INTERMEDIATE LEVEL TRIALS TRAINING: USING THE BASHPLATE (SKID PAN)
Using the bashplate, or skidpan, is a handy skill for getting over tall obstacles.The basic idea is that you can rest your bike on top of an obstacle, balanced on the bashplate. This gives you time to then prepare for the descent or any tight corners or further obstacles.
If you have the bad luck of being in a country with the non-stop rule, you can still use this technique but will obviously have to complete the technique in one move.
This technique is best suited for obstacles with a level top for easy balancing. The rounded top of a large rock is also possible, but you will need to centre the bike well or the angle will quickly see the bike fall off to the side.
Even a slight angle can present a challenge, although with experience you will be able to counter this with your body positioning. However a very unlevel surface will require more advanced techniques like holding pressure.
Climbing the obstacle will usually involve either a double blip or zap. Once balanced on the obstacle, use your body weight to aim the front wheel in the desired direction, and ease the bike over by rocking with your body weight. You may need to rock the bike forward until the rear
Get the front wheel over the obstacle but keep the rear wheel on the ground. Recovery from this position requires body weight to the rear for traction, then quick acceleration as you throw your body weight forward.
Look for obstacles with a non-level top and see if you can compensate with your body positioning. Attempt bigger obstacles as you become more comfortable with this technique.
Try balancing with the rear wheel still on the obstacle in preparation for a tight turn.
See our Youtube video Using the bashplate on a trials bike for more details.
Copyright B. Morris 2014