Moving up in class?

Discussion in 'Trials' started by Choicecut, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. Choicecut

    Choicecut Lean, Tender and Juicy.

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    When is a good time to move up to the next class? I ask this because I rode my second event this weekend and took 1st overall in Novice class, but am unsure if I should move up to Intermediate because of it. I took two pretty good crashes during the event, but still somehow managed to score ok. These weren't little tip overs either. I actually "stiff legged mcgee" over the handlebars trying to cross a log on Saturday, and on Sunday I got completely out of control on a section and shot down over a bank into a tree. Aside from my pride being hurt, I'm not busted up too bad. :rofl

    I feel like some sections are too easy, but then run into a spot here and there that complete busts me up. I want to keep challenging myself (without getting hurt) and I also don't want to overstay my welcome in any given class.

    Most of you guys probably jumped right into Intermediate, but I am curious to hear your experiences on moving up to the next class. Almost wish there was some type of system that moved you through the classes, rather than choosing when to move up yourself.
    #1
  2. lamotovita

    lamotovita Ageing Adventurer

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    What are your scores like? Typically the winning score in a class should be one point per section for the Trial, if you ride ten sections three times your winning score would be about thirty. When I set a Trial my target score for the novice class is lower than that though, maybe closer to twenty points for the winner. You should ask the marshal at your event what his thoughts are though.
    You could continue to sign up in the Novice class and ride some of the Intermediate lines to ease yourself into the Intermediate class, you should get permission from the marshal before the Trial.
    #2
  3. liviob

    liviob Been here awhile

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    If you are not feeling challenged enough by novice class move to amateur class. You will find the challenges you desire there. Intermediate requires skills that cannot be faked.
    #3
  4. jonnyc21

    jonnyc21 Trials Ninja

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    In the Seattle aria before I moved to Boise they had a line they called sportsman. It didn't compete for the year end title but let you pick between the novice and the next level up (in Puget Sound Trialers this is intermediate). In affect you could walk the 2 AM lines and pick the upper line if you felt you could do it, or the lower novice line if you felt you needed to.

    This is what I did the first time I wanted to ride the next class up, gave me confidence to try the intermediate. In fact that was the only line I did ride, didn't pick any of the novice lines that day. felt great. :D

    don't know if they have this out there but maybe worth checking into.
    #4
  5. 2whlrcr

    2whlrcr gooligan

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    When everyone starts calling you a sandbagger.
    #5
  6. lineaway

    lineaway Long timer

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    You might give yourself at least another month in your class to decide. Most events are set by different people. So this last one could of been harder than normal or on the easier side. Just give yourself time to get more control of the bike before moving up.
    We see people come and go all the time. Usually riders expect too much from themselves, get frustrated and move on. On the other side don`t crash out of the sport either.
    I can remember a so called expert road racer joined our club. ( He did actually race at the local track.) He bought a new bike, all the gear. Thought he wanted to ride trials to cross train. He struggled in our beginner class. He could not believe how hard it was for himself being a superior rider. Last time we ever saw him.
    #6
  7. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 44 years

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    This is true and a good measuring stick. But there can be a problem. You can advance in both skill and age, where moving up a class can be too risky and more grind than fun. This is more a problem as you get higher in classes. So you have to be your own judge despite catcalls.

    I've had the problem of dominating a class then moving up and getting thrashed and not having fun. This happened to me in Michigan in the late `90s when I moved up to Expert (the top class there at that time) from Advanced, and finished the year #3. Michigan had a 45-section minimum for events, and the sections at that time were stop-and-hop tight. In the summer heat the sections had me tongue dragging and they seemed to go on f o r e v e r. The bigger obstacles were also at times quite scary to me.
    So I dropped back a class and had much more fun... and that's the point.

    Today I am in Senior Expert and getting beat more often than not so I'm in the right place. My goal is to get better and have Expert feel about the same challenge and risk to body as Senior Expert. At 57 years old and gimpy, that may prove a pipe dream. But it doesn't matter. It's about challenge with fun.

    I offer here a story I heard from actor Ernest Borgnine. He was a starving actor in NYC in the `30s and used to stand near the chestnut vendor's cart so he could smell them, as he could not afford to buy them. On the cart he saw written something that guided him his whole life and VERY long career, "I don't want to set the world on fire... I just want to keep my nuts warm."

    Borgnine wisdom: Forget your ego and go with the nuts! When they cool, move up a class. If they are on fire, settle back a class. When they are nice and warm, stay where you are.
    #7
  8. Sting32

    Sting32 Trials Evangelist

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    Unless there is NOBODY in you club that is paying ANY attention to your riding rather than results, you will get feedback. Plus Clubs, they should have a formula for #wins or points earned for positions earned each month = graduation.

    But, there is a problem with that formula, that is the "COMPETITION" and the common "lack of it". even if you have no other riders in your class, I like to see a novice ride the class all year, unless they are the type that has picked up the "skillset" for novice VERY quickly. That "very quickly" is quicker than you think or most riders think, and I have that judgement from years of experience and have only used it ONE time and not been burned by it. SO, I ALSO like to see a some "clean loops" and then a clean card, over that year, then I feel the rider is ready, usually. but seldom get a clean card. The clean 1st loop means you have at least begun to read the sections, and can see what needed to be done, although in Novice/beginner it is not that big of a deal, but it is though....

    the biggest problem you have is how to answer the questions?
    1 do you have the skills down pat? Not just beating other newbs, in your class? Beating other riders is one thing, but especially early on, in your advancements from beginner to top classes, you take the "novice" skills & master them for novice class. Then you move up, which forces you to add new skills to now "master" all those Plus improve some on the novice ones, then move on up, adding to your perfected skillset. I hope you can see what I am trying to say.

    2. give it enough time to see if you have honestly "seen it all in novice or whatever class." A fluke win, is nothing to sneeze at, as you might do great one month, get ass handed to you next month, it depends on your competition and your ability.

    Too many riders (that I DID NOT mentor) will fool themselves into thinking Im moving up, Im winning, bored and hate beating my buddy each month that is struggling... Well, they might been winning, but they were the only rider in the class, per se. then they moved up, and was way over their heads. You need a mentor, find one.

    IMHO, "MOVE HIM/HER UP" during trophy ceremony each month, and the infamous sand-bagger call outs is almost an honest "congratulations" for the lower class riders. I loved to hear it when I moved from the Jr Class on into Novice many many years ago. it is a "You have done good" and being funny saying it, a real sort of way, when you are just starting out.

    when you have ridden for 40 years like I have, you can tell some in you competition, are kind of mad that they cannot beat you... It is totally different. I used to say that about a riding buddy of mine, Alan Guyot, then one weekend, I just decided that by god I can bitch or I can make myself get to where I can beat him. eventually I was almost there, before he passed away...

    Lastly, IMHO:
    At any point, but after a year in one class, you could and should have the confidence, and you should be allowed to "try" the next class up, without having to stay there, ONE TIME. clubs might have different feelings so make sure you talk to your club, if you want to see.
    #8
  9. Choicecut

    Choicecut Lean, Tender and Juicy.

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    Thanks for the input! To answer the score question, my score on Saturday was 28 and Sunday was 15. I think I will talk to the folks at the next competition and see if I can opt in for some of the intermediate lines (no amateur that I have seen) without being penalized. I finished pretty early on Sunday and almost asked if I could go back through and ride some of the intermediate lines without being scored, but decided against it.

    Most of the Novice section stuff seems pretty easy for me now that I know how to ride an event, but every so often there is a part of a section that can really throw me for a loop. I suppose being that it was only my second event I shouldn't rush things. It's amazing how I can ride over logs, climb banks and all kinds of shit around my house, but throw up some markers and some tape and it becomes a new ballgame. :rofl
    #9
  10. Twin-shocker

    Twin-shocker Long timer

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    Not sure how many classes you have in the US? Here in the UK we generally have novice, intermediate, expert, and over 40 classes.

    The way to go up a class was to have a class win at a centre (not club) level event, with the proviso that there had to be a certain number of riders in that particular class.

    That system seemed to work reasonably well, but not so sure now as there are less and less centre events, and more and more club trials, where I would guess its up to the individual what class they compete in?
    #10
  11. BEEF706

    BEEF706 King of the dumb dab

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    but throw up some markers and some tape and it becomes a new ballgame :rofl

    MAN do I hear that, I learned a new term yesterday, "ribbonitis" just about perfectly describes what happens to me in a section.:deal
    #11
  12. Choicecut

    Choicecut Lean, Tender and Juicy.

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    I kinda wish it were that way in the US. It is completely up to the individual to decide what class they compete in. Maybe I will just finish out this season (2 events left I think) in Novice and if I continue to do well, then start out next season in the Intermediate class. I will have an RYP school under my belt after next month, so that should help me a little. :D

    hahaha, added ribbonitis to the vocabulary!
    #12
  13. Gordy

    Gordy Team Listo

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    You learn new skill-sets in every class. If you are not getting clean (or near clean) loops, then don't rush it and take the time to develop these skills before moving up.

    Man......that Sting guy is wordy. :rofl
    #13
  14. Choicecut

    Choicecut Lean, Tender and Juicy.

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    I would like to find a mentor, but my awkwardness and inability to socialize gets the best of me, and there doesn't seem to be anyone close to where I live that rides trials. I went by myself to the last event, about 4 hours from where I live, and I think I said a total of 10 sentences the entire weekend. There are two individuals that have given me pointers (after seeing me crash :rofl) which has helped me immensely. Need to break out of my shell and talk more, but it's difficult for me when I don't have a computer to hide behind or my wife and daughter there to serve as a buffer. :D
    #14
  15. DerViking

    DerViking Shred

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    Then take them along! Don't know about the club you're riding with, Trials is a family affair out West.

    I rode one novice trial, and one season of intermediate, before moving to the afternoon. (extensive bicycle trial background) I have never had a clean card, or a clean loop. I felt I could handle the challenge, so I kept moving up, and no one ever said anything. I got to Expert, my goal, and struggled for two seasons. Now I have hit my stride, and I am not totally puckered up on the first lap.... :eek1 Pro is probably out of the question, now I just have to get that clean loop.

    If you are having out of control crashes, but scoring well, then I would guess you are well on your way. Practice a bunch, dial in your control, and move up in the spring. Whats the worst that could happen? :evil
    #15
  16. dmay

    dmay Been here awhile

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    Eli,
    First off,don't worry about riding the class you want to ride in T.I. events,have fun!!!
    2nd,hope my advice in sat section 10 helped,you seemed to do just fine on that log the remaining loops,so you can learn!(I repeatedly forget everything I practice during the week when I get into a section!!!)
    I too have socialization issues,but trials people are freakin' awesome and will take you in and love you! If you are from Zanesville you do have a good local crew to ride with,Start by contacting Steve Williams who does the Newark trials,GREAT Guy!(I don't have his contact info,but everyone knows who he is at the events)BTW,The intermediate lines at both Newark and Stoney Lonesome are WAY harder than the Novice line. Riding with others is very important to advance,to have them critique you and so you can watch how they do things.
    T.I. has the option of the "open" class,you can look at each section and pick the line you want to ride in each section,just tell the observer what line you are riding before entering the section. Possibly the funnest way to ride a trial I'd bet.
    Volunteer to work a section,they'll pair you with a experienced checker so you only have to punch scores,not decide the fate of others,watch how the advanced riders take EVERY inch of a section seriously,every twig and pebble is considered and actively dealt with,I see Novices(and lots of intermediates) just plow through the sections to get to what they consider the "challenge" of the section only to dab somewhere dumb. Watch the Body maneuvers of the riders,not the bike so much,listen to when they are on and off the throttle.
    If you see me at the events(red Dodge Dually,Sherco or Fantic vintage) don't hesitate to come say hi!(Won't make the next one,too busy at work to swing the time off,I live at the western side of Indiana so it's a haul for me,maybe I'll make Coal Hollow,we'll see)


    P.S. Section 6 on sunday was much of my doing, I am definitely on AnnMarie's sh*tlist...
    #16
  17. thegraydog

    thegraydog 2 wheels X 6 ways

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    At some point you realize "I got this" in the class, so try the next one. It should set you on your heels a bit, but feel like "OK, I can do this".
    You did mention riding the lines for the next class up -- I gua-ron-tee everyone will encourage this. And why stop at three rounds? I often ride more passes through sections that have interested or defeated me -- usually get the clean as soon as it doesn't count!:rofl
    Dood, it's trials! We all have the same affliction.
    #17
  18. Choicecut

    Choicecut Lean, Tender and Juicy.

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    It sure did! You and AnnMarie gave me some pointers for that section that helped a ton. Didn't have any issues with it the rest of the day. MikeC also gave me the pointer of keeping my knees out, which made a world of difference for me in the creek bed. I plan to ride both coal hollow and wildwood if things pan out like they seem to be, so maybe I will see you at one of the two.

    Section 6! Arrrg. That was the only section I struggled with on Sunday. The first attempt resulted in me whiskey throttling off that first banked turn down over the bank and into the trees! :rofl My fork tube thanks you:

    [​IMG]

    Luckily the dent is above the seal and below the dust cover so I think it will be ok.



    I think I will give some of the Intermediate lines a try next event after I finish running the Novice. I was afraid I would be intruding on other folks by taking an extra lap. I won't hesitate next time!
    #18
  19. no2tracks

    no2tracks Been here awhile

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    Get some fork guards on there! Cheaper than replacing a tube!

    I usually get through the event faster than most, so I go and run some lines again or do the next-class-up lines. Also, go out and ride whenever and wherever you can. Time on the pegs has really helped me.

    Volunteer to help set and run an event. They need the help and it gives you a lot of peg time and helps to develop relationships.
    #19
  20. Sting32

    Sting32 Trials Evangelist

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    Der,

    there are always exceptions to the rule. Lots of trials experience is your exception Plus determination you have shown in Bike trials probably. I have to say things more generic, NOT every newbie to trials will end up at expert, especially if they rush it, dont practice, and get the skills down pat (master the skills). my previously laid out, although shortened to a couple main points, the theory works... has worked well for many. Clean loops (should been the goal) not just the "must have" I guess it looked like I typed. Ive seen a few do them, but a most will barely fell short of those goals. Ribbonitus...

    For the average to meddling, it takes a while to get to a good "base" skills, where you have covered throttle control, clutch control, turns, and many things are in competency, not mastered as such.

    you'll know it is time to move up when you are beating the sections & the "trials master" that setup your lines, aka with clean cards or loops, or damn near it, not whether you are beating others. that is the main thing.
    #20