While most cycling enthusiasts are familiar with road racing and mountain bike riding, one aspect of the sport, trials riding, is somewhat unfamiliar to American fans. Trials riders are the guys who can navigate their bikes up, over and around the most heinous obstacles. They are the technical masters of the sport, I am continuously amazed at what these guys can do with their bikes. You could almost call them the magicians of cycling.
One of the best magicians is 2006 World Champion Italian Vittorio Brumotti who hails from Varese just north of Milan. Vittorio and his posse traveled from their home country to Interbike in Las Vegas to perform in the infield during the National Crit Series Finals. Watching Brumotti warm up, it was clear that he truly enjoys not only performing some incredible feats, but he also gets a kick out of exciting the fans.
His show began with a set of amazing "ups", literally jumping himself and his bicycle straight up onto a wood box up to a height of five feet. Once up on the boxes, Vittorio demonstrated his ability to hop and stick, jumping up and across from box to box spanning gaps as much as three to four feet. You might think that this doesn't sound too difficult, I guess I forgot to mention that each box was barely the width of the the wheelbase of Vittorio's bike. What that means is that if, in gymnastics terms, he doesn't "stick" the landing, forget getting a bad mark from the Russian judge, Brumotti is looking at a very nasty 3-5 foot fall onto hard pavement.
If you were lucky enough to be at the show, you could have been part of the fun. Vittorio demonstrated his bunny-hopping skills by jumping over a number of closely-spaced spectators throwing in a nose wheelie or two to show just how much control he has over his bike. If you were weren't lucky enough to watch Vittorio's show, you can check out his website www.brumotti.com or search for him on You Tube. If you aren't impressed, check to see if you have a heartbeat.
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