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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Man... I Sucked In Dirt Jumping!

More than two weekends ago, I went riding in the Putrajaya Bike park trying to learn dirt jumping on my hardtail. I could never make it over the several "pee wee" table-tops to the transitions smoothly, always getting my rear wheel short.

Needless to say, after a couple of runs, I crashed on the landing. "Carpet burned" my right elbow and bruised the right hip and thigh. Thanks to the knee and shin guard, no hurt there. Got right up and went at it again... and still sucked. LOL.

After a few more runs, we (I was there with Sean, Ian and Paul) met the seventeen years old Aaron. He is a whizz kid that would have made a fantastic BikeTrial rider, but instead he is into gravity and rides a mean Transition! I asked him to teach me how to dirt jump.... LOL.

Basically, he told us that the section we were on, were not meant for dirt jumps... LOL. We were supposed to "compress" (the rear wheel) on the exit transition to gain speed. Hahaha... all this while, we got it wrong.

Anyway, we tried "compressing" and it was great! I really gained speed on the exit transition. I could not resist trying to jump over the small table-top after gaining all that speed... LOL. Exhilarating! I could almost make it across the table-top smoothly... LOL. Ian was magnificent on a couple of runs!

Video showing Sean and Ian on one of their runs.

Video of Ian and Sean after their run... LOL.

After a couple more runs, I was completely wasted and decided to make one more "last" run. You know what, something always happens on the "last" run! The run was good until the last corner and jump. I could not exit smoothly from the cornering just missing the oil palm tree and took off badly, and that obviously screwed up my landing. And so... I landed on my right side again and this time, "carpet bombed" my elbow and further bruised my hip and thigh. OUCH!!! Lets put it this way, I had to limp off... phew! But I consider that... lucky! Could have been worse... LOL.

After I got back home, man... the hurting started... LOL. The whole body was aching all over. I told myself... at 45 years old, I don't think I can keep doing this... LOL. And my biggest worry at that time was, "Shit, I will not be able to practice trials with all this injuries for at least 2 weeks!!! Damn!"

That was when I decided that I will stop all these other distractions and concentrate solely on just BikeTrial!!! Maybe a cross-country hash once in a while... LOL!

Anyway, it has been two weeks now and I am back on biketrials. I have been riding every single night since Friday. BikeTrial is just so much fun!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

All-In-One Cycling Gear and Tool Basket

Ever since Chinese New Year in January this year, I have had my cycling gears and tool all packed up into a nice portable basket. During the New Year holidays, we had to go to Ipoh. 

I was not going to spend the holidays in Ipoh without my trial bike... and so I packed everything I needed, bike and all... LOL.

Coming back from Ipoh.

From spare tubes to alan keys, I packed everything I needed into a nice portable basket.

Except for the helmet, all the gears and tools packed up in a tidy and neat basket.

The basket was actually the container for the mandarin oranges bought from Giant supermarket.

Ever since that day, going cycling or riding trials had never been easier... :-)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My New Milestone in BikeTrials

After 14 months of learning and training the basic skills of BikeTrials, I have decided to test myself on a home-made section.

The design of the section had to be within my current skill level. I remembered a friend from Singapore telling me that, you only need to master 3 basic BikeTrial skills to be able to compete. And they are track-stand, hopping and pivoting.

I dun think I have mastered those 3 skills, probably intermediate level... or less... LOL. The full list of basic BikeTrial skills that I have learned (but yet to mastered) are:

And so I set out to collect wooden pallets and concrete blocks as materials to create an obstacle course for the section that I personally think would be ridable using only the 3 basic skills of track-stand, hopping and pivoting. From the following photo, you can see the results of my hard work... LOL.

A BikeTrial section that can have many Start and Finsh points, depending on how creative you get.... HAhaha.

When I started to layout the section, I wanted to ensure that it is doable with those three basic skills. But then again, depending on where I set the Neutral, Start and Finish zone on the above same layout, I can make the section tougher or easier.

My First BikeTrial Section

The Start and Finish points of this section was to ensure that I can use the 3 skills of track-stand, pivoting and hopping to clear it. My objective was to clear the section with out any dabs! Yes, zero dabs! "Clean" the section as they say.

When I first setup the section and looked at the ride directions, the first thing that crossed my mind was that it was a piece of cake to ride! Hahahaha... EASIER SAID than DONE!!!! Let me put it as gracefully as possible... I fumbled, fived, blistered, stumbled and almost passed out from loss of stamina.

This photo illustrate where I start and finish. The arrows indicate the directions, where I would be riding.

This is the same photo of the above, but with the "no-ride zone" marked out in Blue and the Neutral "start zone" marked out in Green. If any of my wheels touch the Blue zone, it would be considered a automatic 5... that means you are out!

After trying and trying and trying... I could managed to finish the section in 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 dabs... NEVER zero dab! It was getting more and more frustrating.

So last night, I decided to use my 26" (I was using the 20" all this while) to try ride the section. I did it a couple of times, again missing the elusive zero dab! I was going to give up for the night when I decided to give it one final try and switched to using my 20" Monty.

To my amazement, handling the 20" was smooth and easy (I think after using the 26", moving to the 20", made it easier to balance and ride) I managed to ALMOST reach the Finish line with ZERO dab... WHEN my son came out and called, "Daddy, Mommy calling you!"

Needless to say, I was startled and ENDO-ed at the finished line crashing into the flower pots!!!

LOL... I could not believe it! I almost did it! The front wheel hub almost crossed over the imaginary finish line with zero dab! I was stoked! The fire was burning HOT!

After that I managed to zero-ed the section 3 more times!!! And just so I could sleep better, I did it a fourth time!!! LOL... I was very tired and my arm muscles were aching... but who cares I cleared it!

Variations of the Same Section

I am now contemplating the following ride directions. It would be very much more challenging than the previous configuration. I think here, I would be required to pedal kick off the platform onto the concrete block, precision pedal kick is still a skill I am totally not comfortable with yet.

Different Start and Finish points, changes the skills level required to ride this section.

This is the same photo of the above, but with the "no-ride zone" marked out in Blue and the Neutral "start zone" marked out in Green.
As of now, I have no confidence in finishing this section with zero dab. I think I can clear it with 2 dabs. HAhaha... lets see how it goes. Most likely, I will continue to ride the previous section until I can really ride it at zero dab consistently.