Don't look down
In our world of increasingly manicured riding it’s very rare you’ll truly scare yourself. Sure, a sketchy jump gone wrong can lead to some nasty injuries but how many of us can say we’ve actually faced death just riding along a trail?
If you do fancy meeting your maker then these trails are the ones for you with a single slip meaning you could be knocking on the pearly gates. If you have a fear of heights, look away now:
The White Line
No, we’re not encouraging recreational drug use and mountain biking, although you may need to take something to calm you down after this.
The White Line trail is named after a distinctive scar on this sandstone cliff that a mountain biker has to stick to or they face a gigantic fall. The worst part? You have to head vertically down the cliff to get to the trail that brings you back.
The Radwanderung is a trail that hugs one side of the Garnitzenklamm Gorge in Austria. You have to navigate the path on a series of bridges, boardwalks and exposed singletrack.
Apparently you can see all the way to the Mediterranean from the top but that would mean wrenching your eyes away from the trail in front of you and there is no way we would be doing that!
Here is a trail where getting up is as treacherous as going down. The Via Ferrata or “iron roads” are a series of difficult walking trails in the Italian Dolomites that aided troop movements through the area in the First World War.
Hikers have to secure themselves to the hills to stop themselves falling off so to ride them on a bike is simply ridiculous. Cristoph Thoresen, the rider in the video, simply said: “I honestly don’t want to do this ride again. It’s stupidly dangerous.”
When a trail is built by the legendary Josh Bender, you know it’s going to be pretty ridiculous. King Kong is the only shuttle-able Rampage-style trail on the planet and that makes it a hot ticket for any aspiring freerider.
With its cliff drops, red dirt and host of celebrity riders, this is probably as close as you can get to Red Bull Rampage without having an energy drink sponsorship.
Watch the highlights form this year’s Rampage here
As far as we’re aware, MacAskill is the only mountain biker to have ever taken on this exposed trail and we imagine it will stay that way for a long time to come.
The Death Road
This is the only ride on the list where the technicality of the trail shouldn’t faze you at all. Instead it’s the busses, trucks and mopeds you have to worry about.
The death road in Bolivia was brought to the world’s attention by the Top Gear boys and has not been made any safer since. If you fancy putting your life in someone else’s hands Gravity Bolivia will take you to the top and let you descend the 40 mile route that drops you a total of 3,600m (11,000 ft).
Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher are the most visited natural attraction in Ireland and while mountain biking certainly isn’t sanctioned on them, that didn’t stop Hans Rey and Steve Peat back in 2008… From the looks of it they were probably drunk too.