STEVE-0

Trials Study - What got you into bike trials and what keeps you interested still today?

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Posted (edited)

Hi Everyone,

I’m working with Biketrialfederation to put together some studies and doing what I can to promote our sport.

We want to know your story of how you got into bike trials and what keeps you interested still today.

Also, please feel free to add any comments or thoughts you have on what could be done to improve our sport and how you think we can attract more riders, old and new. Be that new competition formats, more clubs, coaching sessions or more trials parks etc.

Please comment on this thread or feel free to PM me if you’d prefer not to share your views with a wider audience.

 

Here’s my personal story as an example (sorry it’s long - got a little carried away).

When I was 11 I attempted my first backhops on my neighbour's recently purchased second-hand trials bike and I was instantly hooked. By my 12th birthday I owned my very own trials bike that I had persuaded my parents to buy. My neighbour and I learnt new skills together back when wheelies, endos, jumping up and down the kerb were everything. We would also try to emulate some of the trials videos that were available at the time like: Tricks & Stunts, Contact & Chainspotting. Having a friend also interested in trials meant we could practice together regularly and help each other progress. The buzz from learning a new trick or nailing a line you’ve repeatedly tried is what I lived for and is one of the reasons I still love trials today. Amazing people with cool tricks also fuelled my desire to progress.

It was 2 years before I discovered the competition scene and I was frustrated I didn’t know about it sooner especially given how close the local venue was - Thriftwood, Essex. Stuart Matthews offered regular coaching sessions there too. The Essex Bike Trial Club (EBTC) used to attract up to 100 riders per club competition to ride mainly natural set competitions. It was amazing to me to find so many riders there, many of which became very good friends of mine. Two laps of ten sections was the standard format. From then on in I got a taste for the competitions and regularly attended.

Upon discovering Trialsforum.com organised rides became more common and I attended many of the legendary London rides, usually starting at the shell centre (now demolished) near the London eye, which would also attract large numbers of riders (50+).

Both the competition scene and street scene had their own heroes and role models that I looked up to. The Coustelliers and Trials Kings come to mind amongst many other amazing riders.

My passion for the sport has never really faltered in the face of the occasional negativity from my family and whilst many other riders have come and gone. For me it’s a release and a way to de-stress whilst also keeping me fit and I still get a lot of joy out of cycling. Some of my closest friends have come from riding bike trials and it’s a pleasure to travel around the world and meet many more people with the same passion that are part of our community.

 

Thanks in advance for your contributions.

Steve Rogers

Edited by STEVE-0
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Hans Rey in an easter 94 I think edition of MBUK plus wearing a VHS of level vibes out subsequently and loving the martins coverage of the time.  Everyone on a rigid bike back then pretty much so started abusing my orange clockwork, took the chain rings off to give it more ground clearance and set the cantilevers up so I could one finger back hop.  Think i came across Richard Johnson of then muddy fox fame somehow who must have intro'd me to Dave at EBTC in what must have been 95. 

The clockwork failed to get me through my first trial without breaking but I saw everyone was on a megamo so ended up with a second hand elite 26, via a pigiron triple clamp 80s Monty mod and an ibex for a time.

Roll forward and gave up biking in favour of kayaking for a decade or more.  

 

What keeps me interested still? Maybe cos you can still muck about in the back garden and it's come back to being a niche. Maybe.

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When I was about 13 (1995) I bumped into a guy on a GT while I was on my skateboard near Evesham while visiting my gran. He was messing around on a few pallets and doing some basic trials. Tripped something in me and I think I then started messing around on my 24" Raleigh Scorpion at home but went to a Scottish car show in Glasgow where Will Cogger was doing demos for Peugeot and got chatting with him about trials and actually getting into it. From there I think I got the MBUK  (trials/stunt? I forget) special edition which introduced me to Martyn and Martin, Hans, Maguras etc. and led me to upgrade to a GT Backwoods which was featured in there. 

Got the basics dialled on that, went to the Bike Show a few times, got the various videos of the time and JJ Gregorowicz's part in Revolution got me into 20" and I got a Monty X-Hydra. Around that time the guy who ran the Aberdeen exhibition centre's son was into trials and he managed to talk his dad into opening a trials 'club' which meant getting a whole bunch of stuff (skips, barrels, pallets, bunnyhop bar, balance beams etc.) dragged out once a week and us being able to make our own sections and trying new stuff. That put us in a good position to then take part in Under Pressure (even blagged flights off of Channel 5 for that even though we were total nobodies and they were even originally planning on banning 20" and making it 26" only). That went well and introduced me to the national scene (a very young Danny Butler was there in full Megamo kit, Chris Akrigg, the MAD guys etc.) but my first proper comp was a bit of a nightmare- I decided to do red route at the British Championship round at Silsden and boy was that an eye opener. Did poorly for one lap then quit as I was going to hurt myself!! I did a few demos around then as well one really big one at a Scottish show at Inglestone where we were put up by a promotions company alongside FMX riders (Jamie Squibb and a few others I remember), another where we got to ride with James Lampkin on some big motorbike sections and I really enjoyed surprising people by what could be done on a bike. I'd always been quiet and quite introverted at school but riding and the demos really helped me let loose a bit and I guess I liked showing off to the crowds!

I came down to Uni at Southampton and hooked up with X-Street who was the first company to start importing Echo bikes when they first started. Got hooked up with the first Echo EM2 in the country and got in with Mike Graves and did a couple of Essex comps with him and then the Hampshire series. Rode plenty while at Uni and moved back to 26" for a while (Orange Zero followed by an Onza T-Rex) and started riding for Tartybikes in about 2005. I think it was probably a London ride with Matt Staples that introduced me to Inspired and Dave Cleaver hooked me up with a Mk1 very early on that I loved and rode comps as well as street and was purely on 24" from 2009 until about 2016 having been through a Fourplay, Mk2 Fourplay Team (dual disc), Skye mk1 and then the Arcade that I still have. In 2016 I couldn't resist getting another 20" for messing about on Portland on. 

I'm now 37, have two kids and don't find much time to ride but I still enjoy it when I do and like being able to do things on a bike that most people still don't think should be possible. Trials was the introduction to bikes but anything with two wheels makes me happy- mountainbikes, road bikes, jump bikes, BMX etc. and the garage is full of  at least one of each.

It's only ever been a hobby even though I could've gone down the demo route and I really miss the mates getting together side of local comps (the Hampshire series stopped after Terry Graves had a heart attack a few years back) and I really ought to get back into the group ride side of things but we'll see.

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2004 (age 13-14), I had a Saracen jump bike and all of my friends from school were into jump biking.  Whether it was; finding a good kicker kerb, building a ramp or hitting the jump box at the local skatepark, we’d spend whole weekends together and every evening after school on our bikes.

One night we was in town and saw some guys on funny looking bikes, either no seat or really small seat, and they were able to balance on the back wheel and get up larger obstacles without the need for a jump.  I was mesmerised. The idea of being able to ride street objects such as walls and benches was so impressive to me!

I used my Saracen jump bike as long as I could, snapping many back axles learning back hops in the process!  Eventually I convinced my parents I wanted a trials bike for Christmas... an Onza T Vee.  The most affordable spec trials bike I could find £250 I believe.

I wouldn’t have taken up trials riding had it not been for this affordable bike available at my local bike shop.  Trials needs to be affordable.

The specific bike aided hugely in my progress, and our local trials scene had grown! The year following that Christmas (hazarding a guess of 2005) there was over 20 trials riders in my local town.

My biggest inspirations were Danny Holroyd, largely due to his exposure in MBUK and being featured in the freebie DVD’s.  Eventually my MBUK subscription was just flicking to the small trials section in the back, edited by Martyn Ashton.

One the internet I found trials forum, and once YouTube became a thing I was in awe of a rider called Craig Lee Scott... he blew my mind how big he could go on the street.  Phone boxes, post boxes, rail gaps.

For me trials was always about the connection with the street.  I remember the first big group ride I went on in Chelmsford... meeting Steve-O and Dan Wheeler.  Seeing this huge riding in person  and how they interpreted the street was eye opening.  Even to this day when walking a town and I spot a rail gap or line, I feel the urge to grab my bike and go and complete it

We used to meet for rides on the streets, there was no fees to pay, just hop on a train and meet at a big spot for 10am. I remember being stopped from time to time either by ex trials riders or current riders who didn’t know that there was trials riders in their area, all from the street.

I personally would like to see more street based demos/competitions.

Competition formats in woods or venues in the country are great but they only cater to the trials scene or people who happen to be there.  

A street demo/competition has a much wider audience, also the size of obstacles in the street are much more relatable.  A passer by could say to their friend “I saw a man on a bike jump from that post box to that bench”.   There is much greater potential they share it on social media (video or comments) and spread the trials message.

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20 hours ago, monkeyseemonkeydo said:

When I was about 13 (1995) I bumped into a guy on a GT while I was on my skateboard near Evesham while visiting my gran. He was messing around on a few pallets and doing some basic trials. Tripped something in me and I think I then started messing around on my 24" Raleigh Scorpion at home but went to a Scottish car show in Glasgow where Will Cogger was doing demos for Peugeot and got chatting with him about trials and actually getting into it. From there I think I got the MBUK  (trials/stunt? I forget) special edition which introduced me to Martyn and Martin, Hans, Maguras etc. and led me to upgrade to a GT Backwoods which was featured in there. 

Got the basics dialled on that, went to the Bike Show a few times, got the various videos of the time and JJ Gregorowicz's part in Revolution got me into 20" and I got a Monty X-Hydra. Around that time the guy who ran the Aberdeen exhibition centre's son was into trials and he managed to talk his dad into opening a trials 'club' which meant getting a whole bunch of stuff (skips, barrels, pallets, bunnyhop bar, balance beams etc.) dragged out once a week and us being able to make our own sections and trying new stuff. That put us in a good position to then take part in Under Pressure (even blagged flights off of Channel 5 for that even though we were total nobodies and they were even originally planning on banning 20" and making it 26" only). That went well and introduced me to the national scene (a very young Danny Butler was there in full Megamo kit, Chris Akrigg, the MAD guys etc.) but my first proper comp was a bit of a nightmare- I decided to do red route at the British Championship round at Silsden and boy was that an eye opener. Did poorly for one lap then quit as I was going to hurt myself!! I did a few demos around then as well one really big one at a Scottish show at Inglestone where we were put up by a promotions company alongside FMX riders (Jamie Squibb and a few others I remember), another where we got to ride with James Lampkin on some big motorbike sections and I really enjoyed surprising people by what could be done on a bike. I'd always been quiet and quite introverted at school but riding and the demos really helped me let loose a bit and I guess I liked showing off to the crowds!

I came down to Uni at Southampton and hooked up with X-Street who was the first company to start importing Echo bikes when they first started. Got hooked up with the first Echo EM2 in the country and got in with Mike Graves and did a couple of Essex comps with him and then the Hampshire series. Rode plenty while at Uni and moved back to 26" for a while (Orange Zero followed by an Onza T-Rex) and started riding for Tartybikes in about 2005. I think it was probably a London ride with Matt Staples that introduced me to Inspired and Dave Cleaver hooked me up with a Mk1 very early on that I loved and rode comps as well as street and was purely on 24" from 2009 until about 2016 having been through a Fourplay, Mk2 Fourplay Team (dual disc), Skye mk1 and then the Arcade that I still have. In 2016 I couldn't resist getting another 20" for messing about on Portland on. 

I'm now 37, have two kids and don't find much time to ride but I still enjoy it when I do and like being able to do things on a bike that most people still don't think should be possible. Trials was the introduction to bikes but anything with two wheels makes me happy- mountainbikes, road bikes, jump bikes, BMX etc. and the garage is full of  at least one of each.

It's only ever been a hobby even though I could've gone down the demo route and I really miss the mates getting together side of local comps (the Hampshire series stopped after Terry Graves had a heart attack a few years back) and I really ought to get back into the group ride side of things but we'll see.

another 82 baby!!! my first bike was an x hydra too...

 

as long as i can lug my leg over the bicycle and roll around I’m happy... the years of going out and “training” or trying to gap massive things are gone... the memories aren’t and never will be !

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At about 13 years old took a trip to Poole Dorset with my mum to see my grand parents and on the local supermarket was told I was allowed to pick a magazine. Saw MBUK and it had a free VHS so grabbed it. Turned out to be a road trip in France with the Martyn’s and Gilly riding on it. I was already heavily into riding my bike in the woods trying to copy my dad on his motorbike however as soon as I saw them hopping about was hooked on the idea of trials. 

I bought a pair of knifen forks and a small cog and dmr bash ring to go on my Planet X jack flash and I was away. I then came across this forum and made friends with a guy called Luke Edwards who was old enough to drive - he used to ferry me around and I owe him a lot and also sold me a pashley 26mhz which got me properly hooked in. I kept riding until around 18 - at this point I did waver a bit and had a few bad crashes on my Bmx which put me out for a while. However I always came back to my trials bike - it was kind of my happy place! I always knew I’d have a huge grin on my face nailing a gap or an up and still do - ( joints are a little freakier these days and the gaps and ups a little smaller!)

in a nutshell I’d probably sum up a few things:

MBUK - I bought it religiously for years for the trials section and the token trials article about someone or the yearly Saracen competition.

The internet - when I was starting out you’d be downloading 10 second clips of the trials kings which then turned into 5 minute videos and the trials kings where huge influences on my riding

Trials forum - I used to spend a lot of time on here, section 7 and observed - felt like there was a lot more varied topics and I suppose I had a thirst to learn more

Friends - I made most of my friends through riding so was a chance to socialise and be out on my bike.

Now - fitness, fun and future - I have a young son who I now have a desire to keep riding for to pass on and enjoy some time with as he grows a little older doing what I love ( 10 weeks old - so not quite there yet).

thats probably enough rambling from me - it’s a very different landscape for kids now a days so I guess the old methods won’t always translate for now a days but I’d love to see more popularity and more kids getting involved to keep it alive.

 

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Ok I guess I'll be that guy then; I got into trials because of Danny's April 09 video. I started racing mtb xcountry in 1993 and was heavily involved in it. I'd see Hans and Libor and Ryan Leech at the big bike festivals doing demos, but it never seemed like something I'd ever be able to do on a bike so I never looked much further. I moved to Colorado and became a snowboard instructor for 3 years.  In 1998 I moved to Los Angeles and took up windsurfing and it became my all consuming sport of choice. I was still riding Xcountry, but only racing the big races in the western US. In 2009 I was expecting my first child and looking for something that would keep me closer to home. Danny's video was perfectly timed for me so I ordered my first Czar 24 (the Inspireds were too pricey back then due to the exchange rate at the time). I got Ryan Leech's training videos and slowly started learning. The 24" was great because I could put it completely built in the back of my car ('91 Honda Civic!) and ride it whenever I got the chance. I tried my first contest a few years later and finally met some other riders, but none were very close by (big problem in the US, large country, few trials riders). I still keep the bike (26" now) in the back of my car and I like exploring new areas whenever I can. Now there's a 14 year old that I ride with who lives just a few blocks away and he likes to throw in flatland tricks so that keeps me on my toes. When I ride alone it's about inch hunting and pulling off clean complicated street lines.

 

Steve Rogers - You had a video called Andy and Steve Switch from 2010? After I saw that I really wanted a Rockman Switch frame, but I could never find an orange one. What ever happened to that bike? I heard most of them broke.

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2 hours ago, Swoofty said:

Ok I guess I'll be that guy then; I got into trials because of Danny's April 09 video. I started racing mtb xcountry in 1993 and was heavily involved in it. I'd see Hans and Libor and Ryan Leech at the big bike festivals doing demos, but it never seemed like something I'd ever be able to do on a bike so I never looked much further. I moved to Colorado and became a snowboard instructor for 3 years.  In 1998 I moved to Los Angeles and took up windsurfing and it became my all consuming sport of choice. I was still riding Xcountry, but only racing the big races in the western US. In 2009 I was expecting my first child and looking for something that would keep me closer to home. Danny's video was perfectly timed for me so I ordered my first Czar 24 (the Inspireds were too pricey back then due to the exchange rate at the time). I got Ryan Leech's training videos and slowly started learning. The 24" was great because I could put it completely built in the back of my car ('91 Honda Civic!) and ride it whenever I got the chance. I tried my first contest a few years later and finally met some other riders, but none were very close by (big problem in the US, large country, few trials riders). I still keep the bike (26" now) in the back of my car and I like exploring new areas whenever I can. Now there's a 14 year old that I ride with who lives just a few blocks away and he likes to throw in flatland tricks so that keeps me on my toes. When I ride alone it's about inch hunting and pulling off clean complicated street lines.

 

Steve Rogers - You had a video called Andy and Steve Switch from 2010? After I saw that I really wanted a Rockman Switch frame, but I could never find an orange one. What ever happened to that bike? I heard most of them broke.

Haha. Wow. That's a throwback. Andrew Walker owned the Rockman switch and had possibly the first one in the uk. To be honest I never saw another one so no idea how many were sold or how they lasted. It was a good looking bike in my opinion.

Thanks for the responses so far guys. Very interesting insights.

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Posted (edited)

I think it was a number of things all coming into play for me: Mainstream MTB Media Coverage  // Peer Group // Attainable on your own bike (not specialist)

Coverage

1997 I had stopped riding BMX a few years ago and was into XC a bit more, a mate just purchased a street style bike and had a copy of Chainspotting and an MBUK subscription. Aged 14 I had never seen any riding like it before and I wanted to find out how it could be done on a bike that looked a bit like mine. Watching how the Marts and Tongues controlled their bikes it just looked cool and was different, it flicked a switch.

It was so well covered in MBUK with top riders, riding in spots that were either where I lived or looked like it. Spurring me on to just go try things out. Also in the magazine ambassadors having monthly sections to showcase parts, people, trends etc. was pretty cool.

I believe the fun side of trials has always been a bit underground - it was a word of mouth, smaller but devoted set of riders which gives it a bit of a rep to the rest of the bike world (they don't get it).

Peer Group

Growing up in Reading I was surrounded by some epic trials spots and it wasn't long before we bumped into other trials and DJ/Street riders from around the area. In the early 2000's there was a collective of riders across all sorts of backgrounds (street, BMX, trials, DH) riding a 5 days out of 7, going on road trips and generally having fun. It was fun meeting other riders in other places, pushing each other to progress and just having fun. Then sticking the bikes in the back of the car and getting a pint.

Attainable

I was a teenager when I found trials, so skint basically. The ability to get into trials by just changing some bits on my bike from the money I earned / was gifted helped me feel a part of it not only appreciate the sports diverse (comp / street on the same bike) appeal, but also help me become obsessed with all kinds bikes, how to build and adapt them and ride different disciplines better.

As I got older and started working, the bits were getting more specialist and the bikes were changing from less adapted bikes to focused products. Comp was driving seatless big move set ups and control, street was custom frames akin to bigger looking BMX's with a smidge of the old school converted MTB about them.

Keeping Riding

Hands up! I have not been riding that much, life has been wonderful (with family) but also hard and expensive resulting of selling every bike I owned. After a change in jobs and some hard work I decided purchase a trials bike again late last year (and split it and built a Hex, TGS = not for me).

Why? I missed the ability to ride it anywhere, push my skills and scare myself again. I can be 10 seconds away from a kerb or 20 mins from a town with urban furniture to just test myself when I have a spare 15 mins or out around the local estate with the family..

Cheers,

Brett

Edited by Brettoll
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Posted (edited)

CLS videos (Zoo! 28, to be specific) got me started.
I continue simply because it's fun, and the feeling of accomplishing a tricky line gives me a temporary feeling of self-worth. Being brutally honest, a portion of it likely boils down to sheer habit.
I could elaborate on specifics and bang on about how I love it so until the cows came home, but that's pretty much what it reduces to.

 

Edit: Thinking further on this it's quite interesting that talking about the reason for riding is rather negative.
Almost every aspect that comes to mind is something that I keep riding in spite of, rather than because of.
It's just a fun thing to do, and couples nicely as a form of escapism.

Edited by aener
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i started in the year 2000, i was 14, i enjoyed watching moto trials on TV and one day i saw a guy on a Monty 219 x Alp, i just loved that and my father bought me that bike. I've been in competitions for about 8 years then Craig Lee made me love street. Nowadays i ride in parks, street and some competitions, after 19 years is difficult to find motivation but using the bike as a reason to travel or cutting frames in half make me keep the love for this sport

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Posted (edited)

FWIW: I only really chose to ride street* trials six months ago, am in my early forties. Stopped riding bikes after my teens until I started riding MTB in my 30's, mainly XC, a few small jumps and drops, etc. I moved to a coastal town a few years ago, nearer to work, which meant I could cycle to work easily which was about the only thing I could think of doing to help the environment. Partner still has a car but she needs it most weekends so most of my rides are from the doorstep. Unfortunately my local area is poor for MTB, it lacks real singletrack, and there's only small pockets of woodland by parks. What is does have are lots of stairsets and ledges to practice drops, and other obstacles that I started trying to ride up trying to keep my technical skills fresh. That was the primer for me looking at trials with more interest. The other primer was riders on youtube, with Sam Pilgrim, Fabio Wibmer, Ali Clarkson, really being the people I watched most in the previous couple of years who opened my mind to trials where previously I had been quite dismissive of it.

I kind of feel a bit selfish about it, as my second son was born at the start of the year, and they're both hard work so time is limited, but I need to do something, my social life is dead! Other less physical but majorly time consuming hobbies have fallen away over the years, and the physicality of trials means I don't have the energy to spend hours and hours on it. An hour of trials two or three times a week fits in well. Just taking baby steps at it.

* I can only say I ride street trials because that's the style of bike I have, my riding skills aren't enough to be categorised.

 

Edited by marg26
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I started to get into trials about five years ago, im now 27. I had been riding mountain bikes for a couple of years, mostly xc and trails in the woods. I'd seen Danny Mac and initially it didn't have much effect. Most mountain bikers see him as some kind of super human or god like figure, whos skills are not obtainable to mere mortals. I saw what he was doing and didn't even consider trying it. I then discovered Martyn Ashton through his road bike party video and from that found his older stuff on youtube. Tricks and stunts was what showed me that anyone can try trials. I then found trials forum and Trashzen, Trashzen was great. I leant how to track stand and get my mountain bike up and down kerbs but soon got a trials bike as i didnt want to scratch it. I didn't want to spend much as i had no idea if trials was for me or not. i found an origenal onza t pro for £5,50 on ebay. It was missing cranks and brakes so got some from trials forum. The bike was total shit but i leant quite a lot of the basics on it. Slowly i got a better frame and parts and i progressed faster.

None of my mountain biking mates gave a shit about trials and still don't. Finding local riders has always been a problem, some came back to the sport after many years and soon left again once they found that they weren't as good as they used to be or struggled to find time because of other commitments. Others were at the age when they leant to drive then vanished or moved away to uni.

Group rides like DJ memorial were good but they always seem to be 2 hour plus drives from me. I live near eastbourne and its a trials black spot, despite there being good riding here or in nearby towns nobody wants to travel here. I know of riders in sussex but everybody including myself is busy and we just havn't made it happen yet.

I've entered 4 comps. First was at radical bikes, i think it was the last of the essex bike trials club and it was awesome but i think the club shut soon after. Next was Hook woods in surrey and it was savage, despite entering novice like the first comp it was far more technically dificult and i fived every section. I didn't conside any of it to be suitable for a novice like myself. 3rd was at the bike trials academy and the running of the comp and their facility was great. I didn't do very well and it was mostly down to the time limits. On many sections i was on a 1 or a clean but failed on the last gate due to time. I don't understand why the rules were harsher than world cup timing systems where you get a point for every ten seconds over time. Instead as soon as 2 minutes is up its an instant five??? Ok so maybe i should have dabbed by way through but thats not my style. Since then i heard that that round was actually a national round where the sections are more dificult, im hoping to go to their comp this weekend which isnt national standard so can compare.

I went to Mick's ride out a couple of weeks back and i thought it was great fun and far more aproachable for a begginer. The format worked really well but it catered more for a 'its the taking part that counts' rather than something competative. I would deffinately go to another of these.

I think the new UCI points system is the way forward. Even if you only score points on one or two gates you score something oposed to the ultimate failure of a five because of time or two feet down in a crash despite previous efforts.

Im fairly self motivated (need to be as i almost never ride with others) but i to take inspiration from videos, anything from pro riders to someone like myself. I follow Ali C and have enjoyed his videos, especially the more trials orientated ones. I like to watch world cups, Andrei burtons commentry is good but other official uci coverage has just been embarrasing. Kevin liu and his Vancity trials is great. Charlie Rolls just made a video of the last Bike Trials Academy comp, i think more stuff like this is needed as it shows you what comps are actually like and that anybody can enter.

 

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Saw an article about Martyn and Martin in a copy of my brother's MBUK and thought it looked cool, then saw some local lads riding street in my hometown. First started trying to do tricks on a 20" frame rigid XC bike, then gradually built up a 14" GT Tequesta as I could afford to swap out parts for proper trialsy ones, riding a mix of trials, jumps and 'tricks', then upgraded to a 'proper' trials bike. Was just riding street and natural round where I lived with friends, doing silly bits and bobs, learning moves from MBUK tutorials and the like. Did my first comp in 2002/2003ish, a YMSA at Knabb Quarry and had a mega time. Did a few more of those, then started riding Tykes and nationals. Got involved in the Tykes committee after a couple of years, then started helping out with the organisation of the nationals. Ended up doing more organising/observing than riding at comps and trials friends in Sheffield moved away or stopped riding, so I was riding less and less. In 2014 I started training to be a teacher and just didn't have the time to be dedicating to organising and travelling to comps, travelling round for rides or the inclination to keep riding on my own at home, so ended up selling my trials bikes. Some friends started mountainbiking, so I bought a second hand MTB and have been doing that for about four years now. I still follow what's going on, but can't see myself getting back into riding now. I occasionally think about heading to a nearby comp to catch up with people and have a watch, but so far have been busy whenever they've been on. 

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i think i saw someone doing it once when i was a kid, (i might have made that memory up though). i used to do modest dirt jumping when i was like 12-14 and the place we dug in was destroyed by the council. still wanting to bike one of the guys suggested trials and i got my first bike age 15  (2005/2006). everyone who suggested it quit and i roped a school friend into it with me, we stuck at it for 8-9 years before injuries forced him out.

 

i started a full time job and moved to london in 2015. i found organising rides difficult and not very time efficient, and riding street by myself started to feel awkward. so i started rowing and then slacklining where the community was stronger and more convenient. and my enthusiasm for riding started to fall off because i didn't have many people to ride with and it felt like alot of effort to get out. i'm sure if i had a field of rocks or a more consistent local scene i'd have stuck at it. i still enjoy the content and i like seeing how much the bikes are improving. i still own a bike that i'd like to get out on this summer though.

 

i guess more culture, social scene, and more venues would have helped me stay in it

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On 09/05/2019 at 4:52 PM, Ben Swales said:

Saw an article about Martyn and Martin in a copy of my brother's MBUK and thought it looked cool, then saw some local lads riding street in my hometown. First started trying to do tricks on a 20" frame rigid XC bike, then gradually built up a 14" GT Tequesta as I could afford to swap out parts for proper trialsy ones, riding a mix of trials, jumps and 'tricks', then upgraded to a 'proper' trials bike. Was just riding street and natural round where I lived with friends, doing silly bits and bobs, learning moves from MBUK tutorials and the like. Did my first comp in 2002/2003ish, a YMSA at Knabb Quarry and had a mega time. Did a few more of those, then started riding Tykes and nationals. Got involved in the Tykes committee after a couple of years, then started helping out with the organisation of the nationals. Ended up doing more organising/observing than riding at comps and trials friends in Sheffield moved away or stopped riding, so I was riding less and less. In 2014 I started training to be a teacher and just didn't have the time to be dedicating to organising and travelling to comps, travelling round for rides or the inclination to keep riding on my own at home, so ended up selling my trials bikes. Some friends started mountainbiking, so I bought a second hand MTB and have been doing that for about four years now. I still follow what's going on, but can't see myself getting back into riding now. I occasionally think about heading to a nearby comp to catch up with people and have a watch, but so far have been busy whenever they've been on. 

Great to hear from you Ben! Andy Chai and I were just thinking about what happened to you the other day. Definitely try and head down to a competition at some point. Would be great to catch up.

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On 09/05/2019 at 4:52 PM, Ben Swales said:

Saw an article about Martyn and Martin in a copy of my brother's MBUK and thought it looked cool, then saw some local lads riding street in my hometown. First started trying to do tricks on a 20" frame rigid XC bike, then gradually built up a 14" GT Tequesta as I could afford to swap out parts for proper trialsy ones, riding a mix of trials, jumps and 'tricks', then upgraded to a 'proper' trials bike. Was just riding street and natural round where I lived with friends, doing silly bits and bobs, learning moves from MBUK tutorials and the like. Did my first comp in 2002/2003ish, a YMSA at Knabb Quarry and had a mega time. Did a few more of those, then started riding Tykes and nationals. Got involved in the Tykes committee after a couple of years, then started helping out with the organisation of the nationals. Ended up doing more organising/observing than riding at comps and trials friends in Sheffield moved away or stopped riding, so I was riding less and less. In 2014 I started training to be a teacher and just didn't have the time to be dedicating to organising and travelling to comps, travelling round for rides or the inclination to keep riding on my own at home, so ended up selling my trials bikes. Some friends started mountainbiking, so I bought a second hand MTB and have been doing that for about four years now. I still follow what's going on, but can't see myself getting back into riding now. I occasionally think about heading to a nearby comp to catch up with people and have a watch, but so far have been busy whenever they've been on. 

i'd like to throw some extra love at ben, when i went to uni in Sheffield he showed me alot of the spots and took me to the rocky stuff outside of the city. i'm grateful for that. thanks dude :wub:

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Got into trials the same as a lot of other people around my age, had a friend into mountain biking and bought a cheap 2nd hand mtb (Univega Alpina) when I was 15/16. Started buying a few copies mbuk and saw The Marty(i)ns and other doing there thing.  Then bought the Tricks and Stunts specials (Bought a GT Backwood around this time) and a friend and I learnt how to back hop, doing a few tricks, while messing about and still mountain biking.


When went down to Bike 98 or 99, can't quite remember and saw Ackrigg, The Marty(i)ns, Ryan Leech, Jeff Lenosky and a bunch of others doing the trials demo. A couple of us were hooked.
Around this time I had some epileptic fits, which meant I couldn't drive for 7 years, so that really pushed me towards bikes.


I have bought a DMR Sidekick, which was a great little bike and really helped my progression. Then I moved to Leeds for Uni, bought a PX Zebdi and met up with the rest of Damnation Guys. 

Now at 38, yeah I still ride. Really because I still enjoy and it is super easy for me to get out and ride local stuff for a couple of hours. Also, having moved to America, it is cool riding stuff you know probably hasn't been ridden before. 

Yeah I can't hop quite as high, I am not quite as 'brave' in the stuff I try now and it takes longer to recover, but I have ridden fixie, road, bmx and mtb, it is trials keeps pulling me back. I do enjoy riding my single speed mtb now and taking those trial skills to the trail.

As long as I still have fun, I will still ride and I can't see myself never having a trials bike. One thing I would still love to do I build my own frame. 

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I rode the comp at the bike trials academy at the weekend. It was great and i really enjoyed it. The grading of the sections were a lot better than the previous one i did. I entered novice (green) and did pretty well, tempted to try blue next time but that might be a little too much for me. Its a long drive but im hoping to enter more if i can!

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On 11/05/2019 at 0:11 PM, STEVE-0 said:

Great to hear from you Ben! Andy Chai and I were just thinking about what happened to you the other day. Definitely try and head down to a competition at some point. Would be great to catch up.

Yeah, life events sort of changed my priorities I guess. Got a baby due in June, so will be interesting to see how much bike time I manage to get in a few weeks! Will try and get to a comp at some point - be good to see everyone again.

 

On 12/05/2019 at 1:20 AM, ogre said:

i'd like to throw some extra love at ben, when i went to uni in Sheffield he showed me alot of the spots and took me to the rocky stuff outside of the city. i'm grateful for that. thanks dude :wub:

Bless you - good times!

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First of all sorry for my english and for the long story :)

The start (2004)
When I was age 12-13 my dad had a motorbike store, and I ride enduro motorbikes (yamaha dt 50cc, honda crm 80cc) almost every afternoon after school. Then after a not serious but scary crash my parents didn't let me ride motorbike alone again, so I in my free time I started to ride my MTB more. I started with wheelie stuffs, then a friend of mine showed a few 5-10 second long clips about bike trial in 2004. We started to practice hop on back wheel, and balance things with my friend. After we saw our first trial videos, (Toxicity, Otherside, Gong-li), we decided to buy our first 26" trial bikes, in 2005. We got some pallets in our garden, and we were riding like almost everyday. Then my friend stoped the riding, but I continued alone in a small town without without any connection to other riders.

Competitions (2006-2010)
Between 2006-2010 I started riding competitions in cadet, then junior. In Hungary we had 4-5 competition / year, usually with 50-60 riders. I loved this period. I had a really great training sport, so I improved really well. I made my first video in 2008, when I was 16. (video: https://bit.ly/2HqKvOC

Street period (2010-2014)
After 2010 I decided to stop competitive trial. I was bored of the heavily forced UCI things in our country. I was young, and and I didn't understand how could I join to a club, or how could I get licence etc... I didn't had any close biketrial freind, and my parents also didn't help me in these paperworks things. I was bored of the many new ""stupid"" rules, I just wanted to ride. I loved the 09' Danny Mac video, so I decide to start street trial. I believe I was one the first riders who started this new era street ride in Hungary. I moved to Budapest, and I had some close rider friends in this period. The street was fun overall, but it was a bit frustrate to ride always alone, while all of my friends rode TGS trial, so I switched back to a "normal" trial bike in 2013. After the switch I made one of my favorite video (https://bit.ly/2WevDLk). I really enjoyed to ride with this bike... probably this was one of my top year in trial. 

Ride less. (2014-2017)
After 2014 I didn't ride too much. I was bored to ride usually ride totally alone, and I also was busy because of the university and work. To keep trial in live in Hungary, I started to organize big city rides in Budapest, once time / year. Usually we had 30-40 riders in the city. It was awesome! Beside this I just went out 2-3 times / months with my friends, for a short ride to the city. These was my by moments from this period, when we went out with my 3-4 best friends for a nice ride, then after the ride to have a beer and some chill in the city. Without friends probably I would nearly stop the riding in this period.

Back to UCI (2018-...)
At the end of 2017 I discovered the UCI Live streams on youtube. I was totally amazed by Jack style and performance. I watched all the streams 2-3 times. In this period I wanted to sport more, and be more fit, but instead of going to gym, or start running etc. I decided to buy a crewkerz bike in 2018, and start ride more often and harder. My goal was to go back to my old level if it's possible, and start ride competitions in Elit category. I get back my old level much faster than I expected, then I started to reach new records. I went to a few UCI C1 competitions, and to two World Cups as well. My performance was not the best compare to other riders, but I really enjoyed to ride on competitions again, and even if I usually didn't finish any sections, I was really happy when I made a few nice moves on the sections sometimes. 

In the future, I'm pretty sure I'll go back to street again one day. But at the moment I enjoy the UCI stuffs :)

 

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