Trials Training Center Competition|
Trials Training Center, Sequatchie, TN
July 9, 2005
By Michael Friddell
Another event at the Trials Training Center is in the books. And, wow, was it a great one. It all started, in my head at least, last March when two friends and I came down for the Motorcycle Trials Training Days to see if anyone wanted some bicycle trials tips. Since we only had one student, we had some extra time to go play on our own. That is when we found "Moon Rocks."
For those of you who were at the TTC for last summer's NATS event, you know that place has some awesome terrain. Unfortunately at that time, you also found out that certain times of year mean the rocks are a bit slippery. Well, you'll be glad to know that Moon Rocks was nothing like that. These were piles of huge, gray, granite beasts lumbering through the woods like great elephants, rhinos and hippos. They even bit a few riders! B^D
It took me a while longer to clear and set the sections than I really thought it should but with some help (thanx Carrie, Mom and Dad), I was able to get them just the way I wanted. I did the usual 4 sections by 3 loops for Beginner and Sport and 6 sections by 2 loops for Expert and Pro. Only a few of the sections really pushed the two-minute time limit but all of them had significant challenges. My rule of thumb is either to use the terrain to push the rider's ability or to use the section length to push the rider's endurance. I think these ended up just right.
The scores turned out with a decently wide range. No one got down into the single digits but the averages were still reasonable. Jeremy and Ryan duked it out pretty much all day with the difference coming down to the last few sections. Please excuse me while I feel vindicated once again for pushing to combine the bikes. The increased competitiveness definitely seems to be pushing the rider's levels.
I want to single out a few riders who really caught my eye. Starting with the Beginners, Michael Patton really showed a determination that impressed everyone. I don't know many ten-year-olds who could get back and keep riding from two bad falls. He was amazing. Also, Jeff Conlon had a nasty fall about halfway through and probably got some bruised ribs to show for it. Yet, he kept on riding and finished the day. For the Experts, I have to say I was really impressed with MotoTrials star turned BikeTrials star, Pat Smage, for his performance. Last but not least, Tom McNeal and Peter Hellenbrand showed why the combination of camaraderie and competitive spirit make this such a great sport.
Okay, I guess I've run on enough. First and foremost, I must thank Dan Brown and Charlie Roberts at the Trials Training Center for continuing their support and enthusiasm for our little sport. Next, I owe a huge thanks to all those who helped me throughout the weekend, especially my wife Carrie, Mom, Dad, Doug and Zack White. Also, Tim Williamson from TrialsinUSA.com deserves much appreciation for donating an Author A-Gang frame in a raffle for our section judges and a number of grips and SpanishFly pads for everyone. Finally, I cannot forget my only 2005 sponsor, Murfreesboro Outdoor and Bike, and all of the riders, parents and spectators who make all my effort worthwhile.
Courtesy of Michael Friddell
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