Moving up in class?

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

  1. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 44 years

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    Sounds like you may be the engineer type!

    As one who has long had an intense inward life and has often been socially awkward (thank God for beer), I feel for you. It's taken me years to learn to relax and let melt away some of the 'asshole' energy I apply toward myself and have inadvertently leak out when under the pressure of competition. Trials and age have helped me take myself less seriously, which in turn has helped me to relax and get more into the Zen of trials. The right balance is not giving a crap, and giving a crap just enough to want to achieve. Having fun is what it really is about, and being kind to yourself first makes it easier to be show empathy and a smile toward others.

    I'm terribly insecure about names, and that's made me realize a good part of the problem is the insecurity itself, which creates a negative feedback loop. if I relax about names, they come to me. if I worry, they are blocked.

    Another challenge I find is athleticism requires me to shut down the chatty side of my brain and go more 'animal' and non verbal. Great athletes often have a blank look about them while they do effortlessly what comes hard and looks hard for others. It's a developed skill to switch off the chatty brain to ride a section with a focused animal brain, then go verbal have a fun and friendly chat with your mates (so they know you are in fact not an animal, but a human being (Leslie Nielson comes to mind). That comes easy for some, and hard for some. But given neuroplasticity, any of us can learn darned near anything if we want to.

    So... one measure of moving up is when riding at a level you can control chatty brain most of the time. Chatty brain is brought on in part by more challenging sections and the stress that brings to bear on us. If you are blaming yourself for riding this or that like crap, you're still giving a crap too much and should stay where you are a while longer :-)
    #21
  2. amcross

    amcross Career Rookie/Novice

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    Hey, Eli!
    So glad to see you out there agian, and glad you stayed in Novice. it's so sad to see guys who jump straight into intermediate (saw one go to sportsman on his first day on a trials bike!) - and then get upset and b/c they can't or wont' face teh ego hit of moving down, they quit. don't want to see you do that!

    your family is SOOO welcome at TI. i sure hope we'll see them there. sadly, we won't be at wildwood, but hope to see you at cole hollow.

    My thoughts on moving to intermediate? I know it will be a lonnng time for me - and the win rule wouldn't work for me, as the novice class is so often empty or nearly empty. But right now I practice intermediate level stuff at home as often as I can, and after the event is over, I go back out and ride some intermediate lines.

    ONE THOUGHT on going back on the loop, you sort of hit on. Be sure that you aren't holding up someone who is rushing to finish. I did go back out on Sunday -w ith permission - and laid down a 4th loop, sans one section tha I didntn want to see again (hint hint Doug!) - mainly for the fitness of the added ride time.

    One more option -- ride the loop early Saturday morning and walk the sections. if you feel you can ride most of the intermediate stuff, try it that day. If you see more than 2 that look terrifying, stay with us in novice or make it an 'open' day.

    PS: to those who don't ride TI, our classes are
    novice
    intermediate
    sportsman
    advanced
    expert
    champ

    (with a senior intermediate and a senior sportsman plus a vintage novice)

    I **SO** iwsh the sport would standardize on names....
    #22
  3. lamotovita

    lamotovita Ageing Adventurer

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    The placement of your Intermediate class sort of defies the definition of the word.
    #23
  4. jonnyc21

    jonnyc21 Trials Ninja

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    Hers isn't the only one... Before I moved to Boise, in Seattle we had...
    beginner (only if they had 3 or more people that wanted to ride it)
    novice
    intermediate
    - Sr intermediate
    advanced
    - Sr advanced (I don't recall for sure on this one but it rings a bell)
    expert
    champ

    (vintage novice & intermediate)

    And our sportsman was a between classes option where AM sportsman could ride any novice or intermediate line, and the PM sportsman could rider any Advanced or Expert line. (It was used as a class for people who wanted to test the waters before jumping class or not. )

    loved they way they ran things for someone as new as I was when I started but doesn't sound anything like everywhere else.

    Maybe some day there will be at least a # to go with the class so it helps people pick the right one if they change clubs... :D
    #24
  5. amcross

    amcross Career Rookie/Novice

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    I suspect the name comes from being half way between a novice and a sportsman ... not half way through the ranks. ;)
    #25
  6. Gordy

    Gordy Team Listo

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    Here in NM, our Sportsman class can be tough on those lacking the skilz to move into it.
    It is a class where our TMs really challenge your turning and clutch control.
    It is a great class to master some of the stuff that you need to ride the bike with any finesse.
    Btw it's at the top of our morning classes around here.
    #26
  7. ridenm

    ridenm Long timer

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    I feex.

    Sportsman is at the bottom of the PM classes. The loops themselves become much tougher and there is more emphasis on fitness. Sportsman = someone probably ready for Clubman at a national (maybe) but not necessarily.

    That's why I rode Intermediate pre-injury, and I am slowly working my way back up.
    #27
  8. Gordy

    Gordy Team Listo

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    :doh

    Yeah, what he said. Intermediate is what I meant. THAT Is where you learn how to turn around here.
    #28
  9. Twin-shocker

    Twin-shocker Long timer

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    I see from a previous post that you are running up to 6 separate classes in US trials. How exactly do you work out what class a rider should be competing in? Here you go up after a novice or intermediate class win at an open event.
    #29
  10. motojunky

    motojunky Professional Idiot

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    November 10, Granogue DE. Free camping the night prior. The Tri-State Trialers will be hosting a MAVT trial - the last of the season. The flyer should be available soon.

    This year, I will ride as a mentor/minder for new riders on the 4 (beginner) line to help with any questions or concerns that may arise. Another club in our series did this a couple of months back and had just one taker who spoke highly of the experience.

    We've already sorta met, so no need to be uncomfortable. :D I'll help you (and any other newbie takers - I suspect a very small group) through sign-up, finding the sections, line selection, collecting your trophy, etc. The concerns you've mentioned in a few posts are exactly what we're hoping to help with.

    I do hope you'll consider it. It's a great event.
    #30
  11. Choicecut

    Choicecut Lean, Tender and Juicy.

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    I am glad I stayed in Novice too. Just don't think I am ready for Intermediate quite yet and I don't have an ego to fluff so I am quite ok with that. :D I just really enjoy riding and wrenching on bikes. Trials is the perfect fit for a big clumsy ogre like myself. :lol3

    My family is going to come with me to the Wildwood Event and I hope they enjoy it. My wife is afraid that our daughter won't have much to do, but I told them there are usually a lot of kids running around. My hope is that our daughter sees all the other kids riding trials and wants to join in! :D

    I am definitely going to try some of the Intermediate lines next weekend after I run the Novice loop. If I do OK, I might try Intermediate in Coal Hollow. I do Intermediate stuff around my home and on my brothers property, but when I get to an event, see the markers and ribbon, all my skills head for the hills! :rofl I will just keep plugging at it as my hope is to get good like MikeC and a lot of the other riders. They make it look so frikkin easy!

    Man, that sounds like it would be awesome. I think the first round of next season for TI is the tenth though! That is an excellent idea what you are doing for new riders. If it weren't for AnnMarie and MikeC taking me under their wing and JoeClark giving me pointers at my first event, I would have been completely clueless at what to do. I doubt I would have went to another one either.
    #31
  12. amcross

    amcross Career Rookie/Novice

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    Twin - my understanding here at least is simply it is rider's choice. for example, Mike has been winning sportsman for some time now. He rode one advanced event, and found it over his head (over 100 points and SERIOUS dismounts from his bike 7 times in one day); he was welcome to return to sportsman. Hopefully by spring he will be solidly competing in advanced.

    My old club, D4 in New York State, back in the 90s had a 'move up' requirement and also a 'thou shalt never go back'. It was sad to see someone get injured and quit because they were not welcome to go back down a class. We also had a one-year max on rookie back then, which I got waived for me because had I been forced out I simply would've quit...and nope, i wasn't winning nothing! ;P

    We don't have "open events" in our area, at least I don't think so, if I understand what you mean.
    #32
  13. amcross

    amcross Career Rookie/Novice

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    You know - there's an equine sport we do called Competitive Orienteering - it is like scavenger hunt with compasses but on horseback.

    ANYWAY - at every event in the morning they have a 'practice plate' - every newbie is strongly encouraged to go with some senior rider and go try out the practice plate, without oyur horse. You learn how to read the clues, use your compass, and write down the info you find in teh woods. Takes about 10 minutes and makes the game make sense.

    it'd be cool if each trials had a set time, maybe 15 minutes prior to riders meeting, where a few experienced riders called all first timers (and returning riders) to an open chat about how the events work, where to go, how to read markers, etc!
    #33
  14. dmay

    dmay Been here awhile

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    Be careful what you suggest,you'll get the job:rofl
    #34
  15. ridenm

    ridenm Long timer

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    New Mexico Trials Association actually has 8 classes plus Twin Shock. But post-2008 economic crunch that is simply too many for the sparse turn-out our events have been receiving.

    There is no move-up rule. Internal and external social pressure ("stealing trophies from little kids, still?") are our two class-sorting methods, with the expectable results. No one is "forced" up out of a class, but the club also incorporates a move-up/move-down rule for each event whereby you can change classes after up to three sections with only the time lost.

    Of our lower classes, Beginner is for people who not only have never ridden trials, but also have not ridden motorcycles. That's where Junior kids break into the regular events unless they have enough confidence and skill to ride Novice. Novice is for people trying trials who already have some motorcycle experience. Amateur is where a lot of off-road racers try trials first. Intermediate is where fundamental trials skills of body posture, turning, throttle and clutch control really start getting tested, but with less strenuous loops and lower risk obstacles. There are some specific standards, for height of steps for instance, but that is more subjective than people might expect. Approach terrain, dabbing space, and post-obstacle challenges can influence how the standards are applied.

    The upper classes are harder for me to qualify. Sportsman is the basic upper-class level, not requiring hopping skills, for riders who can consistently clean most Intermediate lines, and would fit in the Clubman class at Nationals. Semi-Experts are folks mostly comfortable in the support classes at a National. Experts have serious skills but aren't comfortable with the risks of the Champ class. Our Champs are folks who are competitive in the EX class at Nationals.

    This is club trials. It's supposed to be fun, not dangerous, and people who would cherry-pick a class for a trinket eventually feel social pressure to stop that. It's not a perfect system, but nobody feels comfortable "forcing" a move up into a class where someone could get hurt.
    #35
  16. Twin-shocker

    Twin-shocker Long timer

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    Here in the UK we have open events (called centre trials) as well as club trials. In a club trial a centre expert would be expected to ride the expert class, but nothing to stop a novice or inter riding harder sections.

    The grading system only operates in centre events, but as there are less and less centre events now, I guess before long many riders will be deciding for themselves what class they ride in club trials?
    #36
  17. amcross

    amcross Career Rookie/Novice

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    HEY ELI! Did you not make it to Wildwood?? Hope all is well and that we'll se you at Cole Hollow.

    Wanted to re-iterate Mikes and my invitation. We LOOOOVE having riders out to our farm and wish we weren't so far away from everyone in TI. Bring your wife and daughter - the girls and I can fawn over the horses a while, then we can take the trials bikes and go play int he pasture. you can even drive your truck right down to our play area, so family can be comfy and hang out while we get som epractice time.

    we are 90 minutes due west of indianapolis and pretty easy to find...give mike a call or an email if you can make it out someitme!

    hope we see you at cole hollow....


    #37
  18. Choicecut

    Choicecut Lean, Tender and Juicy.

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    Hey Ann! Unfortunately we did not make it to Wildwood. We were a house of sickness that weekend so we opted not to infect everyone at the event. :rofl I really wanted to go to that one too as it was Gilbert Reeds event.

    We are planning on going to Coal Hollow for sure. If I heard Bob right in Indiana, there are going to be give-aways on top of being a great event. :evil I will have a RYP school under my belt by then, so maybe I can avoid going over the handlebars like I did in Indiana. :D

    Really appreciate the offer you and Mike have given out! We have a horse farm behind our house that we love to walk over to and pet the horses. Might take you guys up on that offer in the spring! :clap See you in Coal Hollow!
    #38
  19. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    My preference is to ride the highest class that I can plausibly manage without fiving many sections. I find it more fun and that I learn more quickly that way.

    I've found other trials riders to be extremely generous teachers. My first event a pro rider happened to be in attendance and he spent a half hour teaching me stuff. After the event I rode with a couple of int./exp. riders for a couple of hours and learned a lot more. After hours I try to ride the course setout for one or two levels up. I generally have pretty poor balance and suck if hopping is required or if there are really technical turns. I generally do ok on bigger obstacles that require more aggression than skill:lol3
    #39
  20. Sting32

    Sting32 Trials Evangelist

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    BikePilot, you are exceptional rider is sounds, however many are not. People need help in this normally you got better help from a pro, that 90% at least could probably not use when at novice (beginner levels) of course depending on what he actually was teaching you.

    The premise actually is, and has withstood the test of countless riders and lot of time. beginners learn turns, throttle and "save yourself" skills, aka cover the clutch stuff like that. My brother is a novice-Amature trials rider when he wants to ride, but he's an expert level motocross, notice I didn't say pro, he's just been "MX'n" as long as I have trials... he has kind of the weary stance you have, feels comfortable on many things about trials, to a "novice" degree, and won't really work on them, because he's riddin bikes since he was 6, (before I was even born) but just not trials as such.

    I try to not force people but encourage the hell out of getting good at trials via levels. this means mastering balance, turns, small things. get that so you do it in your sleep, on hills, in brick piles, etc. Then of course sections I setup for even novice practices, are harder than I expect novice at an event to be, because they will be on their own at the event, and prepared because it should seem like nothing scarier than, what I have worked them out on before hand.

    Get good, master it in levels... Im not talking about just beating others in your class, beat the sections, beat the trials master's plan, accept the challenge... I mean 5 point day or less, then you might be ready, IF the trials wasn't one of those easy trials that happen once in a while, at most any club.

    we had a easy trial for my class, I should have been clean, got 2 for the whole day, which placed me 2nd (UUUUGH!), but most of the time I'm (as well as Motobene) are still very challenged with 25-35 points, so no I probably no hurry to move up.
    #40