Angry Dogs and Rooftop Riding: 8 Times Urban Downhill Left Us Absolutely Stunned
Who needs mountains when you've got a concrete jungle...?
Is it mad to think that there’s a mountain bike series combining huge jumps, church-top riding and being chased by dogs? Yes, it almost certainly is.
Don’t call the men in white coats just yet, though. Mountain biking is a funny old sport. The likes of Megavalanche, a race that starts in the snow-covered heights of Alpe D'Huez, have become world famous, and it's now not uncommon for footage of a downhill race in a shopping mall to appear online.
The church-top riding and vicious animals aren't sounding so ridiculous now, are they? The series does in fact exist… and it’s absolutely awesome!
The City Downhill Series is an event like no other. Held in various major cities across the globe, big names from downhill and freestyle mountain biking come together to race in a white knuckle ride through the urban jungle.
With the city downhill race in Taxco, Mexico coming up later this month, we thought we would look back at some of the sketchiest tracks and gnarliest race runs that have ever taken place in the series.
Could you make it to the bottom of these sketchy runs?
1) Filip Polc - Valparaiso, Chile (2011)
The undisputed king of urban downhill mountain biking, Filip Polc has won more races than anyone else, and its not had to see why.
In this race from 2011, Polc had to deal with steep step sections, big drops and even bigger dogs... It also happens to be one of the most viewed videos in the history of mountain biking. Like all of mountain biking. The whole sport. Yup.
2) John Buckell - Taxco, Mexico (2014)
John Buckell's race run from 2014's series closer has it all. Lightning fast straights, tight twisting corners and even a couple of whips at the bottom. What more could you ask for?
3) Filip Polc - Le Paz, Bolivia (2012)
Filip Polc, again shows us why he is the best. This race run in Bolivia has some insanely steep dirt sections and some terrifying sheer drops that would even make Hulk Hogan cry for his mummy...
4) Gee Atherton - Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (2009)
In one of the first urban downhill races, current downhill two-time world champ Gee Atherton takes us down though the stunning favelas in Rio.
Riding over churches and through peoples houses makes this slum-based race a one of a kind, and that the likes of Gee get involved show how serious riding it is!
5) Marcelo Gutierrez - Manizales, Columbia (2012)
Marcelo Gutierrez's winning run in Columbia. He must have been pushing at least 40mph in some of these sections. If you listen carefully enough you can hear his heart thumping against the camera on his chest....
6) Kelly McGarry - Taxco, Mexico (2013)
A different course from 2014's race in Taxco, but no less wild. This video follows mountain biking's hairiest man as he rides first through a dirt section and then into the paper thin alleyways of the city. Kelly has a way with making viral mountain bike videos of course.
7) Filip Polc - Bratislava, Slovakia (2014)
The shortest race in this years series shows Filip Polc, once again, tearing up the competition.
Starting in the stunning Bratislava Castle in Slovakia's capital, with views of Austria from it's walls, this race features wall rides, massive drops and face melting speed.
We were in Bratislava recently and it took us about 20 minutes to slowly walk down from the castle courtyard. It took Filip... one minute?
8) Filip Polc - Santos, Brazil (2015)
Who else? The 2015 season has been underway for some time now, with one race left for the year in Taxco late in November.
Polc may seem like he dominated here but his winning time was only a few hundredths of second in front of Czech rider Tomas Slavik.