A New Riding Spot

I’ve been wanting to ride this spot in town for a couple years, mostly to practice skinnies on the phone poles surrounding the parking area, though there are rocks in various places here too. I finally decided to just go! Turns out even the little stuff scattered about was fun to ride and good for practice. I’m glad I went, and I’ll definitely be back again.

Skinnies 1, Tim 0

I’ll say that the skinnies beat me this time. I tried riding the phone poles a in a couple different spots, but I struggled to even get up on top of them, and then just could not maintain my balance once I was up. I think there are a few factors at play here. First, I’m out of shape due to lack of regular exercise during the past year. No excuses really; I’ve just been a lame-ass and have not made it a priority. It started as a result of lateral epicondylitis probably 1.5 years ago or more, but I know there are other forms of exercise besides trials riding. Crazy to believe it, I know.

Another factor is that the poles are at a height that I have not be able to get up smoothly, so the surge up throws me off balance. I think coming in with momentum would work much better than static, but I need to just work up the guts to come in knowing I’ll just going to have to fail a bunch of times. I hate coming at obstacles with any speed, but I need to just man-up and start doing it so I can learn how it feels, get the rhythm, and learn how to deal with the misses (like when you “brick” it with the front wheel). This has been a big mental struggle for me.

“Do You Have a YouTube Channel?”

I usually try to block out what people are doing around me when I ride so that I can focus on riding and not make any stupid mistakes. I do feel a little self-conscious riding when people are watching, but that’s all the more reason to focus on riding, while blocking out everything else or caring what they think, even when my riding is total crap. On this particular day, after working on a low-consequence gap between some small rocks, a young lady (young teenager if I recall) surprised me by walking over to me, asking if I have a YouTube channel, and complimenting me on my riding. Of course that’s why I wear the shirt with the YouTube channel name on the back, so I showed that to her. Unfortunately, when I packed up my little backpack I took out all the cards, stickers, etc. that I normally carry in there to make room for some other stuff. So the one time someone actually asks if I have a YouTube channel is the one time I took out the cards. Doh! Oh well, lesson learned there.

The Features I Didn’t Ride (Yet)

In addition to the spots I rode, there are at least a couple other areas I’d like to try, though they require more skill. One is right near the park entrance where there are a bunch of boulders. The downside there is cars whip by at 50 mph – the spot is not close enough to the road to worry about be hit by a car if you crash, but the cars are distracting (and I feel like everyone is watching me). Another spot is a great pile of boulders in a garden area, though that garden is the catch. If I accidentally rode or fell on the flowers and plants, people might get a little bit agitated, and rightly so. I certainly want to respect the places I ride and leave a positive image of trials riders with the public.

While biking is prohibited on the trails here, I believe that there are a handful of other areas that would be good for trials riding. I haven’t hiked here in a couple years (despite that fact that it’s 5 minutes form my house), but I seem to recall that there were some other opportunities here. Yes I’m getting older and my memory isn’t like it used to be, but also there are tons of trails in town, so I can’t always keep track in my head which features are in which park/trails. Anyway, I need to come back here.

  • Dropping off a concrete well cover on my trials bike
  • Rear wheel dropping from a slanted rock on my trials bike
  • Rider POV: rear wheel drop from a rock
  • Hopping between rocks on my trials bike
  • On the rear wheel with my head in the tree branches
  • Balancing my bike on a rock
  • Trying to ride my bike across a phone pole
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