For me, wheelies took a very long time to learn. It was one of the things I worked on when I got my first mountain bike. I practiced relentlessly to learn it, and for a while I never thought I actually would.
Eventually I did! It gave me the belief that I could learn other technical bike tricks. So when I discovered trials riding I was equipped with the belief that with enough practice I could achieve all the fun tricks I wanted.
Is there anything you've learned in or outside of riding based on your dedicated practice or study that would have otherwise seemed like a bit of a longshot?
I like to think of myself as a pro-practicer and that’s what led to my career as a pro-rider.
I remember when I was learning trials, I’d go on group rides. We’d be out riding and practicing trials for a few hours, and I would practice ten times more than anyone else in that same period of time. People would come up to me and say, “wow, you’re such a natural at this!”, which I often took as an insult to my practice dedication; I also now realize it could be an unconscious excuse for the lack of theirs, or it could be that they just don’t have the same competitiveness, desire or commitment to learn. Or they may just be into the sport for the social aspect, which again is great - just not great for learning cool tricks like wheelies!
I don’t know where my motivation to learn and practice comes from, and sure I do have a decent athletic disposition, but really it just comes down to time spent practicing and the quality of practice during that time.
Excerpt from The 30 Day Wheelie Challenge: