Grant Memmott
Trials rider Grant Memmott

Tell us a little about yourself (brief background, your profession, etc.)

My name is Grant Memmott, I am 16 years old, I am the second out of five children in my family and I live in Utah on a small popcorn farm. I have been riding bikes since I was just a few years old and have always pushed the limits even on my little strider push bike! I have always had a passion for biking and love almost any type of riding! I have done race BMX, XC mountain biking, Enduro racing, dirt jumps, and obviously trials.

How long have you been riding bike trials? How old were you when you started?

I have officially been riding trials for around four years. I was 11 years old when I got my first trials bike.

How did you discover bike trials and how did you get started?

My dad was a Hans Rey fan and did trials a little bit when he was younger, so he introduced trials to me and I immediately knew I wanted to do it! I started saving up for a trials bike, but in the meantime, I did my best to do trials on the bike I had, which was an XS 2005 Specialized Rock Hopper that my dad salvaged from a bike crash and re built into a newer and little bit better bike. I started by doing wheelies, getting up the curb, track standing and getting up any rock I could on the trail! One afternoon I was coming home from piano lessons and as we pulled into the driveway, I saw a trials bike leaning against the garage so I immediately ran over to it and there was a card on it from my dad that said I could have the bike if I promised to ride it every day. After reading the card, I gave my dad a huge hug and went and started riding it! I took that card seriously and tried to ride my bike nearly every day. I was so happy because I knew it would have been a long time before I could have saved up for one on my own, so this sped things up on my trials journey. My dad coached me on how to do basic trials when he could but for the most part I taught myself.

Grant rides his trials bike up a concrete pipe
Who wouldn’t want obstacles like this in their backyard trials course?

How would you define/describe “bike trials” in your own words to someone who never heard of it?

If I were to describe it in my most dictionary way I would describe it as getting up and down obstacles on a bicycle without touching any part of the bike or person on the obstacle or ground. Or almost like parkour on a bike. I however personally would describe it as a sport for real men. Haha!!!

What type of bike trials riding do you prefer (style, obstacle types, moves, solo/group, etc.) and where do you like to ride?

I don’t totally have a preference; I enjoy it all! I definitely like certain types of riding when I am in certain moods. Let’s just say I love riding bikes! And generally, I like riding in a group better than solo, but that is difficult where I live as there are hardly any other trials riders. I like to ride at my small home course, local parks, natural rock/tree formations in nature and nearby cities for more urban riding.

Why do you ride bike trials and what keeps you motivated to keep riding?

I ride bike trials because I find an incredible amount of satisfaction when I can clean an obstacle or conquer something I have been working on for a while. I am motivated by my want to improve my own skills, see what is possible on a bicycle and I want to do well competing! I am also motivated to ride because I want to help North American trials grow, and contribute to that.

How often do you ride trials? What sort of routine do you have for practice versus riding for fun versus making edits, etc. – how much time is dedicated to each?

Well first off, it doesn’t matter what type of biking I am doing, I am always having fun! But specifically I try to ride trials every day, but that doesn’t always work. But I would say I consistently ride trials 3-4 times a week. Typically when I practice I work on one or two specific techniques or skills, for example: tire swaps, body placement, front wheel control etc. When I am doing more serious riding I ride with more of a competition style. But When I am riding for fun I just enjoy playing around on my bike and sometimes adding a little style!

Bike trials hop up to front wheel on a tall stack of wooden pallets
Big up to front

What’s the bike trials scene like near you? Are there other riders? Group rides? Comps?

Where I live the trials, scene is minimal to none! There are a couple other riders, who I occasionally ride with. But I don’t think they are too serious about it, they just enjoy the sport! There aren’t big group rides or competitions near me other than the small group rides I organize.

How do you manage fear when doing scary lines?

I just kind of do it, and then think about it how scary it was afterwards, it is often better if I don’t think about it too much before. When doing a scary line I tell myself this is how I am going to improve and get better! I also tell myself I have the skill to do the line!

What are your personal goals with respect to trials (near-term and long-term)?

I have a goal to get a few more trials bikes and teach kids to do trials on these bikes. I want to do trials clinics and get 4 dedicated kids to teach in the next year. I also want to host a small trials competition where my students and others can compete! I want to continue to practice and improve so I can do well in the North American trials competition this coming year and be able to compete in the Elite category in the near future. I also want to eventually be able to compete in more world competitions! I went to a World Competition in Poland and was the only U.S. representative and in the future would love to have more riders to represent!

Who are your bike trials ‘heroes’ and/or influences? Favorite trials video(s)?

One of my biggest heroes is Robbie Pfunder! I met Robbie when I had only been doing trials for a few months (he was the first person I ever saw do trials in person!) and he inspired me to continue to get better! He was super nice and let me ride in his trials show with him which had positive lasting effects on me, it pushed me to try harder things, I did a four foot drop which was really big to me at the time, and I loved being in front of a crowd and showing people what I do! After the show I signed autographs with Robbie and I knew that someday I wanted that signature to mean something! Robbie has continued to be a mentor to me along my trials journey! Two of my big heroes are my big brother and my dad! They both have spent countless hours coaching me and filming me with no recognition, they mean the world to me, and I wouldn’t be where I am without them! Ryker Kearl has also had a big impact on me. He is a local rider who did moto trials and some bike trials, he now is more focused on downhill riding, but I learned a lot from riding with him. He gave me pointers and was always encouraging me to get better. It was just nice to have a friend who actually knew how to do trials! My other heroes are anyone and everyone who does trials! I have met so many cool people at competitions and bike events that have helped me in trials, giving me tips, encouragement, and the help I need.

Trials bike hop to wooden platform
Prepare for touchdown

You competed in the World Youth Games in 2022. What was that experience like? If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently (if anything)? How did the experience impact your riding and training? Are you planning on going back again?

This was very cool experience for me! Me, my dad, and grandpa were able to go. When we drove around the corner to the competition venue the day before the competition, I remember seeing kids riding trials bikes everywhere, and I was filled with joy! I hadn’t even met any of the kids but already felt a connection! It blew my mind how many kids were riding trials bikes, which was awesome! And just by watching all these other riders and practicing with them greatly improved my game. It was, however, quickly apparent that I was not near the level they were at, but I practiced and used it as an opportunity to learn rather than get discouraged. That night after riding nearly all day, my hands were literally bleeding because of how long I was on a bike! Then the next day was the competition, it was a cold rainy day. When I was called up to the stage I was so proud to represent the United States of America and be the first Kid from the U.S. to ever compete in the World Youth Games, then I rode off the stage and the competition began, nearly all of the obstacles were above my level! I did my best to stay confident and motivated even though it was hard, and I had no support crew or team other than my dad and Grandpa who did their best to encourage me. When discouragement came to me I just remembered why I was there and I wasn’t there for me, but to represent the U.S. and show that just because I wasn’t at the level of riding didn’t mean I wasn’t going to try my best and not give up! I was there to pioneer trials for the U.S. and I was going to do that to the very best of my ability, despite feeling alone, wet and cold. I kept a smile on my face and looking back am so glad I did. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything! If I could do it all again, I would use a bike that fit me better, be better prepared in regard to technique and skill, and last of all have a few other U.S. riders there to represent with me! This experience helped me realize that I could be capable of a higher level of riding, and I have greatly improved since this competition! I would definitely like to compete in another world games, and plan to go back if I have the opportunity to, I am training and improving each day to prepare me for future competitions!

What are your perspectives on the trials biking scene in general and in North America in particular?

The level of riding in the overall trials scene has grown so much over the years and it will continue to grow as riders push the limits of what is possible on a bicycle. I think the trials biking scene is pretty niche and therefore there aren’t a ton of riders, but I definitely think it has grown and will continue to. I think part of the reason there aren’t as many people doing trials as other sports is because it is a mentally tough sport! You are guaranteed to fall and crash, this discourages many riders. Often you are only successfully making it up an obstacle or doing a skill once out of many attempts! (But to all trials riders especially beginners, keep practicing it is worth it!) The North American trials scene is made up of a bunch of awesome people who I respect! Thanks to Kenny Belaey for organizing the Bentonville Bike Fest. Even just from the 2022 Bentonville Bike Fest to the 2023 Bike Fest the number of trials riders grew, which was encouraging. Also I think Michael Friddell has been a great supporter of the North American trials scene. Then there are so many riders who are trying and pushing to improve themselves and get others involved such as experienced riders like the Farrars, or up and coming riders like Owen Fields and tons of other riders who are influential to this sport.

Rear wheel drop on a trials bike from a tall stack of pallets
Dropping in!

What would you like to see happening in North America with respect to bike trials?

I would just like to see the U.S. be able to compete at the world trials level and I think we can do this with some collaboration and collective training by encouraging more young riders to get into it and also to have more locally sponsored events. I think we need to have 3-4 actual competitions throughout the year around the US.

What can we in the trials community do to get more young people interested in starting (and sticking with) bike trials?

I think doing more of what the Farrar’s have done, just having bikes and obstacles where kids can try trials at events. And then from there stay connected with kids and give encouragement and tips, to help keep them motivated! One of the things I have been doing is helping my little brother Mack get into trials. He was able to compete last year which got him excited about trials, and I have been really pushing him to train with me which has helped him get better and find joy in the sport. I think this will become his passion as well!

Any interesting / funny / crazy bike trials stories or experiences you can share?

One funny/interesting trials story I have is when I was in Poland for the World Youth Games, I needed a way to transport my bike on the rental car, and it wouldn’t fit in the car with all of our bags, so to transport my trials bike me and my dad used some big suction cups, Velcro straps and some string. We attached it to the top of the car. The funniest part was the looks we got! I mean not often do you see an odd looking seatless bike suction cupped to a car! haha!

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start bike trials or has just started?

Don’t let failure stop you! And don’t think you can’t start trials because you don’t have a trials bike, you can learn the basics on nearly any bike!

Anything else about bike trials that you’d like to share?

Go out a ride some trials!

How do people find you online? (i.e., YouTube, web, social media, etc.)

My YouTube is Grant Memmott and my Instagram is trialnair

What other North American bike trials rider(s) should I interview here?

I don’t know who you are interviewing but I think you should definitely interview Owen Fields, Sean and Ian Farrar.

1 Comment

Interview With Aaron Lutze (a.k.a. Super Rider) - This Is Bike Trials! · December 2, 2023 at 5:44 am

[…] out by the other people you’ve interviewed, but here are three more I’d like to see: Grant Memmott, Max Mitchell and Aaron Faust (one of the FIRST American Trials […]

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