I was down at the beach walk at Lincoln Park this lovely weekend when I ran into not one but 3 separate folks on trials bikes, perfecting their skills in the area.
The photo’s of KC who hails from Denver. He rode trials back in CO for quite a while, but hasn’t been so active since coming out to the Pacific North West. No better excuse than a sunny Saturday to take your seatless wonder down to the beach and practice side hopping on some old beach logs.
Apparently Seattle’s not a hot bed of trialing activity, but our neighbors to the north in Vancouver seem to have it going on. Mike Bentham ‘s great video featured a while ago is just one example.
More details about KC’s ride, riding and trials inside…
I know I’m not going to do any justice to KC’s bike, I’ll try my best given I’m more or less a commuter dude. KC was riding a Monty 221pr. Nice wide low pressure tire in the back running at what must have been somewhere in the 25 PSI range, smaller tire up front. I’m shocked these guys don’t get pinch flats all the time. Rim brake on the back (didn’t get a chance to see if it was hydraulic or not, could have been the HS-33 though), disc on front – looked a lot like an Avid. No seat, which seems pretty standard for trials bikes, although some come with the teeniest saddles you’ve ever seen. Aside from the no-seat, the weirdest looking thing was no chain, at least that’s how it looks. The gearing is set up insanely low, something like 18/12 which means you can barely even see the chain along side the stays. No clips on the pedals, just big flat BMX pedals. This is the first trials bike I’ve seen up close (and ridden, thanks KC!), and despite it’s odd looks it rides pretty much like a bike with a no-ratio gearing. No, I didn’t try any tricks.
KC was out in the Saturday sun, hopping on top of burned, randomly placed beach logs, sans helmet or other protective gear. I can’t imagine, given the acrobatics, and the seeming ease of a bad fall on to the rocky beach. He’s had a couple of rough looking spots on his knees, but then so do I. He was handling the bike very well, so I’ll assume his bumps and bruises are from household bashes like mine. Pretty impressive stuff for a noob like me – riding up and over the logs, along the logs, one-wheel on top of the logs, hopping log to log, side ways across 2 logs, and generally making it look easy.
Bike Trials have been around for a long time, and surprisingly came from doing something similar on Motorcycles – imagine hopping over obstacles on a motorcycle with no seat. Wanna try this stuff out on your bike? Trash-Zen has the details.
I haven’t seen any other trialists in Seattle, but I probably don’t get out enough. I was glad to see a bit of cycling diversity in the city, plus an impressive display of skills. You can catch more of the show (pardon my bad photos) in the Bikehugger Urban Bikes stream. Looking forward…