Small drop, trying to get used to being on the rear wheel on the Arcade

Since the 2023 North American Trials Championship trials competition at the Bentonville Bike Fest is quickly approaching this month, Mike Steidley has been amping up his trials practice sessions. The rocky Narragansett, RI coast is a great place to practice trials competition skills and moves, so Mike proposed another ride there this past week.

Normally our group rides are Thursday afternoons, but Mike couldn’t ride Thursday, and neither could I. So we rode on Wednesday instead. Unfortunately nobody else was free Wednesday, so it was just Mike and me. While I love the vibe of a group ride when a bunch of our crew shows up, I also enjoy sessions with just one other rider, since that has it’s own vibe.

Mike does a massive drop gap with a strong cross wind

Since Mike has at least two decades more trials experience than I do, we generally don’t session the same lines and obstacles as we progress through each riding area. This has some advantages. In this case, I was able to make the highlights video more of a vlog style than I usually do during the weekly group rides. I’ve been trying to work on my vlogging skills to provide a bit more personality to my videos, especially for solo rides, but also when riding with others. While I love watching trials videos that have nothing but riding, I also really enjoy the vlogging format as well, since it makes the viewing experience more personal, almost like you’re there with the vlogger as they seem to speak directly to you. Ali Clarkson’s videos are a great example.

Working on my vlogging skills

As you may have seen, my Echo Mark V competition trials bike has a damaged crank, so it’s currently unrideable. Until the new crank arrives and/or I get the old one fixed, I have to ride my Inspired Arcade street trials bike. The Arcade is a fun bike, though (a) I’m out of practice with riding with street geometry (especially on the rear wheel), and (b) some of the Narragansett lines were a little tough with the shorter reach (and heavier bike). Having said that, the Arcade’s geometry actually made some of the lines a little easier. As the ride progressed and I became more comfortable on the bike, I started doing more rear wheel moves, including drops… some of which were a bit scary.

Mike and I tried something a little different on this ride. Typically we start right near the parking area and work our way North along the coast. By the time we reach the areas further away, we’re tired. This time, we walked our bikes quite a ways down to start, and continued further than I’d ever ridden here, which was really enjoyable to me. Of course Mike has ridden all over this place throughout the years; on the other hand, I’ve only been here a handful of times.

This was a pretty technical line, especially on a street trials bike

At the end of the ride, I did something that was unexpected, and utterly uncharacteristic. I had put the GoPro on my helmet to create some POV shots. After that was done, I took off my helmet to remove the GoPro and put it back on the tripod at a new location. After setting up the camera, I completely forgot to put my helmet back onto my head. I rode a line that was fairly gnarly (for me) with no helmet… and almost fell backward at the end while getting off my bike (foot got pinned momentarily against a rock). Even at that point, I still hadn’t noticed that I wasn’t wearing a helmet. After that line, I think I took some clips of Mike. I never actually realized what had happened until Mike texted me a few photos he had taken of me riding that last line. Only then did I notice that I hadn’t had a helmet on to protect my head. That was quite a shock to say the least! How on Earth could I have done that? That kinda scares me. Anyway, I really liked the shot for the line, so I decided to keep it in the video, but added a disclaimer. I have mixed feeling about doing so, since I absolutely do not condone riding trials without a helmet and definitely do not want to set a bad example. Fortunately I rode away unscathed.

Categories: Videos


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *