Wiens grew up in suburban Denver, and enjoyed skiing, fishing and camping with his family. He rode stingrays made into BMX bikes on the local trails (in vacant lots) and later rode a sweet candy apple red Schwinn Varsity on the trails as well as all over Denver for personal transportation. “Until I got my drivers license, my bike was my freedom,” he remembers. One time he wanted to go golfing but had no ride to the course. No problem though, he simply tied his dad’s pull cart to his seatpost with twine and headed for the course. Unfortunately, the knot came undone as he was going down a hill and the cart and clubs passed him on the right before piling into the curb. Luckily his father didn’t golf much and never noticed that the cart, the bag and some of the clubs got a little tweaked.
Dave’s actual mountain biking involvement started in the summer of ’82 while working in a bike shop in Denver. He ordered a beach cruiser and tried to make it into a MTB. Unlike the guys in Marin, he didn’t have the technology, but the bike worked okay on the Cherry Creek State Park nature trails (now closed to bikes.) Later that summer he mounted steel paper boy baskets to the bike, loaded them up with camping gear and headed up Fish Creek trail above Steamboat Springs. Let’s just say he picked the wrong trail, brought too much stuff, and his bike was a pile.
Dave’s first quality mountain biking came during the summer of 1986 while he was working in Alaska as a river guide in Denali National Park. His first real mountain bike was a ’95 Stumpjumper that was way too big (of course he didn’t know the difference). He rode all the trails around McKinley Village (now closed to bikes) wearing Levis and a flannel shirt with a copper bell on the bike which rang incessantly to hopefully ward off grizzly bears. That summer he entered his first races and has been hooked ever since. Today, that Stumpy is Dave’s townie.
Mountain biking has been the guiding compass for Dave’s life since 1987. For nearly fifteen years, it has been his passion and livelihood. Many of his friends are in the mountain biking community and it was while riding for the Diamond Back team that he met his lovely wife, Susan DeMattei. Dave’s favorite places to ride can be found on the vast public lands surrounding his home in the spectacular Gunnison Country in Colorado. In addition to pounding his way around race courses, Wiens has made and continues to make other contributions to the sport: He takes an active role in trail maintenance and enhancement of the Hartman’s Rocks trail system, the closest riding to his home in Gunnison. He is a positive role model for young racers and an inspiration to riders who, like him, are bigger and heavier than most of their competition (just a few more cookies and Wiens is racing in the Clydesdale class). He has been involved in the political processes of USA Cycling and NORBA, and served on both of these boards from 1995 through the year 2000. Dave helped design the Olympic Mountain bike course in Atlanta where his wife won the bronze medal in 1996. In 1998 he was awarded the Richard Long Sportsmanship award. Dave is still actively racing.
(content by Molly Murfee: Crested Butte Weekly June 25th, 2009 | Content and Photo from mtnbikehalloffame.com)