From Meager Beginnings To A Burning Passion

This Is Bike Trials! started with just a smartphone video camera and a YouTube channel to show my progress after I decided to start riding bike trials at 47 years old. I didn’t really care who (if anyone) watched my videos, I just wanted to capture the progression. As I continued to post the videos, I also realized that they were becoming a source of inspiration as well as entertainment – both for trials riders and non-trials riders alike. Over the last couple years I have also been fortunate enough to participate in a number of trials events and to meet a bunch of trials riders (in person and online) that have really gotten me stoked to put even more energy into strengthening and growing the bike trials community. Trials has become so much more to me than just riding a trials bike. I feel driven to do this, and energized by all of you (thank you all for that, by the way!).

Desire To Build Our Brand Bigger

I’ve been giving serious consideration over the past few months to figuring out how to build This Is Bike Trials! even bigger, with more valuable content, further reach, richer community engagement, and more positive impact to the trials community and the sport itself. I have a bunch of ideas to expand our content offerings, but between family, a full-time career, building this brand (and actually riding my bike sometimes), I’m realizing that I probably can’t do everything all by myself (even if I hit the lottery and retire tomorrow, which is pretty unlikely, and not really a plan). While I am still working through the finer points, I figured that for the sake of transparency that I would throw this out there now to let you all see my thought process and maybe even get some feedback.

So what would this look like? Grow what? Grow How? Nothing is set in stone yet, but I’ll through out some ideas. Here are a handful of things I would love to accomplish. This is not a comprehensive list, but gives you the general idea.

  • A wider variety of long-form (over 1 minute) video programs, such as:
    • Videos from more geographic locations and more riders
    • Crowd-sourced videos
    • More “how to” videos (not just riding tutorials)
    • Interviews (video)
    • Coverage of more trials events
    • Documentaries
  • More frequent and varied written content, such as:
    • Interviews (written)
    • Trials commentary – for example, ideas to grow or improve the sport and the community
    • Trials news/reporting
    • Feature “columns” and articles on a variety of trials topics (current, historical, whatever)
    • Guest posts (community collaboration)
    • Improved trials events calendar
  • More, better, varied, nuanced, shareable social media posts and associated community engagement
  • More offline trials events, such as:
    • Competitions
    • Coaching/training/clinics
    • Meetups
    • Public outreach and crossover events (e.g., MTB, moto trials)
  • More impact positive to the trials community overall as well as specific riders (e.g., getting attention, sponsors, funding, etc. for up-and-coming riders – especially our youth)

We’ll Probably Need Some Help

As you can see, I have a big vision. There is so much I’d like to accomplish. And while I love doing all the different things I get to do for This Is Bike Trials!, I think the impact would be multiplied if I brought on some help. I’ll probably start small with a few experiments in order to control the growth and not run myself (even more) ragged. I’ll be looking for a handful of people willing to put in their time, passion, and talent into the cause. Some stuff might work out great; others might fail (i.e., be canceled or pivot). We’d have to learn and adapt as we grow.

What’s The Catch?

Here’s the rub. Unless this endeavor somehow becomes significantly profitable, this would be a volunteer operation (I’m definitely open on ideas on how to make trials actually be financially profitable). In other words, I can’t afford to hire anyone for pay; however, I would love to use this platform as an opportunity to help promote the people on the team, including their own projects! I imagine some volunteers might stick around “forever”, but others might stay a short while. This could be an opportunity to build resumes, build personal brands, or just be involved. As long as it’s mutually beneficial (and supports the trials community), I’m happy!

I’ll be frank: I have high standards. We need people who are committed, reliable, consistent, and willing to maintain high quality. I also struggle somewhat with the thought of relinquishing control some control. This brand is my baby. It means a lot to me personally. But I also want to see it grow, and want to do that in collaboration with others in the trials community.

There are a handful of ways I could do this. On the one hand, I can just ask people to contact me if they are interested. On the other hand, I can seek out specific individuals who I think would be a great fit. Or maybe I could do a little bit of both?

What do you think? What would you do?

1 Comment

Interview With Fefo (Freddy) Astrada - This Is Bike Trials! · September 30, 2023 at 3:11 pm

[…] part of my effort to expand the variety and amount of trials content available from This Is Bike Trials!, I’ve started interviewing trials riders throughout North […]

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