Take two world champion expert trials riders, put them on a boat en-route to Corsica and let’s see what we get with the prefect mix of Hans Rey and Kenny Belaey.
But first, while we wait for Kenny to arrive from Belgium I suggest a little ride close to my home in the Calangues.
It is black; I cannot breath, I cannot move…as though from a dream I hear Hans’ voice calling me trying to find out if I am OK. The voice is distant.
A young man; 18 year old Kevin, stands on a dusty street corner on the outskirts of Antigua, Guatemala. Two years ago he received a bicycle from Wheels 4 Life through his school; “Escuela Proyecto La Esperanza” which was founded and is run as a UK based charity. They produce an excellent educational program for the extremely poverty stricken people of the Antigua area in Central America.
It’s weird. For the first time I’m wishing my backpack were heavier. Even bulging with overnight kit it feels too light, which means I’m out of water. We’re 3000 meters up on a remote Northern Argentinean mountainside, beneath a searing sun. And then comes the hammer blow: “We are half way now,” says Francisco, our local bike guide. We’ve been out on this trail five hours already today but it will be another four before we reach our day’s end point and can finally rehydrate. We look at our limp hydration reservoirs and then at each other.
From mixing it with Sinatra in Hollywood to performing at the Olympic Games closing ceremony, Hans has pretty much done it all. Despite the fame he comes across as a humble, intelligent and artistic man, with a great deal of integrity and passion bundled in.
Some may find it hard to believe but Hans Rey is set to turn 50 soon, but he’s still doing his thing and still in the limelight—something few extreme athletes attest to at this stage of life.
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