Sport: Mountain Biking
Born: April 19, 1971
Jeffrey Lenosky was born April 19, 1971 in Passaic and grew up in Fairfield. Like most kids in town, Jeff practically lived on his bike. He and his friends set up jumps in his backyard. When he was 13 he picked up a BMX magazine at the mall and was fascinated. He tried to learn all the tricks in the magazine before the next issue came out. Within a year he was competing.
Jeff was taller than most kids—well over 6 feet by the time he was 16—too tall for BMX. He tried skateboarding before switching to mountain biking while working a summer job in a bike shop. His old BMX personality came out and he began doing tricks off rocks and on picnic tables. Soon he was riding with Scott Steward, the state champion in trials riding—a sport where riders have to navigate an obstacle course without their feet touching the ground.
Jeff was a natural. At 22, he won the 1993 Trials National Championship, which was held on a course featuring more than the usual amount of man-made obstacles (his specialty). Over the next few years he fell short of a repeat title, and decided to rededicate himself to training. The result was back-to-back National Championships in 1999 and 2000.
With his main sponsor, Schwinn, going bankrupt, Jeff began looking at other opportunities. He was intrigued by urban freeride and freestyle trials, which were among the most-watched Internet videos and DVDs. Between 2001 and 2009, when he broke his leg, Jeff made a good living doing trials demos and stunts for mountain bike movies and photo shoots. He was considered the country’s top freeride star.
After a long rehab, Jeff got into enduro racing and despite being twice the age of the youngest riders, rose to the top echelon of that sport. He continued to design bikes and race courses, organize bike events and write for industry magazines and web sites.