Today was my first time that I competed in a trials competition since 1998!

It was a fun event held during the Crankworx Festival in Whistler, Canada. The Baia family organized a very nice event with good sections, some of them were in the center of town others were in a nearby creek and park.

Many emotions and memories came back during this comp. I competed in the Expert class, and I was totally unprepared for the event, hadn’t even practiced in weeks. When I saw the sections a couple days before the event I decided to give it a go. Not even remembering the rules or knowing who I would compete against.

I started out a bit rusty in the first lap. I had three “5’s” in a row. Mainly due to fatigue. I forgotten how aerobic and demanding trials is, especially in a competition setting when riders tend to be tense. I felt like I had the skills, but I just didn’t had the strength, which resulted in dumm mistakes. One long section I cleaned until the last 5 feet, then I got stuck on a little piece of wood – crashed and got the worst pedal-bite in years (also that is part of the long forgotten memories).

The very next section, which was even named after me, cost me 5 points as well, after a piece of bark broke off the log and my bike fell outside the section……

The second lap however, made my day. Even tough my strength was fading, somehow I managed to pull it together – and the “old Hans” was shining through.

I cleaned the first four sections, then I got a two in the creek, where I had taken a humiliating bath in the first lap and I got a one at the man-made section in town.

I ended up in second place, one point behind Stevie Baia. But this event wasn’t about the result – yes my second lap stoked my ego, but it was about the memories and the respect I gotten from many fellow riders and spectators. Many of these competitors had heard of me or seen my in videos, but never had a chance to see me ride or ride with me. Props go out to the organizers and judges and the Elite riders who really stepped it up. If I had to do it all over again, I’d spend a lot more time in the gym…..