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Old 04-03-2014, 06:00 PM   #1
MacAttack OP
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Trials first Rides.

I thought a fun thread would be to post about first rides on a trials bike. The learning curve is pretty steep when starting out and a lot of people get frustrated. I thought maybe if others could share their stories of starting out, it might help a few new riders stay in the sport.

My first ride happened 26 years ago. I was working in a motorcycle shop when an old guy brought in a SWM to sell on consignment. I chatted with him about it and he invited me to bring it to ride that weekend at his place. I thought, “why not !” I had been racing motocross and doing well. This sounds like fun. I can go show these old guys how to ride a bike.

I showed up at his place Saturday morning and unloaded the SWM from my truck. There were 8-10 guys there, all older, and a few of them on the way heavy side. I was so roaring to show these old guys how to ride. The first moment that I thought maybe I might be the one getting showed up happened while watching this 50 year old guy crawl up this loose bank, doing light floater turns for each switchback.

I got all my motocross gear on and had a couple of the guys suggest that the boots might be a little stiff for this. I was young and did not want to listen; all I thought was, “hey let's get this show on the road.” I had so much gusto as I followed the group across a field, wondering why they were going so slow. Then they dropped into a rocky creek bed and started up it like it was just a trail. I dropped in behind them; I made it about 10 feet -- knees on the bike straight up and down stiff as could be -- until the front end twisted out from under me and I fell down. Pride hurt but I am still wanting to show these guys how to ride. With the owner of the bike stopped and watching, I picked it up and tried again. This time I went about 6 feet. Now this is not a boulder covered stream – these were more bowling ball size round rocks with some sharp edges thrown in. On my 3rd try I made it about 20 feet and got it to stop and stayed on when things got out of shape. The owner politely said, “we won't be very far up the creek. You keep practicing here and we will keep checking on you.” He rode off out of sight.

I had a big struggle with myself – do I load this evil machine in the back of my truck or to keep at it? For the next 4 hours I worked on up and down maybe 50 yards of this creek. Every 10-15 minutes one of the other riders would come down and give me a pointer or two. I can say I was not a natural at this at all but I was hooked.

When I went back to work on Monday I put my YZ on the showroom floor. I never raced another motocross.

I only rode for a couple of years back then, before life got in the way. My bikes were in storage for 24 years, unwilling to give up the memories and the fun, but not ready to commit to them again either.

Then I started up again with my wife 2 years ago and am so hooked again.
Let's hear some of your first ride stories.

I wish I had a picture of myself riding that old SWM. This will have to do.

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Old 04-03-2014, 06:19 PM   #2
amcross
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Wink

I don't have a clear story about my first ride...but I do have a fun one about one of my first contests...

I'd had little ride time on the evil "Frantic" that had been the only bike I could afford, and what little time I had wasn't pretty. I decided to try Rookie at a contest, anyway...

As the evil bike tried to buck me off in a variety of ways in various places, with a broken lever or 3 and me nearly ready to quit, Jerry Young took pity on me.

He told mike to bring "the girl" and the evil Frantic to his place. He handed me the grip of a well used Beta 125 that stopped straight and started (relatively) easy and had manners of a kitten compared to that Frantic. He gave me about 2 hours of instruction, until I was too exhausted to continue.

He gave me a waaay more than fair trade value on the nasty bike toward that well used Beta 125 that Jerry had even competed on at one stage. He let me make insanely low payments on the beast ($20/month I think???) knowing I was a single mom and a college student.

He also introduced me to Ray Peters father, the legendary Carl Peters, who took me under his wing. All summer, I hauled the baby beta and myself to their farm to learn to ride more safely, and to take better care of myself first and my machine second.

Without the kindness of these 2 legends -- and a whole lot of other great people in the region of the time not least of which was Mike Komer and of course my now hubby, Mike Cross -- I never would've kept riding. I never would've kept the Beta with me all those years that life got in the way and we didn't ride, and I CERTAINLY wouldn't be riding now.

A huge and special thanks to both of those iconic names of trials for taking a silly little bean pole of a girl into this fantastic sport and helping me stick with it.

somewhere i have pics of me on the old girl... on my Maggie...but ofr now, this will have to od...

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Old 04-03-2014, 06:27 PM   #3
phoenixfire
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How about first ride and first crash?

So I had two first rides and both within a couple weeks within each other.
I was 30, never ridden a motorcycle PERIOD (although always dreamed of being a motocrosser) and was given a chance to learn how to ride in exchange for agreeing to learn how to check and help out at an event.
I still remember that Sunday I got to take my first ride. It was on my friends Beta 125 tr32. It was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. It was the realization of a dream. And yet...it was the scariest thing I'd ever faced in my life. When my friend started it up I'm not sure if the trembling was my nerves or from the bike. But I was shaking.
Now, all i did was circles around their house, getting used to the brake and throttle and clutch. I stalled it I don't know how many times (and almost crashed into a tree) but...I got off and I'm pretty sure my first words were 'I want one.'
A week or two later I had my own baby, a 2006 Sherco 125 of my very own named Piper (I firmly believe in naming my bikes, gives me something to yell at them when they 'misbehave' lol). Anyway, this was my second first. We went for a ride down in my friend's pasture. He has a small stretch with a bank with trees and the flat is filled with rocks and logs and all sorts of fun things. Of course, at this point I was just trying to figure out how to get the bike to putt along and move, let alone do anything as cool as go over anything.
Imagine my surprise when I slipped and stuck the throttle wide open and the bike took off with me.
Now, in my mind I was pulling clutches and brakes and everything. In reality, I went on a rocket ride across the pasture and did absolutely nothing. Except freak out!
"OH thats a big log....ok missed it...still going fast...HOLY CRAP big rock! Ok ok missed that one and...Is that a tractor?"
My friend had brought his tractor down to cut down some trees and brambles while his wife and I rode around. Yup you guessed it.
In the middle of forty acres of completely wide open land, I was hurtling toward a tractor with cement wheel weights.
And my brain, which up until this point had been trying desperately to help me, took one look at it, waved goodbye, and left with a quick "You're on your own. Good luck to ya!"
Not really sure how it happened but next thing I know Piper and I were underneath the tractor, mike and annmarie were racing toward me, and I was laughing hysterically (and no, i don't think i actually hit the tractor).
So not only did I have my first ride, I had my first crash in the same month. And yet I was still hooked and a year and a half later, still riding!
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Old 04-03-2014, 07:36 PM   #4
lineaway
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By the time I got my first trials bike I was an accomplished trials rider. My father was out riding the mesa outside Albuquerque, and came across a trials event. He just out of the blue signed up and rode. He had a blast, then came home and told me all about it. The next month, April 1972 I rode my first trials. First place novice with 2 points. I`ve been hooked for life.
It was another year before I got my first trials Bike. If anybody remembers Carl Shipmans book, Trials just for fun. I was the kid with my tongue hanging out, on a Yamaha mini- enduro. My first bike was Shipman`s cota 249. I either cleaned or fived the sections as I could not reach the ground.
I blew my knee out on my 16th birthday in`76. I quit trials riding till ` 82 after my time in the Navy. I was getting my trophy at the awards at a local desert race and wouldn`t you know it, one of my old trials buddies offered me a ride on his SWM the next weekend.
I had not been on a trials bike for over six years. We shared his bike. I ran all three loops,( Of course drinking Coors along the way) and riding our semi- expert class. It was a SWM Jumbo. Fine running machine as I easily won that day to the dismay of the regular riders. So again I was hooked.
Sorry , no first time crashes. I do have an extensive injury list !
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:27 PM   #5
B1
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about 7 months ago. a mate knew i was interested and took me out for the day. he knew i liked wheelies and warned me the sherco 290 would flip if i sneezed hard. sure enough i flipped it about 10 mins into the ride but no damage thankfully.

everything was aching within half an hour, nowhere to sit, the bike kept wanting to go full lock and spit me off. i was hooked and bought a sherco 290 the next day. riding every weekend since and can clean most of the clubman sections now but C grade still looks way too scary at this stage. pretty boring for anyone but a noob but filmed the day here.

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Old 04-04-2014, 02:58 PM   #6
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By 8th grade I had graduated from a CT-70 to a Suzuki 120 Cat, & finally a Yamaha AT-125. My best friend whom I had met in 5th grade was riding a Yamaha 90 & his Dad was on a CT-175. They were doing enduros & dabbling in trials. They just happened to have a small ditch area behind their house that had a bunch of trees, roots, & slopes. I doinked around back there a few times & liked it. By now they are focusing on trials. There's an event outside of Atlanta, & I get invited to go with a friend of all our parents. Why not. My first real trials, so I ride novice on the AT, which had been stripped of everything but the essentials.

I took 3rd that day, in spite of the bars doing a sudden full lock left on me in a series of ruts that were exactly the wheelbase length. Cracked two ribs, but finished the day. And as you say, I was hooked.

Oh, that dude on the 90 that got me started? 1981 National Champ.
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:45 AM   #7
motobene
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My first trials bike ride was on a TY350 in `88. The then-me, an Expert cross country racer expected the weenie trials bike and sport to be easy. I promptly whiskey throttled a creek bank crash and twisted my knee
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:24 AM   #8
19673ontree
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I don't have a first ride story like some of you but I did grow up riding the honda tl125 trials bikes but back then I did not really know what they were ? They were just funny looking motorcycles that did not break down ? Early on I learned they were awesome in creekbeds and on rough rocky roads , we had about 5 or 6 tl125s growing up and I am older now and still love the look of them I got two 1974s I hillclimb on a crf450 but still like to ride the trials bikes and as mentioned above its a different style of riding for sure !
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:28 AM   #9
BEEF706
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My story has two first rides. (always have to buck the system)
First, back in the 70's riding my Yamaha's happily around south Atlanta, and even racing some, when I came across this book by Carl Shipman (there is some irony here in that I now call ABQ home, and that is where he wrote from). I got so inspired to try trials, that I found someone selling an Ossa MAR. He told me it would be easy to find folks to ride with or set up my own sections (it wasn't) and that it would make a great woods bike anyway, (it didn't) and that I would learn to wheelie just like the guys in "On Any Sunday" (I didn't). So I traded the Ossa off on a Pursang, and went back to hurting myself in other ways.
Then...
Last year I went to the Sipapu Shindig, met a whole bunch of great people, fell off the side of the world, (another story, but it obviously points out that I needed skills ) and then I run into Ateam NM. He has a "spare" trials bike. "Go ahead, ride it around a little, try some of the beginner lines, take it home" (Thanks Tony). .
Not quite a year later and I am hopelessly hooked. Trials riders are like crack dealers, the first one is free.
Come to the Dark Side, we have cookies!
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Old 04-22-2014, 09:03 AM   #10
amcross
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEEF706 View Post
My story has two first rides. (always have to buck the system)
First, back in the 70's riding my Yamaha's happily around south Atlanta, and even racing some, when I came across this book by Carl Shipman (there is some irony here in that I now call ABQ home, and that is where he wrote from). I got so inspired to try trials, that I found someone selling an Ossa MAR. He told me it would be easy to find folks to ride with or set up my own sections (it wasn't) and that it would make a great woods bike anyway, (it didn't) and that I would learn to wheelie just like the guys in "On Any Sunday" (I didn't). So I traded the Ossa off on a Pursang, and went back to hurting myself in other ways.
Then...
Last year I went to the Sipapu Shindig, met a whole bunch of great people, fell off the side of the world, (another story, but it obviously points out that I needed skills ) and then I run into Ateam NM. He has a "spare" trials bike. "Go ahead, ride it around a little, try some of the beginner lines, take it home" (Thanks Tony). .
Not quite a year later and I am hopelessly hooked. Trials riders are like crack dealers, the first one is free.
Come to the Dark Side, we have cookies!
BEEEF - i sorta have 2, a lot like you...
my first one is written down below;

my second was 20 years later. i'd bought mike a dual sport and he was trying his hardest to kill himself with it. A dual sporting friend loaned him a sherco 200 with the deal being mike would get it starting better and he could play iwth it for 2 weeks then give it back. On its 2nd day of 'starting better' i put on a pair of boots and putted around our driveway on it. 2 days later i was trying to buy the bike from the friend; a week later mike had my old Beta 125 running well; 2 weeks after that we'd purchased 2 GG280s and were at our first trials contest in 20+ years!
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Join us in 2014 at the 2nd annual Tilton Trials, Illinois!
Novice owner of "GheeGhee", '01 GG 80big & also '01 GG280 "TriXTer"
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Old 04-23-2014, 09:39 AM   #11
motobene
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEEF706 View Post
Trials riders are like crack dealers, the first one is free. Come to the Dark Side, we have cookies!
+1Had a good laugh reading that!

See you at Sipapu this year too?
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:59 AM   #12
BEEF706
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^^^^^^
Oh yes, I am looking forward to it!
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Old 04-23-2014, 01:50 PM   #13
jonnyc21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEEF706 View Post
Trials riders are like crack dealers, the first one is free.
Come to the Dark Side, we have cookies!
Quote:
Originally Posted by motobene View Post
+1Had a good laugh reading that!

See you at Sipapu this year too?
The only upside to trials riders v's the dark side of the force is that we really do have the motorcycle equivalent of cookies... but if you join the other dark side they respond with "are you really surprised we lied about the cookies?"...
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