Tossing and Tortured 'Till Dawn

I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

T-Town Throwdown

Last weekend, I checked this out before going to my LBS for a fast-paced groupride.

Trials are pretty far from the skinny-tires-and-lycra that Yours Truly is accustomed to; farther, even, than BMX, which still includes a couple elements of racing.

Basically, this is riding an obstacle course on a bike, slowly. Your goal is to get through each "section" in a period of time, without putting a foot down or otherwise losing your balance. It doesn't seem to score any better to go faster than the guy before you, just need to make make less mistakes.

Zoom in on this picture to note that the rider is cycling along the narrow edge of a two by four. The most impressive part of it to me was the amount that the riders could use their legs and the spring of their low-pressure tires to leap their bikes, from a standing start, up onto obstacles.

Here's what they're riding: 26" bikes that look something between a short-wheelbase mountain bike and a BMX ride, but with no saddle or seatpost whatsoever, and tiny gearing. They also had some kind of hub that I'll need to google -- riders could coast / freewheel, but they also appeared to be able to apply backpressure on the drivetrain with their pedals, and when they walked their bikes forward, the pedals turned like a fixie. I've heard of "freecoaster" hubs, I wonder if that is this?

I don't think I'll ever take part in a Trials event myself, but it was pretty entertaining to watch -- more spectator-friendly, I'd wager, than the spread-out road races that Yours Truly prefers.


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