Hans Rey: Once Upon A Ride In Umbria, Italy

The late 90s and trials legend Hans Rey spent most of his years traveling the globe, featuring in commercials, meeting US presidents, and competing at the highest level. Now, however, he is starting to feel that the past 20 years of trials riding, crashes, and injuries are taking their toll on his body and mind. 

Even so, he’s flirting with what’s next. Where to go? Where to settle down? 

Throughout his travels, he was drawn to one place, Umbria, in Italy. Returning here religiously when managing to grab those rare times off from his crazy life. 

This land-locked county in central Italy is known for its olive groves, vineyards, and medieval hill towns, with villas washed in golden light by the warm long sunny days. Think of that classic book “Under the Tuscan Sun.”

Hans wanted a piece of this lifestyle for when he hung up his mountain bike shoes, so he began to search for his perfect villa, one with land, a vineyard, an olive grove, and enough space to accommodate bike guests. 

With a stroke of luck, Hans stumbled upon Podere il Falco, which was to become his Italian home and a new business venture to take him forward with a more relaxed lifestyle. 

Mountain Biking in Umbria, Italy

When Hans arrived in Umbria, mountain biking barely existed in this part of Italy, never mind trying to imagine how things would change over the next few decades with riding styles, technology, and the game-changing development and introduction of e-bikes.

To see just how far technology has changed and influenced the mountain bike scene, Hans decided to revisit his old stomping grounds and experience his favorite trails 20 years later to see how his EP8-equipped GT Force AMP+ E-MTB tackles the Umbrian trails.

In the end, Hans only lived La Dolce Vita for a handful of years; he felt he had much more to do and achieve in the mountain bike world. He enjoyed those years thoroughly and has no regrets that his life changed direction once again. 

It was fun while it lasted!

What is Hans Rey Know For?

Hans Rey pioneered mountain bike trials and extreme mountain biking, also known as Freeride. He has traveled the world, riding his GT mountain bikes over and through areas previously considered unrideable. He has also performed many publicity stunts on his bike, such as bungy jumps, skyscraper rides, and volcano dances. 

Additionally, Hans was inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in 1999. So, you get a sense of how long he’s impeached the mountain bike world. 

What Mountain Bike Stunts Did Hans Rey Attempt?

There are too many to list; however, Hans is known for the following stunts:

  • A photoshoot in gridlock traffic on the 405 Freeway near Los Angeles on top of a car
  • Bungy jumps with his bike
  • A wild ride on ropes down a 14-story skyscraper in New Zealand
  • A legendary ride along the 600 ft. high ledge at the Cliffs of Moher
  • A bike dance on the volcano in Hawaii surrounded by hot lava on the edge of a boiling ocean

A handful of riders continue to showcase their exceptional riding skills with unthinkable stunts. Most of them were inspired by Hans, his riding creativity, and his complete disregard for the law of physics. 

What Bike Does Hans Rey Ride?

Hans Rey rides a GT because the brand has sponsored him since 1987. And he has ridden exclusively on GT bikes for his trials, adventures, and stunts since his start. He also helped design and promote some GT models, including the Force and the Karakoram. Both of which were favored by the mountain bike community.

Today, Hans rides his EP8-equipped GT Force AMP+ E-MTB, which includes 29” wheels, 150mm of travel, RockShox suspension, and Shimano’s STePS E8000 Drive Unit. 

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