Trials is often about solving puzzles physically on a bicycle. Jim and I tried attacking this puzzle (getting to the top) in a few different ways.

During this group ride at one of our local favorite spots, we took the opportunity to explore a part of the park area that we hadn’t ever ridden before (ok, it was just Jim and me, but two is still a group I guess). Early in the ride we ended up fighting with the tons and tons of leaves on the ground in one of the “go to” spots in the park. Jim even created a makeshift rake out of a Y-shaped branch to help rake some of the runups and around some of the rocks. After a bit of riding (and some slipping), we figured maybe we should check out the area near the power lines since they’ve been doing construction there for probably the past year and some of the features looked like they might be fun. And, you know, no leaves.

Turns out there are some fun things to ride there. There are some large wooden structure laid out to provide stability for the construction equipment, so those gave some options. Additionally, there are some “fresh” rocks to ride as well, and some new possibilities between the rocks and wood. We also had some nice lighting for a while as the sun sank low on the horizon.

Unfortunately, the camera angle wasn’t great for the first new feature, because that was probably the gnarliest. It was a decent sized gap (approximately bike length), but it was a bit off the ground with no great options if you miss or have to bail. But regardless, Jim and I made it in both directions (on and then off), fortunately unscathed. I’m gonna want to come back and get it cleaner and with a better camera angle.

As you can see in this video, as trials riders, we’re always trying to solve physical “puzzles” using the bike. And sometimes, the things we try are a bit scary (of course everything is relative to skill level and confidence… and probably age). We don’t take stupid risks, but we do push ourselves outside the comfort zone – honestly, that’s part of how you progress. Sometimes you succeed in doing it in spite of the fear; other times the fear (or the mental struggle of figuring out how to do it) wins and you have to save it for another day.


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