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Geoff Gulevich:
Things Are More Risky Now

By Adam Marsal

Geoff Gulevich from Vancouver is one of the most progressive mountain biking freeriders of these days. His Rampage 2013 video is breathtaking. We’re glad he agreed to meet with us and talk about the trends in his beloved sport.

Geoff, your surname sounds Slavic. Do you know where your roots come from?
Gulevich is the Ukrainian name. It comes from my father’s side. My mom’s side is partly Danish and Scottish.

How would you describe your riding style?
I’ve always had pretty playful style. It’s just looking like I have a good time on my bike – that’s what people usually say about me and my riding. I have a good time in the air, I am very smooth and I really like to do steep things.

(Video: Youtube.com / Geoff Gulevich)

Is mountain biking getting more dangerous?
Yes and no. Lots of things that we are doing are more risky than they used to be but the technology on the bikes, our riding skills and the technology of protection have progressed very much. If you ride on your skill level, it should be ok. You cannot blame the risk level for people getting hurt. It’s about people taking their own risks.

Do you remember your worst crash ever?
That one from the last year’s Rampage was pretty bad. Somehow it’s ok though. When I was 18 I broke my knee cap. I’ve broken my wrist, separated my shoulder, broken my ankle, broken my shin, couple good cuts…

What do you think about mountain biking in general? Is its popularity growing or rather falling?
It’s definitely going up as all the freestyle stuff. You can see it at Crankworx Festival. Every time the crowd gets bigger and bigger. There’s more coverage. It was hosted on public TV now. It was seen all over the internet. I was on Fox News earlier this year and it’s one of the biggest news channel in the world. Publicity of Red Bull Rampage gets also bigger and bigger. People are getting into it.

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(Photo: Adam Marsal)

Now you are preparing for a big event, the Red Bull Rampage. How do you feel when you drop from five meters high cliffs?
Every time it’s scary. I’m used to ride big lines like that, but it’s an international competition and if you want to do better tricks than other people, then it’s becoming scary.

What is the best way to win the competition?
Honestly, my best year was when I had a fun line and I was super comfortable on it. The approach to Rampage is to build a line you like. I’ve been influenced by people who’ve tried other things and it has never worked for me. You’ve got to just build a funny, flowy and impressive looking line.

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(Photo: Adam Marsal)

What are your other hobbies?
I snowboard a lot, I do yoga, trail building, hiking, cliff jumping and snowshoeing. I just stay busy!

Is yoga really helpful for professional athletes?
I crash hard and thanks to yoga I have the flexibility. Last year I fell of 15 meters jump and my body was fine. In the air I think I’m gonna die and I crumple into the dirt but I am all right.

Are there any trends in riding styles? What is „in” these days?
It’s funny to see trends come and go. Someone learns a trick, people think it’s cool and everybody needs to learn it.

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(Photo: Adam Marsal)

What do you think about apparel people wear on bikes?
Where I live everyone wears flannels. Cut off jeans are popular. Trends are funny because lot of people love the racer’s style and lot of people push against it. But there’s room for every style, really. I can’t name a hot style for this year right now. Camo dress code is back every two years. That’s a funny one.

It’s a common question but what is your favourite place to ride?
That’s always a really tough question for me, because I enjoy so many different styles of riding. I honestly enjoy being on my bike wherever I am.

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(Photo: Adam Marsal)

Can you make your living with mountain biking better than with other sports?
Not necessarily. I think you can do pretty well with any sport depending on level you ride. It’s just all about creating brand for yourself, building positive image in the media, but in the same time it’s good to have fun and be a real person. It’s really difficult to balance it altogether. But I think that if you can maintain it you can make living wherever you want.