Why Trials is Fun

Discussion in 'Trials' started by LemmeTry, Oct 4, 2020.

  1. LemmeTry

    LemmeTry Over-thinker...

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    I just watched this Ted Talk and it pretty much sums up why I like trials so much... I don't know about all of you, but when I fail at a technique or obstacle in trials, I find I'm motivated to keep trying just like the toddler that is learning to walk. It's a challenge to conquer, not become defeated by.

    #1
  2. lineaway

    lineaway Long timer

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    Ted Talk has nothin` to do with it. You ride trials cuz you can ride all day long. You can either ride 20 miles to where nobody could ever get to or you sit in the parking lot and practice TBS. Back to the Ted Talk, I would figure out how to win by points. That is also why I like gate trials, you have to ride perfect. Trials is easy, just tie your boots to the pegs! You do not have to practice the same rock all day, just dab less than the other guys in your class. You ride cuz you can just concentrate on what you are riding, forgetting everything else in your life for a short period of time!
    #2
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  3. Huzband

    Huzband Team Dirt

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    This! For me anyway. :nod
    #3
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  4. y4m4

    y4m4 Calvin

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    It's a combination of things for me
    • Getting better at a thing.
    • Having 10 different benchmarks at a meet and finally cleaning a troublesome section.
    • Competing against myself and taking meet competition as seriously as I want that day. (Usually not very serious, it's all about smiles per section than dabs for me.)
    • Forgetting everything while I'm in a section.
    • Turning my "flow state" on-and-off 30 times during a meet is good practice.
    • Developing my ability to turn that flow state on-and-off helps manage my frustration levels in "real life".
    • Meeting people who are just as passionate about riding as I am! Trials riders are friggen nerds and love talking about bikes as much as I do.
    • Riding exclusive locations.
    • Riding a trials bike is as easy or hard as I want it to be that day. Even when I'm out with much better, or worse, riders.
    • Contributing to a community is becoming a bigger part for me.
    • The feeling of being a kid again: small bikes and a focus on "play" riding.
    • [Relative] safety. Riding on the street feels like Mad Max (take your pick, depends on the day) and riding on the trails feels like the old west with side-by-sides ripping around.
    This one might be more personal, but I feel... Welcome. With very limited exceptions, everyone just wants to ride motorcycles and have fun. If you want to also ride motorcycles and have fun, you're part of the club! Everyone is eager to share in the passion and push the rest to the side.

    Trials also came along at the right time for me. I bought my first bike in July 2018 after many years (around 17) of wanting one and I was 10 months out of a break-up that crushed me: it was the right distraction at the time. Then, last year my father passed away unexpectedly. Once again, trials was the distraction I needed and I fully committed to it. This year, well... Covid messed up everything for most people, but my trials season has been mostly intact and it has been the distraction I needed.


    I love this sport. :velvt
    #4
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  5. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

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    When I first started riding 50 years ago, I read in a magazine that you should practice the stuff you have problems with. So instead of like the other guys and perfecting wheel stands or jumps, I did more of stuff I wasn't so good at. After I'd been riding for over 10 years, and was a really, really good rider, I decided to take up trials, and I sucked at it, totally hopeless. I had no problems going fast, but trials was something that didn't come natural to a ''natural'' rider. I did it for years, never got out of the lowest grade - love it.
    #5
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  6. sceep

    sceep Bus boy

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    I can fully get this. I tell people all the time "It's the first thing I've ever been involved in where everyone is trying to HELP YOU beat them."

    Bend your knees!
    Did you think about trying this line?
    Look up!
    This is why we do ______.

    Etc.
    #6
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  7. Jeathrow Bowdean

    Jeathrow Bowdean Been here awhile

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    Awesome thread...

    Funny that I was thinking about these very units a few weeks ago...

    Trials Bike...

    The slow and steady stuff,,, and the challenges of trying to take 1 of these units where I've never been on a dirt bike...

    I would like a small unit too putter around on...

    J.T.
    #7
  8. y4m4

    y4m4 Calvin

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    Very good explanation. I think I'll have to steal it! That eagerness to help results in a situation where you have to try to be left out.

    It's kinda like the "everyone gets a trophy" tee-ball leagues where self-esteem is more important than being good or winning. Except, we all want to get good (relative to our current level, whatever that may be) and are actively trying to improve! We give each other a lighthearted hard time and are quick to celebrate small victories.

    The more I talk about it, the more I wanna ride... This is gonna be a long winter.

    It's the best. People crow about how great meets are, and they aren't wrong, but tough trails are so much fun. You putt along to get to the tough parts, making frequent stops to play on a log or rock that most people go around or never notice. Then you session the hard bits or just git through the really hard bits. There is no rush.

    On the "flowy" sections, you can get in a different kind of groove than a dirt bike. The trials bike handles more like a mountain bike at high speeds and responds to your movements a lot more. It's hard to explain, but it's much more enjoyable than riding the same section on my KTM 300. You can "pump" into jumps and turns a lot more and get so much out of it. The trials bike behaves like it's part of you, not like you're trying to force it into doing something. The KTM feels reluctant where my modern trials bike feels eager. Much like a bicycle, but you don't have to pedal the dumb thing.
    #8
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  9. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 49 years Supporter

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    And then there's masochism:jump... the desire to do something repeatedly ego smashing, for that ceiling is always there. Cross it and get a humbling!
    #9
  10. Nodabs

    Nodabs Been here awhile

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    My philosophy is that you can never really "win" riding trials, even if you zero the event you spend time thinking to yourself of where you messed up or what would have been a more elegant solution .
    You can't win trials by wicking 'er up or going into the corner further than the other guy. Subtlety and nuance are the name of the game, concentration and the ability to think "on your pegs" are so much of it.
    Yes, the fun part for me is the mind game that you play with yourself, the other competitors are just there to provide goals to achieve.
    Having a good time with your friendamys in the woods and taking away all of the outside noise. Yep, that is it for me.
    #10
  11. Gordy

    Gordy SUPPORTER

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    :*sip* Most of the focus and “zen” that has been described here can also be found in almost any sport. The more extreme, the more “zen”. You can’t ride a MX bike at speed around a rough, technical track or a desert bike at 80 in Baja while thinking about much of anything else. I am sure that a road racer (think Isle of Mann TT) is100% focused and using every bit of skill earned in his lifetime to survive! He is not stressing about running over a ribbon but facing death at the hands of a rock wall if he goes mere inches off line at 150 mph.
    It’s often called “flow” when you get into it. All athletes have experienced this,
    I find trials has some periods of this but you have to admit, there is lots of rest time or just outright turn off the bikes and BS time. :nod
    The thinking that trials is somehow ‘harder’ or we have to be some kind of zen-masters to do this is laughable. Yes, it is unique but in a funky kind of way that most of us understand, but not many. The more we learn, the more we realize what we don’t know, but that’s the same with almost everything.
    The thinking that trials riders are better than others is called exceptionalism and that feeling is what lot of other participants of other sports perceive in trials riders and this (sadly IMO) drives them away from this sport.
    BTW, back to the thread title, I find trials to be lots of fun!!!! It is challenging, requires lots of time to learn the basics and if you are competing, you better stay focused at least most of 1/2 of a day.
    Flame suit ready.........
    #11
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  12. lineaway

    lineaway Long timer

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    `The thinking that trials riders are better than others is called exceptionalism and that feeling is what lot of other participants of other sports perceive in trials riders and this (sadly IMO) drives them away from this sport.`
    Flame suit ready...... :imaposer
    That has been true for the last decade or two, but I can remember several decades all the other riders thought we were a bunch of wimps. Very few of us are better riders, and the top riders stand out because they flat out have more balls!
    Speaking of riding with flow. I used to get in the zone all the time by riding fast and keeping the rhythm going. Hard now with age and so many riding in groups slowing down the pace. Bunch of social butterflies riding nowadays.:lol2
    #12
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  13. 2whlrcr

    2whlrcr gooligan

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    I had limited fun today while laying under my trials bike in a section.
    #13
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  14. UstaKood

    UstaKood Been here awhile

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    Good points on the " Zen " and " Zone " .

    For me , Trials has always checked all the boxes .

    Even the " Need for speed " .

    As we all have found out that " Things happen Fast when you're going slow " !

    Of course these days ...... :gerg
    #14
  15. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 49 years Supporter

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    Trials is like a castle with two big ditches in an arc on both sides barring general acceptance. There are signs on each side:

    WARNING! WIMP SPORT - SLOW AND BORING!

    WARNING! IMPOSSIBLY DIFFICULT SPORT - NOT FOR YOU!

    In the castle we party in our little zone.
    #15
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  16. MT 007

    MT 007 Long timer

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    I am so glad I don't read signs - life is way more fun that way.
    As much as I enjoy riding trials, spending a day in the woods setting sections can be even more fun :-)
    #16
  17. Junglejeff1

    Junglejeff1 Long timer

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    Last month purchased a used 300 ktm In Mint shape.I really missed offroad after spending most of 30 years racing enduro,s and scrambles. I think I like trials better now.After spending the last 3 years manly on trials bikes the ktm is just such a fire breathing beast.Funny part is the single track we ride I can smoke the big bikes on the trs.I think the main reason I like trials besides the great people and new friends I made are the bikes are simply a blast to ride.Funny I thought I was getting what I wanted when I got the ktm but now thinking I made a mistake. Might have to trade it off for a beta or Montessa with a long ride kit.
    #17
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  18. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 49 years Supporter

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    First bike: 1970 Honda SL100, then various DT-1s, then motocross, enduro, and cross country. Then it was solid trials for years. Then in the `90s the neighbor gave me an under-tree Yamaha XS650, leading to cruisers, street bikes, and big adventure bikes riding with wife (she on her own machine). Grew cold on BMWs, then went to a year one Gen 2 KLR650 (that lasted a year), then I converted to a Gen 1, which I still own.

    Every time I've dipped out of exclusive trials and done off road on whatever bike, I find trials has made me better, sometimes significantly so. Many preferences have changed as well and I set up the non-trials bikes very much biased toward trials settings and ergonomics.

    In 2019, I added back a street legal off-road bike with a Beta 390 RR-S after long agonizing over what brand and especially, what engine displacement. Now with the NM residence I've really enjoyed exploring the mountain west long denied me because it was work work work, maybe one transcontinental ride a year, and whatever time was left I could ride a few trials a year.

    The challenge now is for me and my fellow rider(s) to back off from race pace because, well, at 64 years old, one hard crash can mean the end of decades of riding. But it can be so tempting! We're about 90% successful at this, as the relaxed brisk pace is actually quite pleasurable over the hours.
    #18
  19. steadfast

    steadfast Been here awhile Supporter

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    I love trials because I can have fun in an 8x8 square if it comes down to it. I can scare myself on a hit or a climb or frustrate myself with a super tight turn. As with everything, we’re always learning and I feel like this is even more so riding trials. The most minor details with body positioning and bike control can make huge differences. It makes you think a lot more and be more conscious of line choice than other aspects of motorcycling. I’m definitely enjoying it way more than riding my GS these days.
    #19
  20. BEEF706

    BEEF706 King of the dumb dab

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    Because i can:
    Ride in my driveway (or backyard or porch)
    See progress in my riding most days
    Try difficult new things, and laugh when I make it (and when I don’t)
    Meet and ride with people I enjoy, and who root for each other.
    Ride for 2 hours within sight of the truck, and be exhausted.
    See kids progress on past me, and love it.
    Probably more, but trial is fun
    #20