An Indoor Bike Park Is Born

On Christmas Day 2022, I received an Instagram direct message from Mike G., owner of Mythic Bike Works in Peace Dale, RI who told me that he and a partner (Casey C.) were building an indoor bike park and wanted to see if I’d be interested in using the facility for bike trials. Soon after that, we got a sneak peak of the facility, called the Peace Dale Ramp Room, before most of the ramps and berms were even built. They hadn’t even officially opened yet at that point.

Formulating the “Trials Jam” Concept

Since then I started thinking about how we might be able to use the facility for an indoor trials competition. In particular I wanted to do a winter event since the New England weather can be messy and cold. This fall I reached out again to Casey, who runs the Ramp Room. I was pretty excited that Casey was onboard with having my local riding crew host a trials event at the facility. During a handful of phone calls and text messages, we kicked around a handful of ideas and started coming up with a plan to make this happen. Of course I also gathered good ideas from my crew as well as from some folks in Facebook.

In order to broaden the audience who might be interested, we decided that instead of making this a pure trials competition, we’d call it a “trials jam” and include a variety of opportunities. You can find the event details in the events calendar. I’m still hashing out the specifics, but I envision starting with a mini “traditional” trials competition where riders have to go through a series of gates in a course comprised of 2-3 sections. The twist is that I’d like to do it using teams consisting of riders at each level so that scoring is team-based instead of by each individual. This was Mike Friddell’s idea, and I think it’ll provide a fun, different approach.

I’m also expecting to have a number of other mini contests as well. Some of these would be fairly straightforward like gap contest, skinny contest, bunny hop contest – some of which will allow rider from other biking disciplines to compete. Other contests could be more complex such as a bike skills obstacle/challenge course, which we’d like to be easily accessible by other bike disciplines as well since they would require bike control skills, but no big trials-specific moves. As you can probably guess, it’s important to offer something for trials bikers and non-trials riders alike – in other words, a good outreach opportunity.

Since this is the first in what will hopefully become an annual winter event, it’s a learning experience. If it’s successful, maybe we’ll expand it in future years, possibly as a multi-day event with more offerings (and maybe some “big name” trials riders. It all depends on two things: (1) having enough people register and then show up (if we can’t get 20 people to register, we probably have to cancel for this year), and (2) pulling off a successful event (so people plan to return next year… and hopefully spread the word!).

Marketing The Event: Getting the Word Out

Photo shoot: vlog and some riding

Speaking of spreading the word… in order to generate some interest, I knew I’d need to create some marketing materials. I have tons of trials riding photos, including from a number of competitions. But unfortunately, they’re all outside, typically on rocks and logs. Well that obviously wouldn’t work for advertising an indoor event. So I planned a little photo shoot in order to get some photos we could use to make any marketing materials look somewhat realistic. Jim, Tony, and I met up at the Ramp Room a couple weeks ago to do some trialsy stuff and get some photos and video clips. Of course taking video has the advantage of providing stills from frame grabs as well as, well, providing video. So of course I had to make a little video from that excursion. Check out the video above.

If you’re interested in helping spread the word, feel free to download and share the posters. An example poster (print version) is shown below.

As we get closer to the actual event date, I’m planning to post more videos and details about the process. We have a bunch more planning to do, as well as obstacles and contest rigs to build. Hopefully it’ll prove interesting, and better yet – inspire others to host local events in their areas (hint: here are some handy tips!)

2024 Winter Indoor Trials Jam poster

1 Comment

2024 Indoor Trials Jam Was A Blast! - This Is Bike Trials! · May 5, 2024 at 4:41 pm

[…] we have some trials events during the colder months when there is potentially snow on the ground, I decided to host an indoor trials jam this year. It was definitely a blast, and I really enjoyed meeting some trials riders in person […]

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