Group Ride – Colonel Ledyard Park – July 14, 2021
This past Wednesday was another cooker, with temperatures near 90 degrees and humidity thick enough to cut with a knife. With all the rain we’ve had lately and the high humidity, we figured it’d be a good idea to avoid all the ‘sweating’ rocks in the wooded areas, and opted for a more open location: Colonel Ledyard Park. After nearly melting within moments of getting out of our cars, we decided to stick to the rocks in the shade, which were still drier than the sweaty stones in or normal wooded riding spots.
Despite the stifling heat and humidity and some pretty decent fails and bails, we also had some pretty good lines. I even tried some lines I’d never tried before that frankly, kind of scared me. Somehow they were much less scary this week, and despite not quite pulling them all off. I made some good attempts.
Solo Session – July 5, 2021
We’ve been getting quite a bit of rain lately here in Southeastern, Connecticut and it’s been darned hot (it is summer, after all). Monday, July 5th was actually much cooler and overcast, so I was expecting a nice, comfortable session on my trials bike. Despite being cool, it was insanely humid. I was dripping wet with sweat in no time. After warming up, I put on gloves, but even the gloves became so sweat-logged that my hands were swimming in them – so much so, that it was hard to hold onto the handlebars.
The ground was also still damp from the rain, so my tires picked up plenty of mud, which became caked between the treads and smeared across every surface the tires touched. Soggy dirt filled my shoe soles and and collected around my pedal pins, making them slippery as well.
I struggled with some old lines as well as some new ones. In some cases I came pretty close to what I was attempting to do, but I couldn’t quite pull anything off to my satisfaction. Regardless of all the excuses, riding is always better than not riding. It’s all part of the trials experience, and always helps inch your progress forward in the long haul.
After spending a long while torturing myself on some seemingly simple lines in my little trials course in the shady woods while fending off hordes of mosquitoes, I decided to try doing a gap to front for the first time, between two pallets. As you’ll see, it was pretty awkward and quite humorous. This is one of the oddest feeling moves that I’ve ever tried on a trials bike. There are several aspects of this that I need to master, including correct body position and weight transfer, the timing of each piece of the move, precision of landing the front wheel on the edge of the target spot, wheel swaps from front to rear on the landing, overcoming my fear of faceplanting, and just being smoother.
I’d like to get this move down to extend my gap reach beyond what I can do just gapping to rear. Plus, it’s also fun and rewarding to go through the process of learning a new skill, seeing progress, and hopefully mastering it one day. Obviously, I have a long way to go to get this to look even remotely like a real gap to front.