When it comes to Rob Warner, the journey is usually far from straight forward. Whether it's picking a spot for dinner or going on a bike ride, you typically end up being knee-deep in some kind of unexpected adventure when in his company. With that in mind, we decided to go 'all in' and send him to some of the most extreme riding spots on earth!
With a few world famous MTB celebrities in tow (just to try and keep things right/share responsibility) Rob departed at the start of 2019 on a two-wheeled epic. Mountain bikes can take you just about anywhere and it was quickly decided that the more extreme and less-well trodden the trails the better.
The crew's brief was simple: travel, ride and (try to) come back in one piece.
Here then is a guide to some of the most incredible spots from Rob Warner's Wild Rides:
Episode 1: Kenya
The opening episode sees Rob joined by UK freerider Matt Jones with the pair heading to east Africa to ride the spectacular Mount Kenya. The altitude at the summit is a colossal 5,199m.
Rob Warner and with freeride pro Matt Jones head to Kenya to ride Mount Kenya.
Rob says: "It's a little bit unnerving because there always is a little bit of fear, despite being told how safe it is (I mean, we have got an armed guard) that, like, elephants could come through. And there's lions out there... literally everything you can think of from the Jungle Book is in this area!"
The two experience some incredible wildlife and some Maasai hospitality before being choppered to the trailhead high on Mount Kenya's summit to attempt a ride only a handful of riders have ever taken on.
The trails here are extreme but perhaps not as extreme as Rob's fear of heights which he must conquer in order tackle the world's longest abseil. It's not for the feint-hearted and sees Rob battle some genuine inner demons. After that it's just a matter of visiting somewhere dubbed 'the witchcraft village' before descending a 20km-long downhill trail.
Episode 3: Ecuador
In one of the most unusual trips, Rob and Mercedes-Benz UCI World Cup competitor Finn Iles travel to Ecuador to tackle the Cotopaxi volcano in the Andes. Volcanoes, cowboys and guinea pigs abound...
Rob Warner travels to Ecuador with rising mountain biking star Finn Iles to take on the Cotopaxi in the Andes.
The pair travel from one of the world's highest capital cities (Quito, 2,850m) to the behemoth that is Cotopaxi which stands at a staggering 5,800m. Along the way, Rob has to battle altitude sickness – only the high-speed scree slopes of the volcano can bring him back down to earth.
Mountain biking is Rob's preferred sport of choice so he needed to head to some of the world's most famous mountains and they don't come much more well-known than Mt. Everest and Kathmandu in Nepal.
Rob Warner and downhill pro Olly Wilkins ride around the world's tallest mountain range.
Joining Rob in this spectacular country was none-other than Surrey's own Olly Wilkins. To begin with the pair visited Swayambhunath with it's ancient Buddhist temples and resident (and fairly light-fingered) monkeys before departing for the high Himalayas to ride the world's deepest valley.
Rob says: "The terrain is so steep in the high Himalayas that ancient trails carved by people and livestock are often the only way through these mountains."
"As a mountain biker what could possibly be better than visiting the very largest mountains with my bike?! Nepal was on my bucket list for years and to get the opportunity to go and ride there with one of my childhood heroes was a dream come true. On top of the riding we got to experience some of the craziest Nepalese culture on offer. Seeing it all through the eyes of a character like Warner was brilliant. A once in a lifetime trip for sure!"
Episode 5: New Zealand
New Zealand, the land of the long, white cloud, has not only produced a glut of UCI World Cup winners but is also home to some of the planet's best mountain biking so it makes sense that it was one of the first places added to the list.
Rob Warner and slopestyle genius Matt Jones make their way through New Zealand’s South Island trails.
But of course, Rob and Matt weren't simply going to go all that way just to ride some perfectly manicured trails. Nope, after touching down in Queenstown they were headed for the epic wilderness of the Lyell Mountains in search of the country's longest and most remote singletrack. In a camper van.
Before they could do any riding though there were sheep to sheer and a rather large river to navigate...
Episode 6: Colombia
South America has developed a huge mountain bike culture over the last couple of decades so where better to take Mercedes-Benz UCI World Cup downhill star Finn Iles than to Colombia for the season finale?!
In Colombia, Rob Warner and MTB star Finn Iles find one of the most stunning trails on the planet.
After a brief battle with Rob's Spanish, the pair enlist some local help and visit the heart of the coffee producing industry in Manizales before heading into the Los Nevados national park for some seriously high-altitude descending.
Rob says: "I bet you never thought that you'd be wandering through palm trees, 10,000ft up with your bike on the back of a horse, did you Finn?!"
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