By Erin Crowell
Like riding a bicycle.
Its a comparative statement we use when describing life the revisiting
of something we thought once forgotten, but relearned as if second
nature easy peasy, you could say.
Think about it. How many 30-year-olds do you see swapping spots with their
child after teaching them how to ride? Little Tommy cautiously holding the
back of the bike seat as giggling Dad rides nervously down the driveway?
Hopefully zero; because riding a bike is something you only have to learn
Jonathan Pool believes theres more to riding a bike than just pedaling
forward, and many of us could use a refresher.
2 Wheel Technique is a Traverse City-based group dedicated to the art of
balance on two wheels. Pool, an avid cyclist, started the group after
moving to the area in 2003 from southeastern Michigan.
When I moved here, I was the only one in the area with trials
experience, said Pool about the biking discipline where mountain bikers
attempt to cross terrain, using any obstacle such as boulders or logs,
without putting a foot on the ground.
Observed trials are also known as technical mountain biking.
I started mountain biking seriously in the early 90s, he said. I had a
friend who could ride over anything. He could even ride up stairs without
putting a foot down. I was so envious.
The group meets every Tuesday during the summer and rides at local spots,
as well as across the state (Marquette) and out-of-state (Rays Mountain
Bike Indoor Park in Cleveland).
Hardcore members tackle obstacles such as the boulders in Clinch Park
and the break wall rocks on West Grand Traverse Bay. Another favorite spot
is The Pipe of Death, as Pool says the kids have nicknamed it a
200-foot-long pipe near Union Street Dam.
Sometimes the obstacle can be an available parked carwith permission by
the owner, of courseor a ledge.
I can get over a two-foot-high ledge pretty easily, said Pool.
As a strategic advisor, Pool shows his clients their potential.
I help someone identify who they are at the core, then provide a personal
core statement that helps them to see and achieve what they can do some
things they may never thought were possible.
Its a mission that has flooded other aspects of his life, including 2
I live out my core purpose of helping people accomplish goals. I help
them get over that log.
When it comes down to it, getting over that log is all about breaking down
to the basic components and taking the process step by step, according to
While not everyone may be interested in learning how to traverse a river
by fallen tree or riding over Lake Superior boulders, 2 Wheel Technique
allows cyclists of all abilities to become better.
Our group is about learning to ride the bike with confidence and control,
whether its off a trail or on the road. While our sport may be labeled
extreme, our techniques apply to safety. That includes riding in
traffic, maneuvering curbs, making turns knowing how to control your bike
can dramatically improve your safety.
Pool points to one common obstacle in the area: sand.
We have a lot of it and not everyone knows how to ride through it, he
explained. We teach you to ride with light hands and heavy feet. When you
pull all those subtle things together, it opens a whole world of
Riders range from eight to 15 on a given day, and are a variety of ages.
One of the best things I love about 2 Wheel Technique is that there are
no age barriers. There will be teens teaching six-year-olds, then working
with 60-year-olds, said Pool.
Whether youre looking to improve your biking skills or just hopping on
for the first time, 2 Wheel Technique can help make your bicycling
experience easy peasy.
2 Wheel Technique will host demos at several events throughout the summer,
as well as their weekly rides (day subject to change). For more
information, visit them online at 2wheeltechnique.com.