Tim prepares to gap between rocks on his trials bike
Preparing to gap between rocks

If you were able to crush absolute bangers on the first try, every time you rode your trials bike, how long would that stay fun? Would you keep riding, or would you eventually tire of it and give up? I can tell you my answer: if it was easy, I’d quit. First of all, if it was that easy, everyone would 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 simply the fact that it is so hard! Even the best trials riders in the world push themselves to progress, and often have scores (or hundreds) of failed attempts behind their banger lines (check out Episode 1 Redemption – Danny MacAskill’s Back of the Postcard to see what I mean).

This week’s video is a slightly different than the typical group or solo ride videos that I normally create. In this video, I decided to show what it can be like trying to complete a trials line that stretches your abilities – both physically and mentally.

Tony attempting the same gap. This shot gives a better view of the full line to the right of Tony.

We’ve ridden at Glacial Park many times over the years. Often when we’ve ridden this particular spot, I’ve wanted to do the rock gap line that you can see in the photo above. While the initial boulder is mostly flat, it’s tipped downhill and you need to get the rear wheel over a little hump to avoid getting hung up when trying to get on the rear wheel. Then you need to stay balanced on the rear wheel on the slightly off-camber rock while preparing to gap to another sloped rock that wants to kick you off backward. I really wanted to get up that second rock after the gap, and do another rear wheel gap to a smaller rock in a little rock cluster, then drop down to the dirt to finish off the line. Well, I couldn’t quite get that far the other day, but I did make continual progress over a number of attempts, as you can see in the video. Now I know it’s possible (for me)!

Despite not getting the complete line dialed in during the group ride, I did manage to land the gap and get onto the lip of the second rock so I could drop off from there. While I didn’t exactly clean it, I still call it a win. Yes, I’ll have to come back to do the whole line (clean) – absolutely! But at the same time, I still felt a sense of accomplishment as I worked through successive attempts, getting close to my goal, and seeing incremental improvement with each attempt.

As you can also see in this video, one really positive aspect of group rides is the encouragement and support you get from the other riders. We all want to see each other succeed, and have a shared sense of accomplishment when anyone in the group pulls off something challenging – regardless of whether they are a beginner or a pro.

First try? Not usually. Not if you’re pushing yourself.


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

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