Scott rides a low consequence skinny
Tim drops in

This week’s group ride was another with just a pair of us: this time just Scott and me. I certainly love riding with a larger group, but at the same time, I really enjoy rides with just two of us as well. Scott and I spent some time sessioning a handful of different features on the UCONN Avery Point Campus.

There were a few spots we each really wanted to ride. In the first spot near the parking lot, I really wanted to ride the skinnies there – in particular, the one made from a utility pole. I’d tried to do that one several times and could never quite get the full length of it. This time, however, I pulled it off after only a few tries. We also discovered that the other skinny made of flat beams had a third section adding, making it a bit longer. Scott nailed that one several times, but I could not quite go the full distance. Oh well, I’ll be back.

Scott assesses the area below the sea wall

There were also a couple things Scott wanted to try. The first was a set of concrete steps. I hadn’t ridden those before, but Scott had. So we spent a pretty long time there, trying to get up the steps. Honestly, I expected it to be significantly easier than it actually was. The steps are so close to each other than there is no room to move if you need to correct. It’s also not the widest stairway, so you have to go somewhat straight up instead of crabbing from one side to the other.

The main feature that Scott considered was a long concrete seawall that makes a great “skinny”. It’s actually not even that narrow, and is well within Scott’s abilities. The challenge was that the wall is fairly high up on the water side, with rocks and concrete below, and only shallow water. So if you fall, it’s gonna be a really bad day. Scott was eying the wall almost the entire time we were there: looking at it, riding lower consequence sections of it, and even going down to get a closer look of what lies below. While we were there, he said Dan, one of the other riders in the local crew, had ridden the length of it before. I’m sure that was all the more reason to want to do it.

Tim does a small pedalup

In the end though, Scott decided to leave it alone. When faced with a scary (and potentially dangerous) line, it’s ok to leave it unridden. Trials is as much of a mental game as it is a physical one, so if you’re not feeling confident, it’s a much safer bet to come back and try it again another day. Even if you know it’s within your capabilities, just having a doubt in your mind could lead to lack of concentration or making a dumb mistake. This sea wall certainly isn’t going anywhere.

You can see in this video (and the photos here) that I’m wearing a t-shirt from The Shin Dig (check out their podcast too if you haven’t already subscribed). I’d been wanting to get some of their merch for a while, but they didn’t ship to the US. Well, now they do ship to the US (though the shipping is a bit steep). And, especially if you live in the US, you can also score a t-shirt like the one I have in this video from Super Rider (check out the Super Rider YouTube channel also!).

Group Ride Highlights Video


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