for 2008.

BikeRadar: Looking at your pictures, it looks like the legendary mullet is growing back. Were you missing the feeling of the wind in your hair the past few years?

Hans Rey: Well that, and too little time to go to the hair dresser. Gotta change things around a bit from time to time.

BR: Wow, another two years with GT. Tell us more about your 2008 ride/sponsors.

HR: Yes, things are going good with GT, the whole company has rebounded strong in the last few years. We got incredible product and a great team of people again behind the brand. It all adds up. I think this will be my 22nd season with GT!

New sponsors include MET helmets, Ergon backpacks and grips and crankbrothers wheels, adjustable seatposts, headsets and pedals.

Other loyal sponsors stay the same with adidas (shoes, textiles and eyewear), LUK Automotive Systems, Alta Rezia Bike Region, Fox Racing Shox, Kenda tyres, Clif Bar, Syntace bars and stems, SQ-Lab saddles, Shimano gears and brakes, Sambazon Acai Shakes, and Wheels 4 Life (my nonprofit).

BR: Tell us about your plans for 2008.

HR: I'm planning all sorts of trips and appearances, highlighted by my Wheels 4 Village Film Project in Tanzania, where I'll be first circumnavigating Mount Kilimanjaro.

In April I 'll go with Brian Lopes to the Philippines to a big bike festival and to do a first descent off a very active volcano, Mount Mayon.

In the summer I"ll attempt to climb Mount Ararat in Turkey to search for Noah's Ark. I will also spend lots of time on the trails and in the bike parks in the Swiss/Italian Alta Rezia Region in the heart of the Alps.

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