02 July, 2013 Kesavan Loganathan The future of Trail Biking promises to be a bright one as the 2013 National Bike Trail Championship started with impeccable success. At the Bukit Batok Town Park, the annual Championships blazed off attracting the loyal and longstanding lovers of the sport. Hoping to raise greater awareness in Singapore, the sport has never picked up fully locally because of the perceptions the local community has about the sport. “I think it’s the fact that people perceive the sport as a very dangerous one. Just looking at the stunts we pull off, people should recognise the discipline that goes into our training,” commented Firdaus Ismail, one of the participants from the championships. Having been touted as an extreme and dangerous sport, the raw nature of Bike Trailing has turned many budding cyclists away from this exciting and unique form of cycling. Unknown to many, Bike Trail was initially used by professionals as a form of training and it soon turned into a sport of its own. “Bike trailing actually teaches all cyclists the fundamentals of riding and it shows because many of the former champions of the Bike Trail Sport have gone to become champions of BMX, champions of top riding and champions of mountain biking,” mentioned Walton Seah, President of the Bike Trail Singapore. “So you can see that all the champions of well-known cycling sports have a Bike Trail background.” The risky nature of the sport hasn’t stopped passionate riders from coming down and testing their skills against each other. The championships span over 3 categories which cater to the veterans of the sport as well as the newcomers. These categories are the Open, J-senior as well as the Elite. The obstacle course was well set up amongst the ridges and boulders of the quarry with a total of six segments which the riders have to manoeuvre through. The obstacles were further divided with the degree of difficulties of the courses. Within each segment, an easier path was cut out for the Open Category and the more uneven and challenging pathways were set aside for the J-senior and Elite Categories. Riders had to complete two rounds of the course during the competition. The riders also had to bear in mind that in order to have a chance of winning in their category, they had to finish the challenging obstacle course in the fastest possible time with the least penalty points as possible. All the riders showed off great skill and technique as they scaled the precarious courses, segment after segment. The early morning rain also made the terrain slightly slippery, increasing the difficulty of clearing the course as riders tended to slip on the wet surfaces. Despite the conditions and difficulty of the course, every rider stuck through and managed to clear the course without incurring any major injury. The timings and points were tallied up swiftly as the top 3 winners from each of the three categories were presented with their medals.