There’s a lot to do in preparation for the 2024 Indoor Winter Trials Jam, so I’ve been pretty busy (note: registration is open!). Last weekend I built some stuff while enjoying the sunshine and warm sun (the opposite of this coming week’s weather, apparently). This event is the first version of what I hope can become an annual tradition, so I need to build some of the basics. The good news is that these will be available for all future events, and of course I’ll have the benefit of using them myself throughout the year since they are great for practice. Who knows, maybe next year I’ll build even more things for the various contests, as well as obtaining more obstacles for the actual comp course.

This has been an interesting little saga building this stuff. I am by no means a handyman and am mechanically dis-inclined, so even building the simplest little things challenges me. But it’s all good, I do actually enjoy doing it. Of course the fact that I’ll be able to share these creations with other trials riders adds to the enjoyment of actually building them.

Me standing in front of a growing collection of pallets and skinny beams

So… what am I building? Well, before the last few days preceding the event, I’m building the various items needed for the skills challenges. In particular, contests for skinnies, bunny hops, side hops, and gaps. The obstacles for the competition likely need to be built onsite using a combination of the ramps and equipment already at the Peace Dale Ramp Room as well as an influx of wooden pallets and whatever else I can scrounge up.

I had created a pair of skinny beams a couple months ago using scrap wood from my son’s old playscape, but I still had a couple beams left to use, so I made a couple more skinny beams. These are currently pretty gnarly because they aren’t flat – they have little bolted on nubs of wood that I have been too lazy to cut off (the bolts and nuts have rusted tight). So I may leave them, might cut them off… we will see.

Lumpy skinny

The bunny hop bar can also be used for side hops, of course. While I’ve seen a number of implementations, I preferred one that was easy, quick, and cheap to build. It also must accommodate those of use who can’t bunny hop more than a few inches yet as well as those who can hop 3+ feet. I modeled mine after a version featured by YouTuber Single Track Sampler, which I discovered via hat tip from YouTuber BKXC. I used scrap wood for the bases, and bought some inexpensive wooden broomsticks (on sale for $7 each) and 1-inch spring clips from Amazon and a length of 1/2-inch schedule 40 PVC from the local hardware store (10-foot length, which I cut down to 8 feet). I still need to glue or screw the poles into the bases to keep them from wobbling or tipping over as easily. If I have time, maybe mark off the height off with a marker as well on each of the poles. I like this design because it’s simple, easy to build, and easily adjustable.

Bunny/side hop bar
Bunny/side hop bar (mostly done)

While I only mention it in the video, I’ve also started building what I call the Gap-O-Matic, which was inspired by an Instagram reel from JOFR Academy that I had stumbled across a while back (see below). I reached out to them to get some details on the design, and they referred me to @TreTrial who had come up with the concept. @TreTrial generously shared some photos with me depicting the details so that even with my extreme lack of mechanical ability, I was able to figure out how to construct the Gap-O-Matic. I’ve gotten started on its construction, but since this one is a bit more complicated, it has taken more time to figure out, purchase (or find) materials, and build. I plan to post a separate video on this one, though that might happen after the Trials Jam.

There’s still plenty more to do in preparation for this event. We’re only two weeks out at this point, so it’s crunch time for sure. Hope to see a bunch of you there!


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