Saying that the Red Bull Rampage free ride mountain bike competition has an intimidating course is like calling the waves at Teahupoo merely big. It only takes one watch of Claudio Caluori's course preview video to understand this, even if he does take what he calls "the easiest line down the mountain."
The 10th annual Rampage takes place on Friday, October 16, and brings the world's best downhill mountain bikers to Virgin, Utah. There, riders can build their own trails and are scored for difficulty and tricks they pull on the drops and jumps. Caluori's preview from his helmet cam shows him riding his bike over edges that are at times barely wider than his tires with sheer drops on each side. Added to that are jumps and sudden turns that make sitting back and enjoying the scenery impossible.
"I had three days no sleep, this made me so nervous," Caluori says, a former pro racer, at the start of the video. His subsequent screams as he works his way down the skinny bits with the setting sun in front of him tell the rest of the story. He also has to go slow at one point, because he doesn't want to "wake up the spiders, the tarantulas, and rattlesnakes."
Heavy rains and thunderstorms pushed the date that the riders will face the cliffs forward a couple days, but the event can be seen live on Red Bull TV on Friday and on NBC on Dec. 27.