The newest name in downhill mountain biking hails, not surprisingly, from Santa Barbara, California. Over the last couple years, Shaums March has taken hold of the downhill scene and has made quite a name for himself on the circuit.
When he came onto the scene, March was literally a new face on the block as the only black man on the pro circuit. And, as a certified mechanic, during his first full pro season in '96, Shaums found himself under many a tour truck. (This talent has also affected his off season habits, including motocross, 125cc go-cart racing, and buzzing assorted trucks around the sands of California. He also skis and snowboards, but is easily distracted by anything with a motor.)
None of this though prevented him from becoming the first American to ever qualify #1 in a World Cup downhill race, in Snoqualmie, Washington. And this momentum carried him through to his first NORBA NCS win in 1998 in Breckenridge, Colorado soon after.
March dropped in on his first race in '94 expecting only to watch a friend race in the cross country, but he soon found himself entering the downhill. And from then on, he was hooked. March began entering any race that came through and quickly bumped up from beginner to sport, and then to pro class.
"All I did was give it hard work; you've got to give it 100 percent," March said. "You can't give up and sometimes you're pulling up and you're giving 200 percent down there and that's everything you've got and you go home with nothing. But you go back to work; you go back the next weekend and you push even harder."
And until this year he'd it done pretty much by himself, through an unwavering determination and some obviously effective capital raising talents.
"Last year I paid for myself to go to Europe, you know, with the other team I was with (Ellsworth/ZZYZX). The year was really hectic for me, I had to pay for a lot of things out of my own pocket," March said. Then he turned around and won the pot in Breckenridge, which instantly elevated him to a whole new level. For his old team, though, March said "it was a little too late by then."
Now with great support from Schwinn, March has the equipment he needs and can focus solely on his riding, and learning to play with others, as this is hist first "team" experience.
Hear it from the man himself and find out just what spins Shaum's wheels and why you might want to hedge your bets on this supercharged American this season. And check out Shaums in action in the video clip from the kick-ass Outer Extremities. It's a beautifully choreographed piece of video highlighting Shaums.
So, listen to the man, learn from the man, watch him in action, go hurt yourself trying to be like him, then buy the video to watch while your femur gets reset. Enjoy.
Hans Prosl, not giving out Shaums's digits to any females at MountainZone.com