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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Kenny Belaey's Bigtime Trial Adventure Episode 1 to 3

If you do not know who Kenny Belaey is and you are interested in BikeTrials... you GOTTA be insane!!! LOL. Here is an opportunity for you to find out all you need to know about this eight times BikeTrials World Champion!

From what I read from various sources, 3 videos were produced and broadcasted on Extreme Sportschannel in Europe, Africa and UAE from Dec 2009 to Jan 2010

I came across the trailer on YouTube but I could not find the videos. After googling, the videos were found on and here they are. A MUST WATCH documentary for anyone interested in BikeTrials!

EPISODE 1 - The History

Part 1/2 of Episode 1

Part 2/2 of Episode 1

EPISODE 2 - The Evolution

Part 1/2 of Episode 2

Part 2/2 of Episode 2

EPISODE 3 - The Competition

Part 1/2 of Episode 3

Part 2/2 of Episode 3

More Information:

BikeTrials Shoes

So what is this thing about the need for BikeTrial shoes? Recently, a fellow trial rider bought a pair of Monty BikeTrial shoes. I have been thinking about getting one for a while now. The design looked slick and beautiful, and I think probably very light and comfortable. The reason why I have not bought a pair yet, was because the price tag was too steep! (At least for me... LOL. I could buy a whole bunch of bike parts for that price... LOL.)

The Monty trial shoe at a hefty price tag of about MYR400 or £89.99. Ain't it a beau?

Since I started trial in 2008, I have gone through at least 3 pairs of normal shoes. They get worn out pretty fast, especially the sole and the side of the shoe near the ankle. And so early this year in January, I bought a 4th pair, which was really a cheap. Cost me about MYR29. Anyway, by February, the shoes looked like this:

As you can see they are pretty worn out. So now I am looking for a new pair of shoes for trials.... HAhah.

BikeTrial Shoe Safety Feature

Anyway, here are some of my personal experiences, which I wanted to share, that sort of explained why trial shoes are designed in certain ways... like the pair of Monty trial shoes above.

1. No Shoe Laces!

This one is a biggie! One time, while I was trying to pedal up onto a platform, I slipped on the pedal and my shoe lace was caught on the pedal's grip (see following photos). Hence, I could not use my feet effectively to counter balance myself and landed badly. Luckily my injuries were very minor.

Now imagine those pros in a competition, the sections would be hard and punishing. They cannot afford to let something like a shoe lace getting tangled on something to screw up their ride! I think this is the reason why the Monty trial shoes (and probably all cycling shoes) were designed without laces and instead used Velcro to fasten the shoe.

2. Cover the ankles!

Very often, my ankles get injured when I accidentally hit them against the side of the bike frame. During tournament, it is compulsory for riders to wear a pair of shoes that cover the ankles. I can totally understand why this rule is necessary.

3. Thick sole!

Trial bike platform pedals are required to have "super" grip... LOL. I think we all can understand why. This will enable the rider to get a good control of the bike. Almost 100% of the rider's ride is dependent on his feet getting a good grip on the pedals. Hence, the need for the shoes to have thick sole and not too soft that it gets damaged easily. A rider also needs to be able to "feel" the pedal beneath his feet. I have had 2 pairs of shoes that had worn out at the sole, to the extend that I could really feel the pedal's "teeth"... LOL.

And so, now I am on the hunt for a new pair of shoes for trials. Probably something like the one below.

This pair belonged to my son. Looking at it, I think it fit the above safety criteria. The hunt is on... :-)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My Wife is Learning BikeTrials

Yesterday, my wife came out of the blue and said that she wanted to go cycling. I was like, "Er... is something wrong with you today?" Exercises of any sort has never been on her mind... no way! Even getting her to go for a walk around the neighborhood was almost impossible... LOL.

And today she wanted to go cycling! In the end I convinced her to try out BikeTrials, or at least just learn the track-stand... LOL. She told me that she wanted to change her lifestyle and start exercising, and lucky for me, she was convinced that cycling was the way to go... :-)

I told her that learning track-stand will be just as tiring as cycling a few laps around the neighborhood. And so, I took out my old cross-country bike. I was convinced that the center of gravity for the cross-country bike was low and thus, it would be easy for her to learn track-stand on that bike.

She tried to track-stand on the cross-country bike with much difficulty (incidently, it was the same bike I used, when I first started learning BikeTrials). The above video showed how she struggled to even balance for 5 seconds. Btw, if you are wondering why she was using slippers instead of a pair of shoes, lets just say that she was just plain stubborn... LOL.

After sweating and trying to track-stand on the cross-country bike for a while, I decided to let her try the 20" Monty 221PR. I figured, maybe, just maybe she will do better on the 20". If you watch the above video, you will see that she managed to track-stand for about 30 seconds! And this was just one of the many videos which I took that showed her balancing up to 30 seconds... :P

Damn... this was just too damn easy for her... and unfair!!! It took me quite a long time to learn to track-stand properly! And it took her just about an hour to pick up the skill? How come? Time to up the ante!!! Heheh!!

Hmm... lets see how she would do on my Echo Pure; very high center of gravity... will be tough... I thought. So, out came the 26" Echo Pure, and I got her to try it out. Honestly, I was quite blown away. The following video shows her track-stand on the 26" for more than 1 minute 30 seconds!!!!

How come? How come? What is the meaning of this??? I still have not figure it out yet... hmmm... maybe tomorrow, I will get her to try again. Beginner's luck lah... cheh!