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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My Bike Trial Progress: Hopping for Joy!

Today, after 3 days of rest from training trials, I have managed to improve my rear wheel hopping significantly. This is a very important milestone for me. When I first started to learn the rear wheel hop, my target was to be able to reach 10 hops by June this year. And today, I have achieved 9 hops!

Yahoooo! 9 hops on the rear wheel!

After about 2 hours of trying, I managed to get up to 7 hops. Then I was doing about 5 to 6 hops. It was when I decided to shoot the video for this blog that I managed to achieve 9 hops. Oh what a feeling!!!! I feel enormously gratified.

The very first time I reached 6 hops, my body started to remember how to do it. After that, it got easier and easier.

I hope to be able to rear wheel hop consistently. The most challenging part is the balancing on one wheel. The hopping is my reaction to counter the off-balance.

Oh, another significant milestone for me is that I am now able to do the forward hopping using pedal kick.

Hopping forward on two wheels using the pedal kick technique.

Although gratifying, I know that there is still a long way to go for me! But I am really enjoying it!

Video credits goes to my son, Joel Hii. Thanks Joel!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Learning Bike Trial

Yesterday, Syarul came over to my place and gave me some valuable tips and lessons on pedal hopping and rear wheel hops. We went to a construction site to try out some of the moves. Unfortunately, we were not very welcome there and had to find another place to ride. In the end, we went back to my place and hang out. See the following videos for more info.

Syarul trying out the Echo Pure to the delight of my kids... :-)

Syarul showing how to conduct a pedal kick moving forward.

Explaining how to take off for a rear wheel hop.

My rear wheel hop effort on the 20".

My rear wheel hop effort on the 26".

So what did I learn?

  • All in all, I find that learning on the 20" is so much easier than the 26", which makes me wanna go get a 20" now... LOL.
  • Stamina is everything in trials.
  • Injuries should be avoided at all cost, as it brings downtime and delay to training.
  • Learning trial with someone to coach helps a lot and more fun!
  • Aching muscle will be the norm of trial training.
  • Keeping my eyes on the rear wheel hub while doing a rear wheel hop will improve balance tremendously.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

My New Echo Pure Trial Bike

Last night, Hor Fun, Peng and Spencer, all trial riders from Singapore, paid a visit to me before heading into KL. They would be leaving for Singapore after paying a visit to KLCC. They stopped by my place in Bandar Bukit Mahkota and we had supper. Mostly we talked about the trial biking communities, techniques and bike tuning.

They shared their experiences, tips and tricks on how I can better maintain my bikes, and how to improve my basic skills.

They helped me diagnosed a problem I had with the crank. Turns out that the pedals were not tightened properly.

Anyway, here are some pictures of my new bike.

This afternoon, I managed to tightened the pedal with a brand new pair of size 15 spanner. Right after that, I decided to test out the pedals to ensure that there were no more irritating knocking sound coming from it.

With my slippers on, I tried to hop on the rear wheel and slipped. The following are the graphic results of my poor judgment and lack of common sense! Now I will not be able to wear my shoes and thus have wait for the injury to heal before I can start full training again. What a drag!

I just hope that my Wolverine-type quick healing factor will get me over this in a couple of days... LOL.


I managed to hop 4 times on the rear wheel! And that is a huge milestone for me. Now different parts of my body are aching. So that's good. It means I am getting somewhere... :-)

I shall soon break that record and progress to at least 10 hops... HAHAHA!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

New Milestones in Bike Trials

Today is the day I actually got to try out a real trial bike! A beautiful Adamant 20" with Magura brakes and Monty parts. That thing weighs like... nothing!

Checking out the bike up close and personal... :-)

The bike makes me look good... :-)

Today is also the day I actually got to meet up with Syarul Nizam, a Malaysian trial biker and the owner of the above bike, whom have competed in the Asian Pacific Bike Trials held in Singapore in 2006. He has a lot to share with us trial noobs... :)

Syarul is a good friend of Walton of BikeTrial Asia Union/BikeTrial Singapore Union and basically Walton passed my contact to Syarul and here we are... LOL.

Syarul showing me how to do a rear wheel hop... :-)

Me trying out a trial bike for the first time. I cannot describe the feeling... heheh. And let me tell you, it does make a huge difference on a trial bike! LOL.

Syarul shared some valuable advise. He says that if anyone is serious about learning trial and getting into trial competitively, it is important to focus on getting each basic skill (trackstand, pivoting and hopping) totally dialed. And that one should spend at least an hour on training everyday. The idea is to focus on one skill at a time until each is mastered.

While Syarul and I were chatting, three guys rode by on their MTB. Aaron, Mohinder and Eddie are friends of Syarul. According to Syarul, Aaron is able to bunny hop over a motorbike on his mtb... cool!

Aaron trying out a trial bile for the first time too. He was freeriding on this Kona and has been training trial with Jovinder and Addie as well. Future trial riders for sure!

Thus, today is also the day I can see the future of bike trials in Malaysia. It would be great to have mountain bike trial bikers from all over Malaysia congregate in one place just so everyone can share and celebrate this sport which should be more well known in Malaysia.

Who knows, seatless bikes could be the norm in the months to come... LOL!