The gang from American Beta invited us out to spend a little time banging up their pretty trials bikes. So we headed off to the Motoventures compound near Cahuilla Creek to eat their food, ride their bikes and have an all around good time.
For me I have only ridden a trials bike once before and that was over ten years ago and on a bike that was ten years old at the time. The bike belonged to Damon Huffman, but that didn’t seem to make it do anything spectacular for me. Trials is just always one of those things where if I had more free time, money and space, I would really want to get proficient at it.
Suffice it to say that two times in ten years is not enough to make me any good at it. I pretty much stink. Nevertheless, it is probably the most fun I have had at something I am really bad at. What I do know is that I could become a much better rider if I could spend more time at it. Not just a better trials riders, but a better motorcycle rider in general. I am always amazed when riding with real trials riders the kind of lines they will take and how smooth they can be in the worst of situations.
But back to our story. The Beta crew gave us all a little instruction in the morning and then set up a basic trials event for us to participate in in the afternoon. In the afternoon competition my buddy Todd Sciacqua was the class of the field. But he was short of cheating, as he owns his own bike. I brought along David Kamo and he was pretty solid, but he used to have a bike also.
Mark Kariya is a natural
The real surprise to me was how fluid and smooth photographer Mark Kariya was. He is just a spandex jumpsuit away from being a regular competitor. As for me I was bringing up the rear of the field. Without much practice I have absolutely no sense of timing and sort of crash into everything. I did have one good moment. I cleared one section perfectly, but it really just had a hill climb and a couple of tight turns, no real obstacles. The best part was that it was at the one moment when everyone in attendance was watching, so I am sure there is somebody out there who thinks I know what I am doing. That was my one zero in a day of fives.
So my one day of trials riding has just left me wanting more. I know with just a little practice I can do much better. Not that you are going to catch me doing any splats up against the rock wall or anything, but it would be nice to tackle a few boulders. Cody Webb kept us entertained much of the day as he would find all sorts of cool challenges around the area. A couple of which seemed pretty hairy to me, but he didn’t seem to concerned.