• Country

Freeriding Legend Geoff Gulevich: Once, I Had Basically Accepted That I Could Die

By Adam Marsal

Coming from the British Columbia, Canada, Geoff Gulevich has everything every biker dreams about – the best place to ride in the world and a successful career including podiums from both Red Bull Rampage in Utah, USA, and Red Bull Joyride in Whistler, Canada. He’s a professional rider whose life is orbiting exclusively around cycling and, least but not last, he’s about to wed his fiancé Brianna. In the interview, he’s talking about one close-to-death encounter, about fighting against evil weather, and about the best places, you mustn’t avoid if you want to experience a biking holiday of your life!

How had mountain biking evolved since you’ve been in the sport? Do you find it better or worse than some ten years ago?

I have seen plenty of change in the industry. It’s amazing to see more companies creating more competition with product options. Riding wise, the bike technology has become outstanding alongside the advances in trail building to make trails more sustainable and fun. I don’t know what this year’s best innovation is but I sure am loving my new Focus bikes. They ride so well and can absolutely send it!

Can you afford to live only off riding?

I live solely off riding my bike. I have an amazing support from my sponsors. I am a freeride mountain biker. My job is to shoot photos, videos, get people stoked on bikes while I have a good old time

If you look back, is there something you should have done differently?

Naw…. I feel like I have learned from all my mistakes and it has made me be the man I am today.

How do you cope with fear? How long is it since you have experienced a moment you realised that something went wrong or something was way too much for you?

I have had plenty of close calls but the most memorable was a few years ago at RedBull Rampage. I hit a 40 feet drop first. However, I was going to come up short. I ditched over the handlebars and fell 40ft to flat and then tomahawked down the landing. While I was falling, I had basically accepted that I could die. Miraculously, I fell well and didn’t get hurt at all.

How do you love to start your day?

Watch the wife get dressed for work, then I pour myself a cup of coffee and have a snuss.

Which kind of amusement do you search for except for biking?

I am obsessed with skiing, snowboarding and surfing.

Almost every man is a collecting something – pipes, cars, whisky, trophies, fishing rods… whatever. What is your passion?

I collect whisky, a pocket knife from every country I visit, and my old riding gear from memorable moments.

As a mountain biker, do you recollect a day when you really struggled and had to fight against mother nature?

Just a couple days ago I was in Moan, Utah. We had two last shots to get when a storm came in. 100km winds, rain, lightning. It made the slick rock difficult to navigate due to being slippery and being gusted near the cliff edges.

What do you never forget to take with you to the backcountry?

My knife.

Can you name five best places that you have visited and could you tell me why did you like them the most?

New Zealand. The people are chill and the riding is killer.
Peru. The longest descents of your life with such a relaxed lifestyle, in the mountain towns.
Bellingham, Washington. Has friendly people, solid beer and, of course, trails forever.
The Czech Republic. The home of my friend Richard Gasperotti. He showed me such an amazing time. I honestly can’t wait to come back.
Vancouver. I travel home here and am always so happy. Home is home.

What about animals? Do you have a dog or a cat or… a bear?

My folks have a dog, named Luna, that I hike with all the time. Still looking for that special bear though. One that won’t try to eat me.

I’ve heard something about a wedding. Would you introduce your girlfriend to our readers?

Her name’s Brianna Saimoto, soon to be Brianna Gulevich, and we have been together for nearly thirteen years. We met through friends in high school. She is absolutely amazing. Patient, supportive and puts me in line when I get too wild. I need her.

What has changed in your life after getting engaged?

Hasn’t changed a bit. She makes me to be a better person. We have been engaged for three years and are getting married on October 6. I’m psyched for the party!