We are near the end of a 10 day trip though Brazil. Following an invitation of our friends from Pedal Power, the Brazilian Rockshox distributor, to come to their country to check out the biking scene and some of their greatest trails, sites as well as test the new 2002 RockShox products.

This RockShox Explorer trip consisted of Greg Herbold former Downhill World Champion and my partner in crime in the classic movie Tread; as well as local honch, Bobby Nogueira , who is one of Brazils ambassadors of freeriding.

We were followed by a couple of film crews (this footage will be seen on TV in over 80 countries….); and RockShox’ photographer and marketing man – Dirk Belling.

The three of us started out in Sao Paulo (17 million inhabitants), from there we headed to Belo Horizonte (3 million inhabitants) and then into the Minas Gerais Mountains. After a 4 hour road trip we arrived in a small village (250 inhabitants) in the middle of nowhere, where we stayed in a simple but beautiful lakefront lodge.

The riding was almost alpine, and reminded me more of the Scottish Highlands than of Brazil. But the trails were beautiful and challenging. We saw and rode some awesome terrain, including some sweet waterfalls. From there we headed to Rio. It was quite a contrast, it was much more humid and tropical. Rio de Janeiro blew my
mind, out of all the big cities I’ve been too, this is definitely one
of the best. In between lush rainforest and beautiful mountains lies this crazy city with it’s beautiful beaches and people. We checked it all out; from Copacabana to the giant Jesus – Corcovado. Although the urban riding was really fun and entertaining, the nearby trails overlooking the city, were totally radical and breathtaking. A few Caipirinha’s later we were on the way to Sao Paulo, to check out a brazilian mountain bike race. Located in an artificial ski resort, in the middle of the jungle (!), was a really well organized Cross Country race with over 300 participants. HBall was racing in the Vet Class and I was doing a little trials demo with some local riders. Today we are tearing up the street of Sao Paulo, and in a few days, we’ll be parting our own ways and head back to the next adventure…….Hans Rey March 19th 2001, Sao Paulo – Brazil


Notes from H-BALL:
After a few problems with my Visa (what? – you need a Visa to go to Brazil?) I met my pals on the trails of the Minas, which are covered with crystals, all of them needing to be inspected by Hans. It feels great to test some new products without ten layers of clothes! Rio had some amazing riding action and we got to shred the local downhill course with mounted video cameras.

The beach action had venders supplying us with everything we needed: fresh shrimp, cerveza, chairs and umbrellas, even gifts for our chicks, and the most beautiful girls I have ever seen in one place. Back at Sao Paulo we went to a MTB race in the local mountains. It reminded me of racing in the USA in the late 80’s, especially after getting roosted by old guys with rigid bikes, toe clips, and thumb shifters. All the riders in Brazil are very nice and excited to meet us. And did I say that there are incredible women here? The urban riding with the locals is fun as well, and we did our fair share hopping and dropping at night.

Still haven’t been mugged yet. Looking forward to jettisoning my incredibly stinky riding gear—- Keep it
All photos courtesy of Dirk Belling. Images can be reproduced free of
charge for editorial usage. More info and photos: [email protected]