I started my YouTube channel just as a way to document the journey of learning trials. That got some attention as my skills grew and I soon began sharing what I was learning and viewers became more interested. I realized I had more to offer the trials community and want to continue giving back. My previous life as a teacher and communicator kindled the desire to make something more than just YouTube videos. I wanted to assist riders to get past the frustrations that come from trying to learn things in the wrong order. I know these 1st hand. I wanted to teach real skill development by breaking down techniques into drills and fundamentals in a safe way to learn and keep riders motivated through milestones of achievement.
I have always been into actions sports. I played Soccer, Basketball, Hockey, Tennis and Waterskiing growing up. Then I fell in love with Volleyball in high school and got to play at The Ohio State University from 1999-2003. I majored in Interactive Communication and never knew exactly what I would end up doing with that degree. Fast forward 20 years and I have a wife, 3 daughters and have been in Retail Management for 15 years. Prior to that, I was a substitute teacher. I have coached multiple sports and have always enjoyed teaching.
15 years ago, My Dad taught me to ride a Harley Sportster and I rode street bikes on and off until an accident made me want to sell the bike. When Covid hit, I wanted a social distancing sport that I could keep doing despite everything shutting down. 3 dirt bikes later and I still wanted to get better at riding. It seemed like everyone I was watching on YouTube was advocating for trials as a way to improve skills.
If an activity doesn't provide increasing challenge, mental and physical tests, competition, and a chance to socialize, then I don't usually stick with it for more than a year. Trials has all of these, and I am hooked! I went all in and documented the process of my riding and used my creativity, storytelling, and desire to teach to launch my YouTube channel. I have gotten so much already out of the sport that I want to share my passion and give back to the community. I have started taking photographs and partnered with Next Gen Mototrials to support our local youth.
I asked my friend Ron Hensley to help me contribute to the lessons with suspension and the technical aspects. Pro Rider Sam Fastle has also agreed to help contribute content from his vast riding expertise and so the Trials Progression team is growing.
I love riding trials! I was fascinated by the trials riding footage in “On Any Sunday” while at the theater with my parents in 1971. In 2014, after about 30 years of living without a motorcycle of any kind, I seized an opportunity to ride a 2010 Eco Model GasGas. I purchased it on the spot despite some neck mobility restrictions that made riding particularly challenging. I now refer to trials as motor yoga and contend it has done much to help improve my mobility.
At best, I’m a mid-level rider in a bit of a race against time to advance my riding skills while Oldfartitus relentlessly lowers my potential performance ceiling and increases my injury risk with each passing year.
When I became interested in tuning my own trials suspension for my weight, I was surprised by the lack of guidance available. I didn’t know how my suspension should feel or how one should approach tuning it. I found very limited helpful information or assistance. Most of the information I found online was conflicting and some was even discouraging of adjusting it all. Not tuning that expensive high performance and highly adjustable trials suspension to your weight and riding environment conflicted with my engineering education. To me, not tuning your suspension is like refusing to adjust the car seat, leaving it set to the factory delivered position regardless of driver height.
What I did find to be quite encouraging was general information suggesting that bracket testing of trials suspension settings can be very rewarding for those willing to put in the effort. I truly enjoy learning about how things work, and like experimenting. I did some background reading about motorcycle suspension, turned all the knobs, and completed bracket testing on several different bikes I’ve owned. I eventually developed a structured approach that efficiently makes my bike easier for me to ride at my current skill level. I seriously doubt it arrives at the mythical and mysterious perfect suspension settings. I’m still learning, but I’m certainly willing to share my approach and I’ve used it to help several other riders, including Tom.
I met Tom in person last year at Trials Training Days 2022 at the TTC. He rode my bike and was enthusiastic about the suspension. He requested my help, and we were able to make his bike significantly easier to ride. He then asked me to create suspension training content that he could share.
I get personal satisfaction from helping others and I am absolutely open to sharing my methods and observations. Unfortunately for you, I have zero previous experience creating online training material, and watching my videos will make that painfully obvious. Even so, I hope you find the detailed content and structured approach helpful to your tuning efforts. If you have questions after reviewing the provided materials, please do reach out.
Sam was the 2012 Expert 125 Champion and finished 3rd in the Expert class in 2013 as well as winning the UTE Cup that year. Sam came into the 2016 season after a 2-year hiatus while serving the Mormon church, and wow 'ed everyone by finishing 8th in the pro class! While Sam spent the 2018 season climbing his way to #4 in the series, he also had a baby! Sam had many notable rides in 2022 while also juggling a busy life.
Sam is an NATC Pro class rider and also rides in our local Trials Inc club events. In addition, Sam is also an authorized TRS Dealer - You can learn more about TRS Kentucky and reach out to Sam on his Facebook page trs.ky | La Grange KY | Facebook To learn more about Sam's riding career https://en.m.wikipedia.org/
Sponsors: TRS USA, TRS KY, S3, HIGH PERFORMANCE TRIALS, SUPERATV, HAMMER NUTRITION, LIGHTNING RACEWAY, BIG BRO