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Sunday, June 26, 2005

Look below at the riders for the Bike Show

The Show:

This year The Bike Show was a roaring success. Thankfully it was bigger than last year and so there weren't the customary problems of not being able to move and feeling like a sardine. This made for a much more chilled atmosphere, giving you more of a chance to chat with people and ask them what this or that they like to use for trials.

There was far more trials orientated stands at the show this year which is nice to see. Koxx bikes had a major presence, with two team riders and a fairly big stand right next to the trials arena. Their bikes look real, except for the lack of any real reinforcing at the disc mount. X-Street was there, and Kurt Brain was riding the almost perfect looking Echo they are exclusively distributing in the UK. Super Cycles were there promoting (with the help of Chris Akrigg) their Onza and R&B Designs products.

The Trials:
Martyn and Martin did an excellent job organising the trials arena (sponsored by Onza). It was huge and had just about everything, catering for all styles and allowing the rides to really push the limits. Huge side-hops, big and high gaps, tricky bits that needed precision and some cool sections that were ideal for trying new spiny trick type moves.

There were four trials demos per day, where the riders had a set routine. Near the end of each day though there was a session where the riders basically had a jam around, doing whatever they liked. This was probably the best display because it was just like a normal ride and all the riders were trying new things and really pushing it. This is cool because all to often demo riding in front of loads of people makes riders unwilling to try things they are not absolutely sure about.

Only disappointments; Petr Kraus or JJ Gregorowitz weren't there.

Some of the people at the show said the UK riders were outclassed but really they were riding a totally different style. The Koxx and Megamo riders did seem to have huge amounts of raw power and were doing massive side hops. But… The UK riders, particularly Eddie Tongue, Mr Ashton and Chris Akrigg were coming out with some amazing combinations and variations of moves, making for a really inventive show. Because there were no rules or boundaries, this really was top quality 'freestyle' trials riding, and it was just amazing to watch (Check out the videos below).

The Riders: (Click on the picture to watch a video of the rider)

Martyn Ashton was largeing it with all his old favorites (like high 360 drops) and some cool new stuff including pedal kickflips. Ashton's new bike wasn't ready for the show so he was riding his old Cannondale with a silver paint job and Ashton stickers. (video sequence is 1,640k - click on pic)
Unfortunately Martin Hawyes couldn't really ride much after he picked up an injury (sorry no videos). His bike, as always was the trusty Giant. Instead of riding he spent a lot of time pootling about with a video camera and having autograph signing frenzies.
Chris Akrigg was just incredible, showing us how trials should be done. In typical Akrigg style he wasn't shying away from anything - weird spinning moves, huge getups, big gaps, you name it he was trying it, with bucket loads of aggression. Chris was riding an interesting black prototype Onza, kitted out with R&B Designs leavers and hubs. (Video sequence is 4,752k - click on pic)
Eddie Tongue was showing us his smooth style with astonishing nerve and precision when high up. He was trying cool new variations of moves. Sometimes we looked what he was doing and said 'wow lucky he landed there' when he finished a set of crazy spinning bunnyhops back-wheel on a narrow sleeper edge - precision! Eddie was riding the same old British made Pashley. (video sequence is 1,729k - click on pic)
Kurt Brain was there riding the new Echo frame, and real nice it looks to. He was making some big gaps, looking quite smooth about it. If your wondering about brakes, Kurt swears by plazmatic pads and ground rims, in the wet or dry. (video sequence is 423k - click on pic)
The Koxx Team were at the show strutting their stuff, the junior world champion Vincent Hermance was trying crazy stuff and doing huge side hops. On the Saturday he gapped from the slanted tip of a sleeper on its end to the railings of the arena and out. (video sequence of the Koxx team is 423k - click on pic).


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