If you follow the gravity side of mountain biking then you probably know the name Kyle Ebbett. He is a pioneer in the sport and now considered a legend worldwide for his bike riding, course design and pushing the freeride movement into a legitimate entity. He was riding stock mountain bikes in skateparks back in the late ’90s. Kyle was also the guy who could show up and win a race in the dual slalom and downhill then go and session a jump with his friends. He was a star in the seminal Chain Reaction video series that spotlighted mostly East Coast riding at a time when gravity riding was still in its infancy. Other riders from that era include his friend, local N.H. boy Aaron Chase. Chase was named 2nd best freerider in the world by Mountain Bike Action one year and has his own signature bike frames and parts. Kyle and Aaron have been riding together for years and are very responsible for the sport growing in a positive way.
In 2010 Kyle was diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumor on his frontal lobe, and had surgery to remove it. Twelve short weeks later he was back on his bike, nailing his signature back flips at the premier bike park in the US, Highland Mountain Bike Park in Northfield, N.H.
This past weekend Kyle, who lives with his wife Donna, (a former professional gravity racer and legend in her own right) in Essex, competed in the Teva Mountain Games in Vail, Colorado in the dual slalom bike event. The racers go head to head with other competitors similar to skiing and yes, it was on snow. Kyle was back competing at the ripe age of 38 years young and blasted the field to take the win and put the another notch in his belt as one of the truly greatest cyclists to ever emerge from Vermont.
So next time you come up with a greatest cyclists of all-time from Vermont list, don’t forget Kyle Ebbett. And maybe give him a thanks too for helping put this great state on the map as a riding paradise.