The ‘Granite Mountain’ location turned out to be an excellent venue for the event, with sections just laying around everywhere you look. Much different than previous urban settings, so no accidental spectators, but as trials site it’s tough to beat. It’s state park owned land and they were very easy to work with on access, so plan on a regular summer event there in the future. Had a few of us camping Friday night, but unfortunately I couldn’t stay Sat night as planned and we all ended up vacating. It could very well end up as a ride/hang out/compete/repeat weekend in the future.
Turnout was 20 riders, a bit low but lots of competition from other activities during summer.
Our classes start at beginner 1, which doesn’t require lifting the wheel but needs to have slow speed control and balance. Beginner 2 throws in some obstacles and in some cases a hop or two may be helpful. Results show Youth as well for Beginner, but rides the same line, just separates out 15 years and younger from adults. Beginner 1 is usually all kids. Sport, Ex, Pro are like everywhere else. All classes rode 3 loops of 5 sections.
We had 4 first time trials competitors (all kids) who all thought it was great fun overall from what I gathered, so success on that level. Also saw a couple kids with a bit more experience really improve and look ready to move up a level. Toby and Grady, 2 local 5th graders and self described ‘trials addicts’, got into sections for the first time as well as Vincent’s kids Russel and Mia. Vincent may end up with riding partners which would be good. Seth (3rd grade I think) rode his second trials and continues to improve. Logan looks ready to move to Beginner 2 with some work on obstacles, and Dezi looks on track for sport class next year. Both of them are also 5th graders. Other riders in Beginner 2 were Vincent on a clavicle rehab ride and David who is a new rider this year and having trouble fitting much training into the 7 day work week but was able to get away for most of the day.
Sport had dedicated, no split sections which turned out to be real fun. More fun was that I was able to ride with the 3 competing riders, which I normally don’t do. Stephen got some revenge on Micah (another 5th grader, notice the trend?) for beating him 67 to 69 back in April and is showing much improvement in his riding. Micah did much better than I expected and will really improve as his body weight moves past 80 pounds and improves his “kung-fu sound”. Billy just turned 50 and got back into sections for the first time in something like 15 or 20 years.
I still had a couple obstacles for experts that pushed the limit, but overall hit it better. Nikolai proved you could roll off the odd slanty rock a couple times and had some real nice rides throughout for the win. Randy (14) showed he is firmly into the expert realm and will really be challenging as he improves. Alex and Stewart had a rougher day but each got in some good lines through the day.
Good to have 3 pros there, and most morning riders stuck around for spectating. Some great rides by every one of them. Ryder worked a Sat night shift, then made the 5 hour trip up for it and showed his smooth style that’s so fun to watch. Once the result was out of reach he got a bit more creative which led to firmly cementing into a couple kids minds the importance of shin guards. He does get the boy scout always prepared award for being able to put multiple bandage types to use without returning to the car! Some good entertainment resulted from Robbie asking Max early on to quit telling him what their scores were, which ensured a near constant update of current standings for the remainder of the event. Robbie ends up with 2 unofficial awards, the first being the Ringling Bros clown car award for showing up with 3 people, 2 bikes, and camping gear in a Subaru Justy (dedicated and frugal!). The second was the quote of the day. At the last section the win was Robbie’s even with a 5, so Max pointed out that fact and asked if we were going to see anything special, to which Robbie replied (fairly quietly and just prior to entering the section) “no… nothing special…. Just a clean…” then did so with a fine ride and a massive endo move on the final rock of the day. Max gets the Tigger award for his usual bouncing through sections and some very impressive uni work after the event. He made it a great battle with Robbie right til the last couple sections. It’s neat to see fine rides with the different styles each of them use. Sorry for forgetting about the payout at the awards, glad Ryder asked about it!
So many folks helped out which made it much nicer for me, I won’t be able to mention all of you but thanks for pitching in so willingly. Bob and Cindy Bernhardt deserve special recognition. Bob helped set nearly all the sections Friday and Cindy covered all the event admin stuff, both of which allowed me to ride and really enjoy the day, thanks very much. I enjoyed the weekend more than any previous event, hope all of you did too.
|* First bike trials competition|