Bobby McMullen has survived diabetes, loss of his vision, kidney failure, years of dialysis and two kidney/pancreas transplants. He has broken more bones than he can count. In spite of challenges that would take most people out, Bobby lives life full-on. He is a passionate extreme sport competitor - - a tenacious adrenaline junkie who competes alongside fully able racers.
Born and raised in Northern California, Bobby makes his home in Redding. He is a natural athlete who was a high school sports star in spite of being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 12. Bobby attended Weber State University in Utah where he skied for the Wildcats ski team. He earned a degree in Political Science and returned to Northern California to begin law school.
In 1993, during his first year of law school, Bobby lost his eyesight as a result of complications related to diabetes. It was a sudden loss. He was totally blind in a month.
Undeterred from pursuing his love of competitive sports, Bobby learned to ski with a guide. Within a year he qualified for the U.S. Disabled Ski Team. He spent seven years as a member of the U.S. Team, was a two-time U.S. Disabled Overall Downhill champion, and earned his spot on the Nagano Paralympics ski team.
During competition in the 1996 World Disabled Alpine Championships in Austria, Bobby's kidneys began to fail. He was on dialysis before the end of the year, and received his first double transplant (kidney and pancreas) in 1997.
Bobby was back on the ski circuit within months. He competed in the 1998 Paralympics in Nagano, Japan, taking fifth place in the Alpine downhill ski competition. He continued to race with the U.S. team until his body rejected his transplant organs. He endured another two years of dialysis before receiving his second double transplant in 2003.
After the second transplant, Bobby renewed his childhood love of bike riding. He was competitive in 23 mountain bike races in the year following surgery, and has not slowed down since. He works with a "ride guide" who rides ahead of him and calls out obstacles. Since 2004, Bobby has raced in at least 25 downhill, cross-country, and 8- and 12-hour mountain bike events each year.
Mountain bike riding demands extraordinary athleticism, coordination, focus and courage. Riding blind with a guide requires extraordinary faith and trust. Bobby exhibits all of these traits as he faces adversity on and off the bike.
Bobby's passion is mountain bike downhill competition, though he competes in cross-country races as well. In 2006 he completed the 3,000-mile Race Across America, riding for Team Donate Life to promote awareness about organ donations.
Bobby's participation in the 2005 Nissan XTERRA World Championship Mountain Bike Triathlon was covered in a CBS Sports Spectacular (February 2006). He has been featured in numerous publications, including Sports Illustrated, Decline Magazine, Bike Magazine, Dirt Rag Magazine, Los Angeles Times.com, New Zealand's Spoke Magazine, and many others. He recently appeared in the video Kranked 8: Revolve (2009, Radical Films - www.radical-films.com), which features the world's top mountain bike riders.
Bobby's life and philosophies are subjects of the international award-winning film, The Way Bobby Sees It (2008, Poison Oak Productions - www.poisonoakproductions.com). The film follows Bobby's preparation for and competition in the 2007 Downieville Classic Mountain Bike Race, a 17-mile course said to be the country's most challenging downhill race.Bobby McMullen Jumping Mountain Bike
Bobby shares his life experiences and inspiration with audiences worldwide through speaking engagements and film screenings.
Santa Cruz Bicycles, Wilderness Trail Bikes, Clif Products, Fox Racing Shox, MRP Mountain Bike Accessories, Giro Helmets, CamelBak, Swobo Clothing, Deity Components, Mace Gear, Crankbrothers, and Skullcandy. Bobby has also spoken on behalf of the American Association of Kidney Patients, BloodSource, Da Vita Dialysis Centers, Focus Film Festival, NorCalHigh School Mountain Bike League, and the Bay Area Outreach and Educational Program