Article contributed by Walton Seah

The National BikeTrial Championship Round 3 – Bishan Park Eco Pond

Organized by: BikeTrial Singapore
Supported by: Singapore Sports Council
Sanctioned by: Singapore Amateur Cycling Association.
Sponsors: Monty Singapore, Attitude Bikes Pte Ltd

National BikeTrial Championship Round 3 was held at Bishan Park 1 Eco Pond, the most popular location for BikeTrial Championships in Singapore. It attracted the most number of participants since Round One with a total of 22 Junior/Senior and Elite Category riders, and 18 in the Open Category –  the category which was meant for beginners. Also attending were members of the media, photographers and park users, who were all amazed by the riders’ ability to maneuver over the rocks and boulders.

The week preceding the competition was beset by rains every day, so much so that all participants had mentally prepared to be wet and drenched on the competition day. Construction of the eight individual sections of the course was as difficult as riding them – thanks to the muddy terrain and rocks scattered all around the slope surrounding the pond.

God spared the event from the rain on Sunday. The wet terrain made the humidity worst with the smell of dry mud by the time the afternoon sun was above everyone’s head!

The wet mud and huge rocks made the competition the hardest so far in this year’s championship. What makes it tougher was the fact that these sections are designed around the rocks that are surrounding the Eco Pond. Which means one wrong move and you can go swimming with the Lilies and water skippers in the pond!

Luckily everyone went home dry and safe – albeit a few near misses definitely – and everyone enjoyed the competition.

The Elitists

The heat and the sudden increase in humidity seemed to suck away the strength and concentration of the riders towards midday.

Some riders’ shoes filling up with weeds and mud after steeping into the pond; there was also the usual slew of mechanical problems; and moreover, the physical abilities of participants was pushed to the maximum!

The first victim was the winner for Round One, Zhen Peng, who made a mistake at the last obstacle in one section and snapped his brake cable. Luckily he managed to fit on  spare brakes and carried on with the competition. Alas, due to the hydraulic oil stains on his rim surface, he was unable to enjoy full braking power and came 4th in this competition.

Next was Benjamin Loh, who suffered cramps on his legs so badly that he had to be carried out of the sections – all the while laughing in disbelief! He recovered after some stretching and laughed it off with acts of “fake cramps” to scare the rest in the next two sections. Benjamin clinched a well-deserved 2nd place in the Elite competition. Being one of the youngest in the national team, Benjamin shows high potential to win an international title for Singapore.

Benjamin pushed his physical limits to make up for his lack of focus. Being still mentally tired from lack of rest, he was one of the committee members who helped to build the competition course just the day before.

The final result of these events saw a champion competing against the rest with a bigger 26” Trial Bike as compared to the popular 20” bikes. Only two of these 26”-wheeled bikes were the weapon of choice in the Elite Category.

One of these 26” riders, Walton Seah, won the event as the Elite champion. The Final Round will be a very exciting competition as the overall Elite championship points in are all very close together.

Junior/ Senior Category

The Senior Category sees the rivalry of Daryl Chan and Matthew Tan take centrestage once again. New comer See Yong Kiong took the 2nd runner up position despite going against the more experienced Daryl and Matthew, who clocked a closely-contested one-two finish.

Matthew Tan took the title away from Daryl in this category last round. Daryl Chan has since sworn to regain the title lead which he first took in Round 1.

Daryl fought hard in the difficult sections, going through the sections almost back to back without rest. This was to escape the crowd of riders moving together so that his opponent would not be able to see the technique he utilized.

Unfortunately for Daryl, Matthew still walked away with the champion title this time, securing a ranking difference of 2 points.

Watch out for party-crasher See Yong Kiong in the next round; and let’s hope that Matthew can catch up on the Championship points table that Daryl is now leading – with just one more round to go!

Open Category

For the first time, BikeTrial Singapore opened up a category for cyclists wanting to have a feel of what BikeTrial is all about.

The response was so good that BikeTrial Singapore will now consider having this category open for the general public to register and compete in.

18 cyclists took part in this competition to experience the feel of having to ride within a constrained area and with tape on either side restricting your boundaries.

Top 3 in the Open category:
This new experience did not stop the eager beavers, some of whom were equipped with their full-suspension, hard-tail cross-country, or all- mountain bikes. But the highlight of the day was the Chung family.

Ethan Chung (8 years old)                                    Left: Erica Chung, Ethan Chung & Eric Chung

Led by father Eric Chung (41), who got the 2nd runner up position of the day for the Open category, Ethan Chung (8 yrs old) and Erica Chung (11 yrs old) performed extremely well against the big boys with big bikes with their BMXs. This comes to prove that BikeTrial has room for everyone under the sun!