Ride Report: Trail Riding with George Hincapie and BMC


The BMC Demo van was in town as they followed the Tour of California from Escondido to San Francisco. Marketing Manager, Devin Riley and John Koslosky of Castro Valley Cycles called and they said we should take George Hincapie out for a trail ride in El Corte De Madera park in Woodside, CA.

“Does that guy mountain bike?” I thought. I looked him up online and saw that no photos exist of him riding a mountain bike or jumping one. So my mission was clear, ride with him and capture him jumping or railing a corner.

But there was one problem. How would I possibly keep up with one of the greatest road cyclists this country has ever known. “Maybe he gained a few pounds since his retirement last August.” I hoped. Maybe he’s a scared of dirt trails. Given that he was our best racer in the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix though, I suspected he would have no problem with the loamy Redwood trails of these trails otherwise known as Skeggs.

I wasn’t sure if George was really showing up or just a stunt body double but when I saw these varicose veins, I knew it was really him.

George entered the Skeggs park and I was little concerned that he would break the speed limit for the entire park which is a ludicrous 15 mph. The fine is $400 which really shows their prejudice against cyclists. But I thought it would be entertaining if Big George got ticketed while going uphill.

George said he mountain bikes a couple times a month and it showed. He was comfortable and stayed in front of this elite crew even on the downhills.

He reveled in the glory of the redwood forest and said he will be back for more.

The BMC FS01 bikes performed flawlessly up and down the trails.

Thank you for the ride and we know you will have a fun retirement.

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.

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  • Bokchoi Cowboy says:

    Nice report there FC! Must have been a lot of fun.

  • Silver says:

    Who cares about a Doper? If you want to help solve the doping problem in cycling – then don’t covet cheaters!

  • Mark says:

    Wow really MTBR, Your hero is a doper and a liar?
    That shows huge amounts of disrespect to the peloton that has not.
    Was the article really necessary?
    The hincapie empire just like the rest in that group was built on lies and deception.

  • Pete says:

    yeah George know his way around a mtb, ; he and Lance and Floyd used to ride Rocky Hill Ranch here in Texas all the time.

  • Mike says:

    Silver, you are an idiot.

  • Get Over It Haters says:

    All you guys on the “I hate Dopers” band wagon need to get a life. Go ride your bike, if you own one, and get rid of some of that pensiveness.

  • Dan says:

    Adds to the debate, 650b or 29er for the tall guy…

  • Silver says:

    Mike (internet tough guy) –
    I’m an idiot because I don’t like liars and cheaters? You must be a liberal democrat too.

  • Dad says:

    Am I missing something here? When I first saw the headline, I thought it was some kind of joke. And there are people on this thread telling others to ‘get over’ the whole doping issue…? Eh? Have you all forgotten what this has done to our sport? Have you all forgotten the importance of personal responsibility and that the excuse ‘hey, everyone was doing it’ means absolutely nothing and was pretty much why the whole thing got out of hand to an obscene extent? And yet here is one of the poster boys of doping being referred to in hallowed terms as ‘Big George’…?

    Anticipated response of “how could you possibly understand because you’ve never been an elite pro these guys are under immense pressure get over it and move on what’s done is done “…

    Honestly don’t get it. Utterly surreal.

  • Baltazar Franco says:

    Everybody makes mistakes, George, you, me, let’s not hang the guy, he still loves riding mountain bikes

    • mark says:

      And George made the same mistake everyday for over ten years.
      Every time he put the needle in he had a choice,
      He did it for money and personal glory
      However even doped to the gills still not good enough to win the Roubaix, now that is karma just beginning to get it’s payback, bye going riding.

  • JJ says:

    @ Dad: totally agree. Very well said.

  • channel_zero says:

    +1 Dad.

    Baltazar Franco, this was not one mistake, this was a career of cheating and lying going all the way back to days with Chris Carmichael’s junior doping program.

    This sport has been poisoned by the execs that “developed” guys like Hincapie and Armstrong. Unfortunately, Thom Wiesel owns USAC outright, the rest like Och, Carmichael and others haven’t changed one bit.

  • Yoshi says:

    Dopers – Old News… But a 15 MPH Speed Limit on trails. No one should go to a place that has so restrictive rule? Seriously how is that enforced and furthermore, it appeared everyone in the video hit at least 15 MPH!

  • Skeets22 says:

    You guys and your doping comments must have never taken a vitamin in the morning to help you feel better!!! Taking anything to enhance how you perform is a performance enhancer. Therefore, if you drink a carbohydrate drink while riding to keep from bonking, are you not enhancing your performance? You guys are all knuckleheads and should just stop being stupid.

  • 6BR says:

    I think those that are railing against Hin on here should loosen up a bit. I dont think the point of this article was to point out anything other than seeing what an ex roadie pro looks like or does on a trail bike. And for the people who are giving him a pass, you’re a big part of why today’s culture ignores accountability as well as being oblvious to the damage that doping has done to the sport of professional cycling..

  • hunkyG says:

    Even if he wasn’t a doper, Hincapie was still one of the greatest roadies to ever life. My coach was the coach of the U.S. olympic road team, and he says all the time that even before his doping days he was an absolute monster. Same with all the dopers. So you can’t judge a racer just from their history, you have to look at how good they are without doping, which is far better than 99% percent of the cycling world.

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