We got some snow this week making our usual spots unrideable. So we went to Tony’s place to ride on sketchy wooden features in the parking lot. We did the same thing not long ago… but my GoPro apparently couldn’t handle the cold and simply shut down. This week I warmed up the GoPro with my car’s heater and put the batteries in my pocket while we rode. Apparently that did the trick – we had no issues with the GoPro for this ride.

One of the best things about trials is that you can literally ride anywhere and on pretty much anything. Even simple, low consequence stuff can be fun. You can make simple things challenging. You can focus on basic skills instead of just big moves. You can make almost anything into a game. Or you can collect some random sketchy materials and do some really stupid things. And of course you can do all of that in one session like we did.

A major benefit of having a group ride on simple yet extremely sketchy stuff is that in addition to having a fun time actually riding, there is also usually a great deal of humorous shenanigans and mayhem as well. Honestly, these are some of the most fun rides because the sheer ridiculousness of the lines often results in comical outcomes. Not only that, but the nonsensical environment also gives even more motivation to try stupid things and egg each other on to do the same. Seriously, if you haven’t had a “sketchfest” ride with some friends. I highly suggest trying it.

I’ve Got A Really Stupid Idea

Like I said, the sheer absurdity of the environment is conducive to trying stupid things. Tony started setting up our makeshift trials playground with a long, super flexy board to use as a skinny. But instead of supporting it to prevent bouncing, he intentionally let it sag nearly to the ground. After quite a few traversals across the skinny, I had an idea – and I knew it was a stupid one.

What I wanted to do is go halfway across the bouncy skinny, go to rear wheel, pivot 90 degrees, then gap to a nearby stack of pallets, then ride over the stack. I didn’t realize that the skinny beam could spring back faster than I can hop, so it essentially “sticks” to your wheels. So of course the first few attempts were just silly. And as a result, everyone else wanted to try it: “Hahaha, that was ridiculous. I’ll bet I can do it!”

You Can Gamify Anything

Since trials is all about iterating hard things until you succeed, it readily lends itself to making games out of just about any challenge, particularly in a group setting. This ride was no different, with the sketch factor making it even sillier than normal. During this ride, we turned a favorite trials “game” on its head by declaring that the board was lava – not the ground.

For an expert rider, this would have been stupid easy. Literally just bunny hop, side hop, or static gap over the relatively low bouncy skinny beam. But we’re not quite at that level, so the game lasted more than it would have otherwise. We each had our own approach to getting over, some sillier than others. It isn’t always just about the basic and obvious premise – sometimes it’s about making it harder by doing it in a stupid way. At least that’s what I did, by pivoting over the opposite way a “normal” person would expect to do it.

So the woods are blanketed in snow? Hmmm… ok, I have an idea…

1 Comment

With The Snow Gone, Rocks Are Open For Riding - This Is Bike Trials! · March 19, 2024 at 9:06 pm

[…] winter has been pretty mild, it did leave some snow on the ground for a couple weeks, meaning that trials riding options were pretty limited. After the snow had melted away, we were able to ride some rocks again. Just to make sure we […]

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