Ryan Leech’s golden advocacy at Bike Expo

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Ryan Leech is best known for gobsmacking stunts like wheel-dropping onto railroad rails as well as his signature gravity-defying trials demonstrations at events like Crankworx and Sea Otter. As has been the case for the past couple of years, he will highlight the Seattle Bike Expo next weekend with special yoga sessions at 9:45 a.m. Saturday and 10:30 a.m. Sunday and his usual stunning shows at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Saturday and noon and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Leech’s skillz are breathtaking, but what I admire most about the guy is his gentle advocacy. Mountain biking is packed with amazing stuntsmen (and women). But Leech has taken things a step further, with “green” proselytizing, “Trials of Life” youth touring, yoga demos, bike commuting advocacy and other worthy causes.

He’s not just a nonpareil rider, he’s a true role model. He always has time to chat and is one of the friendliest guys you’ll encounter in a sport full of great personalities.

We’ve attended a lot of Ryan’s demos over the years. But my favorite memory of him was last summer at Crankworx Whistler. I had gotten up early and was heading out to ride when I saw Ryan on Blackcomb Way, just riding along. Every few feet he’d do something, though, a wheelie hop onto a railing, a nose wheelie along a curb edge, a manual down a staircase. He was in his own little world; I doubt he even knew anyone was paying attention. But it showed his dedication, his down-to-earthness and his love for what he does so well.

Don’t miss him at Expo. Ryan never disappoints.

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