Alejandro Paz is a Peruvian Mountain Biker. Well, he’s actually a 7-time National Downhill Champion and 6th place finisher in America, so he’s not just any mountain biker. His Facebook page also tells us he’s the owner of the most-viewed Downhill YouTube Video.
This epic video, taken from 10,500 feet above sea level in Peru’s, Zona de Piedras Casta, has upwards of 3 million views since going online in March of this year. The setting for the hyperkinetic minute is in the Huarochiri province of Lima with pre-Incan settlement ruins nestled among cliffs thousands of feet above sea level and only accesible by bus.
The video is shot on a Go Pro Cam attached to Paz’s helmet, and it’s terrifying even before you realize that directly to Paz’s right is a steep fall, almost cliff-like in its gradient. If Paz were to topple off the bike during his descent down the trail, he would almost assuredly not be around to tell the tale. Staying on the bike isn’t very easy, either.
He’s traveling at such a pace that the rock outcroppings along his path seem to fly by, but the bounce of the camera is only a little bit of the story. He’s literally tearing through, over and around obstacles like waist high rocks and knee deep divots along the trail. At one point, at the 15 second mark early in the video, he comes around a turn in the mountain and for a brief moment, you think he’s going to roll right off.
He doesn’t, of course, but it’s remarkable he’s able to withstand the natural barriers of the trail and not just slow down, but gain momentum as he assaults the dangerous curves. It’s a combination of speed and fearlessness that made the video such a viral sensation, but one false tug on the handlebars and that would have been it.
It’s sweat-inducing even knowing he’ll make it, and as one commenter ghoulishly wrote: “I would have been dead in the first couple seconds.” This is a professional mountain biker, but anyone that captures a video so audacious is also a true Adrenalist.