Thrills and spills

Winston de Wardt

— The 2001 National Scout Jamboree is a giant expo for Scouts to demonstrate and introduce young people to new things.

One such expo was the Sprockids Riders Josh Stevenson and Mike Snyder. These expert riders were not BMXers but expert trials riders. Trials is a specific type of riding in the mountain bike world, it involves a great deal of balance and maneuverability.

In trials a rider has to get himself and his bike over or on an obstacle. The rider is permitted to balance himself on the obstacle any way he can without putting his foot down on the obstacle.

Stevenson, 20, and Snyder, 24, have been trials riding for six years and competing for five. Even though Snyder and Stevenson are professionals, they both agree that this is just a hobby for them, and one that anyone interested can get into.

They came up here with the Sprockids, an organization that is trying to preserve riding trails and get others interested in the sport of mountain biking. Sprockids is showing kids how to use mountain biking as a way to relax and have fun.

“If I have a bad day I just go ride my bike and then I feel better,” Stevenson said.

Stevenson got into trials riding by watching the 1980s BMX movie, “Rad.” After he saw that, he bought himself a freestyle BMX bike and learned tricks. He got into mountain biking and saw that he could do the tricks he loved most in the trials circuit.

Snyder rode cross country mountain biking and then saw that he could have a lot more fun in trials riding and has been doing it ever since.

Both riders agree that trials isn’t the easiest sport to get into, but they say that anyone can experiment with the sport. Stevenson’s advice on getting started? “Just go ride,” he said.

Thanks to the help of Sprockids, Stevenson and Snyder were able to show their stuff at the National Jamboree and introduce more youths to the sport. More information is available at

Editor’s Note Winston de Wardt is the correspondent for Boy Scout Troop 194 in Steamboat Springs, which has 12 members attending the Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree in Virginia. Part of de Wardt’s assignment is to write columns for his hometown newspaper while he is attending the Jamboree.

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