Friday, 18 April 2014

Better late then never....

While goading Mark from Clean over on Trials Forum, I was kindly reminded that I haven't exactly been forthcoming with my updates...

So here are the four video's I have released since I got my Inspired Arcade, this includes two videos of me, and a couple of videos of some weekend rides in locations around Scotland.

Don't expect greatness mind you, just some chilled wee videos.







Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Glaswegian Art...

Ross recently did a photoshoot for a college student, Wullie Crainey, to submit as part of a college project. These are some of the resulting photos...






Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Unwanted Clips...

Unwanted clips on my harddrive, thought i'd throw together a little something...

Monday, 30 September 2013

GETCreative 2 - My Entry

This is my rushed and lonely edit for the GETCreativeTwo Freetrials Video Competition;

Monday, 23 September 2013

GETCreative 2 - Ross McArthur

2012 gave bike trials the first big motive in a long while to go out and put considerable effort into video making. This motive? The GETCreative Free Trials competition. Lots of people went out of their way to enter the competition by produce better quality videos, thought out, rather than rushed out, and this year, Mr Rowlands has come up trumps again.


GETCreative Two was introduced to the trials world earlier this year, filled with backing from the sponsors shown above, with the simple concept being to be creative on your trials bike, film it, and make a video before the end of September. Ross McArthur, spent a number of days with his friend Dominic Simmons, in and around Glasgow, in order to put together a video for this years competition. 

Before we get to that though, here are some photos taken by Charlotte Hopkins during the filming of the video;

360 Tyre Tap Gap




Drop Gap Line




Rail Gaps





Post Line Review






So now the video, filmed and edited by Dominic Simmons, soundtrack provided by Campfires in Winter, here is Ross McArthurs entry to the GETCreative2 Free Trials Competition;

Friday, 20 September 2013

Politically Correct...

Around three weeks ago, when riding my bike with a friend, we were confronted by a guy wishing to throw us off the spot shown in the image below.


Nothing out of the ordinary, but this guy was pretty scathing towards us, more so than the usual "can you guys move on please?". After going our separate ways, I found out said gentleman had written to the local paper with his thoughts on us, which were as follows;
Sir-
On Saturday morning, as I was leaving my house in Cowie for a ride on my bike,  my neighbour stopped me in her car and said there were two people cycling on the  tables at the beach picnic area. She is fed up challenging  people about this and getting abuse (as I have also experienced  in the past) and suggested I might say something this time. 
Sure enough, when I arrived  there were two  men on tiny bikes studiously hopping up onto the tables, down onto the seats, then plopping onto the ground and back up again, as if participating in  some wierd cyclo-mating/male bonding ritual . My neighbour said she also saw them running their wheels along the edge of the tables which would damage the wood, but I didn’t see that.   
Here’s roughly how the conversation went.
“Excuse me, would you mind not cycling on these picnic tables?” 
One of them looked round, and both got off the tables muttering something like an exasparated “OK” , It seemed  this wasn’t  the first time they had been asked to desist from this bewildering behaviour. Feeling like I hadn’t quite got my point over about this misuse of public property, I then asked
“Do you cycle on top of your mum’s dining room table like that?”
“No but I do it in my own place”
“That’s unbelieveable, you cycle on top of the table in your flat?
“Yep” 
Sensing someone digging himself into a verbal hole, I continued. 
“Well please don’t do it here, people are eating their food off these tables, you’ll damage the wood and how do you know you don’t have dog dirt on your tyres?” 
At this point they came towards me and said
“Listen, if you’d be more polite to us we’d just go away. But you’re insulting us. The tables are covered in seagull poo anyway so why don’t you clean them up and, anyway what’s it you you?” 
“Well, I think most sensible people in Stonehaven would be pretty annoyed with two grown men playing on kiddies’ bikes on these picnic tables, and in defence of the seagulls they don’t have the same level of self-control over their behaviour as I assume you guys  have. If you’re needing the bathroom the beach toilets over there are open, courtesy of  the joint efforts of volunteers and the council. I’ll look after your bikes for you.” They rightly ignored this attempt to place them above the herring gull in the evolutionary scale, and then said. 
“ By the way these are professional bikes and there are international competitions on them”
“So is it an extreme sport then?”
“Yep”
“What, big grown men on wee bikes jumping up and down on picnic tables?”
“Yeah, people film this stuff and put it on Youtube”
“You’re joking!” How old are you?” (I could see they weren’t your average hoodie, in fact they were very respectably dressed with nice bright, clean helmets and all the trimmings)
“Thirty five”  
I was truly stunned. “ It’s 10am on a Saturday, you’re grown men approaching middle age, you might even have kids, you cycle on top of picnic tables, sometimes on the table in your house, on tiny bikes? That’s incredible!” 
“Have a look at you own bike, our wheels are the same size as yours!” 
Good point I thought, they seemed to be coming back with a well-argued case for the defence by producing visual evidence that this Victor Meldrew sound-alike was just like them because I had the same size wheels as them. 
At this point I left, hoping  they had got the message that, if I’m right, most of your readers would think that it’s bad enough young kids doing this from time to time, but unbelieveable that grown men should do it. I somehow doubt it. I’ve experienced similar behaviour early one Saturday morning at the skatepark where two mid-20s male primary teachers on skateboards  from the Peterhead area refused to help me clear up a shocking amount of fag packets, beer bottles and sweetie papers from the evening before’s invasion by out-of-town skateboarders. 
 
And one last thing, they said they were from “the North-east” but one of them has relatives living here. So if any of your readers had a visit from their 35 year old nephew, cousin or grandson on his BMX bike last Saturday and he cycled across your living room floor and your newly polished dining room table, leaving a trail of seagull “guano”, now you know where he’s been! 
Yours etc.,
Allan Sutherland1 Willow RowStonehaven

Never one to pass up on the opportunity to offer up an opinion, and rather than get annoyed at the man in question, I decided that I would retort via his chosen venting medium and as such the local paper, The Mearns Leader, has printed my response below. The local community has never had this much scandal;

Sir / Madam 
I would like to respond to a letter printed on Friday 6th September 2013 from Allan Sutherland of Cowie. Fortunately, as I don’t receive a copy of the Mearns Leader in my current residence, a number of friends highlighted my new found, albeit anonymous, fame. I felt that, in the interests of parity, I should respond to the subject Mr Sutherland raised within his letter. 
On Saturday 31st August 2013 I had planned for a relaxing ride on my trials bike with friends, known as a “weird cyclo-mating / male bonding ritual” to the uninformed, following a busy week at work. Our destination? Stonehaven, in part due to its locality to Aberdeen, also because I have been cycling my bike in the town for nearly a decade and mainly due to the fact people are usually open-minded and welcoming. 
So we started our ride at the new purpose built skate park, well, purpose built for BMX’s, scooters and skateboards. Unfortunately the sport of bike trials cannot be wholly interpreted within a skate park and we soon headed on to objects more suited our hobby. Now I can understand that there will always be concern at us riding our bikes at the picnic bench area, or any any public property for that matter, however the issue that arose that Saturday was the attitude and ignorance with which we were approached. 
Two adults on bicycles, one 32 and one 28, navigating our bicycles over various obstacles, not limited to benches, might not sound like a sport to some, but I can assure you that it is internationally accredited. While it may not have the popularity of mainstream cycling or football, Mr Sutherland - Chair of the Stonehaven and District Community Council, as he introduced himself, should be aware that just because he is unable to fathom how specifically designed and expensive bicycles are not ‘kiddies bikes’ does not make it his right to dismiss what we do. 
I would like to re-iterate a few of our points at the time of our discussion with Mr Sutherland, the bikes we were riding were actually derived from mountain bikes, with the same sized wheels as his bike, as such not kiddies bikes. Also, while we are not the youngest participating in the sport, we are not the oldest either. Many people of all ages enjoy the sport for its individuality, and are proud of the practice required to achieve even the smallest of advances, some even manage to make a living out of what we do on our bikes. 
While I can tell that secretly you were impressed with our abilities, and it was purely the location in which we were riding our bikes that caused your annoyance, 12 plus years of practice is what it has taken achieve the skills I have, I am proud of it. The ignorance shown with comments and phrases such as ‘grow up’, ‘kids sport’, ‘weird cyclo-mating / bonding ritual’ and ‘unbelievable’ is in itself unbelievable, especially when coming from a fully grown man. Insults are not really the best way to put forward a compelling argument after-all, especially not on a subject you don’t quite understand. Ask my friends, they should know. 
I really hope that in future you might refrain from trying to squander the self-belief of anyone, young or old, who aspires to achieve a skill through dedication and practice. While my chance at greatness has long gone, hopefully this chance meeting with the Chair of the Stonehaven and District Community Council will not stop me from continuing to follow my dreams. 
Mr Sutherland, while I did laugh at your Victor Meldrew comparison, I’d like to thank you for your concern that day, I honestly do understand your point of view and I will consider this next time I am in Stonehaven on my bike. If our paths cross in the future, I’d much rather you refrained from having a dig at what I do for a hobby. This is my lifestyle choice and not really much to do with you. However just be nice, ask us to move on and we will go our own separate ways, alternatively you are always welcome to come over and have a civil conversation with us. Maybe we can both learn something new. 
As a side note, for those who care, the sport referred to in both this letter and Mr Sutherlands initial letter is called bike trials. More information can be found about the sport at the following websites http://www.biketrialuk.co.uk/What.htm and http://www.trials-forum.co.uk
Yours
Ben Travis
Ex. Stonehaven Resident
Now living in Aberdeen

I am very much looking forward to his response!

Monday, 17 June 2013

Glasgow (again)...

One of the best places to ride street in Scotland (if not the UK), is Glasgow! While the cities reputation often precedes anyone visiting it, the variety of riding is vast and well worth coming along to. Locations are popping up all the time, and in all the years I have ridden Glasgow, there is always something new to be found. 

Ross and I were lucky enough to be invited to the premiere of Danny's Imaginate riding film in Glasgow, so in order to make the most of the day, I met up with a hungover Ross, had a Maccy D's and went to hit the streets of Glasgow. I was glad we went to the east end of the city, as we don't often ride there, furthermore one of my favourite parts of trials is to go hunting for new things to ride. 

Found some new spots, rode some old spots, learnt a couple of things I have never done before, and got to watch Ross push himself and land some things that even he doesn't understand how he does them. We rode for a good four hours, and hardly covered any ground, it was fun sessioning spots for a decent period of time just playing about and having a laugh. 

So...come visit Glasgow, there is plenty to ride and I am sure that Ross would be more than happy to show you around! For now though - here are a couple of clips from Sundays ride;

Friday, 7 June 2013

Kirkcaldy (again)...

Ross and I met up in Kirkcaldy a couple of weekends ago to have a wee ride and just film everything we could...no blurb, this is the result...damn wobbly rails;

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

It is about time...

For those that don't know me, I like a drink, and as my summer has finally arrived - cheers. Here is to lots of blog updates, bikes, and many a video;


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

#waybackwednesday...

Circa 2007 the "Scottish Muckers" started to make a series of videos documenting the Scottish Trials Scene. I suppose this post is more for me as it brings back some awesome memories of rides / trips / years gone by. I am quite glad I can call this bunch of reprobates my friends.

The last episode of this series, to my knowledge, was made in around 2010. So, as today's #waybackwednesday (and excusing the SD quality (if you are going to go all retro, might as well do it right)), here are all 10 videos, and an interlude in chronological order;

Scottish Muckers 1



Scottish Muckers 2



Scottish Muckers 3



Scottish Muckers 4



Scottish Muckers 5



Scottish Muckers 6



Scottish Muckers 7



Scottish Muckers 8



Scottish Muckers Interlude



Scottish Muckers 9



Scottish Muckers 10

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Old Haunts...

Stonehaven is a wee town just south of Aberdeen, home of the deep-fried mars bar (apparently), birthplace of Robert Thomson (inventor of the pneumatic tyre), and where I used to live. Sundays ride was a hangover cure, but I managed to get some clips filmed, and this is the outcome;

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Alone and Raw...

Sun? In Aberdeen? It has certainly been a while, and until I realised a 4GB memory card wasn't sufficient for GoPro clips, I was out riding on my lonesome and trying to film my first real clips of the year. This is the outcome;

Sunday, 31 March 2013

New Bike, New Video...

Ross McArthur recently received his custom designed frame, the Marino Archive and after a couple of weeks getting used to it, setting it to his very particular tastes, he has finally managed to get out and about to get used to the bike.

Obviously, the weather hasn't been the greatest for getting out riding of late, as you'll see in the previous blog post when we rode Glasgow a couple of weeks back, but it seems to be getting just that little bit nicer, and hopefully a sign of things to come for everyone.

Filmed and edited on a single ride on Easter Sunday, he managed to make use of the awesome riding available in Glasgow in a way that only he knows how. I mean lets be honest, why are you still reading this? As if the words I could type anyway can justify how well Ross is getting on with this bike, so you should probably stop reading this and get watching the video...



Now obviously, if you are still reading this, then you might like to see a little more about his frame, which you can now purchase (in a colour of your choice) as a standard option from http://www.marinobike.com, so here are a few shots of his frame, and also a little introduction blurb from the man himself.

"Marino has sorted me out with a frame and fork which ive named the Archive. Way back when, when Akrigg, Ashton, Hawzie and Edd T were filming for what is now known as Trial Noir, it was originally going to be named "Archive 1". Maybe Chris had in mind to make a series? Anyway since I based the the look of this frame around the Ashton Edd T frame, I thought I'd name it thus. Obviously ive improved the geo to suit my needs, shortened the back end, steepened the head angle bla bla. Ive also added a few nice touches like horizontal dropouts with tensioners a-la Echo and a disc mount a-la Skye

Geo is 980, 360, 74, 20 Fork is 410, 30"



Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Grin and Bear it...

Location: Glasgow
Time: March, 2013
Outcome: Sun, Rain, Cold, and Bikes

Poor Macaskill has been ill of late, but we managed to get him out on his bike, and while he fixed his puncture we made the most of trying to be him;

   

Ross, Dan, Duncs and I out on the bikes just after the SUN, yes sun, went down.



Two days later...Glasgow back to its rainy best;


Just why wouldn't you want to come and visit Scotland?

Monday, 18 March 2013

and the winner (eventually) is...


First off, I have to apologise for the delay in announcing this. I won't go into why, but various reasons have led to the delay, and I've finally got 30 mins to get this written up, I wasn't just keeping the frame and going silent, even as a grippy Yorkshire man I couldn't do that..

Secondly, just to re-iterate, the winner of the competition (read the previous post for details), will be sent the frame, cranks, bb, and chainring shown below and are free to do whatever they wish with the frame.


Finally, thanks to the judges, thanks to anyone who shared it on any social media site (or anywhere for that matter), and mostly thanks to those who entered! Hopefully is spawned some ideas for some, and might consider some people to be a little more inventive in future.

so to the result! Here is what the judges had to say (in no particular order);

Ross McArthur
Ive watched all the videos and I think that Aaron and Matts is the best. The idea of having one angle but zooming out on the second half of the video to create the illusion of a different angle was a great idea. I think working as a duo/team sets a great example to the younger members of the community. Their making of video also sets a great example to younger kids, moving on when asked and realising they had made a mistake by riding a memorial.

They made best use the spot and rode the whole area using traditional trials moves and also streety flowing lines. They have obviously put thought into finding a spot too. The camera quality was good and the song went well with the editing and riding.



Flipp
Ben Rowlands. Why? How could it not be? Best filmed, edited, music, vibe and riding (obviously all in my opinion, that is).


Jack Meek
After watching them all. It came down to Guillermo Marin. I find his stands out that bit more than the rest. The editing tricks in the vid at the beginning get matched with the amount of lines within the edit. I like the location as it is a obvious choice for the comp entry. un till you have watch the edit he does more lines than you could spot. This keeps you engaged through out the edit in my opinion. As well as liking bits and pieces from all the other entries, Guillermo has done a fantastic job.


Joe Maher
Ben rowlands vid tops it for me. Style, smooth, good camera positioning and Good edit. Cant really ask for much more.Nick Cooke, close 2nd, but to many manuals.


Carl Hopps
My vote is going to have to go to Ben Rowlands. I almost voted for G's as his edit was interesting and his riding was inventive but Ben's ridings come such a long way on that bike. Super tech with a catchy tune. One to watch again!

Ian Johnstone
I think my favorite is Guillermo Marin's Video because of the creativity & effort in both the riding & the edit. I think my first thoughts for favorite was Ben Rowlands to be honest but my unbiased opinion is Guillermo



So Mr Rowlands emerges victorious in the competition. I will get in touch with you regarding this Ben and your prize will be winging its way to you ASAP.

Thanks again to everyone for entering, Ben's winning entry can be seen below, and all the other entries can be seen here - Trials Forum Topic

Sunday, 2 December 2012

One Shot, One Video, One Prize...(DEADLINE EXTENDED)

Recently, I believe that trials had lost its way a little. I personally spent alot of my internet browsing on thecomeup, watching a whole lot more bmx videos, and definitely a lot less trials videos. I just felt there was something lacking. 

Thankfully though, there are some folks out there who are trying to move trials forward that little bit. First there was the section 001 freestyle competition, held by Mr Westlake of www.cleanzine.co.uk (in Bristol) around a year or so ago (maybe longer)...


...and more recently an online video competition called GETCreative, the brainchild of Ben Rowlands ( I might have mentioned it a few times of late). 



Both competitions handed out lots of decent prizes, to some very good riders, and on the whole I would say they were both a major success. It sparked conversation, debates, and it was proven that our sport is diversifying to realms of which hasn't really been seen before. 

Although I didn't win anything myself (FIXXXX, I hear you say...;-)), I actually believe that the results were pretty accurate and the best guys won. Sean Watsons Video was simply one of the weirdest videos I have ever watched, but addictive and very creative. I have heard through the grapevine that Sean is hoping to give away his prize via a form of competition (keep an eye out on the Killroy Nation page for competition details).

This led me to think of how I could give back to the community a little more. I have had a few deals with certain sponsors over the years, and this helped me out with discounted parts etc. I felt that maybe I could give something back to help continue the work that Clean, GETCreative and Killroy Nation have / are going to be doing. 

I took the picture below when I was out riding on a Friday evening. I spent over an hour by myself, riding this one spot, trying new tricks, seeing what little bits / different tricks I could do. The fun I had put a massive smile on my face, and I just wished that I had filmed some of the stuff to watch back.


Back in the day, the trials-forum had a Kerb Video competition - and with its rather obvious title entrants were to produce a video using a kerb as the primary spot. No prizes were offered, pride was purely at stake. If I remember correctly, Nick Goddard produced one of the most memorable videos on his Planet X, I certainly would have voted for him as the competition winner anyway. I think there might be something in that idea to take into the current day. 

So here is my take on it;


THE COMPETITION STARTS HERE

Things You Will Need

  • You
  • Video Recording / Editing Ability
  • Tripod
  • A Single Riding Spot. YES. ONE SINGLE RIDING SPOT
  • Imagination
  • Some Spare time between now and 11.59:59 PM on 17th FEBRUARY 2013


Competition Requirements

  • Produce a maximum 60 - 90 second video (NOTE: THIS IS THE MAXIMUM TIME)
  • Upload it to VIMEO
  • Send me a link to your video via the Personal Messenger on www.trials-forum.co.uk (Link to My Profile Here) - NO LATER than 11.59:59 PM on 17th FEBRUARY 2013.

Video Rules
  • Video must be filmed at ONE LOCATION
  • Video must be filmed from ONE SINGLE CAMERA ANGLE 
  • Video must be submitted to my Personal Messenger on the forum no later  than 11.59:59 PM on 17th FEBRUARY 2013
  • Please do NOT create a separate topic for your video

What I will do
  • Please refrain from making a topic about each individual video. I will create a topic incorporating all the videos I receive links to  so that every body can watch and compare.

How will you be Judged

I will contact a number of judges aiming to get a panel of 5 people, who would fairly represent the eclectic mix of trials styles, across the board and ask them to judge the videos based on a simple score of 1 to 10. 

1 being a video they don't like, 10 being a video you liked so much that it made you wiggle with excitement. 

I am not going to set criteria, this will literally be a case of whether the judge in question appreciates your video or doesn't. Therefore will include your music, editing, style and ideas / lines all merged together and scored out of ten.

Scores will be collated, and the winner will be the video with the highest score...simple.

What is the Prize

The single winner, as voted for by the group of judges (TBC) will be sent my old Custom Marino Trials frame. 

The geometry of the frame is as per an Inspired Hex, with custom horizontal dropouts and a disc mount. Mounted to the frame are a set of ilegal BMX cranks and 23t sprocket to complete that wannabe bmx'er look

The frame will come complete with dents and scratches that a usual 2nd hand trials frame would come complete with. 

The winner is free to do what he / she wants with the frame. Should you wish to sell it on then that is cool with me. The hope is just to give something back and spur on some more creativity and imagination from the trials world.

Some pictures of the frame below (Lola isn't included in the prize);




Additional Notes
One Single Camera ANGLE - this does not mean you have to complete all your tricks in under 90 seconds for your video. I just mean that every trick you undertake must be filmed from the same camera shot. My hope is it might spur on people to think about the camera shots they are doing.

One Single LOCATION - I mentioned previously about the Kerb Competition. Please note that this is not a Kerb Video Competition. You are free to use whatever single spot you like, big or small, but remember that only a single camera angle is allowed so you'd probably be best choosing a spot that you can utilise to your advantage. 

Judges - Names will be confirmed. I hope to have around 5 judges, with varying styles. They will rate your video out of 10....

PLEASE NOTE: ALL TYPES OF RIDER, ALL AGES, ALL SEXES ARE ALLOWED TO ENTER THIS COMPETITION. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A DANNY MAC WANNABE, YOU JUST HAVE TO HAVE SOME IMAGINATION AND SOME SPARE TIME.


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Time Passes Quickly

The 27th November 2012 is a special day; only 34 days until 2013,  exactly 28 days until Christmas day,  and in 24 days time an apparent global apocalypse. Obviously the most important fact about this day is that I turn 28. While I'd rather be out celebrating in style, I am stuck in work and I felt I'd just write up some of  my thoughts.

Earlier this year, I'd considered giving up my stunt bike, well certainly once the winter set in. Life was getting in the way of riding and I felt that it might be time to set it aside and concentrate on other also important things. Over the years I have seen many friends start up riding trials and also disappear very quickly, and while being a little cliché, cars / drink did seem to lure many of them off.

A certain GETCreative competition helped to reinvigorate my love of bikes and made me realise I'd have just been stupid to have given it up. Its offered me so much in my life. I have travelled to places I'd never have imagined, performed for crowds in so many random locations, and met alot of people along the way who will always be friends.

So, rather then waffle on too much, I went down memory lane and managed to find a few gems of photos that sum up why I won't be giving up my trials bike any time soon;


EDIT: I forgot to say thanks to all the people I have met along the way, who've made the time riding bikes even more enjoyable...
















 





















Some Group Shots