Hans Rey, who has been to almost 60 countries in his mountain
biking endeavors, said he is living both his hobby and dream.
Rey, a Laguna local for 16 years, is one of the pioneers of Trials
and Extreme Mountain Biking and has won world championships as well
as multiple National Trials titles.
His list of victories include NORBA trials World Champion; 2nd in
Trials ESPN Extreme Games; Trials at the MTB World Championships in
the USA; Trials at the Mountain Bike World Championships in France as
well as being the German, Swiss and US Trials champion at one time or
Even with all his international experience, he says he can always
find a good ride in Laguna.
“Like I told you, Laguna Beach is really a mountain bike mecca,”
Rey said. “Laguna Beach is world famous for mountain biking, a lot of
pros live here and train here. It has some famous trails,” Rey said.
Rey grew up in Germany, though his nationality is Swiss. He was a
pioneer in mountain biking in that country.
“We were one of the first groups that really did trials riding in
Germany and Europe,” Rey said. “I came to the states in 1987, it was
just the beginning of the boom, getting big,” Rey said.
His nickname is “No Way Ray” because other mountain bikers would
propose seemingly impossible challenges to him and would tell him
that there was no way that he could do it -- something that no one
could possibly accomplish.
“Every time everyone said ‘no way’ it was an incentive for me to
try it,” Rey said.
When Rey came to Laguna he got sponsored and hooked up with the
Laguna RADS, a bike club.
“It’s an underground fraternity-style world famous bike club, the
Robin Hoods of mountain biking,” Rey said. “It’s the oldest mountain
biking club in the world.”
Through RADS he said he got introduced to real endurance in the
hills around Laguna Beach.
After 20 years of competing he started the Hans Rey Adventure
Team. He’s been doing that for about five years.
“I’ve been combining extreme biking skills with different cultures
and a real adventure -- in search of something mysterious or
historical,” Rey said.
In Cuba he hiked up Pico Turqino, the highest peak in Cuba with
follow rider Tarek Rasouli. It was a grueling trip.
“It’s in the middle where the Cuban revolution started in the
Sierra Maestra Mountains,” Rey said. “We were the first guys to take
our bikes to the highest peak. We had to carry our bikes 11 hours
uphill, over two days."Rey has also gone to Egypt and crossed the
Sinai Peninsula and Mount Sinai and crossed from Red Sea to Red Sea.
This year, one of the shorter trips he is planning is the Rubicon
Trail, near Lake Tahoe, that is rich with Gold Rush history. In
November he’ll be riding in Umbria, Italy.
Rey’s plate is full on the media side as well. He will be a
commentator for ABC’s coverage of The Global Extreme Race to Everest
and will cover races in Borneo, Kilimanjaro and different global
But he says he’ll always have a love for Laguna Beach.
“Laguna is a funny place,” Rey said. “I have been all over the
world and with the combination of everything Laguna is, it’s the
highest in the world -- the lifestyle and standard of living.”
He said he wouldn’t want to trade living in Laguna for living
“It’s two minutes to the beach and two minutes to the Greenbelt,”
Rey said. “It just has it all here, hard to beat the quality of life
Laguna has to offer.”
For more information, go to www.hansrey.com.
* SUZIE HARRISON is a reporter for the Laguna Beach Coastline
Pilot. She may be reached at 494-4321.