Getting in one last line as the sun was sinking low (and my body informed me that it was done)

By some twist of fate, both Mike and I arrived for this week’s group a bit stiff and sore for various reasons, unrelated to biking. So both of us were sort of taking it easy – for example, no big drops (and of course “big” is a relative term here). I was expecting a bright sun, but instead it was overcast and breezy. It was pretty warm when I arrived, so I immediately regretted wearing jeans instead of shorts. Fortunately the breeze helped make up for the heat, and the hazy sky gave some relief from the sun. The only downside to that, of course, is that it makes the lighting a bit challenging for video. Well, at least for my GoPro it does.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot! This was also the first ride on the Echo competition trials bike since I damaged a crank a few weeks ago. I actually managed to find pair of a new Echo cranks (probably one of the last remaining sets) and installed them Monday, just in time for another Tuesday ride. Since this was literally the first time riding with the new crank, I kept checking that both the pedal and the crank bolt were tight. The last thing I need is to mess up the new crank just before traveling to the Bentonville Bike Fest this coming week.

It took me a few tries to get up here; you can’t see it from here, but the first block is pretty tall

After a brief warmup on some low consequence rocks, we started to do some ‘real’ trials riding. In preparation for the summer season, the park staff had stacked up the concrete barriers into a nice pile at the edge of the park, making a fun place to try some lines on things with (mostly) predictable surfaces. I spent some time practicing some roll-ups here onto a fairly high block. For some reason, I struggle with this move, so I definitely need all the practice I can get. Also, Mike provided me a little coaching, which is always helpful.

Look at Mike’s rear wheel placement

As an interesting aside, Mike has ridden trials at this park for a couple decades or so. Every year, the aforementioned blocks are stacked at the edge of the property in a slightly different configuration, with the blocks in a different order. And every year, Mike rides them, getting a unique challenge.

We sessioned several locations throughout the park for this ride – pretty much the same spots we usually hit. But the same spots are still fun, as are some of the same lines we usually ride here. But there are also opportunities for new lines as well – especially for me, since I’ve only been here a few times. So I tried some new lines, and rode some old ones. Interestingly, I struggled with lines I’d done before, failed some new lines, yet had a little success with some small pedalup lines that I spent a good deal of time ‘fighting’ with on previous rides here. It was a bit of a mixed bag, but it felt good to at least sort of get some of the things I was attempting, even if I didn’t quite get them the way I’d hoped.

Yes, Mike is on the tree

One interesting thing that I noticed on the past few rides with Mike, including this one, is that he was working on lines that required steady balance on small, uneven objects or protrusions as starting points for bigger moves. This week Mike did a totally sick sidehop from a small rock – the twist to this line was that he had to land with rear wheel high, pivoting it up to land it. I can’t even explain it – you just need to watch. It took him a few tries, but the last one was perfectly executed. Maybe he always does this and I just didn’t notice. Either way, it’s interesting to watch. I can imagine that it adds a significant level of concentration; it is definitely much more of a challenge to pull of any trials move, but more so when you have to start from a spot on which it’s difficult to stabilize and get setup for another move.

1 Comment

Trials Is Both Struggle And Victory - This Is Bike Trials! · September 18, 2023 at 1:12 pm

[…] do it and there would be nothing special about it whatsoever. Second, if there was no challenge, no struggle, then it would be boring after about five minutes. One of the best things about riding trials is […]

Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

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