Trials with Jordan Szoke and Dan Johnson

Dan Johnson-3 Jordan Szoke and Dan Johnson are numbers 1 and 2 respectively in Canada, and I was stoked to have them as my trials instructors this past weekend.

Organised by Bob Billyard, the skills clinics were held for novice to advanced riders and included a mixture of young, and the ‘young at heart’. The advanced session was held Saturday while the instruction on Sunday was reserved for children, and novice trial riders. Although I consider myself a seasoned veteran with some decent skills on the trails I would not classify myself as an advanced  trials rider, and so chose to attend Sundays instruction. I have owned a trials bike for over 10 years (funny enough – it used to belong to Jordan’s dad) and have dabbled with trials here and there. The majority of the time though I simply love to ride my trials bike through the trails for it light weight, excellent traction and fun factor.

Jordan Szoke
Canadian ‘Trials des Nations’ and No.1 Canadian Trials Rider Jordan Szoke

The ratio between instructors to riders was high insuring participants a high level of learning. I did not know what to expect and came into the clinics wishing to boost my confidence level and up my skills, especially clutch control. Combined with a great practice area and a high quality of instruction I was able to achieve my goals. The track set up was great – allowing us to grow with each new set of drills. There were easy lines and more challenging ones – logs, hills, rocks, boulder, sand, off-camber lines, more logs, tight tree turns were some of the obstacles for us to use.

My personal hang-ups was the log at the top of the short but steep hill which caused me to flip my bike with me tumbling back down the hill breaking my kill switch and ripping off my rear fender in the process. There was also the rock face we had to climb – it was a small rock but large enough to spit me off my bike. Despite this school has never been so much fun.

Lunch was included and during our water breaks Dan and Jordan turned on the heat and gave us a wicked side-show. The only better ones to watch were the young kids zooming, and hopping along on their OSSA electric bikes. It was cool to see both our current and our future riders in action.

A huge thank you goes to Bob Billyard for organising the clinics. Bob is a distributor for OSSA trials bikes, and a vast assortment of trials gear such as top-ranked Gaerne boots, and Airoh helmets. A wide gamut of sizes of sizes are carried – from children to adults – so I was stoked to find out that he could order me a pair of size 5, or 6 mens trials boots. I’ve been wanting a pair for a long time and can’t wait to get my feet in them. I’ve also got my eye on a sweet Airoh helmet, with matching red pants and jerseys. Feel good, look good and ride good…it’s all good in my books!!

See you next year!

Dan Johnson
I’d like to say this is me but Dan Johnson, also a Trials des Nations’ Canadian Team Member may have something to say about that.