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 Mysuru, Karnataka native, Tharun Shiv.
Preferred discipline of riding: Natural Trials, street trials and I’d like to start riding enduro soon.
Years riding: 3 years of trials riding. Before trials I used to be a national level road racer for over 2 years.
Current bike: Polygon Trid cr (street trials), Echo mk5 (pure trials bike).
Supporting brands: None as of now.
FRMTB: How, when did trials riding catch your attention?
Tharun Shiv: I’ve always been into cycling as a kid but never took it seriously though until I saw a video from Danny Macaskill called “way back home”, that is what caught my attention for trials riding and as we generally called “stunts” haha and that’s is what got me completely into trials!
FRMTB: Who inspires you to ride? Athletes that you look upto?
Tharun Shiv: The rider that inspires me to ride has got to be Danny Macaskill, always loved his creativity and his control over the bike! The other riders I look upto is Ryan Leech, Brad Sims, Brandon Semenuk and so many more, this is a difficult question to answer haha!
FRMTB: When you find a new line or set yourself a new trick goal, how do you go about it?
Tharun Shiv: I always like to come up with lines that are smooth or with a flow, I keep trying to perfect a line by trying it over and over again until it looks smooth enough to be post worthy. There was this one line which I did almost 2 years back, I had to climb a set of stairs, drop down a 5ft wall, tap up another small ledge then side hop off it. That took so many tries, maybe over a 100 tries to get it perfectly. Always worth it in the end!
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FRMTB: What kind of issues do you face while sessioning at certain urban spots?
Tharun Shiv: In Mysore especially, I rarely have to deal with any issues on the streets other than traffic. There were some issues with the police before, but now they recognise me to an extent so it’s quite alright now. There are some instances where people don’t like it and tend to get aggressive, but I’ve learnt to handle such situations well and try my best to avoid it and keep it calm.
FRMTB: Where do you see the sport of trials riding in India, 5 years from now?
Tharun Shiv: I’m pretty sure trials could kick off as a proper sport in India as long as people have access to the bikes and that’s where the problem starts because it’s really difficult to afford a proper bike with all the expensive parts and import tax, customs clearance etc over that. But until then it’s our responsibility to inspire other riders and get them interested in the sport!
FRMTB: What keeps you occupied when you’re not riding?
Tharun Shiv: Right now I’m in my final year of BBA course, other than that I generally travel frequently to New places. I generally occupy myself by working on my videos, trying to set up shows etc. I’m about to start working for a company managing their digital marketing side so I’m exited for that!
FRMTB: Any shoutouts?
Tharun Shiv: I’d like to give a shout out to my family for always supporting me with my passion and dreams!