I’ve had the good fortune to see Ryan Leech perform in person, and this man has MAD skills! However, I wasn’t aware that he is also a motivational speaker, spending time traveling to different schools to ride and speak:
Leech demonstrated his skills to a rapt audience of St. Thomas Aquinas high school students Monday with morning and afternoon performances up, down and all around an obstacle course set up in the gymnasium. By skilful manipulation he cleared high jumps from a standing start, climbed up and over a series of wood boxes and balanced the two-wheeler for a few turns along a gymnastic beam.
Leech, who hales from Port Moody, B.C. on the West Coast lower mainland, has made his living as a professional mountain biker for the past 16 years, primarily by performance, he clarifies, rather than competition. His riding skills have been featured in more than 25 mountain bike films.
However there was more to his ‘Trials-of-Life’ school presentation than an exhibition of tricks and stunts. As a motivational coach, Leech uses his skill on the bicycle to inspire people to follow their own dreams.
“Basically, I’m sharing the ‘ups and downs’ of my journey as pro mountain biker to encourage students to discover their own unique gifts and talents,” he explained, prior to the show. “I believe each and every student has a God-given talent and I’m using my example for them to find their own.”