Trials riding is one of mountain biking’s most technical forms of riding. Fact is, trials riding is older than downhill. Being a UCI accepted discipline, trials riding has seen world championships for more than 30 years! Downhill world champs started years after! Trials masters like Hans Rey, Libor Karas, Ryan Leech, Jeff Lenosky, Von Williams to name a few put this style of riding on the screens over time.
The youtube generation of riders now have uber creative riders like Danny Mcaskill and Fabio Wibmer for inspiration. Their creative filmmaking and riding style has sparked new interest even among non cyclists towards the sport of trials riding.
In India currently, trials riding is followed by only a handful of riders. We caught up with a few of them to know more about the Indian trials riding scene.
Meet 20 year old Kushagra Rastogi whose been hopping the hops for the past 7 years.
Preferred discipline of riding: Trials Riding/BMX
Years riding: 7 Years
Current bike: Saw 2019
Supporting brands: Jumpbikes.cn
FRMTB: How, when did trials riding catch your attention?
Kushagra Rastogi: Trials riding always seemed interesting to me, its like Free-running/Parkour on your bicycle. It is challenging and I love to tackle challenges. I used to watch Stunt riding videos on the Youtube when I was in school and convinced my dad to get me a good bike (even though he wasn’t happy after seeing what I was doing on that bike lol) and from there it all started.
FRMTB: Who inspires you to ride? Athletes that you look up to?
Kushagra Rastogi: In the Beginning I used to watch Danny-Macaskill, Ali C. and Fabio Wibmer videos, which totally inspired me from Inside that this is the only discipline I want to do as long as I have breath, Later on I found other styles interesting as well, like DH and BMX. Each riding style has its own kind of fun, I’d love to explore each form. Now, my inspiration comes from within me and any video which has tons of energy.
FRMTB: When you find a new line or set yourself a new trick goal, how do you go about it?
Kushagra Rastogi: Whenever I wish to learn something, I watch “how to” videos closely, memorize the technique, then go out and try until I get it right and it blends into my muscle memory.
For some lines I try not to think too much because too much thinking may mess things up! At such times I just commit to the line and do it!
My toughest challenge was learning the Footjam tailwhip drop. It took me a while to get it, as it is not easy to maintain balance on the edge of a ledge, and then drop off after spinning your bike.
FRMTB: What kind of issues do you face while sessioning at certain urban spots?
Kushagra Rastogi: I try to adapt to the surroundings. One of the biggest issues I face is a lack of good spots. At times people think we are nuisance and ask us to leave.
FRMTB: Where do you see the sport of trials riding in India, 5 years from now?
Kushagra Rastogi: Currently there are only a handful of Trials riders in India. I don’t see many new trials riders coming up in the next 5 years. But if we spread awareness about this style of riding and help the ones who are interested, then we can get somewhere.
FRMTB: What keeps you occupied when you’re not riding?
Kushagra Rastogi: Mostly work. But if you love something you will make time for it!