OK today I thought I'd touch up a very different wing of the cycling sport. It's one of those pushed a-side 'are they really associated with us bunch of cyclists'. Trails Riders. Dum dum durrrrr.
Yes them. I'm not sure why the sport is not more popular as what these guys can do, if done by the right people, is nothing short of amazing. Hands up who have seen these guys at demo events. They are the ones on silly geared, saddle-less bikes hopping from object to object on their back wheel and usually up a height. Ring any bells? I've come to the conclusion its probably more to with it not being as aerobically athletic, or an Olympic sport. Yet I know it has other qualities such total skill, balance and incredible upper body strength.
Anyway I'd like to talk about one particular trials group and a few of its members. 3Sixty Bicycle Stunt team is still a relatively young team out there but has been doing many demos the length and breadth of the country. When I say young I mean the team concept......not its members they are ageing even if they may deny it! I'm picking on this particular team as I can say quite proudly that I know three of its members, two of them quite well having worked with them at Halfords for a number of years. Ian Drummond, Craig Lambton, and Brett Penfold. Ian I didn't really get to work with much apart from one busy Christmas period where he was building up the many bikes that customers wanted assembled. The only thing that sticks in my mind is presenting a customer his bike that has been built by Ian. Now from a customers point of view you'd expect the bike to be safe and rideable. Not a few metres of walking down the shop floor for the pedal to fall off with a rather disconcerting thump to the floor. The customer was luckily very understanding as an embarrassed me made many apologies before whisking it away to double check its safety. Ian hadn't apparently finished it and had been side tracked whilst putting the pedal in. Still, I saw the funny side eventually although I swore if he left his bike near me for to long his pedal might also be a bit 'loose'!
Craig....aka Lamby. A guy I got to know quite well. Hes always been so down to earth, relaxed and above all totally modest. I never even had clue how good he was on a bike for quite sometime until he back wheel hopped of a large storage container. If I could do things like that, EVERYONE WOULD KNOW! Hes just such a gifted bike rider. Crap poker player. But I tried my best to teach him during boring late night shifts in the shop. I think if Lamby were to remember something about me it would be our only trip out together
to Hamsterley forest with other members from work. On that day I crashed badly and broke and dislocated both my elbows and had to be rushed off to hospital. He's never been in a rush to go out riding with me again!
Brett was really only there on weekend work. Also a very laid back guy, his modesty of how skillful he is was also admirable. Ever the style man, his hair always groomed he was certainly one for the ladies. He is of the riders the master of bunny hopping. I was never sure if he held the record for the highest standing hop but seeing him do one is something most of us could only dream of doing. I'm happy just to get my bike an inch off the ground!
Good trials riders are a rarer breed than say road racers or mountain bike warriors. This can purely be only because it is so hard to be so good. I've left this video of the guys below which shows off this skill I'm talking about. A lot of it is of the three guys pre event, practising lines. Check it out and if you'd like further information and future events then please look at their website which is http://www.3sixty.me.uk/