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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Learning to Pedal-hop up a Bench

Managed to get some quality ride time today. Started late in the evening and then heavy rain prevented me from training on my usual wood pallet sections.

So I decided to practice pedal-hopping up a narrow bench. Pedal-hopping onto a stack of wood pallets is not a problem, but pedal-hopping onto a narrow wooden bench required more finesse... LOL.

Basically, I wanted to be able to do the static pedal-hop up the bench and the more dynamic pedal-hop onto the bench and then balance with only the rear wheel on the bench before pedal-kicking down to the other side.

Do the Monkey!

So while I was practicing, I told my 9 year old son, Joel, to help me take some videos so that I could analyze and see what I was doing wrong later. But as I was watching the videos later, I realised that he was singing a song lyric over again and again, "do the monkey"... LOL. It was hilarious... so I decided to make a short video clip... Hahaha.

Hope you enjoy watching it as much as I did while making it... LOL.

Anyway, my goal is to be able to pedal-hop onto the narrow bench, maintain balance on the rear wheel, and then pedal-kick to another narrow bench about 3 to 4 feet away. Gonna try it this weekend... :-)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

FRIM, BikeTrials and Snake Bite?: BikeTrial Progress

Every so often I keep asking myself, "What's next?" Do I continue to just practice what little biketrial skills I already know to refine them or should I start learning new skills?

I get immense satisfaction from being able to learn a new trial riding skill and then honing that technique until I could do it consistently. But sometimes, it gets monotonous... LOL. Which is why, practice riding a "section" is so important... it allows me to use a combination of techniques and skills I have painfully acquired to come together in a symphony of movements that allows a rider to finish a section smoothly.

In the end, I always find out that it is not the lack of techniques or skills that prevent me from finishing an imaginary "section" that I predetermined. It is rather, my physical fitness (and fear of falling) that I call to question! LOL... I watched those YouTube videos and I always wondered how the heck those trial riders do it??? Never fail to amaze me... LOL.

The bench I made from the wood pallets. It was important that when I land on the bench, it will not budge or slide away. This was my biggest fear factor... LOL. Btw, I made 4 of these benches.

Anyway, I have been rebuilding the wood pallet sections in my house. In my last blog post, Homemade BikeTrial Training Park, I mentioned going around hunting for wood pallets and making benches. I had been planning to refine my pedal-kick. I needed to be able to pedal-kick from one bench to another and I wanted to do it consistently (you always see those riders do it so effortlessly in the videos... LOL). Anyway, watch the following video for my attempts... LOL.

I just needed to be able to do it three times. It was sort of a rule of thumb told to me by my buddy, Syarul, whom was told by Walton of BikeTrials Singapore... LOL. And so I did it three times... Hahah.

After that, two Saturdays ago, I went on a Wildgeeks cross-country riding re-union in FRIM. It was great riding and hanging out with the guys. Except for the fact that I had a pretty nasty crash... LOL. Ripped some skins off my left calf and had to get 4 stitches... no biggie, except that it was grouse to see the skin hanging there... LOL.

Photo of the geeks uploaded to Facebook by the John (aka The Rooster).

The 4 stitches... LOL. Photo by John (aka The Rooster). Btw, I told John to Twitpic my wound and say it was a snake bite... wicked!

So no riding for a while! That slight injury at FRIM caused me to be out for more than a week. I had no intention of prolonging the healing of the wound any longer than necessary. After spending so much time looking for the wood pallets, making benches, arranging and rearranging to make the training section, I could only admire it from a distance... more painful than the stupid wound!!! LOL...

Btw, I could not helped it. I have already started riding since Monday... LOL. Yeah... and it had bled a little... why am I so stubborn! Cheers!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Homemade BikeTrial Training Park

On June 14th 2008, about 4 months into starting and learning BikeTrials, I brought home my first stack of wood pallets after attending the Red Bull Sponsored BikeTrial in Seremban, Negri Sembilan.

Soon after that, I started practicing on the wood pallets. I set up some mock sections to learn balancing and pedal hops. Gradually, the sections got bigger as my riding improved. I found more pallets and graduated to higher grounds... LOL. And now I have wood pallets stacked all over my house. Some of the pallets have begun to rot and come apart.... not safe to ride on any more.

I took the old and rotten wood pallets on my pick-up and managed to dump them at a garbage land fill.

Two weeks ago on April 4th, I went hunting for wood pallets around the Nilai 3 warehouses in Negri Sembilan and found plenty!!!

After driving around some of the abandoned warehouses, I came across a huge stack of giant size pallets.

I packed six of them onto my pick-up and took them home.... in two trips... LOL.

I arranged this stack to hopefully use it to learn and practice the difficult side hop.

I sawed up two of the wood pallets and made them into benches, which I will use to practice balancing and rear wheel hop-up and pedal kicks.

I could also use the benches to stack on top of other pallets to create any challenging section I want... LOL.

This coming Sunday, I am planning to go back to Nilai 3 to get more of the giant wood pallets. Currently, I am thinking of making more benches of various heights.

Since the time when I first started out with training on wood pallets, I have not looked back. I would not have been able to learn so many BikeTrial skills or come this far without those wood pallets.

I am very sure that I am not alone in the quest to built a homemade BikeTrial training ground. I have see countless videos on YouTube and Vimeo of riders, pros and otherwise, training right at their own backyard... :-)

And thus... I am really looking forward to this Sunday. Gonna grab some more wood pallets and built me a BikeTrial Training Park... LOL.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Canadian BikeTrials - A documentary

Came across this video of a group of Canadian riders on YouTube... Stephen Dickin and Jeff Anderson, and this is their very inspiring video documentary, BikeTrials: Regaining Balance.

They compete in almost all BikeTrial tournaments throughout the World. They are currently looking for sponsors. Check out their website at

I wish them all the best in their World Championship quest!!!!