For someone who got on a bike before they could even walk, it seemed inevitable that Hailsham-born Daryl Brown would end up pursuing a career on two wheels.
Now, at 21 years of age, Daryl has done just that. As a professional mountain bike rider, the self-confessed ‘crazy kid’ has traveled across the continent, to the likes of Switzerland, Germany and France, for the sake of his sport.
And, when on British soil, Daryl practices his tricks - including his signature stunt, the Indian air - at Eastbourne Skate Park.
However, with England’s wet summer hampering a lot of the competitions in the UK this year, Daryl hopes to spread his wings and compete as far afield as the USA in 2013.
It would be a big step forward for Daryl, who has been riding for as long as he can remember and was spotted during his first competition in Cornwall when he was only in his early teens.
Now, with a host of sponsors to his name, he can boast a portfolio with a series of impressive results, including third and fourth place in international competitions such as Portugal Kia and Switzerland Bike Days, both out of around 100 competitors.
In the UK, he’s performed consistently well in national competitions such as King of Dirt and Dirt Wars. Last year, he finished second in the latter competition and this year, he won the overall best trick for a one-handed super seater.
However, for all his achievements on paper, Daryl reveals his highlights include many things off the track too.
“When I post a video online and see how many people have watched it and read their responses - that’s a really great feeling. Obviously winning is a highlight too and featuring in magazines and things is also pretty good.”
In the world of extreme sports, there is a near-constant risk of serious injury. Luckily for Daryl, whose motto is ‘no pain, no gain’, he considers himself to have got off lightly with just a few concussions and broken bones over the years.
“Concussion is the main injury; we all get a few of those. I’ve broken both my wrists and snapped my foot but compared to what some other riders have suffered, that’s not so bad.
“Obviously there are high consequences in the sport but that doesn’t put me off – I love the sport, the pure adrenalin. We wear all the protective clothing possible too.”
Aside from competitions, Daryl has his eyes on another achievement too – a Guinness World Record. The skillful rider is confident of breaking the record for the highest jump, once he eventually gets through the long application process.
“The current record is five metres something, but I know I can jump eight metres.
“It takes a while to get through all the stages of applying though, so it won’t be any time soon.”
You can keep up-to-date with Daryl’s progress on his website, www.darylbrownmtb.co.uk.