Downhill challenge to get the heart racing
Transforming the city into a thrillseeker's haven for one weekend has been a labour of love for extreme sports enthusiast and local construction company owner Michael Stephen.
After being entrusted with building many of the features for the inaugural Albany Urban Downhill last year, the 28-year-old shed builder has ensured the course for this year's event next weekend will not be for the faint- hearted.
So much so, the sight of a 20m wall ride which sits at almost 90 degrees, is enough to scare him from competing, believing riders would have to reach speeds between 65km/h and 75km/h to successfully negotiate it.
"It's that close to vertical, it's not funny," Mr Stephen said.
"It's pretty spectacular."
The feature, described as the Really Steep Sideways and Out, is one of a number of new obstacles planned by organisers for the 2015 MCB Construction Albany Urban Downhill to add to the already challenging course which tested mountain bikers to the limit last year.
Mr Stephen and his team had also built a large kicker ramp to be used for the Saturday night jump competition, which will move to the Albany Town Square.
Albany Urban Downhill director Chris Idle said the event's profile had lifted significantly since last year, when it was recognised as the only one of its kind in Australia.
"Through social media, our exposure has tripled now that everyone has seen what we can do," he said.
"The track is very similar to last year but we have added a bunch of new features, it's certainly not going to be stale."
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