My first experience ever on a trials bike took place yesterday at the annual free training sponsored by the Puget Sound Trialers group. It was held on private property in Snohomish. Scheduled to start at 10am, the first few hours would be instruction with free-riding after a lunch break.
I arrived about 30 minutes early.
The weather was overcast but mostly dry. We had just two brief showers, hardly noticeable. The temperature was in the low to mid 40s. That was warm enough under layers and perfect once I started riding.
The event was sort of exactly what I expected – better attended, maybe, given the forecast. Moms, dads, and kids riding these nearly silent Osets – little electric trials bikes.
There was a group meeting to start the class. Of the many things talked about, there were a few safety and bike setup issues, introductions, expectations for the class, tire pressure discussion and then folks dispersed among the many instructors.
I’ll have to order a low-pressure tire gauge since air pressures in the 3 to 6 pound range.
Bill Thompson, national trials champion many, many times, was one of the instructors.
I and one other attendee without their own trials bike worked with instructor Dan, sharing his bike.
We worked on figure eights on a mild slope with long wet grass, traversing across a hillside doing a tight turn straight up the hill after riding down it part way. Log practice came next – starting at the far left end and making my way to a part that wouldn’t clear the skid plate without learning a little technique and timing.
In one last section, we worked through an area of moguls with trees. Our intended course had us weaving between trees while climbing up and down the moguls and attempting tight, off-camber turns.
There was a lunch break mid day, and an open practice afterwards. I had plenty of time on a bike during the class. I felt pretty exhausted.
I exchanged contact information with a few others in the group, compared hitch carriers and made a short mental list of items I would need to be picking up.
All in all, a very fun introduction to moto trials riding. I’m hooked, already!
I’ll need to learn how to take video during one of these events, without disrupting my experience. A chest mount for the GoPro is probably best.
I’ll close this post with a video by Bill Thompson on the sport of trials.