Wise Words is our new interview series talking to some of mountain biking’s most switched on people.
We’ll ask our short list of questions to a heap of influential, inspiring and outspoken people that we feel are driving the direction of mountain biking today. Some will make you think, some will make you laugh, some will be plain dumb, some will inspire you to better yourself and your riding. We hope!
Wise Words this week come to you from none other than Mr. Hans Rey.
Hans Rey has likely had a larger impact on the World of mountain biking than most realise. Beyond being a multiple World and national trials champion as well as a Mountain Bike Hall of Famer, he helped pioneer the adventure riding we all take for granted and set the standard for how a rider finds longevity in representing sponsors.
Photos by Irmo Keizer.
How would your closest riding buddies describe you to someone who has never met you?
Hmm, not sure. I sure like to ride technical trails and have fun. I like to ride new trails and places. Technical uphill riding with my ebike has lately been a lot of fun. Amazing the things I can ride or attempt that weren’t possible before.
What thing or things have you bought in the last year that had the biggest effect on your life as a mountain biker / cyclist / person that works in the bike industry?
It’s less what I bought, as a pro rider you get to ride and try new things all the time. Everything seems to get better all the time. I’ve been really happy with the new Vittoria Mazza tire, its aggressive knob pattern really suit and complement my riding style, combined with their 4 compound rubber and Graphene 2.0. I also dig my Fix Mfg. tool, that I can wear in the belt buckle or on my backpack strap for easy access.
What unusual habits do you have as a bike rider?
I started riding on my XC/Enduro rides, as well as on my eBike the “HalfwayRey” pedal set up, with one clip pedal/shoe on my leading foot, and a flat pedal and flat shoe on the other foot. As weird as it sounds, its has the best benefits of both worlds. I really like it for technical riding.
What piece of advice do you think every mountain bike rider should hear? And what piece should they ignore?
It’s all about having fun. Create your rides in way you enjoy them so they suit your style. Don’t take things too seriously, that being said, learning new skills takes time and dedication.
Ignore everything Trump says.
If you could go back and re-ride one day from your life so far, where/what/when/who would it be? Would you change anything?
I’ve had so many great rides and adventures, some of them I would love to repeat on a eBike. The ride/stunt I regret most not doing was riding the Berlin Wall days after it came down. That would have been cool.
What have you wasted the most time on in your life as a rider or bike industry career that you wished you’d given up years ago?
No regrets, there are things that I never managed to do, like a proper G-turn or backwards nose wheelies. Maybe one day, I might have to give it a another try.
How do you motivate yourself when you’re struggling or lacking inspiration?
Sometimes I take little break from riding, other times I get inspired by other riders or sports. In nice to set yourself challenges and goals. Sometimes I just force myself to go and do something or train and that often is the key to finding enjoyment again.
What single and specific thing about riding bicycles do you gain the most happiness from?
I still ride trials about once a week. It doesn’t get easier with age, it is a very physical demanding discipline and a hard workout. I always have fun doing it. It is rewarding to visualise a line and then riding it the way you visualized it. Trials riding is a great exercise it’s a mix between yoga, meditation and a hard workout. Mind over matter.
What single thing would you like to erase from cycling history from the last year?
Covid 19, even though it brought also new ways and opportunities. But it was a bummer to see so many events cancelled.
What single thing would you like to make happen in the cycling world in the next year?
I have an idea for a technical ebike event format. It’s called SKILLS. Riders get rewarded for riding technical sections. Its not modern day trials riding/hopping, its more like challenging lines, riders who get the furthest, before they make a mistake will be rewarded. I need to find the time and energy to organize a little test event and invite some of my most talented friends. We’ll see.
Who else should we ask these questions to?
Gary Fisher, he always has a interesting perspective on things. Or Timmy C, the bassist of Rage Against the Machine. He is a hardcore bike rider with many ideas.
Keep tabs on Hans’ adventures on his Instagram feed here.
You can catch all our previous Wise Words interviews with the likes of Sven Martin, Manon Carpenter, Ric McLaughlin and plenty more here.