Speed Chaser

A day in Daron Rahlves' off-season makes a downhill course seem like a bunny slope.

Updated: April 2, 2003, 3:42 PM ET
By Tim Struby
"Insane Dangerous," says Daron Rahlves. "It's the ultimate race." America's top gun in the downhill is speaking, of course, about the Hahnenkamm run at Kitzbühel, Austria. The sick, icy beast features a 60° drop and enough top-to-bottom gnarl to turn mere racers into legends. Which is exactly what it did to Rahlves, 29, who in January became the first American in 44 years to win the downhill event at Kitzbühel, and whose second-place wrap in the final World Cup downhill standings is the best ever by a U.S. skier.

But insane and dangerous also apply to the action sports junkie's off-season. Right now, Rahlves is home in Truckee, Calif., building a Harley FXR-style motorcycle in his seven-car garage while nursing a broken hand (he hurt it on a gate in a March Super-G race). Soon, however, the real fun begins.