Archive for the ‘Biketrial’ Category

1 January 2013



Old Lady with new legs

8 May 2011

Before I even knew of biketrial I once in a while rode and ride my Montesa Cota 311 — see one of my first posts. This Old Lady is from 1992 and has just seen a mere 1554 kilometres. But some things wear over time and not over kliks. So I brought both front legs to a nearby repearshop to have them well done. New fork seals and fresh oil. Because the old seals leaked the brake pads were oiled all over. Luckily a nearby mopped dealer had some of the same pads. Great that some things don’t change over time — exept that the brakes on my Montesa back then were something very innovative compared to the drum brakes used before, and are now standard equipment of 50cc supermotard moppeds.

Anyway, my Montesa was ready for a sorty! Here just standing on the nearby banks of the river Meuse.

Biketrial Six Days style

13 April 2011

When I started trial riding on my Montesa I surfed the web for nice pictures. That’s when I encountered the Scottish Six Days Trial event SSDT. Six days riding though the open field with natural obstacles to challenge riding skills. Unfortunately here in the Netherlands I don’t have these surroundings nearby…

Last september I went to the Belgian Ardennes to the village of Stavelot — one of my all time favourite campsites. Rough terrain, out-season very quiet and allowance to make a campfire. That beside. But I took my Monty biketrial to play around with. The brook that borders the campsite provided a wonderful trial zone! Slippery and rolling rocks hiding under shallow streaming waters and refreshing splashes to cool my sore legs and arms — I still practice still too less!

The result was superb! The Eau Rouge maybe is not the World tour Zone but suits me fine. My girlfriend took some nice pictures and one of them made it to the Picture of the Month on the Monty site (week 57).

Six Days style in the Ardennes

I asked around if this way of biketrial riding is still common these days but it isn’t. Great for the exposure our sport are man made Zones so that spectators can watch close by. However… on the Monty site I found a video of Dani Comas practicing in the Catalan Pyrenees riding upstream though a mountain stream. Great! It still exists! Enjoy the vid!

Biketrial Harderwijk

22 November 2010

On the 4th of September 2010 NoDabs — the one and only biktetrial store in the Netherlands — organised a six zone trials match. Location Harderwijk NL on a sports demonstration event. Remembered the event too late, being busy with other things or just haven’t practised enough I decided to participate as an official. Taking a close look at each participant and sticking my hand in the air is also a good way to take part in the event. Just a month earlier I in Antwerp I saw how this job was done…

The great thing being an official is that I now know nearly all the biketrial riders in the Netherlands. I watched all participants from benjamin to elite, from blue to yellow zones. After the match I tried some parts myself. However I must confess that even for the blue benjamin zones I really have to work on my skills…

UCI World Cup Biketrial Antwerp

4 October 2010

On Sunday 1st of August I went to the biketrial world series with my son Joris. Antwerp is only an hour drive and besides this event a great city to be. Last June Joris tried my Monty Alp on the camp site and became an instant biketrial enthusiast. For his birthday he got an Onza Rip and is practising since. No doubt we went together…

The six trail zones were set out on the Grote Markt, central market square in the inner city. Great promotion for our sport and the city of Antwerp. When we arrived the 26″ just started. Differences between the competitors were amazing. Coustelier — gravity is something he doesn’t have to cope with — finished after two rounds with only one point!

Me and Joris are both 20″ riders so after some ice tea and a Konink our favourites took off. Again huge differences between the riders. Benito Ros from Spain had a wonderful easy style and passed the two times six zones with only three points. The number two and three — our national biketrial hero Rick Koekoek — took respectively 30 and 38 points. You’ll have to know that in biketrial the one with the lesser points wins…

It was amazing how close you could get to the zones. It was easy to get the whole picture standing on some rim of the city hall, or to be practically inside the zone having competitors nearly jump over you like Benito Ros on this picture.

Benito Ros (ES) jumping over our heads

After the match I spoke shortly with Kenny Belaey the top Belgian rider on 26″. It’s nice to see that these top riders still take some time to chat with someone enthusiastic to their sport.

For some great pictures you can search the web or just look here…

The Trial-Inside is one of my favourite biketrial photo sites…

Try Biketrial!

22 April 2010

About ten years ago I bought a 1992 Montesa Cota 311 trial motorcycle. I like playing around with this bike, it’s a lot of fun. Besides riding a trial improves you riding skills a lot, something useful for my greenlaning. The Cota weighs only 80 kilos and you have to stand on the pegs all the time. Because it is almost impossible to hurt yourself or to damage the motorbike you are more willing to try new things, especially riding obstacles like tree lumps, a field with large stones or simply riding on curbstone on the edge of the pavement along the street. Trial is all about keeping balance. It seems simple but riding a curbstone for more than 10 metres is quite challenging!

One day I searched the Net for a how-to riding trials. I discovered several Observed Trials Coaching manuals that gave plenty of how-to on my basic questions. Then I discovered something different. Grown up men riding small sized bikes without the constraints of gravity. This was biketrial. Soon I discovered that biketrial is mostly a Spanish thing to do (later I found out that this sport is done all over the world but not that many). I also found some great sites explaining how-to.

One of the fathers of biketrial was Pere Pi. Himself being a motorcycle trial rider and worker at the Montesa factory wanted his son Ot to try it too. It was told that after some bigger crashes Pere decided to let his son do the same thing on a regular but adapted pedal bike. With the aid of the Montesa factory he was able to build the first specially made biketrial bikes. This was when the brand Monty was born. In Spain biketrial was called trial-sin — trial sin moto, trial without engine. In fact Ot Pi became one of the best triallers in the world and stayed one of the best for about 30 years. Other biketriallers later switched to motorcycle trial and became the best like Tony Bou, Jordi TarrĂ©s. Other sportsmen were advised by their physical trainers to use biketrial for practice like Marc Coma, the Spanish Dakar rider.

For me biketrial was a new adventure. I always liked bicycling and with mountainbiking the technical sections were favourite. At slow pace conquering roots, logs and stony streams in the Belgian Ardennes. Because I first wanted to try I stripped all the unnecessary parts of my mountainbike, equipped it with a 2.5 rear tyre and motocross handlebars. The result was amazing! Although not that easy I managed to climb up and down ridges having a lot of fun. Soon after I bought a real biketrial bike, a Monty Alp 219.

trial mountainbike (be one)

The 219 Alp is a so called Mod with 20″ wheels. It is maybe more difficult to ride than a 26″ trialbike, more agile and certainly great fun! On most biketrial websites you can find the different characteristics of 20″ versus 26″ bikes.

Then about the riding technique, the point where it all started for me. One site in particular is very complete: Trash Zen. It describes all the basic moves and tricks step by step and is richly illustrated with videos. I think it’s not only a must see for triallers but also for mountenbikers. This site is correct in stating that biketrial is in fact Zen art — the ultimate concentration on only on thing you do that very moment. For the rest YouTube and a lot of dedicated sites provide lots of material to see how fun trial can be. Personally I very much like the easy and controlled style of Gerardo Garcia. Unfortunately his website is no longer there but you can see him on YouTube.

Biketrial is very much fun to do, although I have to practice some more to get the basic moves done. Balancing on the rear wheel — aargh, I still am not able to do it. One of the great assets of biketrial is that you can do it almost anywhere, it costs not that much and causes no harm or noise. The only thing you easily damage is your own body, so always wear a helmet, gloves and a pair of shin protectors…