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 22 year old Rahul Mishra (a.k.a RonnMTB) whose been dropping ledges since 2017.
Preferred riding discipline: Trials riding
Years riding: 3 Years
Current bike: Inspired Arcade 2017
Supporting brands: Sharptune for bike maintenance and RedBull India supports with energy cans.
Youtube: Ronn MTB
FRMTB: How did trials riding catch your attention?
Rahul Mishra: I was in class 7 when I saw team Sharptune for the first time in I.I.T. Bombay performing BMX tricks at the college festival. After watching these guys my mind was blown, I was super curious to know more about this sport. Until then I wasn’t aware of the term BMX!
I started visiting cybercafes and browsed for more information on BMX and happened to find Danny MacAskill’s videos. After a year, again I got the chance to see team Sharptune perform and remember seeing our brother, late Ajay Padval riding his bright orange bike. A few months later I bumped into a few good riders, one on a BMX and the other guy was on a mountain bike. The MTB guy helped me to know more about Danny and I decided to stick to this discipline of Street Trials(2013). After this, Dipak Panchal (Sharptune) helped me further to where I am now.
FRMTB: Who inspires you to ride? Athletes that you look up to?
Rahul Mishra: Well, I get inspired by all the riders who bring something new to the discipline and nail cool tricks. I follow British trials rider Ali Clarkson, Danny MacAskill and Fabio Wibmer mainly. Ali has a smooth and amazing riding style and Danny always creates jaw-dropping videos which inspire me.
FRMTB: When you find a new line or set yourself a new trick goal, how do you go about it?
Rahul Mishra: When I find any new line or set myself on a new trick I simply focus on that particular move. I commit to that line. Only after completing the line or dialing the planned move, I’d leave the spot! Sometimes it takes a lot of tries to complete even the smallest of tricks, but the moment I complete my move, I’m on top of the world! I’ve spent almost a week to complete a foot jam tailwhip, even now sometimes I miss the pedals.
FRMTB: What kind of issues do you face while sessioning at certain urban spots?
Rahul Mishra: I face issues from locals at my usual spots.
*People think I’m performing some sort of a circus act and pester me to repeat the trick, this always pisses me off!
*Sometimes motor bike riders start their own session at a spot, doing wheelies and such which ends up in cops showing up and taking me along with the motorbike riders to the police station!
*Local security guards kick me out of the spot, they don’t understand the sport.
*My work-life affects my riding life. I don’t get as much time to ride leading to delays in learning a new skill.
FRMTB: What keeps you occupied when you’re not riding?
Rahul Mishra: I’m usually busy with my work while not on my bike. I like learning new things, I’m presently learning about film making, editing and even website development.
FRMTB: Any shoutouts?
Rahul Mishra: Yes, a big shoutout to FRMTB for all their efforts in helping bring the sport to a bigger platform. India needs such teams who dedicate their time and efforts to spread our sport.