Lachlan Sens has just returned from the World Titles held in Canberra for Mountain Bike Trials and posted a creditable 13th place in his first event on the world stage. What is required of a young rider to be able to balance life in this highly skilled sport and an education and sustain a family connection?
Lachlan spends 6 to 7 hours per week trials training on his trials bike balancing, jumping up and across obstacles like old 44 gallon drums, piles of pallets and big rocks (all over his mothers garden!). This year he saved enough money with a part-time job to get a gym membership where he trains with weights 4 to 5 hours per week. Lachlan also puts in 3 to 4 hours training on his road bike per week. He is extremely self motivated and sets high standards and personal goals and is quiet and unassuming of nature off the bike.
This year Lachlan has been doing year 12 at Bendigo Senior. He is going well so far and seems to balance riding and school very well. Time management during year 12 has been even more crucial as you could imagine, and his parents reflect they are really proud of him. Lachlan will also be presenting himself to the Bendigo Sportsman’s Association in the form of a talk about his experiences representing his country as a Trials Bike Rider.
The biggest challenge so far has been missing the first week in September to go to the World Trials Championships in the A.C.T. It was a big decision on behalf of his parents to let him compete at this critical time because Australia only hosts the ‘Worlds’ every so often. Last year they were held in Italy and next year they will be held in Canada. Being mainly self funded, travelling internationally will be very difficult unless he can get some sponsorship. It was an opportunity that he did not want to miss.
Lachlan is still hooked on his sport. Although he will still be competing in state and national competitions, he would dearly like to go to Canada next year while he can compete in under 19 age group for one more year if he qualifies.
Like any sport bicycle trials develops social interaction and physical skills. The ‘Bike Trials’ crowd have been very friendly and helpful over the years that Lachlan that has competed and this acceptance has helped keep him motivated through it all.
There are number of basic requirements for the sport: balance, spatial awareness, judgment, stamina, endurance and strength. These key physical skills have increased over time. By necessity, Lachlan has also developed mechanical and basic first aid knowledge both of which will never be a burden to carry for life.
When Lachlan had a chance to represent his county he took it seriously enough to watch his diet, limit his ‘party time’ and stick to his training goals. At the age of 17 his sport has given him many life experiences and has increased his maturity enormously.
He has attempted to gain sponsorship off his own back by mailing out letters asking local business people, sporting clubs and the council. He has flown interstate on his own, adapted to living with other sportsmen during interstate competitions. He has also been in control of his own welfare while away by budgeting, grocery shopping, preparing meals for himself and preparing his bike for competitions.
For anyone wanting to start off in this sport just Google it on the internet and check out this amazing discipline. There is a trials web site called biketrialsaustralia.com which gives information about upcoming events. Although not yet widely known in Australia, bicycle trials has a major following in Europe and the U.S.A.
As with any sport the major obstacle Lachlan has is financial. His parents help him as much as they can, and he is doing his best to earn money for his passion. Unfortunately trials at Lachlan’s level is extremely demanding on brakes, gears, tires and bike frames and there is always hope that generous sponsor will take a shine to Lachlan.
Despite this Lachlan will keep grinding…and maybe he will get better than 13th in the world next year without too many injuries…..God willing.