Nestled in Bloomington lays Hayco Farms, a trials rider’s hilly dream. This is the home turf for the Southern Indiana Trials Team who frequent this location several times a week. In conjunction with owners Austin and Becky Baumgarners, the Southern Indiana Trials Team has worked to sculpt this area into a great place to practice trials, and host events. Along with trials sections, a network of single track has been established, allowing trail riding through the beautiful scenery of Indiana. This location is also used for dual sport rides; the Hoosier National Forest 2-day is set to be approximately 390 miles of riding for the weekend of October 20-21.
The Southern Indiana Trials Team, still being relatively small, hosts several informal, fun trials events at Hayco Farms, but are looking to build the community of riders enough that another venue can be added. 2018 marked the 3rd event at this location for Trials Inc, the first of which was the Vintage Cup Finals in 2014.
Saturday’s loop was approximately 1.5 miles long, allowing for a short, but rather technical loop full of some single track, lots of turns, and you guessed it, hills. Section #2 for Saturday started off with a man-made ladder leading to a structure resembling a treestand. Champ, Expert, and Advanced-level riders needed to ride up one side of the ladder to the tree stand, then down the other. The caveat to this seemingly simple ride was that at the start side, Champ riders could not ride up the ladder starting on the ground. A little over a foot off the ground was a gate for Expert and Advanced. Being that it was not labeled with CH designating it as being a Champ gate, Champ riders needed to hop onto the ladder from the side, then ride to the top.
The downside with similar except that neither Champ nor Expert riders could exit the ladder by riding straight to the ground; about a foot from the bottom of the ladder was a gate marked for Advanced class only. This made for some rather interesting approaches and dropoffs. Something to keep in mind when leaving an obstacle such as this when both tires must leave the obstacle at roughly the same time: avoid landing with both wheels hitting the ground simultaneously. Instead, try landing so the rear wheel and rear shock absorb most of the impact, and is then followed by the front tire or vice versa. In this way, the impact of the landing is dispersed throughout the bike; a softer landing allows for more control.
After the man-made obstacle, riders snaked through a hillside full of trees, adding offcamber to the list of challenges. For a lot of people, off-camber rides is something that needs dedicated practice time.
When approaching an off-camber section/hill, first lean the bike into the hill with bodyweight more towards the outside of the bike. However, the inside peg remains weighted to help keep that lean. If a turn up the hill is required, turning the wheel into the turn will cause it to slide out underneath the bike, gaining the rider unnecessary points. Slipping the clutch while turning allows constant power until the rear wheel gains traction up the hill. Once headed up the hill, bodyweight is shifted slightly towards the rear wheel, making sure to not lean too far back. Not enough weight forward on the bike will cause the front wheel to pull off the ground.
Indiana has a multitude of various obstacles, perfect for trials practice and competition. With beautiful weather for both Saturday’s and Sunday’s competition, riders were able to enjoy their ride and learn what they need to practice next. Trials Inc wishes the Southern Indiana Trials Team all the best in growing their club. Time to get ready for next year’s event!